The Most Important Guy In My Life

It’s hard to say that someone is the most important to you, but I think any parent would agree that their child is the most important person in your life. Of course you love your significant other and would do anything for them, but they probably agree that your child is the most important. Our children are growing and learning every second of the day. It’s magical and terrifying at the same time.

10365545_756147644466619_1875854077134565428_oMy little guy is amazing. My husband and I are definitely blessed. Jackson was born 6 weeks premature. What a shock that was! I woke up on a Saturday morning to my water breaking. Our plan for the week coming up was to pack my hospital bag, do a practice drive to the hospital and work on finishing up his nursery. Jackson had other plans. After my water broke, I went into labor with just a little bit of help from medication and progressed quickly from there. He was born early on Sunday morning, 5 lbs. 2 oz., 17 in. long. He was pretty healthy, but being 6 weeks early, he had to stay in the NICU for about 2 weeks while his longs finished developing and we got his eating under control. For any parent that has had a child in the NICU, they’re the longest days/weeks of your life.

11232075_826641866364_3215909344670129942_nNow healthy, aside from a mild case of asthma, Jackson’s a very happy baby. He looks like my husband’s twin, with bright blue eyes and sandy blonde hair. I’m sure people question if he’s actually my son when I’m alone with him. Although, I do think his smile is a bit like mine. He has an amazing smile where his eyes light up, his cheeks bunch up and his whole mouth is just wide open. It’s adorable and the best thing ever to see in the morning.

He loves jumping! Ever since he was about 6 months old, we bought him a jumper and he’ll just11838588_935940940110_3036585797164123948_o jump and jump for hours. He’ll even fall asleep in it, wake up and keep jumping. He’s very active, just like he was when I was pregnant with him. In fact, I had a post on Facebook that I thought he’d be a swimmer because it felt like he was swimming laps. Turns out, he loves the water! He kicks his feet, loves splashing and doesn’t want to get out.

He’s got the chunkiest little thighs from all of his jumping, although they’re starting to thin out now that he’s crawling and standing more. He’s very curious, constantly looking around. He doesn’t want to miss out on anything! It’s just amazing to see everything he does every day and all of the new things he learns so quickly.

As he grows and continues learning, I wonder who he’ll be. I hope, like any parent does, that he’s kind and values knowledge. I hope I’m able to protect him from awful things and comfort him when I can’t. I worry about everything, but try and enjoy every moment. I know my days when Jackson always wants to be with me and my husband are numbered, and I plan to embrace them!

Lost: No Crying Over Stamps

Have you ever lost something and felt like it was the end of the world, only to realize that it really wasn’t? This happened to me and my husband when we were planning our wedding. Like most many couples, I was doing most of the planning. I’m a planner, I love planning parties and figuring out all of the little details to pull everything together.

At the time, we were living in our second apartment together. We had downsized so we could start saving up to buy a house. Our apartment was about 800 sq. ft. and had 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom. It was a good size for a couple, but we had the habit of just throwing things wherever there was room.

We were getting ready to start putting our invitations together and I had bought the stamps online. They were pretty rose ones, perfect for wedding invitations. One thing people forget to tell you when figuring out how much your wedding is going to cost is that stamps are expensive. We spent about $115 on the stamps and when I received them in the mail, I put them on a table. When I went to put the stamps on the envelopes one night, they were nowhere to be found.

I started freaking out! They had to be somewhere! I looked everywhere, interrogated my husband as to where he put them and was in a horrible mood. We couldn’t find them anywhere and had to come to the assumption that one of us had thrown them away. Of course, I was devastated. That was $115 down the drain! I started crying and my husband just kind of lost it on me. He yelled, “I don’t care about stamps! My Grandmother is dying and you’re crying over stamps!”

His grandmother had been ill at the time and wasn’t doing well. Sadly, we both knew she didn’t have much longer.

He was so right that stamps were not something to cry over. They’re just stamps…hardly important in life. I realized as soon as he had said it that I was being absolutely ridiculous and he put things into perspective for me.

This was an important moment in our relationship, because we look back on this moment whenever one of us is getting upset over something little. We’ll say, “No crying over stamps” to put things back into perspective. This makes the other realize that there are so many other more important things in life and to stop being upset.

Do you and your significant other have a little saying or memory to look back on that puts things in perspective?

Significant Songs in my Life

I love music. I know a lot of people do and say that, but I love the way it can bring you back to a specific memory or feeling. It can nurse your heartache, amplify your joy or intensify your rage when you just need to let it all out. It makes long drives and traffic bearable, and sometimes something to look forward to if you’ve made a new playlist.

I’m obsessed with playlists and have one for just about anything. I have one for when I’m feeling sentimental, one for when boys are being stupid, one to amp me up for a workout, one to bring me back to the 90’s and many, many more. Music means a lot to me and there are seven songs that always bring tears to my eyes because they mean that much.

First off, I have a few songs that remind me of my husband and how amazingly happy he makes me.

The first is “Bless the Broken Road” by the Rascal Flatts. To me, it says everything about when I first realized he was the one for me. The guy I had dated before my husband was not great for me. I would have done anything for him, and he just didn’t return that at all. It took me a long time (about 9 years on and off) to realize that he wasn’t right at all. “Bless the Broken Road” describes that journey of going through some not so great times to get to where you’re meant to be.

The second song is “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. I love the Twilight movies. I know they’re cheesy, but I’m a big fan and don’t really care that they’re so cheesy. “A Thousand Years” is a song about a bride walking down the aisle and I actually had this song played as I walked down the aisle. It’s just one of those songs that brings me back to my wedding day, walking down the aisle to marry the man that I love.

0428_11210467_IMG_1333The third song is our wedding song, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Obviously, I think about our first dance as husband and wife. It’s just so meaningful in that respect. I also love the words in the song. It reminds me of a line from “Father of the Bride” when Steve Martin says, “I knew I’d never be able to remember what Nina wore that day. But I also knew I’d never forget the way she looked.” Sure, my husband should remember what I wore because there about a million photos, but I think that sentiment is true. He probably doesn’t know every detail of my dress like I do, but I know he remembers the way I looked.

The other four songs always make me think of my parents when I hear them.

Two songs remind me of my Dad: “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie 0531_11210467_IMG_1425Wonder and “My Wish” by the Rascal Flatts. He requested “Isn’t She Lovely” the day I was born, so I always have a special place in my heart for that song. “My Wish” was our Father/Daughter dance at my wedding. I had always thought we’d dance to “Isn’t She Lovely”, but he had heard “My Wish” one day after I’d been engaged and just knew that was the song for us to dance to.

0251_11210467_IMG_8329The two songs that remind me of my Mom are “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood and “The Best Day” by Taylor Swift. “Mama’s Song” is very special for me because I knew she was so worried about my previous boyfriend and if I’d actually find a man that would treat me the way I should be treated and love me as much as I loved him. Luckily, I did find him and my Mom knows how well he treats me and how much he loves me. That song is all about reassuring a mother that the daughter knows she’s going to be taken care of and the mother doesn’t need to worry anymore. Just perfect! “The Best Day” reminds me of growing up with my Mom and little memories of days where we didn’t do anything extra special, but being with her (and my Dad) made them special. This song just describes the way I feel about my childhood with my parents better than I could ever explain myself.

So there they are, the songs that mean the most to me and make me tear up every time I hear them. Does music ever have that effect on you? Do you ever hear a song that just describes everything you feel so perfectly?

Anywhere in the world…

Ever think back to a time where you were on vacation or just somewhere other than where you are right now and wish you could go back? Do you remember the details of that place so well still and daydream that you’re there? I definitely do that from time to time.

I’m very much programmed to smells and sounds. Ask any of my friends, one of my party tricks is that I can hear a song and tell you the part of a move it’s in (as long as that movie is from the 90’s and on, that is). And smells…well I have a very strong sense of smell, so the littlest scents can send me back to a past memory. When Bath & Body Works came out with their Coconut Lime Verbena scent, it was driving me nuts for weeks because I couldn’t figure out where I’d smelled it before. Then it hit me! It was the same scent as a barbie doll I’d had when I was 5 or 6 that came with a little bottle of perfume.

Today, I found myself brought back to a past memory with the smell of our coffee brewing. We brew coffee every morning, but sometimes it just sends me back to when I was younger. I often daydream about the house I spent most of my childhood growing up in. It was a gorgeous, large colonial on the top of a little hill. It was red and my best friend, and next door neighbor, would always tell people that I lived in the big, red barn at the top of the hill. It was pretty easy to find based off of that description.

That house holds so many amazing memories for me. It’s one of those places that you just never forget because of the impact it had on your life. The many summer days spent sitting in the yard talking with my best friend, feeding her what I thought were gourmet meals, but mostly consisted of Kraft Mac & Cheese and leftover chicken cutlets, family dinners around the bar, and, honestly, the memories are endless.

The smell of the coffee reminded me so much of Christmas mornings, despite it being about 85 degrees and humid outside. The anticipation of being able to go up to our family room, which was above the garage, and see the presents and stockings. Knowing that my Dad would always get downstairs, pour his coffee, and then say “Oh, wait, you can’t go up yet, I need to grab the camera.” and we’d all roll our eyes. You’d think he’d know to have it ready since Christmas comes the same day every year, but this is one of the many reasons we love him.

Our family room was amazing for Christmas. It was a large rectangular room, with cathedral ceilings, three large windows facing our road, and a beautiful fireplace. We’d always have a 9 foot Christmas tree that just towered the room and was beautifully decorated because my Mom has an amazing eye. When I was really young, I’d always beg for color lights on the tree and she always said no. Finally, the year I was able to choose, I’d realized she was right. White lights on a Christmas tree are just so beautiful.

We’d open all of our presents while my Dad took pictures of our bedhead and ridiculous pajamas. We’d unload the stockings (my favorite part!) and eat some breakfast while checking out our new gifts. There would be wrapping paper strewn about the floor, which I’m sure drove my Mom a little nuts as she’s a bit of a clean freak, but it was Christmas so we got away with a little bit more than normal. Then we’d all reluctantly put our gifts down and go get ready for Church and the rest of the day’s activities.

Christmas is always one of my favorite days of the year, and I loved those precious moments with just my immediate family before the rush started. I miss the simplicity of those times. While I loved those times in that house, I so look forward to making memories with my family in our new home over the next few decades.

Hello world!

Hi everyone! My name is Nicole, but for all intents and purposes of this blog, I’m going to go by Momma Z. I used to belong to a running group, the Roadies, and when I became pregnant with my son, they dubbed me Momma. I liked it and thought it would be a great fit for my blog.

I’ve toyed with writing a blog for a bit and even started one before, but I didn’t stick with it. To be honest, I have a habit of not sticking with things. Perhaps that will be something I work on as I journey through the world of blog writing.

What made me decide to actually start for real this time was that I am constantly talking people’s ears off about a new diet/lifestyle change, workout, product or something else. I’m figuring they’re probably starting to get annoyed and want me to shut up already. A blog seemed like a great way to get all of that out without annoying the people I see all the time.

As you can tell from the little explanation of my blog, I am a working Mom. My son is almost 10 months right now and time is flying by, just like everyone always tells you. I have a full time job, working in Marketing. It’s pretty good. Like everyone else’s job it has its ups and downs. Either way, it keeps me busy and helps pay the bills.

I like to bake. I have a love hate relationship with it. Some days everything comes out perfectly and I’m not stressed and I love it. Other days, like last weekend, the baking gods are just not on my side and I end up being lucky that at least everything tastes good, because nothing looked great.

I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I could pin things all day. I go through spurts too. I love finding new recipes or pinning ideas for my next Stitch Fix (more on that later). It’s just a great tool and I can find anything I want on there. I love that it’s so visual as well. I’m the type of person that would much rather look at an infographic then read a lengthy article. It’s the way I best consume information.

Something else you’ll find on this blog, product reviews…to a point. When I love or hate a product/company, believe me you will know it. I’ll keep my rantings to a minimum though and try and provide you with useful information.

Ok, what else? I’m married. My husband is amazing! He puts up with all of my shenanigans and picky eating. He makes me laugh every day and has an amazing sense of humor. He’s very clever and amazingly smart. His intelligence just puts me to shame. He’s super handy, which I love. He’s an awesome cook, but we do share that chore, because I enjoy cooking too. He’s made me such a better person and I love that, and everything else, about him.

I’m a family person and a homebody, yet I love throwing parties. I have 3 nieces that I love to death, but they’re growing up way too quickly. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze time. Everyone says, you only get a few years with kids when they actually want to hang out with you, and those years just go by too quickly. I enjoy every minute of it while I can.

Well, little guy is hungry so I must go. I’ll be writing more tomorrow! Thanks for reading this…if anyone does actually read it.