Pictures, lately.



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I actually thought I would have more time on my hands than I do. Being on maternity leave, I had all of these grand plans to redecorate the house, practice my photography, learn graphic design, get my Christmas shopping done (ha!). But really, in between nursing, napping, doctor’s appointments and snuggling with my little baby every chance I get, I haven’t had the energy.

That said, I have had some mini accomplishments. I’ve cooked and baked, I bought Kelsey her much-requested Malifecent Halloween kids costume, got to every doctor’s appointment on time (a win!), enjoyed morning sunrises with Nolan and a warm cup of coffee, managed to grocery shop with a newborn, and I’m working with Kelsey’s school to help plan their Kindergarten fall party. Doesn’t sound like much … but truth is, I need to be okay with taking it easy.

I tend to forget how many days (weeks?) your body needs to heal itself from delivery. I’m still recovering from labor and need to come to terms with the fact that not every day is going to be filled with “things to do.” Also, it’s day 13. Thirteen, Steph. Less than 2 weeks since I delivered this 10lb miracle.

I am really enjoying this precious time at home with my babe. Time I’ll never get back. Time I’m so grateful for. Time to heal. Time to bond. And time to just sit back, relax and enjoy this incredible ride. Aaaand if that means filling my day with baby kisses, Sex & the City reruns, naps, pumping sessions and more time invested washing baby bottles than washing my hair, so be it!

What’s in a name

Ryan and I went through so many (so many!!) boy names before finding The One for our soon-to-be, second son. We analyzed everything. You can’t do Ross Cross, you can’t do Christian Cross (hi, religious), Ryan wanted two syllables since our last name has one and he was adamant that this name couldn’t also be a girl name (see: Peyton, Reagan, etc.). Ryan had so many requests that I’m amazed we finally picked one.

These were some close runner ups:

  • Hudson
  • Jameson
  • Carter (Although Carter Cross is a mouth full of r’s)
  • Noah
  • Spencer (My top pick! Only, it’s my brother’s name and Kelsey kept reminding us, “We already have a Spencer.”)

We finally found a name that we love. It’s a name that my father-in-law introduced us to. We heard it and were intrigued. The only issue was, we knew this boy’s middle name would be Ryan, after his dad. And together, there is already a very famous baseball player with this name. Can we do that? Can we give our son a name that someone famous already has? At first, we weren’t sure.

Then, we looked up what this name meant. The meaning behind this name is “champion” alternative meanings are “famous, noble renowned”. And that sealed the deal for us. Our little champion’s name is: Nolan Ryan Cross. I wrote it on my chalkboard in our kitchen so you know I’m serious.

Doesn’t naming your unborn child make things that much more real? I had a doctor’s appointment today and little man is transverse and kicking – rather marching around in my tummy. He’s super active already, so Lord only knows how he is going to interact with his brother, Colton. We’re going to have our hands full, that is for sure.

Some people (hi, Heidi) think I’m insane for having three kids (it’s not like I’m having 8!) but Ryan and I have always said someone is missing. And now, with baby Nolan on the way, we know our family is complete (complete … you can quote me on that). I can’t wait to meet, hold, snuggle and kiss you, Nolan! 19 more weeks!

Baby 3

The Working Mom Hat: The Real Deal

I can’t tell you how many people tell me, “I want your job.” You get to travel to amazing places, stay in the world’s best hotels and market a very sellable product. Well, what people may or may not know is that a multi-day business trip is not easy.

It’s physically and emotionally draining. I have an itty bitty baby at home (11 months) and a 3 1/2-year-old. Both who make my world go round. And I find it incredibly hard to be away from them.

This trip, I went to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I had to leave on a Sunday afternoon, which was really hard. I remember sitting on the bottom bunk of my daughter’s bed, her head resting on my chest as I read her her favorite bedtime story. I was putting her down for her afternoon nap. After the book ended, we curled up next to each other in her bed. I played with her hair as she drifted off to sleep. Then, I leaned over, kissed her cheek and whispered, “See you Tuesday, Princess.”


That’s hard. Really hard. I returned to my hotel room after 8am – 8pm meetings and received a text from my mom. It was a picture of my son standing up next to the couch. He was just about to take his first steps.

And I’m not there. I’m not there to see it. Not there to encourage him. Not there to catch him when he fell. I’m missing such a remarkable moment in his life. And it’s times like these that I wish I didn’t travel so much. Soon after, my mom sent me another text. She took a video of Colton. Here, I’ll play it for you. It’s a bit hard to see, because … well, it’s my mom taking the video (no offense, mom).

You can see Kelsey bouncing around in the background and my husband’s feet next to Colton’s. Man, I wish those were my feet. I wish I was there to see him right now. You see, traveling is nice. I get to sleep through the night, someone makes my bed and I get a lot of alone time on the airplane. But, it’s still incredibly hard to leave my family.

Maybe I’m more emotional this trip because it’s like my 100th trip this year, or the fact that I’m just drained from the day. Either way, I have a 6am flight home (the first flight of the day) just so I can be there to pick up my kids from school. Cross your fingers that Colton holds out on walking until I get there.

Thank you for letting me vent. We have to tell it like it is sometimes, right?

The Parenting Hat: Two Months Young

Colton was a champ at his two-month wellness visit today. He did great with his shots and even gave mom some snuggle time in the waiting room (that’s the best part). Here are his stats.

Just click the image to enlarge and read easier.

colton at two months

Just to put it into perspective, his sister (who is the tallest in her class) was 95 percentile for height and 75 percentile for weight at this age.

The Mommy Hat: Happy One Month

Colton is 4 weeks young today! I can’t believe it. Time is just flying by. Four weeks ago, Ryan and I welcomed a second blessing into our family. And today, we get to celebrate the last day of the year with him.

He’s been such a dream baby. He’s a bit over 11 lbs (wowza) and has grown 2 inches since he was born, making him 23 inches tall. He’s a cuddler who always has to be held (which is the total opposite of his sister). Colton sleeps about 2-3 hours at a time at night and eats like a champion.

We love you, little buddy. Happy one month old birthday.

Colton 2012

The Prego Hat: Morning Sickness Remedies

Sorry, this title is a bit deceiving. I don’t have the remedy.

I have tried every remedy for morning sickness I could find. I’ve been on Zofran for a while now, which takes away the vomiting part, but not the nausea. I just tried to get off this pill and, well … that wasn’t a pretty sight.

I giggle every time I look online and see ladies posting “remedies they swear works!” to cure morning sickness. From crystalized ginger and lollipops to cups of lemons to sniff (really?) and alfalfa tablets (sick). My favorite was when someone told me to “take afternoon naps”. Ha! I bet my boss would love it if I curled up in the conference room every day at noon.

I think the only that works is telling yourself “this is only temporary” and “I get an amazing baby at the end”. Plus, wishing and hoping you married the world’s best husband who will watch your toddler and let you crawl into bed at 7:30pm while he bathes your baby and does all of the cooking, cleaning and household chores (score for me).

Even then there are the days when you think – is this hangover, flu-like feeling ever going to go away. Ahh, the joys of pregnancy.

Here’s a link to Morning Sickness remedies, if you are desperate to try new things like I was. Good luck.

The Family Hat: My New Niece

My sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful girl last week. Her name is Alexis, and she is perfect. Ryan and I sprinted over to the hospital after work to get a peek of our new family member. Both mom and baby are doing great.

I do have to admit this: Ryan and I were walking down the hall to Alexis’ room when we heard newborn babies crying. We both stopped and looked at each other in horror. Then broke out laughing. Oh boy, do we remember this phase. To all you new moms out there, you have my fullest support. That newborn baby stage was the most exhausting time of our lives.

The Friendship Hat: Ashley’s Baby Shower

Yep. Ashley looked like a Princess, even three months shy of giving birth. Her baby shower was remarkable. Beautiful. Stunning. Sophisticated and full of heart. Just like she is. Ashley spoke about God, family, love and her soon-to-be son. I had tears in my eyes as she shared her love with us.

This baby is a blessing for her and her husband and I know – without a doubt – that this child will be born into a world of love. She would give her all for him, and it was so great to see, celebrate and laugh at her baby shower. Congratulations, Ashley. You make one beautiful mommy.