No Mom Guilt

Mom Guilt |

Some days my life is eeking of mom guilt. It could be travel, it could be (lack of) time, it could be the fact that I wasn’t there to pick up Liv from preschool or that I had to miss Mommy Morning (of all of the days…).

But once I shift my focus from the trees to the forest (and remember the bigger picture rather than just the guilt-ridden smaller details), I remember that I make ALL my big decisions with my family in mind. And that there’s no room for mom guilt.

A short example: a week after my maternity leave ended I flew up to the Bay Area of California for work and 2.5 days of straight meetings. Marley came with me (I am growing a network of awesome sitters in my corporate office’s home town and I also have family to rely on) but on that trip I didn’t for one minute regret that I had to step out of my balancing act back home to be in work-mode for three days away.

I met with our team from Shanghai, I met with my new counterpart from Chicago, I spent a day reviewing plans for a strategy rollout with a new partner that flew in from North Carolina. It was invigorating. And frankly, after being absent for eight weeks, it was necessary.

I recognize that I need these sorts of meetings to motivate me. I walked away from this trip full of ideas, full of energy and full of scheming enthusiasm. I had the opportunity to put on my strategy hat and to enjoy, all mom guilt aside.

Back home, the girls had a great time with their Mimi and their daddy. They loved my return (as did I!) and it was but a blip in our routine after a few days had passed. It’s okay to be a mom that sometimes has obligations. It’s okay to rejuvenate whether it’s for work, a day with girlfriends, a child-less reenergizing weekend or a (second, third, fourth) honeymoon to reconnect with your partner.

We have no room for mom guilt.

I took a similar trip to Boston just last week with my dad and sister to visit my brother (M also came along as infants do). This trip was for fun and reconnecting with long distance family.

We have no room for mom guilt.

Part of being a good parent, a good friend, a good colleague, a good partner is by taking care of what you have to do and what you need to do. Trip A was part of what I had to do. Trip B was part of what I needed to do. I dropped into the blog today to share these stories because I think we all need a reminder sometimes that it’s okay to not feel guilt for what pulls us away from our families. Shoot, it’s even okay to enjoy it.

Happy weekend, friends. To my momma’s, you are doing an awesome job!

More motherhood posts shared here, more thoughts on being a working mom over here. Marley sporting a bandie from my girlfriend’s company Grey and Gingham. xo

Master Bath & Bedroom Remodel: Week 12-13

It feels a bit overdue for an update on our master bathroom/bedroom renovation. So much of our lives is centered around this space right now (planning it, building it, collaborating on it, living out of maternity wardrobe boxes because I can’t access clothes because of it)… but the more and more that we live with the transformation, the more that I appreciate each and every step of the decision-making journey that this space has started us on. And I’m wringing my hands with excitement for the day we move in.

Week 1:

Master Bath/Bedroom Demo Day 1 |

Week 2:

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 2 |

Week 6-7:

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 7 |

Week 8:

Master Bath/Bedroom Week 8 |

Week 12-13:

Master Bathroom, Week 12 |

The most significant updates during weeks 10-12 included patching and plastering of all of the walls, reworking ceiling patches, plumbing, moving around a bit of electrical and installation of radiant heating.

Here’s a bit of the thought process on how radiant heating works: instead of blowing hot air through a vent or pumping hot water to a radiator, radiant heat warms up the floor (and from there, the rest of the room). Electric mats (there are also hot water pipes that are considered radiant heating) are energy efficient and incredibly functional. You can keep your floor at an even 85 degrees (which seems warm but isn’t so bad on the electrical side) and the entire room will be affected positively. On cold days it’s also super cozy.

Since this radiant heating is being installed in ‘new construction’, we placed the mats directly above the subfloor (and they’ll eventually be directly below the tile). My understanding is that they can also be placed below the subfloor when being added after flooring is already in place.

Master Bathroom, Week 12 |

Master Bathroom, Week 12 |

Kevin applied a layer of thin set above the mats for tiling purposes. The mats + thin set raise the overall height of the floors by about 1/2″ (which we’ll have to account for with the floor transition into the bedroom and into the hallway from the bathroom to make sure there’s no tripping) but I think that the the cozy-toe-affect will be worth it.

Master Bathroom, Week 12 |

Master Bathroom, Week 12 |

Electrical current is measured before, during and after installation to make sure that a wire hasn’t been tripped or cut before the tile is installed.

Master Bathroom, Week 12 |

One last shot before it’s all covered up!

Master Bathroom, Week 12 |

This is sort of one of those luxury projects where timing is always the issue. With such a huge remodel it’s hard to justify the cost (like, really hard)… but once that tile is in place adding radiant heating is no longer an option. We bit the bullet and hope that it pays off over the long run.

PS we started this BIG project right over here. Follow along for the full transformation by getting caught up here. Happy middle-of-the-week and see you soon! 

Marley’s Newborn Announcements & Baby Journal

Marley Marie is three and a half months old and I have almost finished sending out her newborn announcements.

Marley's Birth Announcement & Tiny Prints |

Marley's Birth Announcement & Tiny Prints |

I love how they turned out. She’s added a few belly and thigh rolls since the three-week-old photo on the front and the six-week-old sister photo (photo credit to Katie Beverley) on the back, but other than that those piercing eyes and that sweet little nose has not changed much in the last two months. I adore the way that she still stares intently and how gracious she is with her giggles and coos! She’s on to full conversations these days.

That picture on the back is one of my favorites. I will probably blow it up and hang it somewhere in our soon-to-be-finished bedroom as a reminder of my sweet girls. Three little peas in a pod, but so different, yes? So many families that we know have either identical (as in you can really tell that all siblings are siblings) or completely opposite (one looks just like mom, one looks like dad, one looks like great aunt Sally…) children. Each of our girls are so unique and so different from one another that I can’t wait to watch them grow up just to see what familial features and personality traits they take on.

Our family is finally beginning to find the rhythm of three children. We actually all make it out the door for errands a couple of times a week (that seemed impossible four weeks ago) and I’m happy to report that life is starting to adjust back to normal. A busy, hectic normal, but normal (and that feels so good).


I’ve kept a journal (to capture major milestones, funny things they’ve said and done, cute moments…) and a memory box for each of the girls as they’ve grown up and was heartbroken to learn that Paper Coterie – who I had purchased both of those mementos through – had gone out of business. Shutterfly came through though with the perfect lined journal substitute for Marley and I cannot wait to start recording.

I added one of my favorite photos of Marley to the front and then the sisters image in black and white to the back, as well as an inscription on the purpose of the notebook.

Marley's Newborn Announcements & Journal | PepperDesignBlog.comMarley's Newborn Announcements & Journal |

Time to share a hand written birth story with her! I can’t wait to give these journals to the girls when they’re grown up, they are my modern baby book. I’m still searching out for a photo box substitute (which is the perfect compliment to the journal since it holds treasures like hospital bracelets, baptismal candles, 1st birthday cards and the like). I’m curious to learn what other mommas are doing for baby books for their little ones – there are so many unique ways to document these days!

This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints and Shutterfly (who gifted Marley’s announcement and journal). The template I used can be found here. I have partnered with this awesome company for YEARS and am grateful for their continued support of this blog. I love their products.

PS Liv’s newborn announcements and Taylor’s newborn announcements, just for fun!

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