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Happy First Birthday to My Daughter


On The Night You Were Born
by Nancy Tillman


On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder

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That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”

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Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.

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So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

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It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…

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Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.

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Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,

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Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.

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When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.

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The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.

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So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)

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Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)

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If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

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For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…

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Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.

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Happy first birthday, our sweet baby girl.
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Hi! I'm Lulu.



After meeting so many fabulous new blog friends at BlissDom this weekend, and realizing that I probably have a few new blog followers that have joined along these last few months, I figured it's high time I do another post to properly introduce myself!

A few things about me:

  • I'm Lulu!  I grew up in Boulder, was a Kappa Kappa Gamma at Arizona State University (go Devils!), and am now a wife and mom living in Wichita, Kansas with my hard working, fun-loving husband (I usually refer to him on the blog as the Mr.)

Praha
  • I go by Lulu on this blog, because that's a nickname my husband has called me for some time.  I'm sure that may initially confuse those of you who have met me in real life under a different name...  I'm not actively trying be anonymous on The Dirty Martini Diaries, as even my former work Vice President reads the blog (hi JG!), but I guess I like that it makes me slightly less Google-able?
  • I have a daughter named W, who will be 1 at the end of this week (insert standard comment about time flying too fast here).  She's known on Instagram for her insane  mop of hair and scrunchy-face smiles:

W
  • We relocated here to Wichita in June 2012 for my husband's job (moving to a different state with an 8 week old baby? An adventure all on its own), and are getting used to life in the Midwest.  In the past 7 years, I have lived in Phoenix, New York City, Phoenix again, and now Wichita, Kansas.  Believe me, I'm still getting used to the transition of going from New York City to Wichita in 2 years' time.
  • I started this blog in 2008 as a way to keep up with friends while I was living in New York City and planning my wedding.  Needless to say, the content around here has changed a little bit in the past 4 years!  The bottom line is that no matter the topic, I try to be honest and try not to take myself too seriously.
Snack Time
  • I just transitioned to being a full-time stay-at-home-mom this month, and am trying to figure out exactly what that means to me.  I do know that I shower more and am finally catching up on paperwork I should have done last year, so that's a good start?
  • I turned 30 last year, and decided to commit to doing 101 things I've always wanted to do over the next 1,001 days.  I'll be focusing a lot more on that over the coming months, because I'm having a lot of fun with it.
  • I'm a firm believer that there are very few things an extra dirty martini (or 3) cannot cure.

Dirty Martini

Now, it's your turn!  Please take a minute to introduce yourself and let me know where I can find more fun things about you (Blog? Twitter? Instagram?)  

I look forward to connecting with you! 




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Of Baby Bums and Blogging Conferences



One of the things I never expected from this whole journey into parenthood was how fiercely passionate one could become over a a baby product... Let alone a product meant solely for a baby's bum.  As much as I adore the look of a chubby little baby bottom, there is nothing more challenging that wrangling a diaper-free crawler around the house while attempting to dry out a bad case of diaper rash.  One of the most prized products I've had in my baby arsenal has been  Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment, which is the ONLY thing that has cured the occasional (yet miserable) diaper rash flare ups in our household.

I rarely work with sponsors on this little ol' blog of mine, but you imagine my the freak out excitement that ensued when I partnered up with Dr. Smith's be a Brand Ambassador for them at the BlissDom Conference this week.  I mean honestly, these people have made some of the uglier parts of mommyhood so much easier for me, so being able to be associated with the brand is a real thrill.

If you aren't already (and if you're a mom, you should be!) make sure to follow Dr. Smith's on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram- they'll be doing some sweet giveaways during the BlissDom Conference.  And for BlissDom attendees- make sure to stop by the Dr Smith's Sweet Relief booth for some goodies!

Also, stay tuned because I'll be hosting a fabulous Dr Smith's giveaway after the conference...  Whether you're a parent or not, it'll be a giveaway you'll want to enter!

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Blissdom I go!


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No More Google Reader?!


I just logged into Reader for the night, and got this surprising pop up:


Turns out Google will be retiring Google Reader in July....  Does this make anyone else sad, or just me?

Any suggestions regarding alternative options to aggregate the eleventy hundred blogs I've subscribed to over the past 5 years?

Boo.

**Edited to add:  Lifehacker has suggested a list of acceptable alternatives here... Guess it's time to start converting all my RSS feeds...


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To Endings and Beginnings


I just saved my last Excel spreadsheet, sent my last e-mail, closed up my Microsoft Outlook, and logged off my virtual work connection for the last time.

Today is the last day of my corporate job.  Tomorrow, I become a full-time stay-at-home mom.

That's a misnomer, really, because I've been a full-time stay-at-home mom since we moved to Wichita in June.  It's just that for the last 8 months, I've been a full-time stay-at-home mom, a financial analyst working virtually part-time, and full-time small business owner all at the same time.  For the past 8 months, I've been trying to "have it all'- a career, a thriving child, a happy home life with clean floors and a hot meal on the table when my husband returned home from a hard day at work.  And you know what?  I've been failing at "having it all" pretty miserably.

Now failing is a strong word, and one my husband, manager, and parents would probably be quick to correct me on.  In all honesty, I've done okay on the career front because I've put my career before my child, small business, and home for the past 8 months.  I've done that because 1) they aren't paying me to do a half-assed job and play puzzles when I should be editing PowerPoint decks, and frankly, 2) I really love my job more than a person should humanly love a corporate gig.  I never once woke up and dreaded going to the office when I lived in Phoenix and was working full-time, and the only reason I dreaded working part-time virtually here in Wichita was when conference calls were scheduled during non-naptime hours and I knew I was going to be doing some serious baby juggling while on mute.

I finally hit my tipping point.  With a thriving, active 11 month old baby (good Lord, how is she almost 1 already?!), I just couldn't make it work any longer.  I got to the point where I had to choose between being a good employee and being a good mom - and I'll be honest, having to make that decision was very hard for me (harder than it should have been). But at the end of the day, my daughter deserves to be played with and not stuck in front of the Disney channel for 2 hours at a time because "Mommy just needs to finish up one last PowerPoint deck, ok sweetheart?  Go play with Mickey!"

The Lord has blessed us with some exciting new life changes in 2013, changes that will simultaneously push our budget limits and prevent me from pursuing the option of a full-time job at this time.  So the decision had to be made- let the Disney channel continue to raise my daughter, or put my (admittedly selfish) career ambitions and desire to unwind after a long day in front of Bravo the side for now.

I don't think I can even find the right words to express how I'm feeling about this transition.  Yes, there is a bit of relief there because I'll finally be able to find time for a shower more than twice a week (and if I'm being perfectly honest, change my day/night pajama uniform more than two or three times a week as well). I will have more time to prepare nutritious meals so the baby and I aren't stuck eating graham crackers for lunch (again), and thank the Lord I'll finally have time to deep clean this old rental house we live in (the dust bunnies around here are so big, I jump when I see one move out of the corner of my eye because I think it's a giant bug).

Part of me feels like a huge jerk, because I know that there are mothers out there who would die to have the option to stay at home full-time with their babies without any additional commitments.

Part of me is terrified, because we have been relying on every penny of that part-time paycheck...  I'm feverishly digging through our finances, cutting the few creature comforts we did spend money on (cable and an occasional takeout meal) and figuring out ways to save on the grocery budget (making my own bread?  Learning to coupon?).  But saving for college?  Finally getting out of debt?  What about all these fresh MBA loans?

There is also a great deal of internal trepidation- the "me" that I've held on to for so long- the spreadsheet crunching, contract writing, finance gal who would choose a well-fitting business suit and crisp white button down over a pair of jeans and a tank any day- she's officially gone now.  My identity for the last 9 years has been comprised a great deal by the title "financial analyst". It's on my business card, my tax forms, and heck even on the doctor's medical forms say it.  I have that title no longer.

I'm now a wife and mom that drives a minivan and lives in Wichita, Kansas.  And that's about all I've figured out right now.  It's time to find my new identity and begin the next chapter in my life.

1 Timothy 6: 6-8

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we should be content."

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