About Christina Does It All

Doing it all, One blog at a time

What I Want Her To See

My baby girl is three and a half months old and already, she is becoming accustomed to her mom’s shenanigans.

When I was pregnant with her, I traveled to Puerto Rico, Colorado, Mississippi, Milan, Florence and Venice. I went indoor skydiving when she was only a bean in my tummy. I ran a handful of 5ks, covered a red carpet event, met Willie Nelson, posed for photo shoots, dived into my first post-college career and self-published a short story.

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She was with me for all of these things, and that was incredibly special to me. Now that she’s here, I still love being able to take her along on adventures with me, but I also know that she can’t come along for all of them.

She wouldn’t have been able to soar through the sky with me as I went hang-gliding, nor could she have been my plus one as I covered an Ed Sheeran performance for my event blog. She can’t really come with me to food tastings, and she can’t tag along when I attend a social media conference for work tomorrow. It wouldn’t really be appropriate for her to join in on every excursion I have with friends, and she probably wouldn’t have been nearly as amused as I was, had I brought her along to shower under a waterfall with me.

This weekend, my girlfriends and I will be road tripping it to another state, and Brynlee will be spending this time at home with her amazing daddy.

Since Bryn has been born, my whole entire world has been overflowing with joy, more joy than I ever even knew was possible. She smiles and I turn to goo. She laughs and my heart melts. I watch her with my husband and I feel as if happiness is seeping out of my ears. I made my favorite little person with the help of my very best friend. I look into her eyes and I can see that she is mine. It is the absolute best thing I’ve ever had the chance to experience.

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And yet, I still feel so capable of living my own life to its fullest. I heard recently that moms who work full time today spend more time with their kids than women who were stay-at-home moms decades ago. I find that admirable and selfless in many ways, but I also know that this isn’t the way in which I will raise Bryn. This is partly because I don’t feel that my daughter’s existence makes mine disappear. I am still here, as are my dreams, desires, loves and passions. Also partly because I have a sweet mommy who watches Baby Bryn while I’m at work and a loving husband who whole-heartedly wants to share responsibilities 50/50 with me as a parent. I am a little shocked by how rare said sharing still is in our day and age. But more than anything else, it’s because there is so much I hope my daughter will learn from watching how I try my best to live life.

I hope that she will always be open-minded and accepting, and that she’ll realize that everyone finds their happiness in different ways.

I hope she will see that marriage, despite the statistics, can work out. That actually, it can do so much more than just work out. That it can be beautiful, fulfilling and most of all, so much fun. I hope that she won’t settle when it comes to love, that she will only be with someone who is able to give her as much joy as she saw her parents give each other.

And more than anything, I hope she will see me living my life and be inspired to live her own. That she will have confidence to follow her passions, the courage to go after her biggest, craziest dreams and the desire to make a mark on her little piece of the universe. What I want her to know is that this world is hers for the taking, if only she has the eagerness to go out and take it. What I hope she notices is my hunger for life, and that this will make her appetite grow wild too. What I want her to see is me, the person who loves her more than anything, showing her how to fall in love with the life she lives.

5k. Baby. Mop. Boat. Etc.

LFE IS BUSY. And fantastic. A sample platter of updates:

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Bryn joined me for her first post-womb 5k last weekend. The Caleb 5k honors a family friend who passed away years ago. It was the first time I’ve ever been emotional picking up a race packet, and also the most meaningful race I’ve ever had the chance to run. I’m so very glad my favorite little lady got to be my sidekick for such a special three (.1) miles.

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Speaking of my favorite little lady. She’s three months old now. What?! Stop this speeding by stuff, time.

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This past Monday, my dude and I took our boat out for the first time this summer. It was a beautiful, albeit hot, day spent on Lake Austin with that wonderful baby daddy of mine.

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Occasionally I get paid to work from home. Other times I get paid to organize silly pictures with friends. Most always I really love my job.

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Weekends spent at the in-law’s always consist of delicious meals, gorgeous scenery and fantastic company. My soul feels refreshed every time I come back from a visit in New Ulm, Texas.

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My dear friend Hannah is in town for the summer, so we plan weekly shenanigans accordingly. This past week it was happy hour at a wine bar with an incredible view of the Texas Hill Country. On the way back to her apartment, we took a photo with a lone mop randomly placed in our elevator and then scurried back to my car in the pouring rain. We drove back to her place soaking wet and laughing in glee. Wine and a mop and frolicking in the midst of a storm. It was all very romantic.

What more could I ask for? I have a beautiful family, amazing friends and so many incredible adventures both behind and in front of me. Life is the best.

Soaring Through The Clouds, And Other Life Things

What a completely incredible past couple of weeks it has been.

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I spent two weekends in a row with my crazy, wonderful family. This includes my girl cousin whom I grew up with, vicariously living our grown up lives through Barbie dolls. Now we are grown up, and our two baby girls, only five months apart, have started smiling at the other. It probably won’t be long until they’re playing make believe together too. And that is kind of beautiful.

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I showered in a waterfall. It was exhilarating and laugh-inducing and it also kept trying to take my bikini bottoms off. Which, of course, made it even more exhilarating and laugh-inducing.

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My best friend of thirteen years (more than half of our lives!) came to visit from Virginia, and we spent our time adventuring together. Whether this be tubing the river, brunching with mimosas, watching the sun set on the lake, hiking the Austin greenery or road-tripping our way to winery tastings, every moment spent with her was an absolutely lovely one. Meg mentioned that, at one time in her life, she held every guy she dated up to the standard of her friendship with me. Then she realized she could never date a dude who was like me. I tend to be the free-spirited to her grounded, the insanity to her stability, the jumping into things to her thinking things through. We balance the other out, and it is ideal in that it would only ever work healthily in a friendship scenario. And though we would probably eventually murder the other as lesbian lovers, she is and always will be my female soulmate.

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Speaking of being free-spirited and slightly insane, I checked off a pretty exciting bucket list item by going hang gliding for the first time. I was literally soaring through the clouds, y’all. It was breathtaking and stunning and scary too. But then, I think all of the very best things in life are often this way. Whether it be raising a child or almost running full force into a tree branch while floating the river or loving people with your whole, fragile heart that could very easily be broken, all of the beautiful stuff tends to be just a little bit terrifying. Because, yes, soaring through the clouds can take some courage. But once you’re up there, you won’t want to come back down.

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An Unexpected Adventure

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I were heading out of town for a race that I had registered to run. Robby’s parents were watching Miss Bryn at our house for the day and I had my jogging shoes ready. We were good to go. Except that when we got there, the race was over. The event coordinators had messed up on the online times, and though I got my money back (and a bunch of other freebies too), I was still a little bit bummed. But that didn’t last long. My husband, always one to make me quickly find a bright side, suggested we drink the free beer we’d been offered and walk down to the nearby river.

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So we did. And we held hands and laughed and ate free BBQ and shared warm conversation. We sat side by side with our Miller Lites, and found bliss in the comfort that comes from simply being next to the other after all of these years. On the way back, we found ourselves a quaint little winery and chit-chatted with their cheerful and animated staff.

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It was a day of perfect, unexpected adventures spent with the person I feel so very lucky to permanently hang out with.

And there isn’t a scheduled plan in the world that I would trade that for.

The Journey (And A Photo Shoot)

Those who have met me in the past few years seem to assume that I am naturally thin. I don’t mind the assumption, but if you’ve known me or followed my blog longer than this, (And if you’ve followed my blog for that long, you are a loyal reader indeed. I tend to cringe perusing anything written before mid-2011.) you know that this isn’t the case. Many don’t know that, a few years back, I started a journey that ended in 40+ pounds of weight loss. I was at a completely healthy weight when I was full term pregnant, but I was still ten pounds under what I had been at my highest. Throughout my pregnancy I was told how little I was, and now I get those (joking, I hope) asking if I actually really had a baby at all. (I swear, I didn’t kidnap her!) The truth is, I had to work really, really hard for this. I jogged up until the day I gave birth. I was doing ab exercises when I was days away from meeting my little girl. There were definitely days when I would have much rather stayed in bed all day eating potato chips. It was worth it, but it definitely wasn’t easy.

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So modeling for my first photo shoot post-prego last week felt really awesome. Because I’m not naturally a small person. Nor did I wake up one morning and begin jogging miles. I wasn’t born with anything close to modeling genes either. Because honestly, I really love Nutella and I really don’t care for apples and okay, I’m sort of really awkward too.

Much like the shots taken in this little-known, lovely little Austin park, all of these things have been such a journey for me. And though it’s sometimes been difficult, it has also been so beautiful. In the challenging areas, I have learned to never take for granted those things I now have that I wasn’t born with. And when the journey hasn’t been easy-peasy, I have learned that I am strong, and brave and that I probably won’t ever outgrow my oddness.

And why would I want to do that anyway?

christina-22christina-118christina-70Photo Credit: Dave Blake Photography 

Ladies’ Night & Magic Fingers

Last week I posted about an event where I danced like a super white girl and got a free massage and had a great ladies’ night out with my friends. I also ate delicious food and chatted with a dude with an adorable Irish accent giving out roses at the door. And heard a live musical performance from one of my best gal pals. All of this was hosted by a friend of a friend (aka the lovely Heather) who works at Gateway to Wellness, a little treasure of a place in my neck of the woods.

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Gateway to Wellness is basically what it sounds like. A place you go that makes you feel more swell. To be a bit more specific, it’s a holistic wellness center offering chiropractic massage therapy, nutrition and even a brand new and snazzy yoga program. I told a friend I felt drunk off of my free massage last week. (NO, it wasn’t that second glass of free wine. Psh.) It was THAT good. I don’t really do many massages because I am incredibly ticklish and usually end up giggling my way through them. But the folks at Gateway to Wellness have magic fingers and I barely even chuckled.

I’ve also stayed away from massages in the past because I’ve thought them to be a bit frivolous for my taste (I mean, this is coming from the girl who only shops in the clearance section of Half Price Books.) but being a wellness center, these massages come with some added benefits. If you struggle with allergies, migraines, back pains, ADHD or weight issues, Gateway to Wellness can help with ALL of these problems. If you’re ever in the area, TRY THIS PLACE OUT. I am yelling at you out of love, y’all. You really need to experience the magic fingers for yourself.

Did I mention they offer a kick-ass ladies’ night?

Feels Like Freedom

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All of my best friends are single, at least in the unmarried sense. None of my closest pals have kids.

I’m not exactly sure why this is and I don’t really try to overanalyze it. I love my friends and they love me, no matter our relationship and current childbearing statuses. But as studies have shown that birds of a feather do tend to flock together, my guess would be that a small piece of common ground is the mutual love of freedom.

I know it may seem odd to use the word “freedom” when talking about life as a married mommy, but for me being free has always been more of a state of mind than a life situation.

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A couple of nights ago I went out with a couple of my favorite ladies. I covered an event in which I badly and proudly white girl danced. I drank wine and got a free massage and talked with strangers and loved on my wonderful friends. And then I went home, giddy to see the two people I love most in the world.

My summer is packed full of lovely and exciting plans. Still, I know that even the biggest of these will not compare to the smallest of moments I have the chance to cherish with Robby and Bryn. The life I’ve built with them is the greatest adventure I’ve ever known.

It is liberating to know that no matter where I may go, there is always so much laughter and love waiting for me to come back to. That no matter what fun plan I may be tending to at the moment, my favorite place in the entire world is wherever my boy and our girl are at.

There is an immeasurable amount of joy in being firmly rooted to a beautiful life. And that makes me feel like I could fly.

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I left a bit before my friends did that night. Having a sweet husband who loves his daddy-daughter time, I knew I could easily stay out later. I opted to head home a little earlier not because I had to, but because I just couldn’t wait to get back to that adorable little family of mine. That evening, I danced like no one was watching and then drove back to the two watchful little eyes that I can never get enough of.

That feels like freedom to me.

Best Maternity Leave Ever

What my maternity leave has consisted of….

  • Well, this lovely little lady, of course. I’m a bit smitten with her.

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  • Book reading and mimosa drinking

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  • Date nights and a fish bowl

(Hm. Maybe I should clarify now that I supplement with formula at night and am not feeding my baby alcohol boob.)

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  • Making exciting summer plans, a couple of which may terrify me in the most amazing way possible.
  • Media events consisting of complimentary drinks, eats, hammocks and photo ops in the trunk of a Tesla

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  • Reuniting with friends over brunch. Hannah and Rachel are two of the big loves of my life. Hannah has been away at school in El Paso for the past few months. When our eyes met this past weekend, we had a cheesy movie moment in which we ran into each other’s arms at our local café. Except both of us are pretty clumsy and simultaneously ended up injuring ourselves on the nearest by chair. So those on the outdoor patio at Kerbey Lane got to witness these two really weird girls squealing with delight, embracing one another, and then wincing in pain as they both managed to injure their feet on the same chair. Friendship at its finest, y’all.

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  • Family BBQ and pool time
  • littlesis

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  • Did I mention yet….HER:

babygirlbrynlookWeeks old and already Bryn has mastered looking at me like I’m insane. She catches on fast.

I thought I might get a little restless or antsy with more than a month off of a job I love so much, but that hasn’t been the case at all. Maternity leave felt more like a vacation than anything else. Today was my first day back at work, and I am both giddy to get back to the grind and happy to know that our girl is in good hands with my mommy.  Still, I will always have such fond memories of such a wonderful, productive and fun maternity leave spent with friends, family and getting to know that sweet baby girl of mine.

First Mother’s Day

This past Saturday, I found myself ever so slightly perturbed with that darling husband of mine. I had been asking, make that practically begging, him to get a haircut since before Bryn was born. His head was beginning to resemble a mop. Saturday night we were going out to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, and still no haircut. I finally nearly pushed him out the door late that afternoon and told him not to come back until his hair was cut. Subtlety has never been a strong suit of mine.

He came back with not only his hair neatly cut, but a cute card and a dozen red roses. My annoyance instantly disappeared.

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But what made me smile the most was not the card or the roses or even the haircut (close second though.) What put the silliest grin on my face was checking on Bryn, napping in her swing, and doing a double take upon seeing an envelope nearly half her size resting in her lap. Written on said envelope was “Mom”, and inside my very first Mother’s Day card from Miss Bryn. How she found the time to sneak out of that swing to buy and sign such a sweet card, I still haven’t figured out. My guess is she has a pretty fantastic ghost signer.

My very first Mother’s Day as a mommy:

Date night -

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Card from in-laws that had me nearly teary -

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From dude and daughter -

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Dude and daughter -

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Y’all. MY HEART! What an incredibly blessed mommy I am.