Georgia on my Mind

Georgia on my Mind

The squirmy and sweet little girl inside my belly must be a dancer. While she and I are both gaining weight rapidly, I am reminded that my body is not my own. There is a little girl growing and starting her journey in this world. A world full of love, beauty, heartbreak, and hopefully…a lot of dancing.

Slowly, the guest room is emptying and a nursery is taking shape. It’s the one room that I am looking forward to organizing. Most women enjoy the second trimester, but I don’t agree. The third trimester carries all the magic and excitement of pregnancy. Strangers congratulating you and touching your belly, shopping for baby clothes and organizing the nursery, and then of course counting down and anticipating the birth of this new little miracle. Such a magical time.

I am still adjusting to our life here in Georgia. Bo has been in a training course that is nearing completion and many of the people we have met are off to their next duty assignments. Stories of hectic moves and looming deployments have become common chatter amongst our group of friends. Thankfully for us, Bo will be taking command of a company here at Ft. Benning. We feel very blessed to know that he will be staying close to home for the foreseeable future and I don’t envy the strong wives that will be kissing their husband’s goodbye over the next year.

As our friends adjust to their new assignments and prepare to leave Georgia, I am preparing to give birth to my baby girl. As it was in DC with Camden, we will start our new family life without friends and family. A truth that doesn’t get easier with each new occurrence. If all goes as planned, our mothers and sisters will make the trip to Georgia for her birth. We will spend a week of quality time together breathing in her new smell and welcoming her into our tribe. Too shortly after her arrival, our family will leave and Bo and I will be adjusting to life alone with 2 under 2.

Living life hundreds of miles from our people weighs heavily on our hearts. Making new friends is imperative to our happiness in these new places. However, I find it very challenging to make new friends while pregnant. This pregnancy specifically has been very challenging on my body and I haven’t made the effort to connect with new friends. Something I desperately want as I bring this new life into the world.

There are only so many conversations my husband will endure about pregnancy and nursery decor. Only so many times he can nod and smile empathetically to my hormonal reactions on a daily basis. He’s a strong man…to be the only friend and family member of a very pregnant Georgia woman. I try to remember that when he needs the occasional “bro” time. And he tries to remember that as he opens his 4th beer and watches me begrudgingly sip pink lemonade. We are in this together.

As our baby girl reaches the final stages of development and prepares to join our family, we too prepare for our new life. One where we push ourselves to grow. Not just the growth that happens to an expanding family, but one of choice and intention for change. In new and existing relationships alike.

I look forward to liking you Georgia. I look forward to feeling at home here and finding “our spots” around this city. To seeing my husband’s investment goals here become a reality and learning how to be a working mother of two. To meeting new friends that will make life here in Georgia so much sweeter. I look forward to doing it all. Hopefully…while sipping a glass of wine.

Xoxo
Tara Layne

April Showers

April Showers

Spring has found its way to Georgia. Our newly planted flowers have bloomed and sitting outside under our patio lights, watching Camden explore his new surroundings has become my new favorite spot. April has made its way back around on the calendar, as it tends to do on a yearly basis.

April is a beautiful and celebratory month for my family. It is the month of my husband’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, and Easter. April is actually the month of several birthdays and anniversaries in my extended family and one of those birthdays belongs to my sister, Erica. After losing her to a car accident almost 19 years ago, April 24th will always be her day.

Maybe a woman never recovers from the loss of her sister. In my adult life, there have been so many moments that I have wanted her by my side. On my wedding day or at the birth of my son, her absence weighed heavily on me. And as I start this new journey as a mother to a baby girl, I ache for her guidance. And sisterhood.

It has become evident to me that female relationships in my life aren’t just important, they are critical to my happiness. And as I’ve built those relationships over the years, I am often surprised and hurt by the ones that don’t last. The deep friendships that are somehow set aside selfishly or injured and never repaired. It can make venturing into new friendships terrifying.

Laying that fear aside for the reward of new and deeper friendships is imperative. Next weekend, I am taking a trip with my two sister-in-laws. As I think of the trip, I can only wonder what it would be like to bring my own sister. To introduce her to these beautiful women and share experiences together as mothers, friends, and most importantly…sisters.

Some days are still hard without her. As I sit here writing this I wonder if she is looking over us. Enjoying the view of my new patio and watching my belly grow with anticipation for her niece. I will always miss my big sister. But especially in April.

Xoxo

Tara Layne

Made for More

Made for More

What is your morning routine? How do you start your day with purpose and joy? The morning routine has been a frequent topic in my conversations with my husband and my new friends here in Georgia. It seems to be on a lot of our minds as we intentionally setup our lives to get the most out of them.

A couple of weeks ago, as my first trimester morning sickness was easing and my mind was drifting to personal goals outside of creating tiny humans, I began to purposefully wake up earlier. Before Camden started daycare 3 days a week and for the first year of his life, it was he and I. He was my alarm clock, my noisy coworker, and my first priority. My “me” time was limited and my own personal endeavors/growth/goals seemed nonexistent. It was both wonderful and stifling as most new mother’s can attest.

Having a child seems to have had the opposite effect on my husband. For the last year, he has invested much of his thought into his career goals and dreams and devoted substantial time to personal growth and development. Which is wonderful. It has helped push me to grow and want more for myself. I decided to set my actual alarm and start my day with intentional time for myself. And that has changed everything.

In the early hours of the morning, my house is still dark. My husband has already ventured on to work or is hovering over his computer, podcast in his headphones. I make our bed, kiss our puppy, and saunter down the hall to make coffee. I usually head to my desk and begin my day with writing. I write the things I’m grateful for and my goals in a notebook as I sip my frothed coffee. Baby is sleeping. This time is for me.

As my day progresses, there are emails to return, boys to be fed (big and small), commutes, contracts, boxes to unpack, laundry to be folded…but for that hour, I am intentionally myself. After I journal, I allow the time to serve me. If I wake up with the desire to Pinterest baby girl nurseries for an hour…I do that. And I don’t feel guilt. Or expectations. I enjoy it and remind myself to embrace all parts of me. Most mornings, before I know it, I hear the softest, sweetest noises coming from the room next to mine. I flip on the monitor to see a little boy sitting patiently in his crib waiting to greet his own day. He is ready. And now…so am I.

Xoxo
Tara Layne

Two Pink Lines

Two Pink Lines

Before you existed I dreamt of you. I wanted you. How strange to love someone who doesn’t exist. How could I see my family, perfect and whole as they are and want more? How did I deserve more?

The honest truth is that raising a newborn baby is hard. It’s beautiful and the best thing that ever happened to us, but it changes your life. Expectations of your spouse grow and the lack of sleep hinders effective communication. Resentment is swift to creep into the cracks. Around October, Bo and I were coming out of a difficult season. And thankfully connecting in ways we hadn’t in years. Maybe ever. With love and respect as our guide. And that’s when it happened…the thought of you.

Amid conversations on packing up our current home (yet again) and details of the renovation project in Georgia, I managed to fit you into the discussion. For us, adding to our family is a big decision and one that we wanted to be certain of and make together. And although you were already on my mind, I knew your Papa might not be ready. And I was nervous to be vulnerable with my thought of you. One October Saturday, after a family trip to the gym and over the draft beer that followed (the healthiest of days) Bo and I had the “I’m ready for another baby” conversation.

I remember it well. And I felt supported by my husband and truly heard. Which is exactly what I needed. We finished our beers, walked home, and decided to revisit the conversation after some thought. In the early morning of December 1st, we woke up in our Arlington townhome. Surrounded by boxes and bubble wrap. He held me as he told me that now…he wanted you too.

Christmas morning. There you were. Two pink lines.

We love you.

Xoxo

Tara Layne