Married Life

Married Life // Prepping for Two Kids

Guys, these days when I think of Ryan and I preparing for Kid #2, I almost feel like we should be gearing up to do battle. Not that having a…

Married Life

Guys, these days when I think of Ryan and I preparing for Kid #2, I almost feel like we should be gearing up to do battle. Not that having a single kid is easy by any means, but when there’s only one of them and two of you, it’s manageable. If one parent is tired, the other one can step in. If one of you gets sick, you’ve got a backup. But with two kids and two adults the score is even and that totally freaks me out.

I’ve had more than a few people tell me that going from one to two kids might as well be going from one to ten. All of a sudden it’s chaos. If you think you’ve got a routine down now, just wait until the newborn comes along to shake it all up. And I can totally understand how that’s going to be true. On your first kid, you’re entirely focused on that¬†one kid. He’s hungry? Feed him. He’s awake? Rock him to sleep. He’s dirty? Change him. But just to imagine the newborn shenanigans that we got into with Henry on top of running around after a demanding toddler already makes me sort of queasy with exhaustion.

One friend gave me the advice that we should lower our expectations of ourselves, that there’s just no way you’re going to be able to keep up with everything that you’ve previously been able to tackle. If your house is usually spotless, set a goal to just have one room clean each day. Maybe chaos has erupted in all of the other rooms, but that one room can be your win for the day. Or maybe you’re just not going to get to the gym 5 times a week, so lower your expectation to 3. I totally understand her point of view, and it’ll be interesting to see what this means in our lives as a married couple once we’re in the trenches. Obviously it’s not going to be a season for lots of alone time or romance. It’ll be a season for bath times and bed times and making bottles and grilled cheese sandwiches, and running through sprinklers and changing twelve thousand diapers. I think, though, that some of the times I feel closest to my husband are the times when we’re all together as a family and he’s being “the dad.” Just to watch the way that he’s filled that role magnifies my love for him a zillion times over. So maybe we’re not biking through the streets of Paris together like we once were, but being in the parent trenches together is equally incredible in a totally different way.

In all honesty, I’m not sure there’s a way you can prepare to have a second kid. I keep trying and trying to wrap my head around it and what it will mean for our marriage and family, but I just don’t know that I’ll really get it until we’re in it. I’ll let ya know from the other side in a few short weeks. ūüėČ xoxo

It's Okay to Not Do It All

No, You Can’t Do It All

I’ve been feeling underneath it all lately. Can you tell? I feel like I can’t catch up or keep up, and every day there’s something (usually a big something) that…

It's Okay to Not Do It All

I’ve been feeling underneath it all lately. Can you tell? I feel like I can’t catch up or keep up, and every day there’s something (usually a big something) that just has to be left behind. Part of me thinks it’s a passing phase because Baby #2 is just cleaning me out in terms of energy, motivation, and general well-being. But another part of me thinks that maybe this is just the status quo. That if you’re a mom and a wife and a business owner or have a job, you’re just always going to feel… behind.¬† This one’s a doozy of a post, guys! Click through to hear some deep thoughts.

Hole in Living Room Floor

Married Life // Under Construction

How’s that for a glamorous photo? I decided it’s one of those “keep-it-real” days around here. This is an actual picture of an actual hole in our actual living room….

Hole in Living Room Floor

How’s that for a glamorous photo? I decided it’s one of those “keep-it-real” days around here. This is an actual picture of an actual hole in our actual living room.

Before we started this renovation on our house, my dad made an offhand comment to me one day about how we should be ready because construction has broken up more than a few marriages. I nodded seriously at him and giggled inside because sometimes my dad cracks me up with his sage advice. But truth be told, now that we’re in the midst of this whole shebang I can absolutely see how a marriage is tested by sledgehammers and cement mixers. It’s chaos. And sometimes the physical chaos starts feeling like mental chaos and you both just start to snap.

Right now, there’s a hole in the middle of our living room where our fireplace used to be. A giant, 6-foot-by-5-foot hole. Just hanging out. And in the three adjoining rooms, there’s a layer of dust on everything that meets the eye. So here we are, trying to go about our lives and work and entertain a toddler but not let him fall in the hole or lick the dust or anything else life threatening. And meanwhile, we’re deciding how best to plug the hole temporarily and what kind of cabinet exactly is going to go there eventually, and should it be a cabinet or closet? And what really is the difference? And will two extra feet in this room really matter? OH MAN. It gets intense.

And to top it all off, I’m pregnant now and for some reason we always end up doing these major life-changing things (like moving to a new town or a complete home remodel) while I’m with child. Because we just really like to live on the edge. All of this is to say that¬†yes renovations can absolutely challenge a relationship. We had a little taste of it when we moved into the house a couple of years back, but this is next level.

So how do you deal? We’re figuring that one out as we go along. I think mostly you just fight tooth and nail to remember that you’re on the same team. Because as soon as one person gets a little tone in their voice, the other one gets defensive, and then all of a sudden the new dining room is a war zone. So maybe we have differing opinions about whether we need obscured glass or clear glass in the new bathroom windows, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. We’re trying to keep our heads from spinning with all of these teeny tiny decisions, and lean on each other instead of pitting ourselves against each other with differences of opinion. It’s really easy to dig your feet in and try to stand your ground, but really nobody wins at the end of that situation.

Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that some old closet doors are now covering the hole so we can’t fall in. At least we got that one figured out. ūüėČ xoxo

Fighting in Marriage

Married Life // Fighting

I just asked Ryan what the next Married Life post should be about and without even a split-second hesitation, he said, “FIGHTING.” We may or may not have had a…

Fighting in Marriage

I just asked Ryan what the next Married Life post should be about and without even a split-second hesitation, he said, “FIGHTING.” We may or may not have had a doozy yesterday. We were shooting some video content for the blog and we had differing creative ideas and all of a sudden we found ourselves in the midst of a flared-nostril, crossed-arm staring contest and we had both dug in our heels so hard I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen next. I have what you might call a bit of a stubborn streak. And a temper to beat the band. I just don’t usually show it to anybody but Ryan. Lucky fellow.

So I’m sure you’re dying to know what happened next. I made a joke to try to diffuse the situation, which made him madder, which made me re-mad, so I stormed out and went and flung myself on our bed and scrolled through Instagram until my blood stopped boiling. (No joke.) After that I came back in and said I was sorry for the mean things I said, and he said nothing back, which made me mad¬†AGAIN, and then he backpedaled and apologized too and¬†the rest of the day was a kind of bumpy dance where we both were mad but didn’t¬†want¬†to be mad so we just kind of made it through the day. By evening we were making fun of ourselves for being idiots because neither of us could really pinpoint how the fight actually started.

Sometimes I feel like a jerk because if Ryan and I never wanted to fight, we wouldn’t have to. Fundamentally, we have¬†nothing wrong (which I know is a major blessing). We’re on the same page about kids, money, work, family, religion, all that major stuff. When we fight, it’s about completely dumb stuff. Like whether the camera should be at this angle or that angle. Or who has to pick the lunch place this time. If that’s not first world problems I don’t know¬†what is. But despite all that, I maintain that occasional fighting can be healthy for a relationship. Because usually it’s not about the thing that’s actually happening, it’s about what’s underneath, right? If I had to guess, our fight over “creative differences” actually had to do more with me thinking he might not like my ideas or that maybe I’m a total hack and have no good creative ideas to begin with. Or with him thinking that he always just tries to help and I don’t let him help. Or the fact that we both really love to be right, to a fault.¬†Or something similarly deep and uncomfortable to talk about because they’re more serious issues. So really, if you can be honest with yourself and search for what’s way down deep underneath the anger, a fight can be an opportunity to be better as a person and as a couple. (That is, if you can stop the steam from coming out of your ears for long enough to see what’s really going on. Which is not my strong point.)

Do you fight with your partner? What are your hot-button issues? I’m not talking pet-peeve type of stuff, I’m talking about what really gets you into a war zone. How do you get out of a fight once you’re in it? xoxo

P.S. More talk about our marriage!

Behind the Scenes // Photo Outtakes

This post has been DYING to happen for years, y’all. And Mr. Lovely officially gave me the go-ahead, so I’m pretty excited (for lack of a better word?) to share…

behindthescenes

This post has been DYING to happen for years, y’all. And Mr. Lovely officially gave me the go-ahead, so I’m pretty excited (for lack of a better word?) to share with you some of the best behind the scenes photos you’re gonna see, possibly ever. Because we work side by side day in and day out, we often help each other out with projects. I’m still a one-woman team at Lovely Indeed for the most part, which means we usually take all our own photos. Of the two of us, I’m a better photographer, so usually I’ll put the camera on the right settings and set a shot, then Ryan will hop behind the camera and actually take photos of my or my hands or whatever. But while I’m setting the shot, I need a subject, so Ryan stands in… Do you see where I’m going with this?¬†I have the most magnificent collection of terrible, hilarious photos of my husband waiting for me to test shoot and I’m sorry but they are just begging to be shared. Let’s just get right to it, shall we? I took the liberty of pairing Ryan’s test shot alongside the final shot, just for funsies.

Sometimes, they’re not so bad, right?

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And then sometimes they just kind of look like bad cellphone photos.

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Sometimes he realllllllly doesn’t want to be doing whatever it is that we’re doing.

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And then sometimes he really gets into it.

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Behind the Scenes

I am sitting here dying laughing while I write this post! Come on, if you’re a blogger with a husband you KNOW you have similar photos. Or if not, hopefully you’ve had a laugh at my husband’s expense today. Don’t worry, he can take it. xoxo

Married Life

Top Five // Married Life

It’s time to play the greatest hits game! In honor of Lovely Indeed’s 5th birthday, I thought it would be a blast to go back and recap our Top Five…

Married Life

It’s time to play the greatest hits game! In honor of Lovely Indeed’s 5th birthday, I thought it would be a blast to go back and recap our Top Five posts in a few different categories. Up today, we’re sharing our top five Married Life posts. As it turns out, you guys loooove to talk about boys. Married, dating, single, it doesn’t matter. I just love hearing from you in the comment sections of these posts because you’re all so thoughtful (and totally hilarious). If you missed any of these, check them out and don’t forget to scroll through the comments for some extra juicy stuff. xoxo

Married Life // The Pet Peeves
Married Life // Honey I’m Home
Married Life // Kids
Married Life // Traveling Together
Married Life // Goals

Married Life // Making Friends

Married Life // Making Friends

It’s so easy to make friends when you’re little. Right? I mean, you just go up to the closest foursquare court on the playground and ask to play next. Then…

Married Life // Making Friends

It’s so easy to make friends when you’re little. Right? I mean, you just go up to the closest foursquare court on the playground and ask to play next. Then you grow up a little more and in¬†college you’re tossed in with everybody else in your major and you have a built-in social group. But what about after school is over and you get married and you’re in the real world? How do you find friends?

Mr. Lovely and I are pals. I mean,¬†best buddies.¬†And it’s so amazing to be married to your best friend and get to be friends¬†and be in love. Really, it’s insanely wonderful. We come as a pair and love to spend time together. But also, I think it’s healthy for the two people in a relationship to have outside activities and especially outside friends. I think we all need a network of support that should extend beyond our significant others, yeah?

Our situation is a little weird, in that we’ve tackled two major moves during our marriage, from NYC to LA and now to Central California. And each time, we left behind a group of friends that we were incredibly sad to part with. So now we’ve got plenty of friends, but they just happen to be scattered all over the United States. And in our new town, we’re finding that as a married couple with a little dude it’s not as easy to find pals as it was when we were young and footloose and fancy free. Also, I think that the older you get, the fewer people there are in your age demographic who are open to new friendships.¬†Lots of people our age who live in town are kind of set for friends, they have a routine, and there’s just not a lot of room for adding more to the mix. Which I totally understand. So where the heck do you make friends?!

We’ve literally started hitting on people to be our friends while we’re out in the world. No joke, we spotted a couple in our favorite taqueria with a baby who looked similar in age to Henry, and we walked right up and asked if they ever wanted to hang out. Now they’re some of our good buddies. But putting yourself out there like that can be intimidating and tiring, and it’s easy to just fall back into the insular routine of hanging out with your spouse or partner because it’s the path of least resistance.

Nevertheless, we’re always striving to meet new people; not just to have things to do, but because people are awesome. Every time I meet someone new I am grateful to have another person and point of view to broaden my world a little bit. So I’d love to know your take on this one! Have you experienced the same thing? Where do you meet new friends as a grownup? xoxo

Pet Peeves in Marriage

Married Life // Pet Peeves Deux

Let’s be clear. I love my husband. I mean, loooooove. Crazy about the guy. And he’s, like, the¬†best. As we speak, he’s outside mowing our lawn after having worked a…

Pet Peeves in Marriage

Let’s be clear. I love my husband. I mean, loooooove. Crazy about the guy. And he’s, like, the¬†best. As we speak, he’s outside mowing our lawn after having worked a full day and watched Henry for a few hours so I could get some work done too. He’s a champ.

How-to-the-ever, you know that even in the most magnificent of relationships there are these leeeeeetle tiny things that just get under your skin. I’ve talked about it before right here, which was pretty cathartic and even more hilarious to read your responses. Lately Mr. Lovely and I have been a bit on edge, just with figuring out work schedules and baby schedules and life schedules, and when you’re on edge the little things that get under your skin can seem huge. So we decided to laugh about it instead of going crazy over it, and share it with you here. I present, in no particular order, the things my husband does that drive me promptly up the wall.

He holds his breath after he sneezes for, like, 20 seconds. It’s weird.
He pulls his t-shirts off inside out before he puts them in the laundry so I have to turn every single t-shirt right side out when I fold.
He walks just slightly faster than I do so I’m always a half step behind him.
Dirty dishes on the counter. Does it take that much longer to just put it in the dishwasher?!
He eats ice cream so. loudly. But just ice cream. Still haven’t figured out why.

And because it just wouldn’t be right to not let him have his say, here’s what I do that makes¬†him crazy.

I pick at my nail polish. It totally grosses him out.
My hair is still shedding post-baby, and somehow it always ends up wrapped around Henry’s fingers or in his mouth. (To be fair, that one drives me crazy too. How do you stop it?!)
When he asks what I want for dinner the answer is always, “I dunno, what are the options?”
After I get out of the shower, I leave the showerhead pointed in such a way that it sprays his feet when he turns the shower on the next time.

I have to know if we’re normal! Leave a comment and tell me the weird things your spouse or partner does that just make ya nuts. xoxo

gummy bears

Married Life // Birthdays

Now that we’re old married people, I almost can’t even remember how we used to celebrate each other’s birthdays when we started dating.¬†Oh wait! Yes I do. We were living…

gummy bears

Now that we’re old married people, I almost can’t even remember how we used to celebrate each other’s birthdays when we started dating.¬†Oh wait! Yes I do. We were living in NYC and every birthday was a shindig out at a bar or restaurant, where whoever’s birthday it wasn’t did all the planning and inviting and paying for drinks. I remember one year my birthday there was this huge snowstorm in the city and I was so stressed and sad because I thought no one would venture out in that weather. Mr. Lovely did lots of calling and texting and put together one of my favorite parties ever. Now that I look back, that sounds exhausting. Ha!

It’s not that I don’t like to hang out with bunches of people any more. And having a big party can definitely be fun. But now that we’re in it for the long haul and we’ll (hopefully) be celebrating a whole mess of birthdays together, my preference in the way that we celebrate has totally changed. What did we do for this last birthday for instance? My two guys took me to lunch at Chipotle (that guac tho) and to Trader Joe’s to get my favorite gummy bears on earth. We had family taco night, and then spent a day in San Francisco a few days later. Nothing fancy, just little adventures with the people that I love most.

We hardly even do gifts any more, which is actually kind of a relief. Mr. Lovely surprised me with a couple of vinyl albums that I had been wanting and we called it a very successful day. (He didn’t wrap them — I came out into the living room in the morning and they were leaning against the tv. Ha.) So. This is my question for you guys. Have we lost the romance and excitement? Or is it kind of expected that after a while you don’t need a whole fanfare for birthdays? I mean, I guess where we’ve settled is a celebration in a smaller way — a way where a taco bar with your family is really all you need in the world.

So leave a comment: How do you celebrate birthdays with your boo?! (Ha. I said boo.) xoxo

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Married Life // Looking Good

Before we start, can we just acknowledge that we looked like absolute children on our wedding day? Geez when did I get so old?! Something tells me this one might…

wedding-car-palm-trees-bride-groom

Before we start, can we just acknowledge that we looked like absolute children on our wedding day? Geez when did I get so old?!

Something tells me this one might get some strong opinions in the comments, and I’m all for that. But it’s been on my mind lately so I want to know your thoughts. Here’s the deal. I’m pretty sure Mr. Lovely would love me regardless of the way that I look. Fat, thin, bald, cross-eyed — whatever. And vice versa. I would love him if all of his teeth fell out and he singed his eyebrows off in a terrible grilling accident. For sure.

But! Here I am, post baby, scrapping to get my body back the way that I like it. And one hundred percent truthfully, I am working out and watching what I eat because¬†I want to. I feel better when I’m healthy and keeping it right.¬†But also, it’s a fact that I want my husband to think I’m looking good.¬†I guess my question for you guys is this: Do you think we owe it to our spouses to try to keep looking as fly as we did on our wedding day?

My answer is a wholehearted yes. And that’s where I think I might rile some people up. Of course we should all love each other regardless of our outer appearance. Of course. But also, I feel like when I’m working on my health and fitness it’s also a gift I’m giving Mr. Lovely. The gift of self care, and the fact that it makes me feel better. The fact that when I do my makeup or hair or actually put on clothes, I feel like a better, stronger, more on-top-of-it version of myself. And what’s wrong with feeling that way, and giving that as a gift to the person you married?

Do you know that song, Wives and Lovers? It’s¬†so antiquated and kind of crazy. The first lyrics are, “Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your makeup. Soon he will open¬†the door. Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger you needn’t try any more.” What?! Crazy, right? I remember being in high school and listening to that song and being¬†pissed. Because, ya know, feminism and all that. But now I kiiiiind of get what Burt Bacharach was saying (in a really misguided way). It’s so easy to get married and have a baby and forget to wash your hair one day and suddenly you don’t wear anything but sweatpants and you find yourself looking in the mirror like “Who is¬†this?!”¬†And not that I’m afraid that if I wear sweatpants Mr. Lovely is going to go running to the arms of another woman, but doesn’t he deserve a cute outfit and some lip gloss every once in a while?

Maybe I’m not expressing myself very clearly here. It feels kind of jumbled. And here’s hoping I haven’t alienated all of you lovely feminists out there. But hopefully some of you are picking up what I’m putting down. And of course I’d love to hear your opinion! If you’re in a long term relationship, do you find it important to maintain your looks for your honey? xoxo

Married Life // New Baby

  Woah guys. I have so much to say on this subject it might as well be its own column. Ryan and I have been through a good number of…

 

Newborn Photo Shoot

Woah guys. I have so much to say on this subject it might as well be its own column. Ryan and I have been through a good number of changes and adventures — jobs traveling the country & overseas, cross-country moves, new homes, and more. But nothing,¬†nothing has been more intense than the experience of bringing home a baby and learning how the little one would fit into our world.

When I say intense, I don’t necessarily mean it in a negative way. In fact, mostly the intensity has been in the love that we have discovered you can have for a baby — for such tiny little things they sure know how to wrap you around their itty bitty fingers. For the first couple of weeks we would just stare at Henry, then back at each other, then back at him, marveling that all of a sudden there was another person in our midst, and that we totally¬†made him.¬†If that ain’t miraculous, I don’t know what is. Even more miraculous was the fact that we kept the baby alive and well in spite of having no earthly idea what we were doing.

Now that the fog has cleared a little bit and we’re getting used to life as a family of three, the reality of things is settling in and we are realizing that we need to develop some systems. Since we both work from home, we’re¬†trying to figure out a schedule of who’s on baby duty and who is working, and when we switch. It’s something that I think will take some trial and error before we figure out what is going to work for us. But in the meantime I’m so grateful that this season in our lives has us both capable of being home with Henry to see him grow up. Which, by the way, seems to be happening insanely quickly. Just a few weeks ago he was a total potato, and now he’s laughing and smiling and reaching for things.

Mostly, it has been the greatest joy to navigate this bizarre new world of parenting with Ryan. My tired mom brain can’t come up with words that are beautiful enough to explain what it’s like to care for a baby with the person you love most. But I¬†will tell you this — sometimes the three of us slow dance together to old Rosemary Clooney records, and in those moments there is nowhere else I’d rather be. xoxo

Photo by Scot Woodman Photography