Category Archives: Family

Do you kiss your kids on the lips?

Do you kiss your kids on the lips? | R.Simple Life
Sweet kiss photo by Christy Nicole Photography

Saturday morning Harry and I were awake and laying in bed before Jon woke up. His peaceful sleeping face was too tempting for me and I told Harry to give his Papa a kiss on the lips, and Harry went for it. He woke his Papa up with a nice wet one, smack dab on the lips. Which wouldn’t be such a big deal, except Jon doesn’t kiss Harry on the lips.

I mentioned this in the caption of a recent Instagram of mine and the reaction was interesting. Most people didn’t understand how or why Jon resists those sweet little Harry lips. But he’s said it since before Harry was born, he won’t kiss our kids on the lips. The head, the nose, the cheek, but not the lips.

Let’s just preface this with: I am not from a kissing family. I don’t kiss my parents on the lips and I don’t really ever remember doing so. But there was never a question whether I’d kiss Harry on the lips, and the moment I saw that sweet little pout, it was all confirmed. I’d be a lip-kisser. And I plan on being a lip-kisser until the day Harry is done with it.

I’m curious, do you kiss your kids (or will you) on the lips? Also, do you kiss your parents on the lips? I think it’s interesting that I don’t kiss my parents, but can’t get enough of those baby lips.

xoxo Mallory

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The Big One: 12 Months

I have a one year old. A toddler. A mini-grown up. He walks, talks, and feeds himself with a spoon and he is no longer a baby. On one hand, it’s a ridiculously sad milestone, but the overpowering emotion I’ve been feeling with the passing of the first year of Harry is pride. This little boy is someone to be proud of.

Harry 12 Month Snapshot | R.Simple Life

This month Harry really started cruising around and is now completely comfortable walking on carpet, gravel, tile, in shoes, out of shoes, in socks, etc. He is decidedly a big boy now, and one of my favorite things is when he walks over to the bookshelf, picks out his favorite book (still Brown Bear or anything Baby Genius) and hands it to me. Also, boy can eat. He loves soup and he loves beans, so he loves bean soup. Really, he loves just about everything. Though not summer squash and/or zucchini.

Harry's 12 Month Snapshot | R.Simple Life

Harry understands English and is working on his verbal. He pretty much always knows what I’m saying and he is getting so good at communicating back to me. He signs “please” all the time (cutest thing ever) and says “thank you.” He’s also working really hard to make “sh” or “ss” noises. It’s a lot of spitting. He blows kisses and plants ’em directly onto my lips, depending on how far away from me he is. And the kid hasn’t met a pile of pillows he hasn’t jumped into head first.

Harry's 12 Month Snapshot | R.Simple Life

The last year has really, really been the best year. Welcoming this little boy and really getting to know him is amazing. Jon and I say it every day – but we really, really are the lucky ones. Harry, we love you so very much.

xoxo Mallory

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A Letter to Harry on His First Birthday

R.Simple Life | A letter to Harry on his first birthday

Dear Harry,

Happy birthday my littlest love. I can’t believe it’s already here. A year ago, I got to hear you cry, look into your eyes, and hold your sweet little body for the very first time. That day my life changed forever. It’s like they took my heart right out of my chest and sent it to live in you. It was the best day of my life.

The past year has been an adventure. You’ve gone from sleeping twenty hours a day to running just as much, from loving to be cuddled up in a blanket to loving to be wild and free. Every day brings something new and every morning I wake up excited to see what it will be. Some days it’s something big, like your first tooth, or your first steps, or the first time you said “Mama.” Other days it’s not as big, but just as special. It’s been a year of firsts, starting with your first breath and finishing today with your first year.

Today, I am a teary mess. I am missing they snuggly little boy who’s skin was too big for his body, but there is a bigger pull on my heart and that is pride. I’m so proud of the little boy you are becoming. You are determined, confident, driven, competitive, and brave, but you are also sweet, loving, funny, gentile, and curious. You live each day like an adventure, never stopping until you’ve found what you’re looking for and you are such an inspiration. You love hard, and your Mama and Papa love you hard right back.

I consider myself to be the luckiest lady on this planet to be your Mama. I can’t imagine a better job. I am so excited to see where life takes you, and where you take life, but for today, I’m going to spend my time soaking in one-year-old-you.

I love you forever.

xoxo Mama

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Looking Back on a Year of Motherhood

R.Simple Life | The first year of motherhood

Well, tomorrow is my first son’s first birthday and I have about a million emotions running through my veins today. It’s impossible to make sense of them all, but they are all facets of either excitement, disbelief, or a strange kind of sadness. It’s insane to think that one year ago Harry was still living inside of my body, getting ready to take one of the biggest, hardest (quickest) journeys of his young life.

The last year has been the very best year of my life. It’s held some of the most rewarding moments, some of the happiest tears, and some of the toughest times. I’ve slept less than ever, smiled more than ever, and shed enough tears to fill a lake, but it really, really has been the best year of my life. I feel like I was born to be Harry’s mama. Not born to be a mom, no, but born to be Harry’s mama. I don’t question my instincts with this boy, and so far, they’ve all been pretty good.

I’ve changed in so many ways over the last twelve months – some predictable, some surprising. I can only imagine this little boy is going to continue rocking my world and changing me for the rest of my time, and I am so thankful for that. He has made me a better person, without a doubt. That’s the thing about the people you love, they make you want to be better. Harry did it and his Papa did it before him.

So tomorrow I’ll put on the dress I wore the day I met my little boy for the first time, and take about three million pictures, mental and digital. I’ll probably cry more than once, and I’m sure I’ll laugh the whole day through. But today I’m thinking about all the ways motherhood has changed me, and I’m here to share just a few.

My heart grew. I’m serious. I’ll admit the thing we all feel but don’t want to say when we’re thinking about having children: I was worried I wouldn’t be able to love this little baby enough because my heart was already full of love for his father. But boy, was I wrong. My heart grew enough to not only hold all the love I have for Harry, but all the extra love I have for Jon. That’s something they don’t warn you about – the second you have a baby, the love you have for that babies other parent quadruples by the minute. Sometimes the love spills out in tears (for no other reason but how much love I have for the two of them) but somehow my heart grew.

My pant size shrunk. I was not expecting this. Sure, the first few months where I lost the baby weight, I expected. But due to the change in my diet, the discipline in my workouts, and the breastfeeding, I’ve shed the baby weight plus 10 pounds and my butt is higher. I really have a much healthier diet and my new (this year) squat rack to thank for those extra 10 pounds and the lifted booty, but Harry brought on the healthy diet and the need for a squat rack in my garage, so I’m chalking this one up to parenthood too. Plus, breastfeeding.

I started eating healthier. It began with cutting out dairy because Harry was having a bad reaction to it, and realizing I was lactose intolerant. Then I cut out simple grains and realized I feel about 100 times better while sustaining a healthy diet. If you can pick it from a tree, dig it from the ground, or find it on a farm, I’ll eat it. And having a clean diet of whole ingredients only (read: no processed foods) really makes me feel so much better. I even have more energy now. And the extra bonus? When Harry started eating, he was able to eat everything I was already making – because I was eating so healthy.

I cried, a lot. I cried because I was happy, I cried because I was sad. I cried when I was proud, frustrated, in love, overwhelmed… I just cried so much. As a crier, I’ve always been prone to watery eyes, but there’s just something about sending your heart to live outside of your body that makes you want to cry even more.

I became more disciplined. There is nothing like a baby to rock your schedule like nothing else. I learned to do things quicker and more efficiently. I learned that unless I make the time for something in advance, it’s probably not going to happen. I learned to have a routine and a schedule, but to be ready to break it at a moments notice.

I became more flexible. On the other hand, having a baby teaches the most rigid Type-A’s to break up the routine and be a little more go with the flow. The minute I felt like I had a finger on Harry’s schedule, he’d change it up. So I learned to be flexible.

I started living for someone else. I’m selfish, I’ll be the first one to tell you that. Before I had Harry, I was legitimately worried about how I would handle the lack of sleep and early mornings when I was so used to my 8-9 hours of beauty rest. I worried that I’d miss doing things on a whim, seeing movies, choosing activities based on my wants and needs. When Harry and his sweet little dinosaur arms reached for me the first time, that all changed. Everything I did, I did for him. The midnight  (and 3am, 4am, etc.) feedings didn’t bother me. Waking up early was fine, if that’s what he needed. I will drop everything to dance with the little boy who pulls on my shirt when the right song comes on. It was like someone flipped a switch and I was completely selfless when it came to my son. And I love that feeling.

There are so many more ways my little boy has changed me, all for the better, but this post is veering on the rambling side and I’m ready to sit here and dream about the last year. If you take one thing from this post, take this: being a mother, being Harry’s mother, has changed me forever – in the very, very best way possible. I can’t thank my little guy enough for that.

xoxo Mallory

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For Jon

Last year, I took November to really delve into the parts of my life I am most thankful for. Sometimes we need a reminder that our lives pretty much rock. With the addition of Harry this year, it’s a lot easier to remember how awesome my life is, but I still really enjoy spending 30 days giving thanks for the people, places, things in my life that really make me happy. So we’re back at it this year.

Thankful for Papa | R.Simple Life

For Day 1, I really am just thankful for Jon. He’s my best friend and my confidant. He’s the best Papa a boy could ask for and is so good at holding my hand. He trusts my opinion and he works right alongside me. There is no one in this entire world I could spend the rest of my life with but him, and I’m so, so thankful for him (so is Harry).

So to you Jon. Today is your day. I love you man.

xoxo, Mallory

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The Leaky Rubber Top to the Cup We Never Use

There are the motherhood milestones you expect. Things like waking up for the first time in months and realizing it’s light outside and your baby is still sleeping… or the first time your baby smiles at you… or the first time you get peed on. But then there are the motherhood milestones you never realized were milestones until you hit them. And then you think “I’m officially a mum.”

R.Simple Life | Motherhood Milestones You Never Considered

The other day we ran into one of the second kind. We were out for our run, had stopped at the park for a quick swing, and then ran home. When I put Harry back into the stroller at the park, I handed him the rubber top to his cup (he carries it around and holds it in his mouth like a stogie – it’s so funny). When we got home, it was gone.

Now, before I was a mother, I would have considered myself crazy for what I’m about to tell you. But now that I’m on the other side, I’m calling it a milestone and moving on. Harry isn’t particularly attached to this top (which, by the way, leaks like crazy, so we don’t even use as a cup). He sleeps just fine without it, he doesn’t need it to get a diaper change. But he really likes it. So after telling myself he’d be fine without it, then spending the afternoon thinking about that dang leaky rubber top, I decided instead of buying an entire new cup just for the top (why, yes, that did cross my mind), we’d just try to find it after his nap.

So we put on our rain coats and warm shoes, because yes, it was drizzling, and left the house to retrace our steps. I felt a little crazy, hawk-eyeing the ground looking for a rubber top, especially in the rain, but whatever. When we spotted it, we were both so excited – and it was all worth it. So instead of calling myself crazy, I’m just calling myself “Mum” today.

What is the crazy motherhood milestone that you never considered?

xoxo, Mallory

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29 Things I Love About You

On the eve of my sweet husband’s 29th birthday, I’d like to share 29 reasons I love him. Feel free to skip this post, unless your name is Jonathan, or you’re feeling especially lovey and/or sentimental today.

R.Simple Life | 29 Things I Love About You

1. I love the way you hold my hand when we’re driving on the highway.

2. I love your laugh, especially when it’s funnier than the joke.

3. I love how your eyes squint when you’re looking at the tv or anything further than five feet away from you.

4. I love how much you love our son.

5. I love the way you smell right after you shave.

6. I love that you stayed calm and comforted me when I cut off a chunk of your hair.

7. I love your generous spirit.

8. I love your complete lack of time awareness.

9. I love that you inch closer and closer to me when we’re sleeping, until I have to ask you to scoot back over.

10. I love that you sing.

11. I love that you cook amazing meals for me.

12. I love the support you always have for me.

13. I love your hugs.

14. I love your kisses.

15. I love that you always say “a tisket, a tasket.”

16. I love that you took me to Disney World to propose, when you knew I’d say yes in our driveway.

17. I love that you always encourage me to be better.

18. I love your freckles.

19. I love how proud you are when you come up with a brilliant idea (that I planted in your head weeks ago).

20. I love that you think I’m beautiful.

21. I love the role model you are to our son.

22. I love how invested you are in our future.

23. I love the effort you put into everything you do.

24. I love that changing diapers doesn’t phase you.

25. I love that you miss bath time.

26. I love the “tsst” noise you make at the top of your squat.

27. I love that you consider me your best friend.

28. I love how much you love croissants.

29. I love everything about you. Everything.

xoxo, Your Rory

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Throwback.

R.Simple Life | Throwback Thursday

It’s kind of awesome to see this picture. (Can you spot me?) Some of these girls are sisters, some of us are cousins, some of us are third cousins. And we’re all grown up. There’s a fashion model in there… a graphic designer… a psych grad student… an assistant director at a childhood learning center. Some of us are married, some of us are single. Some of us live on our own, some of us still live with family. We’re spread all over the US. But in this moment of time, we’re all just a bunch of girls, having a lot of fun.

xoxo, Mallory

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