Into the Belly of 2014
The response we received from our announcement that we are expecting a new baby later this summer was completely heartwarming. I am consistently touched and surprised by the love that we are receiving on a daily basis from so many people from all over. It is always humbling. We’ve read each and every one of your thoughtful comments and messages and they have made this experience even more magical than it already is.
I am swiftly and smoothly moving through my second trimester and finally feeling pretty good-I was much more nauseous though out my pregnancy with Beau, though that could’ve been the taxi trips around the city taking the additional hormones for their own ride. Jack and Zoe are thrilled-their reactions were completely unexpected and I can’t believe they were actually caught on video. Normally they’re less than fazed by “big news” at least on the outside, so their excitement was a really sweet surprise for us (yep, I cry every time I watch).
We are all so excited, though let’s be honest: Fourth baby. There are nerves slightly tempering my enthusiasm.
I’ve been able to sneak a few naps in with the boys while the big kids are at school, and that is the absolute highlight of my day-until school pick-up anyway. Through the wave of new opportunities coming in and my ability to manage things (haphazardly) on the home front simultaneously, I’m often surprised that 2:30pm is when my mood shifts and I begin to feel me again. Having all of my kids together and knowing that during that time I’ll be entirely devoted to them despite the nagging of emails and phone calls… That is my peace in a day filled with the tug-of-war that comes with parenting and working from home. I suppose the emotional side of it for me is truly loving what I’m doing and creating, as well as being able to help with the piling expenses at home. Beau isn’t in any kind of program and we haven’t had a babysitter, so Justin and I have been taking turns working and being with him and Theo. We’re both getting busier though, and it seems as though Beau may be ready to be in a montessori or nursery school where he can be a little more independent and socialized with children his age. It’s a step that I’ve been somewhat resisting knowing how fast time flies and before I know it, he’ll also be in elementary school.
Jack and Zoe’s lives are incredibly full, which of course makes our lives even more jammed than they already were. It’s exciting to be taking this step into being Parents of Big Kids, though I never quite thought that I would be living it so quickly. There are soccer and baseball practices and games throughout the week, with swimming tied in on two days and playdates filling in the gaping holes on other afternoons. Fortunately these are all outdoor activities, so the younger kid(s) can come along for the ride. Life in California truly feels like a cornucopia of opportunities to be outdoors, active and enjoying every moment the Santa Cruz sunshine has to offer. We have grandparents, aunts and relatives that come to see us weekly and are actively a part of their lives and it is so wonderful and refreshing. I didn’t grow up with those things, so watching them rise confidently around so much love and support is something that makes me consciously grateful.
They are absolutely thriving here. We all are.
Right now it feels as though we’re sitting on the launchpad about to be catapulted into the belly of 2014. There is travel in my future and with the family in the next couple of weeks, and we have some major changes happening to our home during that time. Many of these changes and opportunities are happening because of this blog, and as they happen physically the programming on this and my other social channels will also be ramping up. It is all really, really great, though not without it’s growing pains including my ability to make sure that these changes happen carefully and thoughtfully.
Sponsorships and Philanthropy: A Happy Team
The growth of my audiences both here and on Instagram and Facebook since Theo and Beau became popular has been amazing. Many of you are new to my social channels and to me as a blogger, and I sense there is some confusion regarding sponsored posts here and on Instagram. I want to be perfectly clear that it is an obligation to not only myself and my family but to my readers as well to be completely authentic when it involves a brand or not. I began this blog as an online journal for my family, and it remains that today. I have been lucky to gain an audience and subsequently obtain some really fantastic relationships with brands that have ultimately given me opportunities for sponsorships, and I appreciate being able to monetize in that way. It is helpful to our budget but also my own psyche being able to help to support my family financially and I am proud of what I’ve established.
With the opportunities with brands that I’m receiving, I’ve also been able raise money for the Santa Cruz SPCA and while each campaign that I sign on for doesn’t always include a donation on the brand’s behalf, with it comes more opportunity for all.
Going forward, for every sponsored Theo and Beau Instagram there will be a donation to the Santa Cruz SPCA on behalf of my family. I’m also looking into creating an Instagram page solely based on auctioning off articles of Beau’s clothing with proceeds going to the Santa Cruz SPCA, as we’ve been given tons of beautiful pieces from all kinds of different brands (his wardrobe far surpasses my own). I want to be absolutely sure that I feel great about sponsoring content on my pages, but that you know that these partnerships are ones that I not only am happy to be a part of, but are true to my voice, my blog, and my mission as well.
With a new baby on the way and a book going to print in a matter of weeks, I’ve found myself in a very exciting place both emotionally and physically. The life and spirit of growth is so present it’s nearly palatable. It doesn’t come without challenges of course (which I’m trying to embrace), and there’s definitely a learning curve. I’m doing my very best to make sure we all ride these changes out smoothly.
Thank you all for being a part of this journey with me and my family. It is a dream come true in so many ways.