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Friday, April 16, 2021

Theo :: One + Two Month Update

 Baby Theo,

When your oldest sister, Hazel, was born I started writing her letters documenting what she was doing and how she was growing. I did it every month for her first year. Then I did the same thing for your other sisters, Eleanor and Sybil. Now it’s your turn! :) 

Over the years, the letters became less about them growing—their height/weight/clothing size (although most of that it very detailed with Hazel because I was a true first-time-mom and all of that NEEDED to be documented!)—and more about our everyday life and sweet moments I want to remember. I’m going to do my best, but these letters may come in bundles (like this letter—happy one & two months!)

The past 7 weeks have felt like a blur. People ask me what was the most challenging transition (1-2, 2-3, 3-4 kids) and I always say 1-2. It truly rocked my world. 2-3 had it’s challenges, but compared to 1-2 it was smooth. 3-4 has been different in so many ways. We also moved from NYC to NC less than a year ago so that transition on top of adding you to our family has thrown me for a bit of a loop.

We had two days to pack up our entire NYC apartment and halfway through packing I had your dad run out to pick up a pregnancy test. I felt like I might be pregnant and if I was I wanted to find out in NYC so part of your story would be linked to my favorite place and the birthplace of your siblings. (I think it’s sweet that like me, your sisters were born in New York and like your Dad, you were born in North Carolina).

We laughed and cried when we saw “Pregnant” on the stick. Then it was back to packing!

You were born during a global pandemic. This will always be part of your story. Your dad wasn’t able to go to any of my doctors appts with me or see any ultra sounds of you moving around and doing flips in my belly. The ultra sound techs always gave me extra pictures to take home and show him though. We video taped us finding out if you were a boy or girl—it’s one of my favorite videos and I’m sure we’ll show it to you hundreds of times as we’ve already watched it hundreds of times ourselves. A small part of me knew you would be a boy and I remember sitting on our couch in our chaotic living room (did I mention we also bought a fixer-upper and completely gutted and re-did our kitchen and living room in my first trimester? We’re a little nuts in this family!) thinking, “I really like the name Theo for a boy. Maybe we’ll have a boy.”

Close to your due date, we found you were laying sideways instead of head down. I went into the hospital for them to try to turn you. They got me all set up—hospital gown, an IV, a shot—and then they checked your position one last time and you had flipped all of your own! You were head down! Your dad was able to come to this with me and he started dancing which made us all laugh. I cried too.

With each pregnancy I always tell myself to NOT expect the baby to come early, but I secretly always think you guys will come early (and I’ve always been wrong). You were three days late—my longest pregnancy. I was pretty miserable towards the end and SO ready for you to come out! You were born on a Sunday (your Paw Paw’s birthday!)—the day before, on Saturday around 4pm I started feeling contractions. Eleanor and Sybil were very fast labors so I was prepared for yours to be super fast too. I started timing the contractions and by 7pm they were stronger and closer together. Your grandparents took your sisters and your dad and I waited, expecting to go to the hospital soon. Around 9pm the contractions slowed and by 11pm they were gone.

I went to bed feeling frustrated and sad. I woke up around 6:30am to contractions and knew you'd be born soon. The night before the midwife said to do something relaxing like a bath, a nap, or some red wine. I don't like baths, or naps, or wine so I thought about what would be relaxing for me. Doing a craft sounded relaxing so I decided to dye a kitchen towel with tea bags. I boiled about 40 tea bags and clothes pinned a tea towel together while your dad went and filled up the SUV with gas. I stated this around 8:30/8:45am and when your dad got back I couldn’t talk through contractions. I’m always hesitant to go to the hospital—I’m nervous it isn’t time yet, but I trusted your dad and off we went around 9:30am.

Because of COVID-19 I had to go back to admissions on my own. My contractions were about 2 minutes apart and couldn’t really answer the questions, but I did my best. She had me sit in a small waiting room until the nurse came down. When I’m in labor I’m not super loud so I don’t know if she didn’t think I was serious about being so close, but when I couldn’t sit in the chair in the waiting room she sent a nurse right away and got Dad back there with me.

Oh yeah, the security officer tried to get Dad to wait in the car saying admissions usually takes a little while and because of COVID it would be a bit before he could go back. I’m sure you’ll hear Dad tell this part of the story as you get older (he’s a great story teller), but he basically said he wasn’t going anywhere because his wife has super fast deliveries and that the security officer could call back to see if I was getting admitted right away. To the officer’s surprise, the nurses told your dad to come on back and that we’d have a baby soon.

Your labor was painful. Like top two out of my four. I had a COVID test during a break in contractions and after it came back negative I was able to labor without my mask on. It felt like I labored forever and pushing was the hardest I remember with all my children. I remember thinking, “I have reached my limit. How can I do this?” And it was if the Lord gave me this moment to hold onto because there have been many times over the past two months where I’ve thought, “I’ve reached my limit. How can I do this?” And just like in the last two minutes before you were born, I pray, “Lord, I need you. Please give me strength.”

Pushing you out was hard. Going from three to four kiddos has been hard. I feel like I’m fumbling trying to figure it out—dropping a ball here, there, but we’re doing it by the grace of God.

I cried when they placed you on me. It felt like a moment I had waited forever for. You are such a gift to our family and we’re all so, so glad you’re here!

Born at 12:48pm

8 lbs 1 oz


Your sisters were beyond excited when we brought you home. They still are. Every morning they’re still just as excited to see you 7 weeks later. I’ve taken so many pictures of you guys. Sibling love is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen. You kiddos are the biggest gift—your dad and I love you so much.

You’re still teeny-tiny so you’ve been doing a lot of sleeping, eating, pooping. The normal jazz of a newborn and we’re thrilled. The first few weeks were a little tricky with you and we figured out you have acid reflux. Once we figured that out things have been much better! You’re sleeping a lot more which I’m extremely grateful for. You still wake up 2-3 times a night so I’m looking forward to when that drops down to 1 (or zero ;).

A summary of the past few weeks: I love you so stinkin’ much. We all lose our mind when you smile or coo at us. You are the cutest baby boy we’ve ever seen. We love holding you, snuggling you, and your hair will forever be greasy because we all love to touch it so much.

Welcome to the Pursley crew little guy, we are beyond thrilled you’re here!!

I love you so much, sweet Theodore Matthew. 



Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Skincare Routine

A frequently asked question on Instagram is about my skincare routine. What do I use? What are my favorite products? Have I tried anything new? So I thought I'd take some time to answer some of those questions :)

I have always loved a good skincare routine, but it has definitely evolved over the years! I love trying new products, but I also have some tried-and-true ones that I've been using for 10+ years!

Here are the products I use daily:

Morning Routine:

Acure Facewash

Thayers Facial Toner

Bliss Glow + Hydrate Serum

Bliss Eye Do All Things Hydrating Eye Gel

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizer (I use this in the daytime as well as night!)

Nightime Routine:

Ponds Cleansing Balm (to remove my make up. Jamie B. Golden recommended this and it's amazing!)

Bliss Jelly Glow Peel Exfoliator (I don't use this every night, but at least 3x a week.)

Thayers Facial Toner

Bliss renew + smooth serum

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizer 

Cetaphil hydrating eye gel cream

Vaseline Lip Therapy

There ya have it :) All my skincare routine linked in one place! I've been on the hunt for a good sunscreen (one that doesn't feel slimy, or have a scent) that I want to add into the mix--so if you have any recommendations please send them my way!

*These are affiliate links which I means I receive a tiny commission if you buy through my link (thank you, thank you!) at no additional cost to you!

Monday, November 25, 2019

2019 Gift Guide: Toddler/Pre-School Aged

My Girls (ages 1.5, 3, 4) either have and love these toys or it is something we're getting them for Christmas this year! I only want to share things that I use and love or would buy myself.

1. Pop-up Play Tent - We've had this for over three years and my girls play with it often! It folds up very small. I even shared a tutorial on Instagram of how to easily fold it up--reach out to me if you need that tutorial again ;)
2. Pop Beads Jewelry Making Kit - This is a Christmas gift for Hazel and Eleanor this year and I think they're going to LOVE it!
3. Wikki Stix - We use these a lot on road trips. They're so much fun!
4. Remote Control Car - Another gift for the girls this year. It says they can even go on the ceiling! I'm excited for the girls to try these out (and I have a feeling Matt and I will be racing them ourselves, ha!)
5. Scooter - My two oldest daughters have their own scooters and when Sybil turns two we'll get her one too :) They ride them all the time and we see other kiddos all over NYC with them!
6. Baby Doll High Chair - My girls play with this daily and my favorite part is it collapses flat! Even if you don't live in a small apartment, it's nice when you can fold and put away toys.
7. Magnetic Tiles - Endless fun. These things are awesome. Definitely a top-played-with toy in our home!
8. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel - a friend bought this for Hazel as a birthday gift a few years back and it's still a family favorite!
9. Doodle Board - we have the smaller version of this and I think my girls would love this large size!
10. Baby Doll Stroller - we have this x3 :) My girls favorite thing after their baby dolls, of course!

The above links are affiliate links meaning I receive a small commission if you buy through my link--it doesn't change the price or do anything different on your end! Thank you so much!

2019 Gift Guide: Practical Gifts for Her

I own and use all of the products above! If you're searching for a gift for someone you don't know well, a friend, or just want to add a little some extra to a loved ones stocking I hope this gift guide helps!

1. Stojo cup This cup collapses so small you can just throw it in your bag after you're finished!
2. CocoKind Mymatcha All Over Moisture Stick - My go-to lip balm. Also, I use it on my hands, cuticles, under my's really great!
3. Burt's Bees Rejuvenating Eye Mask - This would be so easy to pop into a stocking or even in a card! I use this eye mask pretty regularly. It smells good and makes my eyes look so much more rested!
4. Defuzzer - My sister-in-law bought this for me as a birthday gift last month and I've used it so much already! If your sweaters have that annoying fuzz on them just use this on it and it will make your sweater look good as new! I have the one you can charge, but there is a cheaper-option that uses batteries!
5. Steamer - Another gift I've received. I've had this for a year and I love this little thing. I've talked about it a good bit in my instagram stories! Highly recommend!
6. Blanket Scarf - A good ol' blanket scarf. There are so many options to choose from! It's a fun, practical, and stylish gift.
7. Weighted Blanket - Matt bought this for me for Mother's Day and it is my favorite blanket. I have a hard time falling asleep and this thing really has helped me fall asleep easier! It's so cozy!
8. Milk Frother - If you want to make lattes at home this is for you! I looked long and hard at latte makers and then realized I just wanted frothy milk in my coffee. I use this daily! I recommend oat-milk lattes ;)
9. Muji Pens - My favorite pens. I love when Matt puts these in my stockings. (Hint, hint dear!)
10. Sugar Lips Gift Set - This set has so many pretty colors in it! I received this as a gift one year and it was one of my favorite gifts! I love that these give your lips some color, but feels so smooth and moisturizing.

These are just some of the ideas I thought of and again, I have or have used all of these products and love them!

The above links are affiliate links meaning I receive a small commission if you buy through my link--it doesn't change the price or do anything different on your end! Thank you so much!