Monday, June 5, 2017

Dear Gray

Dear Gray,
You are officially 3 months old as of yesterday (June 4th). It seems like just yesterday I was strapping you in your car seat, riding in the backseat with you as daddy and I nervously drove away from the hospital to bring you home. As each month progresses my love for you deepens and the feeling of awe knowing I was blessed to be chosen as one of your parents takes my breath away.

One thing you do currently that warms my heart is you stare at the picture of your big brother DJ on the mantel in mommy and daddy's room. I can't wait until you're a bit older when I can truly explain who DJ is and the impact he has on own of our lives as a family suffering from pregnancy loss and then being blessed to overcome and joyfully celebrate your arrival as our rainbow baby.

Last month you helped me celebrate my 1st of many Mother's Day. I'm forever indebted to you (and DJ) for making me a mommy to an angel and to you here on earth! You both will forever be in my heart, no matter how old you grow to be!

Here are some things that you currently do and enjoy:

Favorite things to do at the moment: You are a lot more vocal and love to make "cooing" sounds. You look around and take in your surroundings more intentionally, and of course you still love to sleep (naps are king around here but you do sleep a little less than you did when you were a teeny weeny little tyke). You are becoming better at holding your head up, sitting up, and practicing tummy - time (even though you're not so fond of it at the moment."

Things that make you smile: When I make silly faces at you, when I chump on your chin or cheeks, and when you Facetime grandma and granddad. 

What you like to eat: You currently are drinking about 3.5 - 4 ounces of liquid gold (breast milk) each sitting. I think you are almost ready to graduate to 4.5 - 5 ounces if your growing belly can stomach it!

Meeting someone new: Last month you were able to meet your cousins for the first time. They were truly inquisitive about you and love you very much. You even had your first play - date with cousin Abel.

Favorite book: Right now we're totally into Dr. Seuss books from "Hop on Pop" to "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." 

Favorite outfit (According to Mommy this month): You finally moved out of newborn clothing and transitioned into 0-3 Months and 3 Month clothing. You have a closet and drawer FULL of clothes, so much so that you don't even have to wear the same outfit twice for an entire month. But for now Mommy's favorite outfit for you last month is the Batman  onesie with the detachable cape. You looked like you could conquer the world  in that outfit (which by the way, you can...don't let anyone tell you any different).


Fun fact: We FINALLY got you comfortable sleeping on your back in your bassinet next to mommy and daddy's bedside. You even almost sleep through the entire night (typically from 10:30pm - 4am). You like to fall asleep to the white noise sound of rain on leaves! It's very soothing to you and to me.

All in all Gray, it's been an eventful 3 months with you and I wouldn't trade any second of it. I can't wait to see what awesome things you learn this month as we continue to watch how you develop and grow.

Happy 3 month birthday Grayson!

Mommy (and Daddy)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dear Gray

Dear Gray,
Here we are at Month 2! I cannot believe you've been on this earth going on 9 weeks. Time is truly flying and I want it to SLOW DOWN (you can't get these moments back). You continue to grow physically every day (your cheeks are getting fluffier, you have a slight case of double chin...don't feel bad mommy had one as a baby too, etc.) and you are beginning to develop your own personality. Every day I look at you, you look different. I've officially deemed you a chameleon ;) 

You are starting to stay up longer, make more facial expressions, follow voices, faces (on Facetime), pictures in books, and sounds you hear! You also have built an amazing bond with your daddy, which I absolutely LOVE!

In your 2nd month here are some of the things you do and love:

Nicknames we call you: Gray, G, Flipper (you make this funny dolphin noise), Maggie (like Maggie from the Simpson's ,you suck your pacifier really loud and hard)

Favorite Position to SleepOn mommy or daddy's chest or in your Boppy

Morning Routine: You have a pep talk with daddy before work, then you have your morning feeding, then you take a nap with mommy, we read a book, then I play your affirmation playlist to help us get the day started!

Favorite outfit this month (picked out by Mommy): The navy and white striped outfit you wore for Easter, because we all were matching as a family #TeamAnderson 

Favorite Book this month: "Oh The Places You'll Go" - Dr. Seuss

First trip: Road trip to Fort Walton Beach/Destin, FL with daddy for a work trip (May 2 - May 4)

Fun Fact: Your picture was featured on 3 Instagram sites this month

I love the little person you're turning into! You truly mean the world to us. You motivate me in ways I never knew I could be and I thank God for you on a daily basis. I can't wait to see what next month has in store. 

Happy 2 month birthday munchkin!

Mommy (and Daddy)

*1st and 7th pictures taken by Kimberly G Photography at 2 week photo shoot.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shake Things Up

A couple of weeks ago I wanted to straighten out the top of my closet. It was absolute chaos. I removed every item of clothing and reorganized everything (grouping the items, folding the items, and giving each piece a specific home). Since I got the top of the closet organized I decided to go through my clothes that were hanging up as well. It was about that time that I did some official spring cleaning with my clothes anyway. 

During my pregnancy I "outgrew" a lot of the items I have in my closet. I lived in leggings because they were comfortable and the only piece of clothing in my closet that could "stretch" with me and my growing belly. Overtime I got really bored with the items in my closet (as I felt like I was wearing the same things over and over and over again). So while I was cleaning out my closet I decided to "shake things up" a bit.

I knew there were some items that needed to be thrown out, there were others that I simply did not like any more that needed to be donated, there were some pieces that I was on the fence about keeping or discarding, and then there were my showstopper pieces and staples that I knew I wanted to keep. 

Sometimes we get so bored with things in our closet that we cannot see the great outfit potential we already possess. It's easy to overlook great pieces we own because we wear them too often, don't know what to wear with them, or we want something new. But there is a way to spice up the items you already have, by looking at your closet with fresh eyes. Those fresh eyes can be found by using Pinterest 's search tool.

I went to Pinterest (especially with items I was on the fence about keeping), typed in the article of clothing I needed inspiration for, then I found 3-5 pins of that said article of clothing to aid in creating multiple outfits. For example. I searched "Black Floral Kimono Outfit" and many styles popped up. I pinned outfit inspiration that incorporated items I already owned in my closet so I wouldn't be compelled to go out and spend money, and to also help me stretch my mind to create new looks.

Here's an example of a search I did and how I was able to create a look from items I already had in my closet.

Once I searched for black floral kimono outfits I ran across this look and countless others. I liked this outfit because I realized it was composed of items I already own (i.e. a black floral kimono similar to the one pictured above, a striped shirt, denim skinnies and a pair of cognac booties). Check out how I remixed the look below!

    Outfit Details: Black Floral Kimono: Amazon, Striped T-Shirt: Target, Distressed Jeans: Charlotte Russe+, Fedora: Forever 21, Booties: Charlotte Russe, Gold Frames: Charlotte Russe

While this is a great outfit as is, this exercise is not about just copying and pasting an outfit. It is all about taking inspiration, tweaking the outfit to fit your style, and making it your own using items you own (hence the reason I added my tan fedora, gold rimmed frames, and earrings)! Don't be afraid to shake things up. Use the wealth of inspiration found on Pinterest to help you spruce up your closet to create an infinite amount of new outfit ideas just in time for Spring/Summer to hit! You'll thank me later. Trust me :)

*Hint: Create a Pinterest board with all your inspired looks. Keep a log of which looks you've recreated. Try to document the looks by taking pictures when you wear them, then store them on your phone in a special album, so when you feel like you don't have anything to wear you can reference your Pinterest board and/or photo album of looks you created!

Happy Friday luvs,

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rock Mom

One of my favorite people in the fashion world is stylist June Ambrose. I've always loved her positive attitude, her infectious spirit, and her fly sense of style. But the thing I love most about her is what I discovered when I started following her on IG a few years ago. Auntie June is the quintessential example of a rock mom. She works in the fashion industry (an industry that I WILL land a position in very soon - speak it into existence right?), she is a wife, an amazing mom of 2, she cooks healthy meals from scratch with organic foods, works out and has an all around fab life (not to mention a wardrobe to swoon over).  She is someone I don't mind trying to emulate, especially as a mommy, since she's an awesome Rock Mom! 

Outfit Details: Rock T-Shirt: Charlotte Russe; White Button Up with Puffy Sleeves: old; LC Pants: Kohl's; Cropped Leather Jacket: H&M; Lace - Up Booties: Charlotte Russe; Choker: Charlotte Russe; Mirrored Sunglasses: Charlotte Russe

Being a rock mom is not about being perfect, it is about doing your very best in all aspects of your life from being a great wife/partner, awesome mommy, career oriented, spiritually and physically centered, and most importantly aware of when you should block out time for yourself to rejuvenate. I haven't gotten it all figured out just yet, but I am on my way! Here's to all the amazing rock moms out there; and a special shout out to one rock mom I've had the pleasure of getting a front row seat of viewing for 31 years, my very own rock mom! I pray I can be as half as good as a mom to Grayson as you were to me and my siblings. Love ya mom.


Friday, April 7, 2017


While I am currently in mommyhood bliss, this time last year, I was in a much different head space as my sleeping angel DJ's due date approached. It was 3 months after I had suddenly lost my 28 week old baby with no warning. I didn't want to come to dread April 7th every year, so I made a conscious decision to take my lemons of losing a huge part of me and turning them into lemonade. I wanted to use my son's story and spin it in a positive way. So, I came up with the idea for the hashtag #DoGood4DJ. I wanted to use my son's name and legacy to spread love and positivity to total strangers and to the people closest to me. 

Performing a random act of kindness (RAoK) is a concept where you do something kind for someone and the only request you ask of that individual is that they pay it forward (pay it forward = doing something kind for someone else). You don't perform this random act of kindness to get recognition but more so to create a sliver of happiness in a person's day that doesn't expect you to do so. So as we remember my sleeping angel on today, I ask that you my readers would join me and my family as we celebrate DJ's legacy by performing one act of kindness to a person you cross today! It doesn't have to cost money (i.e. help an elder person cross the street, share an umbrella with a stranger, pay a generous tip to your Uber driver or waitress, buy a strangers lunch in line behind you etc.), but just do something unexpected for someone that you normally would not do something for. Then ask the person you performed a random act of kindness for to simply pay it forward!

As my dad says "it's nice to be nice!" You never know how your kind gesture can alter someones day. So, here's to my 1st munchkin DJ! We love and miss you a lot! Mommy will ALWAYS keep your name and legacy relevant as long as I have breath in my body. Use the hashtag #DoGood4DJ to let me know what you did today to spread love! 


Thanks so much for all your support. R.I.H DJ!!!

-Ali aka Mommy

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dear Gray

Dear Gray,
I still can't believe you are finally here! You've been on this earth now one whole month (as of yesterday April 4th). It is amazing to think we prayed for you and now you're sitting right in front of us in the flesh. You've been a pure blessing!

You have changed so much since you were born. Your face has gotten fuller, your complexion has darkened (aka your melanin is popping), you're able to hold up your head up on your own when you're doing tummy time, and you've even grown longer. Everyday I wake up and see your handsome face I am in amazement that I was able to take part in creating you. 

We still can't 100% decide who you look like or more so, I might be in denial since many people tell me you look like daddy. Every day I look at you, you look different. But I'm convinced that you are the perfect blend of your dad and I.

Here are some things that you currently do and enjoy:

Favorite Hobby: Sleeping A LOT

Favorite Food: Mommy's Liquid Gold aka Breast Milk

Favorite Outfits (According to Mommy): Skeleton Sweatsuit & Hooded Striped Onesie with Denim Overalls

Ways You Keep Mommy & Daddy Laughing: You make a dozen funny facial expressions per day, you make dolphin - like noises while you're sleeping, you stick your tongue out at mommy and daddy, and when we burp you after a feeding (when you're sitting up) you get in the "Superman" position holding your arms straight out in front of you

Things that Amaze Us About You: You are very inquisitive (you are constantly looking around taking in the world with your big chestnut colored eyes), you can recognize mommy and daddy's voices when we talk to you, and you wake up every three hours like clockwork to feed

I can't wait to see how you continue to grow and how your personality will continue to  develop over the next few days, weeks, months, and throughout the upcoming years. You make mommy and daddy so proud to be your parents. We're excited to continue on this amazing adventure with you! 

Happy One Month Birthday Munchkin!

Mommy (& Daddy)