What I’ve Learned…8 Weeks Postpartum

Tomorrow I will be returning to work after being on maternity leave and thought I should spend some time reflecting.  The past eight weeks with our son have been an amazing adventure on many levels and trying to put it into words is impossible.  It’s incredible what a newborn can teach you about yourself.

What I learned (or reminded of again)…

  1. Children grow in the blink of an eye, so cherishing the time is important! 
    I realized the most important role in my life right now is to be the best mother to the kids, and girlfriend to Craig. We are a solid unit and need to focus our energy on being the best for them. Cole is almost 16 and thinking about him moving out and on blows my mind…(and insert tears here).  It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that he was a baby and I realize I have been wrapped up in other issues and concerns at times and may have not cherished the moments as much as I could have.  The same for Autumn and McKinley.
  2. It’s ok to cry.  
    I’ve had quite the emotional awakening since Lincoln has been born.  My heart has been softened and sometimes I cry just looking at him…and it’s ok!
  3. Don’t worry about the small things because children don’t care about them. 
    Children don’t care if you have spit up on your shirt, don’t have make-up on, and your hair is a mess.  They will remember how you made them feel…so hold them a little longer, kiss them more, play that board game, watch the show they pick, listen when they are telling you their stories…
  4. Don’t worry about what you can’t control.  
    This can mean not becoming wrapped up in the family or friends who don’t act how you think they should.  People will disappoint you all through life and instead of wasting the time on what a terrible person they are just focus on bettering yourself.
  5. One of the most powerful emotions is evoked when a baby smiles at you…or stares into your soul while holding him.
  6. Just how much happiness a baby can bring to a family!
    We were already happy, but he has added so much more joy to our lives.  Autumn was able to see his birth and was immediately bonded to him (even when he’s spitting up on her).  Cole enjoys playing music for him when he’s fussy and needs calming.  McKinley is never hesitant to pick him up and try to soothe him, and she loves giving him a bath, picking out his clothes, and dressing him (as long as I will put his diaper on).  I’m one blessed momma!
  7. Breastfeeding is not as easy as many assume or how the media portrays, but it is extremely rewarding.  
    With breastfeeding comes moments of painful latching, cluster feeding, engorgement, doubts if your baby is receiving enough, painful clogged milk ducts, the discomfort of the let down, the need for larger shirts, and handling people who have a negative reaction when your child needs to eat.  The look your child gives you while breastfeeding or when he falls asleep at the breast is rewarding…knowing that you overcame all the difficult obstacles to give him the best.  It is a beautiful gift from God not only to create a baby, but to nourish one too—-a woman’s body is beyond amazing!
  8. Giving Lincoln formula is ok.  I have been so focused on exclusively breastfeeding because that is what I have done in the past, but I had to come to realize that feeding him some formula is ok.
  9. Not all babies are the same. 
    Lincoln is different than Autumn, Cole, and McKinley…and I shouldn’t have expected him to be the same as I’m not even the same.  He loves sleeping in his crib, loves laying on his changing table, pees and/or poops after you take his diaper off (be warned), his favorite place to be is eating in mommy and daddy’s bed, and loves taking baths!
  10. How blessed I am!
    I have an amazing man who has supported and encouraged not only me, but my children as well.  Watching him become a father has been a wonderful experience.

Tomorrow will be a bitter-sweet day for sure, but one thing is for sure…the past eight weeks have been pure happiness!


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❤ Crystal

Post slightly inspired by The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: “Story”

When in Rome…Have a Baby Shower!

This past Saturday we were thrown a baby shower by Craig’s family in Rome, New York.  It could not have been more perfect!  A huge thank you to his cousin, Kayla for organizing and planning it all with the help from his Aunt Mary, Uncle Curtis, and cousin Jaimie!  Without a doubt I am a lucky woman to have such an amazing man, and with the added bonus of his wonderful family it just makes everything so much more of a blessing!

Rome Baby Shower

 ❤ Our Favorite Moments ❤

  1. Craig’s Grandmother gave us baby pictures of Craig and photos of his mother and father.  Seeing the photos along with the candle set up to honor them immediately made the tears begin to flow.


2. How beautifully everything was set up…the photos do not do them any justice!  The basketball to have guests sign, the candle to light as an honor to Craig’s parents, the mimosa bar, balloons, beer mugs for the men to take as favors, and the candles the ladies received to burn when baby arrives were all just incredible!


3. The food!  The food was never ending and delicious—it was brought out in waves starting with breakfast which included eggs, breakfast potatoes, and french toast.  Then salad, along with chicken French, alfredo pasta, and grilled veggies.  Delta Lake Inn definitely has amazing food!


4. The games…everyone enjoyed the games and I was able to be the one to de-whistle Uncle Curtis because he said the word “baby”…love that shower game!


5. The desserts!!!  Creampuffs, cupcakes, and cannolis, Ohhh…My!  even though I couldn’t technically enjoy them as much as I would have liked they are delicious (I’ve had one here and there for a treat as I closely monitor my sugar).  The best part was the blue faces if they ate one of the blue frosted cupcakes!


6. The thoughtful gifts!  From the little red wagon, the sporty bathrobe, the basketball hoop, the million different balls in a box, the adorable suits, the tiny little outfits, and the dresser to put them all in we truely loved everything!  Driving home was quite eventful…haha!


7. The people!  It’s always a fun time when we are able to travel to Rome and spend time with Craig’s family, but this time was a little more special because he was able to see some people he hadn’t seen in a long time.  His aunt even drove from Michigan to be there!


8. The unplanned balloon release!  Craig wrote a little note on one of the balloons and we decided to release them…emotional moment to end it all, and another way to include his parents into the celebration.


As you can see from this post our little MVP is loved so much already!  We are blessed to be surrounded by such supportive, wonderful people.  Thank you all who came to shower us with love!

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❤ Crystal

Photo Credit to Cole and McKinley
The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Temporary

A Simple Moment of Waiting…

While on a visit to a local park to take some photos of a friend I snapped this photo of a stranger waiting to feed the ducks.  You can’t see it in the picture, but he has a loaf of bread and they are on their way to feast on the treat.

I wonder, what is he thinking about?

I do regret not stopping to learn more about him and share the photo I captured.


Share in a comment:  What would you caption this photo?


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Photo Challenge: Waiting

Wanderlust-Spring Break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

wanderlustI have not been one to follow the crowd down to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break until this year.  My son’s friend’s family invited him on vacation with them (also to Myrtle Beach), so it was my youngest daughter, boyfriend, and me.  This wasn’t one of those vacations that was all planned out months in advance, but all went smooth.  As I’m a teacher I receive breaks throughout the school year and need to start taking advantage of the opportunity to travel more.

We looked around at options and Myrtle Beach was close enough to drive, affordable, and the weather would provide us with plenty of vitamin d and sea that we have been quite deficient in.  We decided that we wanted to find a resort with a lake-front view, be close to the boardwalk (but far enough away from the noise), and we wanted a resort that included breakfast.  We found all of that and had a wonderful time!  We decided to drive an additional two hours for one of the days to spend time touring Charleston which was another pleasant adventure!

Myrtle Beach is a 13 hour drive from Rochester, New York…we stocked up on snacks and drinks and left when the school bell rang!

Top 10 Favs:

  1. Sunrise:  Every morning we set the alarm, so we could watch the sunrise…this was probably one of my most favorite moments on our trip!  Each morning the glow was different, yet still mesmerizing.


  2. Pleasant surprises…jellyfish, seashells, and shark teeth…Ohh…my!  Walking the shoreline we stumbled on a variety of washed up treasures.


  3. Food, food, and more food (more food pics coming…my phone broke and all the food pics are on it)


  4. Brookgreen Gardens (Former Rice Plantation)  I teach African American Literature, so touring a former plantation was something that was on my “must do” list.  We learned quite a bit about rice plantations as this was an area I didn’t know much about.  I’m still struggling with some emotions and thoughts from our tour.


  5. Charleston & Magnolia Plantation  Another former rice plantation we toured…there really are no words I can type to properly describe my experience…


  6. Animals/Wildlife  No matter where we are, when we see animals we are interested…isn’t everyone?  We saw a bird fight on one of the plantations, which ironically one was white and the other was black…just after they fought a peacock opened up to show its beauty off.  Whether it was an otter scratching its back, a fox in a tree, an alligator sneaking up on us, or a snake crossing our path we were in awe!


  7. Boogie Boarding  I prefer to lay on the beach and soak up the rays and dip in once in a while, but Craig and McKinley are like fish when it comes to swimming.  They were in the water for hours boogie boarding and I enjoyed capturing them riding the waves.


  8. Boardwalk  Such fun we had on the boardwalk!  Shopping, eating, shopping, snapping pictures, talking to people, the Sky Wheel, and the arcade!  Tip:  Even if the morning starts out chilly, don’t wear pants to the boardwalk…it will warm up.


  9. Arcade:  I’m not one to play arcade games, but Craig and McKinley had a ball…they hit the jackpot a few times and tickets were everywhere!


  10. Ocean Being mesmerized by the beauty of the ocean or just listening to it while in bed was one of the best parts of the trip!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


I thought this vacation would satisfy my wanderlust cravings, but they have intensified!  Suggestions where I should travel next?

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Along The Road Taken…

Whoa!  Sixteen days since my last post…I am slacking!  I was doing well with my posts and then my computer just. stopped. working.  I thought it just needed a new battery, but nope it was dead.  RIP Asus!  Unfortunately I did not have an external hard drive to back up all of my work and pictures…lesson learned!  The positive is that I can still retrieve my data off of the laptop, but the past couple weeks have been difficult without my files, photos or the use of my laptop.


Then…a surprise came my way.

My thoughtful boyfriend knows how much I use my laptop and ran around on his day off to find the perfect one for me…this was definitely a surprise!  He has not been able to surprise me at all, but this time he did!  Never imagined he would buy me a laptop!  To top it off he gave me a pair of wireless earbuds because I made a comment how they would be nice to use while working out.  I’m one lucky lady!!


Divorce:  On another note…I received the paperwork back stating my ex was served, BUT they left out the one important detail…they never wrote on it that the “amended complaint” was served.  Incredibly frustrating because I called the prison ahead of time to make sure they wrote it on there and put a note in with the document when I sent it.  Not to mention this is the third time I sent the paperwork to be served!  Holy frustrating!  I called this morning to see if they can simply resend the document and write “amended complaint” on it, and they are going to call me back.  They have one more hour, and then I’m going to call them back. *insert hour time laps here*  I called and they said they were still looking for the file and will call me back.  *insert another time laps here*  They called me back and asked that I resend the paper…they do not have internet access to print another form out.  I’m remaining calm and friendly on the phone through all of this because I know it isn’t their fault, but they don’t know how all of these little mistakes have added up to prolong this divorce! *insert yet another time laps here*  Paperwork was filed and submitted to the court on Friday.  Now I’m hoping Gangarosa doesn’t find another list of things he wants done before moving forward…this should not be that difficult!  Now I’ll be stalking the mailbox as I wait!

I do believe this is the last time I will have to submit them…as I left the court building…a building I have spent way too much time in, I looked out and took in the view and began to tear up.  Along the road I’ve taken I noticed something for the first time…a bridge…why it brought me such peace I’m not sure.  It isn’t a newly built bridge, but I’ve never really noticed that you could see it from the court building until that day.  Earlier in the week I had been on a walk where I took photos of it.

Did I mention it’s the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge–ahhh…the symbolism!



Since it has been sixteen days since my last post I’ll leave you with sixteen pictures…








What kind words have you told yourself today?


In the solitude of the morning start your day off with positive thoughts and words about yourself.  What kind words have you told yourself today?

Have a beautiful day!


Another Step Forward


Divorce: I’m beyond excited to announce that I received a the final paper back in the mail Friday that I needed signed to move forward with the divorce.  I have one more step and then I can re-submit them to the court which will most likely be in the next week or two if all goes according to plan.  I found out the mail accidentally sent the envelope to another address which happens quite frequently for some reason, and then it was returned and took much longer than it should to arrive.  I’m just thankful I finally received it!  Positive start to my weekend for sure!

Love: I came home from work on Friday to find a thoughtful surprise from my boyfriend.  He has been working a lot of overtime lately, so we haven’t had much time to spend together–he crafted a delicious healthy dinner and planned out a Saturday date day.  He knows how much I’ve been stressing as I wait for the paperwork.  This was much needed for us!

surprise feb 2017  edit.jpg

Fitness:  I’ve been consistent with my workouts, routine, and eating healthy.  I haven’t ventured out to try new machines like I’ve wanted, but I will.  I did reach out to a couple people for some advice and one will be helping me out this week.  I am feeling and seeing the results which motivates me even more.  Next step…add some weights to the mix!

Rochester Public Market:  Saturday morning haul…only spent $23 in produce and $10 on the roasted nuts!  Who said eating healthy is expensive?!?!


Fun:  Made a visit to Rick’s Recycled Books to add to my already lofty stack of books begging to be read.  Highlight was Craig finding one he liked that happened to be autographed!


We drove to Mendon Ponds Park to take some wintery shots.  I wanted to stay out longer, but I wasn’t quite layered up enough to keep warm.  I did stay long enough to stumble on quite a bit of these little ones…moments like this is pure happiness!

As Sunday night comes to an end I’m finishing up the last half of the Super Bowl…and the commercials of course.

Ready for another fabulous week to begin tomorrow!