Summer in Stripes

June 27, 2016

dress: J.Crew Factory (old, similar) | hat: J.Crew Factory (old, similar) | flip flops: Tory Burch (old, I have this pair too and the design hasn't worn off even after 4 years) | bracelet: Kendra Scott (c/o) | tote: L.L. Bean | Jack's swimsuit: Carter's (similar) | Jack's hat: H&M

If you follow me on Instagram you know I love stripes.  And if I'm wearing stripes there's a good chance that Jack is wearing stripes too.  I never thought I'd be the kind of mom who matches or coordinates with her baby boy, but I just can't seem to help it, especially when it comes to stripes.  We are currently at Fripp Island in the lowcountry of South Carolina and our days consist of bike riding, trips to the beach, cooking simple meals and riding in the golf cart.  Needless to say I've been living in a swimsuit, rarely wear more make up than waterproof mascara and lipstick, and often just throw my hair into a messy braid because it's too hot to use a blow dryer.  I love it!  When we go to the beach I normally just throw a simple dress on over my swimsuit and put on a floppy hat.  Jack has become a huge fan of the water and he would splash around in it all day if he could.  He also likes to eat sand so I have to watch his chubby little hands like a hawk!

I don't wear a whole lot of jewelry when I'm here but I have been wearing the adorable Kendra Scott bracelet that's in these photos.  I love little drawstring bracelets like this because they’re so casual looking and you can adjust them to fit you perfectly.  This exact one isn't available at the moment but I linked to some similar ones below!

To see how other fashionable mommas style Kendra Scott pieces in the summertime, head on over to the blogs listed below:

Mireille at City Peach
Nina at the HHS Feed
Ali at Inspired By 
Tiffany at Tiffany Style Blog

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Jackson's 7 Month Update

June 6, 2016

Jack is 7 months old now!  I can't believe he's closer to 1 year old than he is to the day he was born.  It makes me want to cry!  His little personality just gets funnier every day.  He's a bit of a wild man and he makes us laugh all the time.

Development:  Jack has been trying to crawl for a few weeks but doesn't really get anywhere yet.  I think he will be mobile before we know it though and I'm going to have to do a good job of baby proofing our next home.  He is pretty good at sitting up now and doesn't fall over all that often.  He mastered putting his pacifier back in his mouth about a month ago and that's really nice especially at night time.  He hasn't tried to pull up yet and is not showing any signs of getting teeth.  As all babies this age, he tries to eat everything!   

Food:  Jack has become quite the foodie.  He LOVES to eat and has a really hearty appetite.  I make all of his food unless we are traveling, and then I'll buy those little food pouches.  He eats oatmeal for breakfast but only if you put peanut butter in it, as well as some pureed fruit like mango or pears.  I normally cut the mango with some avocado to take away some of the tartness.  For lunch and dinner he has veggie and fruit purees.  I often make a puree of sweet potatoes, chick peas and butternut squash and he really enjoys that.  We often give him actual pieces of food that he tries to eat himself but he normally just ends up a big mess.  Once his fine motor skills get a bit better I'll probably ease away from the purees and go more with the baby led weaning technique.

Height/Weight:  Jack had been very high on all of the percentile scales until his 6 month appointment.  He was in the 70's and 80's for all three measurements (height, weight, head circumference) at his 4 month but at 6 months his weight dropped down to 38th percentile yet the others were still in the 70's and 80's.  I had been nursing him every 4 hours or so but he would get fussy at the end of each breast because it seemed like he didn't want to work to get the hind milk.  He weighed 16 pounds 15 ounces which isn't tiny but the fact that the percentile dropped so greatly really concerned me.  I made it my mission to fatten him up this past month and I think I've succeeded!  He gained almost 3 pounds in a month and he's just under 20 pounds now!  I still nurse him every 4 hours and he also eats 3 meals a day.  He has gotten better at nursing for longer amounts of time so I think he's getting more of the fatty hind milk now.

Sleep:  Jack has kept us on our toes lately.  His naps have gotten longer but nighttime is hard!  We put him down between 7 and 7:30PM (and he sometimes cries a lot when we put him down now which he hasn't ever really done before) and he wakes up around 2 or 3AM to eat and then he's up for the day before 6AM.  We have been traveling a lot lately so I don't blame him.  All things considered he's very flexible and adaptable and he's a great little traveler.

We are starting our drive down from Maine to South Carolina today so that we can visit my family at the beach.  I can't wait to take Jack to the beach and let him play in the tide pools.  Month 8 with baby Jack is sure to be lots of fun.
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The Items I Never Run Without

June 1, 2016
When I run outside I definitely stick to the less is more philosophy.  I wear lightweight minimalist shoes, I don't carry water (unless I truly need to) and I hate fuel belts.  That being said, in my 20 or so years of running I have learned the hard way that it's important to carry a few essential items with you when you're out for a run.  But first, two stories sharing how I learned this important lesson.

Story #1.  I spent Christmas of 2008 in Grainau, Germany with my family.  It's the most charming little Bavarian town that's right at the base of the tallest mountains in Germany. 

View from the mountains above Grainau and Garmisch, Germany (needless to say it was a cold and snowy run down at the base of the mountains).

One afternoon I decided to go for a run to the Eibsee, which is a gorgeous lake about 3 miles from the apartment we were staying in.  I decided to leave around 4 PM, and even as it kept getting darker and darker I was stubborn and told myself I had to run all the way to the lake.  By the time I got there the temperature was dropping was my blood sugar.  I have hypoglycemia and when my blood sugar gets low I get shaky and lightheaded, which isn't a good thing if you're half way through a run in the snow, in the cold, in a foreign country, without a phone and without money.  I didn't have a way to pay for a taxi home, I didn't have money to pay for food so that I could endure the trip back, my parents didn't know where I was, and I had no way of calling them.  I started to panic.  I wasn't sure how I was going to get home.  I thought about walking home but I wasn't dressed warmly enough for that.  Then I saw them.  Miraculously I ran into my aunt and uncle who had gone to the Eibsee for the day with my cousins.  I started crying as I ran to them.  Here I was, a 22 year old soon-to-be West Point grad, and I was crying because I was so cold and hungry and relieved to see someone who could save me from the predicament I had gotten myself into.  I should have learned to never run without money or a phone ever again...but I didn't.

Story #2.  In 2012 I was training for what should have been marathon #3 in less than a year (I ended up having to drop out of the race half-way through due to a nosebleed that would not stop...but that's another story).  I lived in Hawaii at the time, and every single run was magical, warm and full of beautiful scenery and sweet smelling flowers.  

I had been having trouble with my right IT band, which caused my outer knee to hurt really badly, but I decided to head out for a long run one Saturday morning anyway.  I made it from my apartment out to Kahala (about 7 or 8 miles) before the pain was unbearable.  I was limping and couldn't even think about running any further.  I was able to get some ice for my knee at the gas station, but again...I didn't have any money or a phone so I had no clue how I would get home.  Luckily, there was a city bus driver taking a break outside a smoothie shop and I limped over to him and told him my problem.  He kindly gave me a bus transfer ticket so that I could catch a bus home without having to pay for it.  This time I was saved by the kindness of a stranger, and I finally learned to never leave home without money or a credit card.

Now I always run with a phone, a credit card/cash and an ID card.  If it's a long run I'll run with a gel or a little snack, and if I'm doing a long run on a route without water fountains I'll bring water with me too.  The phone is important in case you need to make a call, plus it's nice to have in case you want to listen to music or take a picture of something pretty (or a selfie for proof that you worked out...haha!).  Just make sure it's fully charged in case you get lost and need to use Google Maps.  I found myself in this situation this past Christmas when I was a mere 6 weeks postpartum, and it was awful!   I got lost on a trail on Hunting Island, SC and ended up running 8 miles which my body was NOT prepared for. 

What items do you always have on you when you run?

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Summer in Sail to Sable

May 30, 2016

 shoes: Tory Burch (old) | dress: Sail to Sable (c/o) | earrings: America's Mart (similar here) | Jack's onesie: Toobydoo

Happy summer everyone!  We just moved out of our home in Maryland and are up in Maine right now visiting my husband's family.  I can't think of a more perfect way to welcome my favorite season of the year.  It's so beautiful here!  I'm used to southern beaches and landscapes so it's a real treat to be able to visit such a distinctly different part of the country.  We took these photos at Portland Head Light.  The lighthouse is under construction right now but the surrounding view was absolutely gorgeous.

Today I'm wearing what is sure to become my favorite dress of the summer.  Tunics are such a classic and simple resort look and I'm crazy about the white and coral color combo of this Sail to Sable dress!  My normal "momiform" is jean shorts ("jorts," if you will haha) and a solid t-shirt or tank top but it's really fun to step up my game a little bit every once in a while.  Being a mom is messy and exhausting but I really do think it's important to take care of yourself and not get completely lost in motherhood.  Granted, since this dress is white it's probably better for a date night or childless party than for a full day with a messy baby.  Jack tends to throw up on anything that I really want to keep clean but I couldn't help but take a few pictures with my little man.  I made sure to take these photos after his lunch digested :)  There are many other color options of this same dress though, so if you're looking for something that is less likely to show pureed sweet potatoes (Jack's favorite) you're in luck.  I'm also crazy about this melon/pink one, this navy/white one, and this cabbage/pink one.  Speaking of a date night, Tom and I desperately need's been 7 months since we've had one (Jack will be 7 months old tomorrow).  Tom's parents offered to watch Jack while we are here so I think we will get one soon!  Hooray!

If you want to see how some other fashionable mommas style their Sail to Sable head on over to the blogs of the lovely ladies listed below.  They also styled some fab Lisi Lerch jewelry (hello iconic tassel earrings)!  Mine were delivered to our old apartment an hour after we started our drive from Maryland to Maine so unfortunately I wasn't able to pair mine with my dress.  I'll share them here soon though!  Oh and be sure to check Instagram at 7PM tonight...we will doing another #mommymonday giveaway and this time we will be giving away a piece of Lisi Lerch jewelry!  Yay!
Mireille at City Peach
Nina at the HHS Feed
Ali at Inspired By 
Tiffany at Tiffany Style Blog

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Seersucker and Monograms

May 25, 2016

On me: bikini: J.Crew (old, similar) scalloped dress: J.Crew (old) necklace: J.Crew (old) 
espadrilles: J.Crew Factory (old, similar and here
On Jack: seersucker bloomers: Bee Sweet Baby green shirt: Zara chambray hat: H&M 
seersucker Jon Jon: Bee Sweet Baby white collared shirt (under Jon Jon): Gap

I'm a Southern girl through and through, and if given the opportunity I will monogram anything...especially if it's seersucker.  There are so many cute outfits options for baby girls but in my opinion it's hard to top a sweet baby boy in a seersucker Jon Jon or a pair of bloomers.  I'd had my eye on the Beaufort Bonnet Company Jack Keene Jon Jon for months but couldn't stomach the $67 price tag (including monogram).  I also loved the seersucker diaper covers but that was $40 (including monogram) and even though both were ridiculously cute I just couldn't convince myself that it was worth the money.  I told my mom about my dilemma and she mentioned a teacher friend of hers who has a small business making baby clothes.  Bee Sweet Baby is owned by Laurie and she is the most amazing seamstress.  My mom told her what I was looking for and she quickly made me the sweet bloomers and Jon Jon Jack is wearing in the photos above.  She's able to work with you on what you want, so you can easily customize anything!  

She also made these white monogrammed bloomers for Jack.  I needed a white pair for a series of photos we are going to have taken that will match some photos my mom, my brother and I all had taken at 6 months too.

Isn't Jack adorable in these handmade pieces??  I could just eat him up.  Anyway, the cost was half the price of the "fancy" items, and the quality is amazing!  Jack is all set for a Southern summer down in South Carolina now!  

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Gee, I Wish I was Back in the Army

May 23, 2016

*If you're a White Christmas nerd like I am you'll know where that title is from.*

Well y'all, I finally did it.  I've had an internal debate going on inside my brain (and heart) for a while now, and I recently bit the bullet and switched from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) to the U.S. Army Reserve.  As most of you know, I graduated from West Point in 2009 and served as an Active Duty Army Officer for just over 5 years.  Commissioned Officers owe 8 years at a minimum, so I've been in the IRR for the past year and a half (which doesn't require you to do anything and you're not paid, but you maintain your commission and you are at risk of being called up if the Army needs you).  I announced this on Instagram a month ago but realized I had not mentioned it here.

I was very ready to leave the Army life behind me but over the past few months I've had a bit of a change of heart.  My last assignment was at the Pentagon where I worked on expanding positions, units, schools and occupations to women.  It was an eye opening job and I learned just how much work it requires to make substantial changes in the Army.  At the end of 2015 all of our hard work paid off and the Army opened up everything to women.  We have even had 3 women graduate from Ranger School, and I must admit that I cried happy tears when I found out that they made it through.  I have never wanted to attend Ranger School or be an Infantry Officer but I have served with many strong, smart and talented women that I know could totally do it, and I sincerely believe that women should at least have the opportunity to try (as long as standards are not lowered).  After seeing all of these changes occur, and after an impromptu visit to the Women's Army Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia, I had a renewed sense of pride in my service and the service of all the women who paved the way before me.  I want to continue to be a full time mom to Jack so Active Duty is not appealing to me anymore, but I think I can handle one weekend a month and 2 weeks a year (the requirement for drilling Reservists).  There is the potential for a mobilization, but I'll cross that bridge when/if I get there.  So far, I have had two weekends of drill as a Reservist and it felt weird yet comfortable to wear the uniform again.  I have no clue where this journey will take me or how long I will stay in, but for now I am happy and excited to serve our nation in this new capacity.

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On My Mind...Lately

May 20, 2016
Happy Friday y'all!  I haven't done a Friday post in FOREVER because I can't seem to get my act together, but I'm back!  At least for this Friday anyway :)

My desk area...with a beautiful view of a massive construction zone.  I sure won't miss this when we move!

Lots of moving pieces going on in my life right now...we are getting packed up to move next week and even though I've moved about a dozen times in the past 7 years I'm still a bit anxious, especially because we have a baby now which I know will make things more difficult.  Even though I'm a little stressed we have some fun plans this weekend!  If you're in the DMV area I have 2 really fun recommendations for you:

Luckett's Spring Market.  I've shared my love for Luckett's on the blog before (here and here) so I must share this news: Luckett's has a spring market once a year where they have tons and tons of flea market vendors, great food and music...and it's this weekend!  I don't need a thing and should probably spend the weekend prepping for our move but I think we are going to go to Luckett's on Saturday.  It's $10 to get in and it's totally worth it.  Get there early because this place gets packed!  It's open today, Saturday and Sunday.

Wine in the Woods.  Wine in the Woods is held at Symphony Woods (next to Merriweather Post Pavilion) in Columbia, MD and they bring in lots of vineyards, food stands, artisans, and bands!  We live within walking distance of this place and have never made it to Wine in the Woods (which is held twice a year, I think).  Last year I was pregnant so I wasn't interested in going at all, but this weekend we are finally going to make it!   I'm pretty excited.

As for other things that have been on my mind/caught my eye lately, here they are:

Scalloped Swimsuit.  I jumped on the scalloped swimsuit bandwagon this week and bought this black scalloped one piece from Old Navy.  It is definitely not for busty gals because there is no shelf bra or support at all, but for those of us who aren't quite so blessed it's adorable!  Shows a little side boob but for about $20 (sale price plus military discount) I figured I'd give it a shot.

The Prettiest Apple Pie Ever.  I had some frozen pie crust to use before we move so I made an apple pie yesterday.  It did NOT look like this pie, by Monica Hibbs.  I wish it did though, but then I probably wouldn't have eaten it because it this pie is seriously too pretty to eat.

Round Tassel Towel.  My friend Laurel from A Bubbly Life shared her summer wish list a few days ago and this towel was on it.  It's so stinking cute and looks like it would be perfect for the beach.  Especially with a baby who likes to grab sand (here's looking at you, baby Jack).  Maybe I can put Jack in the middle of it and he won't get so sandy?  I really think I need one of these!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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