The toughest Mondays are always the ones that follow really really good weekends, don’t you think? This weekend was one of the very best, and this Monday was no exception.

The last three days were spent celebrating Allison’s long-awaited bachelorette party with the most perfect poolside paradise weekend. When you’ve been a twosome since high school (#old) and your best friend gets engaged, 50% of your brain is like, “YAY LOVE MARRIAGE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!” and the other 50% is like “YAY BACHELORETTE PARTAYYYYYYY!”

So. It’s a very special time.  

When I asked Allison what her ideal bachelorette weekend looked like, she didn’t mention a day at the spa, fancy restaurants, or hopping from bar to bar. Instead she said, “Honestly? I just want to hang out with my friends by the pool.

And hang by the pool we did.  

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I searched high and low for the perfect house for our weekend getaway. Even though I’d assumed we’d end up somewhere in Dallas, or even Austin, the perfect Airbnb listing for our group actually wound up being in teeny tiny Salado, Texas.

Salado is a small town (about the size of your thumbnail) between Waco and Austin, and the house was tucked away in the middle of nowhere, making it, quite literally, picture perfect for our poolside weekend.

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(OH, and one tiny disclaimer. If you’re scrolling through this post scratching your head thinking, “Natalie…why on earth would you bring your baby to a bachelorette party?” you’re probably not alone. And lucky for you I’m more than happy to answer that question! Reasons for bringing my baby to a bachelorette party: 1) She hates the bottle, 2) I hate the pump, 3) She’s awesome and I really really really really like her. Now that we’ve gotten that awkward part out of the way, let’s move on.)

Friday afternoon we arrived at the house and took our time exploring the property, settling in, and setting up a few decorations. By evening time, most of the girls had arrived, so we threw on our little black dresses and headed to dinner. But first, a group photo!

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The one tiny problem with staying in a middle of nowhere town for the weekend was that it made finding a good restaurant for dinner a little tricky. Luckily I did some serious googling and found a small Thai restaurant in Belton (about 15 minutes from where we were staying) called Narunya’s. And it was DELICIOUS. 

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We tried dumplings and fried crab roll for appetizers, and for dinner I ordered the eggplant tower. And holy cow – it was ALL so good. I’m completely and totally heartbroken over the fact that I’ll have to drive all the way back to Belton to have it again.

After an amazing dinner, we headed back to the house for drinks, dessert, a bridal shower, and a late night swim.

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The next morning was slow and relaxing. And after breakfast and mimosas, we all headed out to the pool.

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Zo and I decided to rock our matching kimonos poolside, and as usual, she outshone me.

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Ugh, there is nothing better than seeing my baby with my best-friend. No one has known me longer or made Zo laugh harder (including me or her dad) than Allison. These two are the sweetest.

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Poolside life is the best kind of life. We spent the whole day sunbathing, sipping champagne, and sharing laughs, and it could not have been more perfect.

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And this girl partied just as hard as everyone else. She’s such a social butterfly, and LOVED being surrounded by so many sweet adoring ladies.

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She also did SO well with her first time being out of town. She’s not a fan of long carseat trips (and really who can blame her) but once we arrived she couldn’t have been happier. Girlfriend slept great, napped great, nursed great, and didn’t cry once. And she was all about that topless pool life.

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Plus, the free entertainment that comes with bringing your baby to a bachelorette party? It’s pretty great too.;) 

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Saturday evening some of the girls cooked up an incredible taco dinner, and we spent the rest of the night playing Cards Against Humanity and laughing together into the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday morning was bittersweet, so after we packed up, some of the remaining girls decided to grab breakfast at a local restaurant called Lively Coffehouse and Bistro before heading back home.

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Oh, this weekend. It was a sweet one. If you’d asked me ten years ago what I imagined Allison’s bachelorette weekend to look like, it probably wouldn’t have included a baby on my hip. But that’s the thing about real life, sometimes it’s even better than what you can imagine.

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Allison, I LOVE YOU. I couldn’t be more excited for you and Johnny and the life you’re building together. You’re, without a doubt, my favorite bachelorette, and I have a strong feeling you’ll be my favorite bride. 

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • This is so sweet.
    And, that POOL.
    But more importantly…MATCHING KIMONOS.
    Everyone is adorable. The end.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley

    This is adorable! And Zoey (and you!) look adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Donna

    OMG Zo is one of the most adorable and gorgeous babies I have EVER seen in my life. So beautiful and with so much personality already. So happy for you Natalie. Makes me smile deep down inside every time I see you two together. So happy for you!

    signed,
    Just a blog reader here :)ReplyCancel

HOLY COW what a weekend! They always sound so relaxing, so how is it that a 3 day weekend leaves you feeling more zapped than just a typical Saturday/Sunday? I mean, can’t I just have one more day? SO. VERY. TIRED. 

But being tired on a Tuesday is better than being tired on a Monday, right? #GLASSHALFFULL I say. 

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We may be exhausted, but we had such a fun holiday weekend! We enjoyed a slow morning at home, and once Zo was up from her nap(s) we headed out to Taylor’s parents for 4th of July festivities. Little girl’s first 4th was blazing hot and humid, but of course it’s never too hot for family photos. 

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It’s blows my mind how every little holiday or occasion feels ten times more special with this little girl in the world. Sure, you hear people say that, but still, there’s nothing like it! The wild and crazy was slightly more turned up than last year (See also: 1st trimester misery), but we enjoyed a pretty low key holiday with sweet friends and family celebrating Zo’s very first 4th of July.

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I accidentally forgot to pack Zoey’s sleepsuit (#badmom), and she’s such a social butterfly that she just cannot nap if there’s anything exciting going on around her. She just hates to miss out on the fun. So of course by the end of the day, she was done. And if I’m being totally honest, I was too. But a tired baby equals a cuddly baby, and a cuddly baby is my favorite kind.

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It was such a sweet holiday, but man did we crash hard when we finally made it home. And even though neighborhood fireworks kept ME up all night (does the phrase “city limits” mean NOTHING to you people?), they didn’t wake up my baby so 4th of July 2016 counts as a WIN!

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • ZoZo is the cutest. EVER! I love how expressive she is and how gorgeous you are!! Happy 4th… Did the loud thunderstorm get you too??ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Girl – YES! We got lots of rain Sunday night and then MASSIVE thunderstorm Monday night. Again…nobody wakes up except me. HahaReplyCancel

  • So, for me a tired baby equals a fussy baby who flails about and won’t be held but cries if you put her down. I want your tired baby ;) Love her Fourth of July outfit!ReplyCancel

  • Bahaha yesss long weekends are the best but they are also the most exhausting!! Love that little girly girl!! I’m glad you guys had a great time this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • That tiny little headband! Adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Heather

    Gosh she is just too cute!!! Happy 4th… well 6th now hahaReplyCancel

  • I feel like Zoe is a baby model and posing for every picture. Seriously cutest baby ever.ReplyCancel

  • […] past month we celebrated Zo’s first Father’s Day and first 4th of July. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, every little holiday or celebration […]ReplyCancel

Oh hey.
Hey.
Hi.
Hello.

Blogging again feels a little lot like talking to a brick wall, because after 2 months of internet silence  (and let’s be honest, plenty more before that) I barely remembered my own URL.

And listen. I’m not narcissistic enough to think that anyone actually missed me…but you missed her right?

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I KNEW YOU DID. She missed you too. 

So turns out this mom thing…it’s 24/7. Actually no, it’s double that. It’s 48/14. No wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Listen, what’s happening here is that I’m a wee bit sleep deprived and trying to use math and time (and #FAILING) to convey to you that being a mom is a full time gig. It’s a full time gig sans paycheck and sans benefits. Actually – scratch that. There are benefits. In the form of chubby cheeks and gummy smiles because hot damn Y’ALL SHE IS THE CUTEST LITTLE THING.

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SO. What’s been going on? Well, I started back at work on May 9, exactly 3 months after Zo was born. And working from home as a mom has been…interesting. The whole balancing act? It’s tricky. Taylor’s work schedule has him gone for 24 hours at a time, so the days when he’s gone usually wind up being 10% professional working woman and 90% WTF IS THERE SPIT UP IN MY HAIR AGAIN? My God it’s glamorous.

But here’s the thing…it’s incredible. You will never ever ever ever EVER EVER EVER catch me complaining about working from home. I haven’t missed one single day, one single milestone in my baby’s life – it’s the biggest privilege of this parenting gig. Yes, some days productivity is a completely foreign and imaginary concept. But I have a feeling that would be true regardless of where I made my office. The biggest difference is that working from home means my coworker is 47 times cuter than yours. No bias. Just a fact. 

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But working from home isn’t all we’ve been doing! We’ve been growing! Well, not actually we. She has been growing (I’m working on shrinking but BLEH  more on that lata). As of June 9, I have a freaking FOUR MONTH OLD. Four months, 12 years…basically the same thing. The point is HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP?!

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Since we last said HEY-O to the blog we’ve celebrated Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Zo’s 3 and 4 month birthdays and my 26th birthday. I’m old. She’s old. Taylor’s old. We’re all just really old. 

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It feels like I’m constantly bouncing between “go-with-the-flow” and “WAIT SHOULD THIS KID BE ON A SCHEDULE?!” parenting. Clearly my all caps and cursing indicates that I’ve perfected neither. My once beloved morning routine has taken a backseat for 4 months and I’m desperately trying to establish some kind of order in our daily lives. Some days we’re up and dressed and fed by 9 am and other days…it’s 4pm and I’m not entirely sure if I’ve brushed my teeth yet. We’re getting there, slowly. One teeny tiny baby step at a time.  

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Oh! And if you’re wondering about post-baby fitness…well you can keep on wondering. I have run ONE TIME. One mile.In 4.5 months. That’s it. The whole “girl that used to run 10 miles on any given Saturday” is long, long gone. She may make a comeback, or she may not. After a couple months of eating whatever I could get my hands on (because newborn life and nursing) I’ve been cleaning up my diet and I think the last of those baby pounds may be slowly and finally melting away. But if you happened to be lingering around holding out for some post-baby fitness inspiration do yourself a favor and just KEEP.ON.SCROLLING. Forever. And ever. AMEN and BYE.

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So what’s going on with YOU?! How’s your summer? Is it hot? Mine is hot. Global warming, man. If I put the effort into coming back to blogging would that put a smile on your face? What do YOU want to read about? Do people even read blogs anymore?? Is my current mess of work from home mom-life interesting to anyone anymore? And most importantly…how long can a person survive on strictly dry shampoo? HELP and send coffee. Preferably iced. 

Okay. My baby is awake and we’re clearly done here.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

PS – If you want to follow along our daily hot mess lives catch me on Snapchat {nataliezambresk}

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  • Brittany ann

    Yay!! I’m not going to lie. I check your blog once a week to see if you’ve… Blogged.

    I also have a little. She’s 7 months and my entire world. We still haven’t gotten a complete routine down & that’s ok. We go with the flow…

    I don’t work from home but I do work third shift. Which means I sleep during the day when she sleeps and then when my husband (who works first) comes home. It’s not ideal but I don’t want someone else raising my child and I trust no daycare.

    It’s hot here in WI too. Not Texas hot but humid hot.

    I would LOvE to see you blogging again!! I know your a busy Momma but I just wanted to let you know there are still people out there that enjoy your blog!! (At least I do lol)

    Honestly- I love your honesty. The fact that you don’t act like you have everything together. That life isn’t perfect but that you enjoy every messy (hello spit up) moment of it. Write about what you know. Your current life. I’ll be here reading no matter what you blog about!! (Wasn’t supposed to sound stalkerish) I like reading about other moms lives…

    Thank goodness for coffee & dry shampoo

    <3ReplyCancel

  • LOYAL READER ALWAYS AND FOREVER, I AM UP TO NOTHING, MY SUMMER IS SO BORING, SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS, LOVE YOU BYE!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany

    Happened to check your blog today, woo! This little girl is seriously the most adorable human to walk the earth and makes me so look forward to having my own tiny humans someday…. in the far off future. Also, 26 is not old, lets stop kidding ourselves. ;)ReplyCancel

  • HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI. So glad you are back (today)!
    I blogged one post last week. It felt pretty great. I have one in my drafts folder about Brooke’s bachelorette party that I should hit publish on. See kid or not, all of us are sometimes lazy bloggers. You are always a refreshing sip of blog drink and I am thankful you came back today.
    And I think people still read blogs….when they are bored or at work. Or maybe that’s just me.
    Send me more snaps, btdubs.
    Talk soon,
    CassieReplyCancel

  • Anne Pfeiffer

    Please come back or at least don’t abandon us completely. I love your humorous outlook on life. This will be me next year. I wish I could send you some of my iced chocolate (doc told me no coffee, I sleep all day since that).ReplyCancel

  • FOLLOWING YOU ON SNAPCHAT NOW! OMG I’m so glad you’re back. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how things were going with that DOLLFACE! So glad things are good!!! Keep on ‘truckin mama!ReplyCancel

  • Yay I’m so glad that you are back! Zoe is seriously the cutest baby ever and I hope my baby is half as cute. I’m so interested in mom life blogs glamorous or not ( preferably not) so I hope you keep blogging!ReplyCancel

  • YAY! So happy to see an update. I’ve had to creep on older posts to get my Never Serious fix! xxReplyCancel

  • I could have written this post! My little one turned four months on the 21st and man oh man…it’s crazy! I think you’re doing an amazing job my dear – parenthood is not for the faint of heart! And neither is working from home. I’ve been self employed for almost four years now, but working from home when you have a baby is a whole other ballgame. Best of luck, and your sweet one is just too adorable! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Aubrey

    I’ve missed your life updates!She’s adorable, you’re adorable, everything is adorable and I hope to read more from you soon!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley

    She is the absolute cutest baby and I’m so glad you came back with a post!!ReplyCancel

  • HEATHER

    I also check weekly to see if you have posted and get sad when u havent!! Love the update :) shes getting cute by the dayReplyCancel

  • Yayyy you’re back! I love your posts! And yes, you’re right, your co-worker is the cutest little thing. I’ve got cute ones, too! ;) Gosh we’re lucky. And motherhood looks GOOD on you, girlfriend.

    xoReplyCancel

  • Emily

    So happy to see a new post!
    Love your overall attitude and writing style. You will get back into fitness, there are simply some periods in life where it just doesn’t work and when the time comes, it will come and you’ll be ready.

    Just curious, what do you do for work ???ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea

    She is too stinking cute! Love seeing new posts. You never fail to get me laughing.ReplyCancel

  • Yay!! Ohmygosh you’re back. I check your blog daily for any updates!!

    I would love to see you continue blogging!! I just had baby #2 and hubby is a firefighter also and I dunno…you’re cool and like my best friend in a non-creepy-we’ve-never-met-in-real-life-way. BUT if we were to meet in sure we’d be best friends!

    Ok I’ll wrap up my creepy comment and just say Zoey is unbelievable gorgeous!!!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      AHHH you are so sweet! I didn’t realize you were a firewife, so cool!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie

    You’re funny, sweet, real, and totes adorbs. I definitely found myself checking your blog for updates on the reg…sorry not sorry.

    Love your blog and have for a few years. Not in a creepy way, I promise.ReplyCancel

Happy Monday! It’s an especially eventful one around here because today is my first day back to work after an incredible 12 weeks of maternity leave. We had a whirlwind of a weekend, but I can’t think of any better way to close such a special chapter than by celebrating our very first Mother’s Day. 

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PC: http://allisonharp.com

Aside from a few gnarly thunderstorms, we’ve had the most picture-perfect Spring weather. The sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are blooming – and my allergies are KILLING ME. But despite the itchy eyes and countless sneezes, I’ve managed to get us out of the house for plenty of long walks, and this past weekend was no exception. 

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Saturday morning I loaded up the stroller and we hit the trails near our house for a quick 2 mile walk before our busy day began. Zo LOVES these walks, and I love this extra sweet time together. It’s so fun watching her take in everything around her as she discovers the world for the first time. Plus, those smiles – they just kill me!

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After a very sweaty mom-esque power walk, we ran a couple last minute Mother’s Day errands and then headed home to clean (or nap if you’re Zo and you’re physically incapable of supporting the weight of a vacuum) and get ready for our Mother’s Day festivities.

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In the middle of vacuuming and mopping and dusting like a mad woman, my sweet mama friend Katie stopped by and dropped off this beautiful bouquet of flowers! 

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That evening, Taylor and I hosted all the lovely ladies in our life for a little Mother’s Day dinner. Zo was so excited to see all her Grandmas and Great-Grandmas! But not as excited as she was to stare at the fan. #sorrygrandma

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We shared an awesome BBQ dinner and then exchanged gifts! Zo was also pretty excited about her gifts for her Grandmas. 

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Every day with this little chicken is SO MUCH FUN. She insists on standing pretty much any time she’s being held and then just DANCES her little heart out.

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Since Taylor’s Dad wasn’t able to make it to Saturday’s festivities, we joined them for burgers at their house on Sunday, where Zo was spoiled with EXTRA attention.

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We had a blast honoring all the awesome women in our lives, and it was so special to be a part of the celebration this year. But other than snuggling with my little babe, the very best part of my Mother’s Day weekend? THIS RIGHT HERE.

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Wine + bubbles + an hour all to myself. It’s the little things y’all, it really is. 

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • I’m just now catching up on your last few blog posts! Sweet little Zo is just the cutest!!!!! Loving your updates. How is being “back at work” going?? Are you able to get anything done with little Miss around? I think I’m going to need to take my own wine and bubble bath pronto!ReplyCancel

  • I hope being back at work is going okay for you! Your little girl is so cute! Glad you had a good first Mother’s Day :)ReplyCancel

  • THAT SMILE! So precious!ReplyCancel

Happy Monday! On top of a relaxing weekend, Little Zo gave me 5 straight hours of sleep last night (HALLELUJAH!), so I’m feeling like I can conquer the world this morning. I’ve got my game face on, coffee in hand, and I’m thinking it’s about time for a little weekend recap!

On Friday, Taylor and I decided to hop in the car for a little day trip out to Ennis to check out the bluebonnets.  If you’re local, you know that bluebonnet photos are a totally cheesy but classically Texan thing to do in the Spring. Nonetheless, having a little girl of our own now has made Taylor and I both big softies, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a little family road trip and baby milestone.

We left around 11 and arrived in Ennis around 12:30, stopped for lunch, and then headed out to explore the wildflowers in the BRIGHT BLAZING heat of the day.

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Zoey slept through almost the entire trip, but we drove through the country while she snoozed and even managed to grab a couple quick photos.

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After our little family adventure, we grabbed a quick frosty in town before heading back home and crashing on the couch. It’s kind of amazing how easily a simple day trip turns into a massively exhausting ordeal with a baby. “Did we grab enough diapers?? What color bow should she wear? How many extra onesies do we have? Am I bad mom for not making her wear socks even though it’s 80 degrees? Dammit, did she just spit up AGAIN?!!” And all of this while still parked in the garage. 

But this little chunk is always worth every bit of trouble. (Oh and PS we had plenty of diapers, her feet were never cold, we went with yellow, and YES – she did spit up again.)

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Saturday morning we slept in (glorious!) and then decided to make the most of another gorgeous Spring day and take Zoey and Max out for a little fresh air. I can guarantee that a 2 mile walk has NEVER in the history of mankind taken so long, but we enjoyed soaking up the sunshine and may have possibly even burned a calorie or two in the process.

Please ignore the look on this little diva’s face. She, much like her mother, is unsure of nature. Because “Dirt, bugs, sweat… why?!”

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After our little nature walk, we headed back home, and this girl took her first nap in her crib! I don’t anticipate moving her to her room anytime soon (she still wakes to eat frequently during the night, and truth be told I just love having her sleep inches away from me) but I was curious to see how she’d do in the crib. I set her down in there when she started acting sleepy, and she just hung out staring at me for a while before falling asleep for about a half an hour and then waking up smiling!  My phone ringing is actually what woke her up, so I’m curious to see how long she’d nap without any interruptions. Only time will tell! But until then, will someone PLEASE tell her to stop getting so big?!

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That evening we had a wedding to attend, our very first as a family of 3! 

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The wedding was actually held at the very same place where Taylor and I said our vows two years ago. Things sure have changed since we were there last!

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On Sunday, my mom came out to visit. We spent the day eating pancakes, trekking through Target, and binge watching Call the Midwife, and I’ve got zero pictures to prove it. But I promise it happened, and it was the perfect way to wrap up a little family-filled weekend.

I’ve filled you in on our weekend, now it’s your turn to tell me about yours! Unless it was boring. In which case I’m not super interested so you can just tell me your favorite Prince song instead. I’M KIDDING. But you should probably tell me both, just to be safe.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Brittany

    Your weekend sounds perfect!! Love your updates :)

    We didn’t do much on Saturday… A little shopping on Saturday and dinner with friends. We invited friends over & very early learned we are old, boring people. I guess babies do that to you.

    Sunday we walked to a park for the first time & my 5 month old Princess got to swing in a big girl swing all by herself. I swore up and down she wouldn’t be able to sit in it by herself buuuut she proved me wrong & I had a little anxiety attack realizing my baby is growing up. Make it stop. (Then a friend reminded me that next month my baby will be a half-year old) make it stop. Then we walked to Starbucks & chilled before walking back home.

    A great family weekend.ReplyCancel

  • You got some great pictures!!ReplyCancel

  • heather

    Baby fever is kicking is so bad!! She is just the cutest ever :) Sounds like you all had a nice little family filled weekend which is the best kind….with a little wine of course!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis K

    I am wrapping up my FINAL week as a freshman in college at Indiana University and reading your blogs is my favorite part of finally sitting on my bed in my tiny little dorm and relaxing after jogging from class to class and studying my ass off over here. I know it’s not similar or even comparable, but I have 6 younger brothers and one of them was born around the same time as your little Z, and it is crazy how much they grow. You would think having that many younger brothers makes you not want a baby, but I’m getting baby fever like it’s a real sickness.

    I am so happy for all three of you, and since I grew up on Prince this was the saddest news ever. My favorite song is DEFINITELY Little Red Corvette!ReplyCancel

  • Wooohooooo for a few consecutive hours of sleep!!!ReplyCancel

  • Zoe-Zoe can officially become a politician with those bluebonnet pics… errr… If she wants to! She’s far too pretty for that though. ;)ReplyCancel