I am SO excited for the upcoming holidays. It’s different now that we have Benjamin, you know? It’s like there is meaning and purpose to our lives and the holidays are just a little part of that. We never used to get Christmas trees but this time, we’re going to pick one out that’s smallish so we can put it on top of a table so Ben won’t grab it. Despite my holiday enthusiasm, I still like to keep the festive decor to a minimum. That means elements of nature intertwined with candles and essential oils diffusing in the background. Here’s a close up shot of our dining table, topped with a real naturally shed elk antler I purchased on Etsy flanked by different sized candles and cinnamon-scented acorns.

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I have many “favorite times of the day” but my most favorite is probably post bath with Ben. I know the day is winding down and dressing his wriggly little body always leads to tons of tickles, laughs and cuddles. Oh, and I also know a glass of good wine and a few episodes of Real Housewives await me hee hee ;-)

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Ben usually takes two naps a day and if you’re a mother, you know that naps are oh-so-important. It is during this time that I can: shower, answer emails, clean the house, finish pending work projects for impatient clients, prep dinner, eat, brush my teeth, spend some quality time with the dogs, OR just lay on my bed and stare up at the ceiling (which now feels so glorious!) Notice I wrote or because there is just no way I can squeeze all of that in the time he naps :-)

But today during his second nap I chose to do none of that. I just sat on the couch and gazed at this pretty vignette on my fireplace mantle. I found this pitcher on Etsy and it got shipped all the way from a sweet gal in Italy. Isn’t it pretty? I usually put my flower arrangements in old mason jars but I’ve been itching for something a little different and this hits the spot. My tealight candle burner is an oldie but goodie and today I diffused this oil to clear the house of any germs.

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Benjamin turns one at the end of the month and I find myself reflecting on this past year and how motherhood has changed me. Having Ben has made me so much stronger and yet so much more vulnerable at times. I’m not going to sugar coat anything – becoming a parent has been so challenging, tough, exhausting and just hard. But it’s also been totally breathtaking…I mean, Ben literally takes my breath away. When he’s quietly playing in his room and mumbling to himself, I will spy on him from behind the wall and I just stop breathing for a second or two because I can’t believe this little nugget is ours.

I came across this really wise phrase: Your children will always follow your example, not your advice. I’m going to hold this saying close to me because it makes me think twice about my choices. I want to be a good mom to Ben, set healthy examples, and ultimately raise a child who is resilient, strong, caring, sympathetic and compassionate.

I love you, my darling Ben. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better human being each and every day.

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Finally it’s beginning to feel like fall! For the past couple of nights, it’s been chilly so Chris and I made a fire and I snuggled with a cozy blanket drinking some delicious Kahlua and coffee. It was bliss :)

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