Mae's Nursery

I had so much fun designing a nursery for Mae, and I’m excited to share it with you! Soon after we found out we were having a girl, I started gathering nursery inspiration. This was a fun process, but with so many beautiful options, I had somewhat of a hard time narrowing it down. Knowing that I didn’t have the luxury of spending countless hours on nursery design (I was still working part-time and caring for my toddler!), I aimed at being decisive and going with my intuition.

This approach worked out well because if I could describe any room in my home as perfect, it would be Mae’s. I absolutely love how sweet and feminine it is. I know childhood Mattye would’ve loved this space, and my hope is that Mae will cherish it as she grows.

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A design approach I took that I think made the end result so pleasing was picking the one thing I “couldn’t live without” and building the room around that. I knew I wanted to wallpaper one wall, but the wallpaper I initially loved did not work with the curtain fabric I loved. It was quite a dilemma! So, I simply asked myself what I felt like I couldn’t leave behind, and the curtains won. Seeing the finished room now, I am 100% positive that was the right decision!

I worked with a local boutique, Fireflies & Fairytales (located in The Swanky Stork), to use one of their fabrics to create custom curtains. Their team was a dream to work with. I’ve developed a sweet relationship with their store manager, Shannon, and the customer service from start to finish was personalized and made the process easy. Then, the curtains came in and they were stunning. From the blush buffalo check ruffle to the white blackout lining, every details was just lovely.

Custom is certainly the pricier way to do curtains, but I knew these would be a statement element in Mae’s room, and I could save elsewhere (like by repurposing Fox’s dresser/changing table and glider). I also love any chance I get to support a local business, and investing in this piece just felt good.

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Aren’t these curtains what little girl dreams are made of? // Fireflies and Fairytales
Here is a close up of the fabric:

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To me, the art of designing a room is having a clear picture of what you’re looking for and being creative with design solutions to achieve that look. As I pinned inspiration for Mae’s room, a vision for the space came to life. The curtain fabric I loved was right in line with this vision, and it directed much of my design. From there, I knew the elements I needed (a lamp, mirror, details, etc.) and I began shopping at stores and online to pull it all together. When designing a space, not everything has to be new or expensive, and I hope sharing how Mae’s room came together will help you see how you can create a space that you love by pulling from resources old and new and in different price ranges to make it shine.

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery.jpeg

This trio on the wall is made up of a mirror I bought at an antique shop but never found a place for, a painted flower tray my mother-in-law gave me for Mae’s room, and a boxwood wreath I found at a shop in Laurel, MS, on our Babymoon.

We did end up with a wallpapered wall like I originally wanted, and I adore what we chose. It’s a periwinkle blue plaid, and accents the curtains so nicely. My mom used periwinkle wallpaper in my nursery, which made this choice an extra special nod to that.

tailored feminine nursery
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nursery watercolors

Y’all. These paintings—I’m obsessed! We love original art in our home and really hoped we could find some special pieces for Mae’s room. I am often drawn to paintings on canvas, but after seeing an Instagram post of a baby girl’s nursery with framed art, I couldn’t get it out of my head. We landed on these original watercolors by Simply Jessica Marie, and they are absolutely perfect for the space. Jessica was so kind and encouraging as we talked about the paintings and framing options. She not only made the process easy but also joyful as she shared in our excitement of expecting our baby girl. I still stare at the paintings in Mae’s room as if it’s the first time I’m seeing them, which is the sign to me that you’ve found a truly special piece of art.

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery

Baby Mae in her room melts my Momma heart! // Photos by Mary Margaret Smith

tailored feminine nursery
feminine nursery shelves
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
girl nursery bookshelf

I’m sentimental by nature, and I enjoy incorporating meaningful pieces into my home. On Mae’s shelves (repurposed from Fox’s nursery), I used flower marker art that I did as a little girl (see the top shelf by her crib), a framed baby shower invitation, my sterling silver baby cup (that I did not polish before these photos were taken! eek!), a photo from my maternity session, gifts from friends like her bear, personalized butterfly teether, and Sunshine book, and a faux magnolia flower I bought in Waco at Magnolia this summer while I was pregnant with Mae.

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery

These sweet letter hooks are one of the first things I bought for her room. Her name is so beautiful and special to me, and since it’s three letters, it makes it easy to incorporate like this. I wasn’t sure what function they would serve when I first bought them, but they’re truly perfect for displaying her hairbows and it makes them super easy to access!

tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery
tailored feminine nursery

Speaking of sentimental, that pink piggy bank was a gift from Woody’s Mom, Mae and Fox’s “Nonna,” and it was hers as a little girl. She has given several heirlooms to Fox that belonged to Woody as a child, so it was so meaningful for Mae to get a piece from Nonna’s girlhood days.

Finally, probably the most special piece in her nursery is that envelope you see on her pin board. Back in 2014, I took calligraphy classes. I often practiced my calligraphy in different ways, and one day I “addressed” this envelope to “Mae Woodcock, 113 Future Lane, Cutie Pie, USA, 12345.” I wasn’t pregnant at that time, but Mae was the little girl we had talked about and dreamed about when we discussed the future and babies.

I love this piece so much because it reminds me of God’s goodness and His gifts to us. One of the verses that has meant a lot to me throughout pregnancy and life with her is Psalm 20:4 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” I want Mae and Fox both to know that they were desires of my heart, and they are dreams fulfilled for me, and this piece is one very special reminder of that truth.

tailored feminine nursery

I hope you enjoyed Mae’s nursery tour! Let me know if there is anything I can further explain or questions I can answer.

Sources

Crib: Million Dollar Baby | Curtains: Fireflies and Fairytales | Wallpaper: Caitlin Wilson | Glider (from Fox’s nursery): Barnett Furniture | Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster | Artwork: Simply Jessica Marie | Dresser (from Fox’s nursery): Ikea | Dresser hardware: Anthropologie | Mirror, lamp, hamper, and side table: Home Goods | Crib skirt and sheets: Pottery Barn Kids | Accent pillows: Fireflies and Fairytales | Pin Board: Pottery Barn Kids | Changing pad: Keekaroo Peanut Changer | Rug: Pottery Barn Kids | Throw blanket: Caitlin Wilson | Pom Pom Basket: Lulu & Georgia | Hanging shelves: Target and Ikea | Letter Hooks: Anthropologie

Some affiliate links are used in this post!

Newborn + Postpartum Faves

The birth of Mae began my second adventure into “newborn life,” and I’m learning so much. I knew it was true, but there is nothing like having two babies of your own to prove to you that every baby is different!

Woodcock babies

Mae is her own person, and being a little more relaxed this time around is allowing me to enjoy learning her and figuring out what she needs with more ease and confidence than I had as a brand new mom. Part of this process has included identifying some key items that have become “must-haves” for us, and when I find something I love, I gotta share it. There are SO many items out there for Moms and babies, and sometimes it’s helpful to have a friend help you wade through the masses to pick out a few treasures.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of ALL the things you need in newborn/postpartum life (although here’s a little tip—what you actually need is most likely less than what you think you need); I simply want to highlight the items that are either new favorites or have become trusty go-to’s with both babies for us. I’ll say it again, every baby is different, so you have to figure out what works for you, but my hope is that each Momma will be able to find at least one gem from this list!

newborn

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Vava Nightlight

I think I will get this nightlight as a baby shower gift for people from now until forever. This thing is amazing! It’s chargeable (and the charge lasts for days/weeks depending how often you use it), portable, and touch-activated making it incredibly convenient. It has two different light temperatures and is dimmable, too. It’s wonderful for late-night feedings and diaper changes when you might not want to make a lot of noise or have a lot of light. It’s also great to travel with if you’re unsure what kind of lighting situation you’ll have.

baby lounger

We have loved the Boppy Newborn Lounger with both babies. It’s lightweight and has a handle so it’s easy to take from room to room or on a trip. It’s a cozy spot for baby with a slight incline so their head is lifted and they can see what’s going on around them. Mae sits in it happily while I’m getting ready, cooking, pumping, you name it! Because it’s so easy to put anywhere, it allows me to be close to her when I’m not able to hold her, and that’s something we both love. I really can’t imagine newborn life without it.

I also wanted to give an honorable mention to the Dock a Tot. We’ve used it with Mae, and so far it’s been great. It’s a pricier item, so we were thankful when a friend offered to loan us theirs. It’s lightweight and easy to transport just like the Boppy lounger, and it’s nice when you need a portable, convenient sleeping spot or to let the baby lay flat and kick around. I don’t think I would pay full price for one, but since we got to borrow this one, I am glad we have it.

covered goods four-in-one cover

This four-in-one cover is one of my favorite items. Both my babies were born in cold weather months, and this is wonderful to put over their car seat to protect them from the cold air and germs. I imagine I would use it in the summer too because it would block out light and any hands that want to reach in to touch baby. Also, it’s a lightweight nursing cover that I take everywhere. It took me a while to get used to using it with Fox, but with Mae it’s been so helpful. Someone actually referred to it as my “magic striped blanket” because every time I pull it out she gets calm (a.k.a. she gets to eat)!

burt’s bees burp cloths

These burp cloths are so soft and ideal in size. With Fox, I had all different kinds of burp cloths, and I ended up only wanting to use my favorites. This time, I have 12 of the Burt’s Bees and I never have to question if I’m getting a “good one” or not. It removes any decision making and keeps me well stocked with burp cloths (a MUST in those early months!).

my brest friend nursing pillow

As cheesy as the name may be, this has truly been a good friend for me with both my babies! I like this nursing pillow because the firmness of the pillow gives me and my baby quality support, the buckle helps it stay in place, and its soft. The pad around the back is so comfortable, and especially as my babies have gone from newborn to bigger babies, the My Brest Friend gives me much needed relief for my back, shoulders, and neck during nursing.

solly baby wrap

There are many baby wraps out there, and I’ve heard positive reviews of many of them, but the Solly Baby Wrap has been the winner in our home. I wasn’t very confident using it with Fox so I only used it a handful of times, but I’ve already used it dozens of times with Mae. It calms her down when she is fussy, and she takes a nap in it almost every day. It’s also really helpful as a mom of two because it gives me free hands to love on and care for my toddler while also keeping Mae content and getting little newborn snuggles. I love getting to be near my girl while having the option to have my hands free.

Sleepers with hand covers

Newborns tend to have fast-growing, sharp fingernails that are hard to cut, and these sleepers make protecting them and you so easy! I especially love using these at night when she might scratch her face the most, and they’re also nice when nursing so she doesn’t poke me with those sharp little nails.

zutano baby shoes

After two months of tiny little socks falling off Mae’s feet constantly, I finally bought these Zutano booties with an Amazon gift card we were given, and they’re fabulous! They stay on her feet so well and keep them warm. I got the fuzzy style for her first pair since it’s winter, and I plan to get the cotton ones for spring/summer.

Spectra Pump

A friend recommended this pump, and I was very intrigued because she said it helped her express more milk and was quieter than other pumps. I still had my pump from Fox, and figured if I wanted this new one, I’d have to buy it or receive it as a gift. Then, a friend who saw it on my baby registry told me she got the same one and it was covered by insurance. After looking into it, I was so delighted to see that my insurance covered it, too. With her recommendation, I ordered it through Aeroflow, and it was a pleasant, streamlined experience. I love this pump for many reasons: it has a massage mode and expression mode to help simulate how your baby eats, a handle for easy transport, a timer to see how long you’ve been pumping, a nightlight, and two options for adjusting the frequency and intensity with which it expresses the milk. Also, it doesn’t hurt that it comes in pretty colors.

postpartum

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GapFit Leggings

gilligan & o’malley nursing bras

In my second season of nursing, I have been much more savvy with my nursing bra situation. I have lightweight bras to wear at nighttime and more structured bras with better coverage for daytime. But, my favorite one by far is this one by Gilligan & O’Malley of Target. It is comfortable enough to sleep in, but also has enough coverage and structure to wear with clothes (and I think the color is pretty!). It appears they have limited quantities remaining, but I’d recommend this brand overall for comfort and price point.

Witch hazel

A friend and fellow Momma who happens to be a nurse gave this Witch Hazel to me at my baby shower for Fox, and it’s been a staple for me both pregnancies and postpartum. Its very helpful for postpartum healing (specifically for a vaginal birth), and it’s an overall great way to clean and soothe sensitive areas. I have used both the bottle and these pads (which are the same ones they gave me in the hospital).

rainbow light prenatal vitamins

These are an obvious item on a pregnant and postpartum woman’s list, but I just love this brand so much I wanted to share. I have used them in both my pregnancies and postpartum, and they’ve worked well for me.

no bake lactation bites

I think I ate my weight in these lactation bites after I had Fox, and I’ve loved them with Mae, too. They taste delicious, have ingredients to help with milk production, and are great snacks when you’re starving but don’t have time to eat much or its the middle of the night and you need something small and quick.

gap-fit maternity leggings

Postpartum clothing could be a post in and of itself, and honestly, its so subjective. It depends on how your body changes, if you go back to work or stay home, what climate you live in, what time of year your baby is born, and plenty of other factors! But for me after having Mae, these Gap leggings have been my uniform. I like them because the fabric is comfortable and breathable and nice enough to wear out and about. The maternity panel isn’t too big so it provides good coverage and support postpartum without falling down. I ended up getting two pair, and I’m so glad I did because I haven’t managed to get back in my regular laundry routine just yet. ;)

So, there’s my list! I imagine it will be ever evolving, but I hope it’s helpful. I’d also love to hear any favorites you have that I should try!

Affiliate links are used in this post!







Dear Momma,

I recently saw a pregnant Momma ask on Instagram for advice as she becomes a first-time Mom, and as I went to write her a response, I realized I had a lot on my heart to share. I’ve been thinking about the transition of welcoming a new baby myself as we’re about to have our second little one, and in the midst of that I’ve felt an almost gravitational pull toward new Mommas. It’s not because I think I’m an expert or have some magic secret to share, but it’s because my heart is so tender toward this season of a woman’s life. I want to give the Moms I see a hug, invite them to take a deep breath, look them in the eye, tell them what an incredible job they’re doing, and encourage them to let go of all the pressure they’re putting on themselves.

maternity photos_mattye woodcock

I expect that much of this comes from the fact that it’s what I needed more than I ever realized in my first months of motherhood. I’ve learned so much since Fox was born, and I can only imagine all there is yet to learn.

Let me paint a little picture of myself for some context.

I’m a creative, an idealist, and a hopeful romantic. I love when this all comes together for dreaming big dreams, making things special, and loving people well. I don’t love it when this all comes together in the form of unrealistic expectations, pressure to be perfect, and focus on things that aren’t what matter most.

As you might imagine, with these qualities, approaching the birth of my first child I was really feeling the pressure (from myself) to live up to this grand life experience. I felt like I needed to know all the things, do all the things, and prepare all the things so I could be the perfect Mom for my perfect baby.

Perhaps this true story paints the picture even a little more clearly: on February 1, 2017, when I was most definitely in labor, but in total denial (my due date was February 21), I sat with two of my closest friends (who were far more aware of how close I was to giving birth than I was), and I just kept saying “but I haven’t finished reading BabyWise!”

Like. that. matters. Lord, help me.

Half of you may be thinking, “oh friend, that’s not healthy,” while the other half may be thinking, “yes! I get you—this is me!”

maternity photos_mattye woodcock

In my attempt to control everything to be “just so” I came undone. This is why my heart is so tender, and part of why I’ve felt such a conviction to speak life and truth to other women in this season.

After feeling all of this for months, reading that gal’s Instagram post finally pushed me over the edge to sit down and type out what is on my heart to say to you (to us), sweet Mommas.

maternity photos_mattye woodcock

Dear Momma,


Take a deep breath.
It’s true, you’re not in control,
But someone is—remember God’s got this.
He goes before you, and He has created you to do this.

He chose you to be this baby’s Momma.
This baby.
This baby whom He loves more than you ever could (which will seem incomprehensible most of the time), and He has entrusted His little loved one to you, for a purpose.
You will doubt that at times, but it won’t make it any less true.

The world is full of information, directions, and formulas.
Don’t let all the rules and opinions rob you of enjoying your child and of being the Momma you’re called to be.
Your heart can tell you how to calm their cry better than any book.
Your prayers can be tailored to them better than any sleep schedule.
And you will be loving them longer than any parenting method’s popularity lasts.

You’re learning to be a parent just as they are learning to be a baby.
You won’t do it perfectly, and that’s part of the beauty.
Loving and learning require great doses of grace,
And great doses of grace are good for us.

You’re a good Momma.
You are.
Allow yourself heaps of grace, extra long snuggles, and tears when they come.
Cherish the moments for they only last a season.
The changing seasons aren’t something to fear; they’re something to embrace.
The growing, changing, and loving becomes more rewarding with time.

Sit back and receive the gift of your little one.
Take another deep breath.
You’ve got this because God’s got you.
I’m cheering you on, Momma.

Photos by Mary Margaret Smith Photography

Our Babymoon to Laurel

My mom and her friends often laugh at some of the modern traditions of having a baby: things like gender reveals, push presents, and babymoons. This type of fanfare just wasn't part of pregnancy for them like it has become for us. Of course, neither was straying away from deli meat or chicken salad, things that grace the no-no list for pregnancy today. 

Although I just came back from my second babymoon, I sometimes feel cliche or cheesy talking about it. But, I find the heart of it to be wise and wonderful. No matter what our life circumstance, it's important for Woody and I to consistently invest in our marriage, and in the weeks before welcoming a new member to the family, I find it especially valuable to take some intentional time away together. So, babymoon, it is!


32 weeks with Baby girl!

32 weeks with Baby girl!

Before Fox was born, we combined our babymoon with our anniversary trip, and we traveled to Fairhope, AL, to stay at The Grand. With Baby Girl, we also wanted to have a babymoon, and decided to do something low key and close. It was important to stay budget-friendly, and we didn't take as much time away as before since we have Fox and needed to figure time away from him and childcare into the equation.

This narrowed us down to the Southeast, and there are several places that are old favorites, but we wanted to try something new. We ended up choosing Laurel, MS, a decision which left many people asking, "what's in Laurel?"

We're longtime fans of HGTV's Fixer Upper (which inspired us to buy our own fixer upper), and when it went off the air, we decided to take a chance on the new HGTV show, Home Town based in Laurel, MS. We don't watch much TV, and Fixer Upper felt like big shoes to fill, so we didn't immediately fall in love with Home Town. We kept watching though, and it quickly became a favorite of ours. 

We love the hardworking attitude and authenticity of the show's couple, Erin and Ben Napier. As old home owners ourselves, we also enjoy seeing historic homes come back to life. Both of us having lived much of our childhoods in small towns, there was something about the homegrown, Southern community of Laurel that took us back to our roots. On top of that, we caught up on most of Season Two of Home Town during this pregnancy, so making a trip to Laurel in person felt like a real treat.

We picked Labor Day weekend, and fortunately, most things in Laurel had regular hours that weekend. If it continues in a similar direction as Waco, TX, after the years of Fixer Upper filming there, it won't be long before Laurel becomes busier and more booming. While it's been a charming town for a long time, I really loved the idea of getting to visit while it's still in the smaller stages of growth and notoriety that can come once there is a TV show about your town.

We had a great stay, and we already can't wait to return! Part of the beauty of visiting a new place is finding your own way and creating adventure, but I love having some solid recommendations, too, so here's a glimpse of our trip to Laurel:

Laurel MS Babymoon
Laurel MS Babymoon

We took this selfie right as we arrived. We were so excited to finally be on our babymoon! Our first stop was the Laurel Mercantile, and they had this adorable guide to Laurel from Erin and Ben of Home Town. I had already researched places we wanted to go, but this guide added to our list and confirmed some we already had in our plans.


Accomodations

We booked the Sweet Somethings Bed & Breakfast through Airbnb. The space looked just the right size for us, was at a great price point, and was nestled into the heart of downtown making it a convenient and enjoyable way to experience Laurel.

Upon arrival, we ended up meeting Joseph, the owner of Sweet Somethings, and he was so kind! He gave us our keys, showed us to our room, told us about the property, and let us tour some other rooms at the B&B. He also helped with dinner recommendations. It was just the start of the Southern hospitality we would experience all weekend long.

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Sweet Somethings B and B
Sweet Somethings B and B
Sweet Somethings B and B

We lived in a downtown loft our first three years of marriage, so this took us back! We loved it. It was spacious and comfortable. Also, included in our stay was breakfast from the bakery. All we had to do was walk downstairs where we were greeted with tasty smells and cinnamon rolls blanketed in icing.

Sweet Somethings Bakery
Sweet Somethings Bakery

Eating, shopping, & SightSeeing

Laurel MS Babymoon

I reached 32 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl on this trip, and it was special having her tote along for all the fun.

We first saw Pearl’s Diner on the show, and as big fans of Southern cooking, we knew we had to make a stop. We ended up getting to ride out a quick afternoon rain shower as we feasted on some delicious fried chicken, the sweetest sweet tea, and more Southern hospitality.

Laurel MS Babymoon Pearls Diner
Laurel MS Babymoon Pearls Diner
Laurel MS Babymoon Pearls Diner

We got several recommendations to visit Guild and Gentry, a men’s store downtown. Woody enjoyed shopping, and I enjoyed the “Ladies Lounge” pictured below. Taking a moment to rest my feet was just what I needed to refuel for the afternoon.

We also got to meet Caroline, the owner of the shop. We talked as if we were old friends, and she is also expecting a baby girl about a month after we are! She and her husband’s home was renovated on Home Town, so it was fun talking to her about that. She is investing back into the Laurel community as they grow their men’s store with a barber shop and humidor room, and she shared some of the town’s history with us. Woody also got a pair of pants while we were there, and they’re some of his new favorites.

Laurel MS Babymoon Guild and Gentry
Laurel MS Babymoon Guild and Gentry

We did eat things other than Southern food (I promise!), but another delicious stop for some Southern cooking was Estelle’s for Sunday lunch. We both got the buffet and filled our plates with classic Southern favorites and a few nostalgic childhood dishes like creamed corn and jello.

Laurel MS Babymoon

The new Scotsman General Store opened a week before we arrived, and it was a treat to go see it in its early days. We bought old, classic candy and sodas, and got to stand around and talk with some of the owners. Again, everyone was so friendly and easy to talk to. It’s not hard to see why the town of Laurel is growing and thriving with such kind people caring for and investing in it.

Laurel MS Babymoon
Laurel MS Babymoon

You can see into Ben’s wood shop from the General Store. I liked looking at the pieces in progress. He wasn’t building while we were there, but it was interesting to see the place where so much hard work and artistry happens.

Other spots that we loved, but I don’t have photos of include:

Lee’s Coffee and Tea: this was my favorite! I had a delicious sandwich, chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookie, and the perfect iced latte.
Mimmo’s: Garlic Knots. Enough said.
Boutique on Central: I found some adorable, unique pieces at a great price, and of course, the staff was as sweet as can be.
Southern Antiques: one of many home decor stops. I love designing rooms, and these home shops were like a playground!

Laurel MS Babymoon

We ended our stay with a sweet stroll around Laurel’s historic neighborhood. Walking neighborhoods is one of our favorite things to do, and it was nice spending the last little bit of our trip holding hands, avoiding puddles, and talking. We got to see several of the homes that we’ve seen renovated on the show, too. I really enjoyed getting a feel for the heart of the place that we’d previously only experienced on a screen. 

We highly recommend a trip to Laurel. It was simple and enjoyable. We ate well, rested well, and shopped well. We met great people and felt like we found a home away from home where we can return to enjoy so many of the things we love about small towns and Southern life.

I’m happy to answer any questions about our trip, and I also always love favorite destination recommendations from you! 

Inspiration for Fox's Big Baby Room

Being that Fox is only 18 months old, I just can't bring myself to call this his "Big Boy" room! With Baby Sister coming this fall, we're moving him into a bigger room and keeping the nursery for her, but he's still a baby, he's just now the "big baby" and she's the "little baby." So, Big Baby room it is. :)

We thoughtfully designed his nursery to work for his newborn days and to grow with him, so many of the elements will stay the same. We're adding a few touches and new items to fit the new space and/or to replace things that are staying in the nursery like the rocker and dresser/changing table. 


original nursery inspiration

Here is some of the original inspiration for his nursery, and collectively I feel the images reflect the design of his room pretty well. For his new room, I want to add a few touches of color as well as some more play items.

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nursery elements moving to his new room

These are the items that are currently in his nursery that will be making their way into his new room!

Gallery wall

Crib and Honey Bears painting

Books (I'm super excited to create a little reading nook for him. He loves books!)

Side table, lamp, and mirror


New pieces

Fox's new room is larger than the nursery, so we needed a larger rug. The rug we love in the size we need was more expensive than we wanted and not very plush. We went with this very highly reviewed natural rug, and we'll layer a smaller version of the blue rug we love on top. It's the best of both worlds!

Sometimes working within a budget leads to an even better solution than you might've reached with unlimited funds. In our home this means Momma (stickler for style) and Daddy (stickler for budget--with an eye for style, too!) are both happy.

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Wayfair (Erin Gates by Momeni)

Since the rocker will stay in the nursery, we need a new chair for Fox's room. We spend a lot of time reading in his room so it's important to have a space to continue to do this as he grows. We were so excited to get this floor sample chair at a great price from one of our favorite local furniture stores. It's in a pattern we love and that works great with the style of Fox's room.

patterned reading chair
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Hayneedle through WalMart

We ordered this leather pouf a few months ago, but since Fox's room isn't ready for the new items yet (it's still operating as a guest room/office/catch-all), we've been using the pouf in our living room. Woody and I are both thinking we're going to have to get another one because we love it so much!

I also want to get some floating shelves for his reading nook, and I haven't decided if I'll move the ones from the nursery or leave them and get new ones for him. I love these Pottery Barn ones, but found a more affordable option at Target. I'm going to wait to decide on shelves until we're further along with the rooms. 

We never ended up with curtains in Fox's nursery, just the matchstick blinds we already had in there. The blinds work great with the style of his room, but we're to the point where we want to invest in some blackout curtains for him. He's never had blackout, and I've always thought it's probably helpful that he's accustomed to sleeping in a space that isn't perfectly dark, but his new room lets in more light, and I want to make sure he has a cozy place to rest and sleep. 

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Target (Cloth + Co.)

Finally, I want to add some fun, playful elements for our active, growing boy! I'm going to put this teepee on his Christmas list hoping a grandparent may want to gift it to him!

Target

I don't know why, but I just love this little alligator! It's such a fun pop of color, and I hope he'll enjoy playing with it!


Well, there you have it! We're getting closer to having his new room cleared out of guest room/office/catch all items, and I am giddy to get going on this project! After I've spent time designing, researching, and imagining, I'm ready to see it all come together.

Most of all, I'm ready to see Fox enjoy his new space that will better fit the stage he's in and the stages to come. Initially, it was hard for me to imagine moving him out of his first room, but when I realized how fun this could be for him I felt much better. Once the space is done, I'll share how it all turns out!

If you have any tips to share for transitioning a child into a new room or things to consider for a toddler room, I would love to hear!

Why I chose a natural labor and delivery

When it comes up in conversation that I had an unmedicated birth with Fox, people usually respond in similar ways, "Wow, you're my hero. That's amazing." It's certainly a nice sentiment, but I usually respond with "That's very kind, but if there is one thing being pregnant and giving birth taught me, it's that there's no easy way to bring a baby into your family. Whether natural, epidural, c-section, or adoption, there are hard things about all of them."

Having a baby is a special and intimate experience, unique to each woman, child, and pregnancy, and while an unmedicated birth was a great path for our family, I don't consider "natural labor" to be the sainthood of childbirthing that its sometimes treated to be.

The truth is, while its valuable to be educated and have plans (or hopes) heading into giving birth, we simply cannot control it. I am so grateful that my body and my baby cooperated with a natural labor, but I know that's not always the case. 

It can be hard not to have hopes or expectations about how birth will go, but what I try to keep at the forefront of my mind is that I want a healthy mom and healthy baby most of all. Also, while there are some medical interventions that would not be my first choice, I'm so very glad I live in a time and place where those options are available and safe. 


Before I continue, let me also say that nothing in this post is intended to offer medical advice. This is simply my thought process and my story. As always, you should definitely consult a medical professional for any of your birthing decisions. 


birth story
birth story
birth story
birth story

My mom had both me and my sister without medication. When she had me, she said that the hospital wouldn't even give her the epidural until she was dilated 7.5 centimeters, and at that point she figured she might as well just go all the way. With my sister, she had a natural labor with a midwife and home birth. She says that if she had ever had another baby, she would've chosen a home birth again. My sister and I are 10 years apart, so I remember a lot about the beginning of her life, including my mom's birth plans.

Having always known my mom had natural labors, it was an option that stayed at the forefront of my mind. In the months and years leading up to getting pregnant, and certainly once I was pregnant, I really had to do some digging into my motivation for choosing a natural labor.

Was it to "fit into a club?" Reach a goal? Impress myself? Impress others? Do what I think was expected of me?

Deep down, I was scared that I couldn't do it, and that maybe I didn't want to. However, over time, and through research, I realized that a natural labor actually was the most appealing to me. If I could help it, I preferred not to undergo the surgery of a c-section, and the epidural didn't sound appealing to me either. I didn't like the idea of the needle in my back, not being able to feel what was happening, being numb after birth, or the possibility of it not taking at all or only partially working, all of which I only knew about from friend's experiences or what I learned in birthing class.  

Probably the thing that confirmed my decision the most was that I did not talk to a single person who'd had a natural birth who wouldn't choose to do it again. Having never given birth, I wasn't sure what to expect, but that caught my attention. On that note, I certainly had many friends sing the praises of the epidural so I wasn't completely closed off to that either (again, with no experience in giving birth, you can only think about it so much because you just don't know the full story!).

So, my plan going in was to go natural as long as I could, and if at any point I felt like we needed to get the epidural I could. Also, if I ended up needing Pitocin to help my labor progress, I was pretty certain I would elect to have the epidural because I've heard contractions on Pitocin are very intense with little break in between, adding another factor to going natural. And, with my main goal of healthy mom and healthy baby, I certainly would not deny a c-section if it were the best way to keep both me and my baby safe.

birth story
birth story
birth story
birth story

My labor was long, but healthy, and Fox never showed any signs of distress. Now that we know his personality (calm and content), that is not surprising at all. Unmedicated contractions and pushing were certainly intense, and I do remember asking Woody, "why did I say I didn't want the epidural?' and at one point telling my nurse that maybe I should just get it. Both of them, very in tune with my heart in the matter, were so supportive and encouraged me to keep going, and looking back, I'm glad I did. 

Fox had a healthy arrival, and once he was here, any pains or discomfort from my labor seemed to fade into the background. All of the sudden, what had felt so intense and all-consuming seemed like a small thing compared to the enormity of meeting our baby boy. 

birth story
birth story
birth story
birth story
birth story

As for our Baby Girl due this October, I'm hoping to have an unmedicated labor again. My heart is in the same place as before: healthy mom, healthy baby is top priority. I'll labor unmedicated as long as my body and baby cooperate, and from there, we will pray and make the decisions necessary to safely deliver our daughter into our arms.


If you're pregnant reading this and considering your own birth options, I don't know that I feel qualified to offer advice, but I can share the things that help encourage and prepare me heading toward labor and delivery:

  • Ask questions, gain knowledge: The more I know going into it, the more equipped I will be to ask the right questions and take the best steps for me and my baby.
  • Don't compare myself to other women: My story is my story, and I know God has a plan for this baby and this birth. As much as I may be familiar with other people's stories, I don't know the whole picture, and making such important decisions out of comparison will not be helpful.
  • Be empowered: I trust the doctors, and I also know that I am my best advocate. I don't have the knowledge or experience they do, but I can ask questions like "what would happen if we don't take that route?" or "can we wait to decide for 30 more minutes?" or "are there any other options that are safe to consider?"
  • Be flexible: We just can't control all the aspects of childbirth. Being informed, empowered, and asking questions will help me, but at the end of the day, maintaining flexibility is so valuable in staying calm and focused on the priority of delivering my baby in a safe, healthy way for both of us. 

I hope my story helps encourage you as you think through and prepare for labor and delivery. It truly is a beautiful thing and an amazing gift. God made our bodies to carry and deliver babies, and I believe there is nothing to be afraid of. As always, to the new mommas, longtime mommas, hopeful mommas, expectant mommas, and future mommas, I'm cheering you on!

All photos from the day Fox was born by Mary Margaret Smith

Baby Girl Nursery Inspiration

I feel like I'm in my element designing a nursery for our baby girl. While Fox's little boy nursery was a fun design challenge for me, as a longtime lover of florals, romantic colors, and feminine touches, the only challenge for a girl nursery is how to narrow it down!

One thing that I've learned is that you can't have it all, so its helpful to pick the items you love the most (anything you feel that you "can't live without") and build your design from there. For Baby Girl's nursery, this ended up being a floral bouquet fabric from Fireflies and Fairytales that I just couldn't let seem to let go. This fabric (shared below) gave me a good feel for colors and overall feel, and I was able to pick up items here and there that would work. I'm also a firm believer that if you pick out things you love, it will all work. Of course there are styles and colors that work better together, and I always consider that, but filling a space with things that light your heart up is one of the truest ways to design a space you'll love and will feel so uniquely you.

We're still bringing her room together with decisions to make and items to buy, but its shaping up to be so lovely, and I'm excited to create this space for our newest addition that we'll be welcoming in October. 


Room Inspiration

I use Pinterest for all my design projects, and pinning images of rooms that I like helps me identify patterns of colors, feel, and design elements that are consistently catching my eye. This helps guide me back to center when I get sidetracked in the design process. Enjoy these room inspiration photos!

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Baby Girl Nursery Inspiration 5.jpg

Delicious Designs

baby girl nursery inspiration.jpg

Crib

Baby Girl Nursery crib.jpg

Custom Curtains

Baby Girl Nursery curtains.jpg

Wallpaper

Baby Girl Nursery wallpaper pink.jpg

Rug Choices

Would LOVE some input here! Share your favorite in the comments below.

Baby Girl Nursery rug inspiration PB.jpg

Accessories


Artwork

Caitlin Wilson

Baby Girl Nursery artwork 2.jpg

Some of the items shared here I plan/hope to get, and some are just for inspiration. I love taking the time to research and find things I love and then determine if it works with the style of the room, the other items I've already selected, and my budget. Regardless if a certain item ends up being "the one" it can serve as great inspiration as I shop around, and I've often found great deals at places like Home Goods or Target on items that are so similar to ones I love, but at 1/3 the price! Now, that is a good feeling. 

I'd love to hear any thoughts or questions you have or brand or item recommendations to share!

We're having a baby!

Children are a gift from the Lord -Psalm 127:3

We're so excited to be adding another little Woodcock to our crew this October! Some of my friends laugh that I was basically ready to have another baby the moment Fox came out of the womb. While I wasn't actually ready, the desire for another baby was already planted in my heart. And in his 16 months, there have been days I've looked at Fox and said aloud, "you make me want to have a million babies!"

Baby W announcement

I'm not one of those women who has felt her entire life that she was put on this earth solely to be a mother, yet I have always imagined and dreamed of children. Woody and I weren't in a rush to have babies when we got married. Although we were somewhat "older,", me in my late twenties and him in his early thirties, we figured the days of having kids super young had already passed so we might as well enjoy our first few years of marriage before adding little ones.

This ended up being a great path for us, and we're so thankful for the 4+ years we had growing just the two of us. And now that we're in baby mode, I have the attitude of embracing it fully and keeping those babies coming! 

Baby W 2 announcement
Baby W 2 announcement

The Road to Baby Two

We talked regularly about taking steps toward Baby two once Fox turned one. Of course we would have to see how we felt once we reached that point, but that was where we both felt comfortable. 

His birthday is in February, but come November, I was starting to feel antsy to be pregnant again. I tried to be patient, feeling as though Fox's first birthday was really the right plan. I not only felt it was "our plan," but it's what I had a peace about from God up to that point as well. In a sense, I didn't feel fully "released" to take steps towards getting pregnant yet, I just wanted it. 

Then, in January something surprising happened. When my body let me know I was not pregnant that month, I felt disappointed. Knowing we hadn't really been "trying" I was surprised to feel this way. I prayed about it trying to be honest with God about my feelings. Even though I was disappointed, deep down, I didn't feel like the timing was right. And, there was a sense of knowing God had the right child at the right time for our family. God often speaks to me through giving me a peace in my spirit, and as I prayed, I felt in my heart Him give me a peace of "Fox's first birthday." This confirmed for me what I had been sensing all along, that we could pursue another baby when Fox turned one.

What is so beautiful about this story (and I'll share it without TMI--afterall, we all know how babies get here!), is that over the next several weeks I would not only learn that I was pregnant, but that our baby was likely conceived on Fox's first birthday. 

I know, that might've still been TMI, but it's an important part of the story!

When I realized this, I sat in awe. God had told me "Fox's first birthday," and in my human understanding, I took that as when we could start "trying," when in fact He was telling me when our baby would be conceived. This brought so much peace to my heart. After a very hard year in my faith walking through postpartum depression and anxiety, experiences like this with God mean even more to me than before. 

Baby W 2 announcement
Baby W 2 announcement
Baby W 2 announcement

Rarely does a day go by that I don't think about how precious the gift of life is. I love being pregnant because I feel so close to creation, and more importantly to the Creator. Pregnancy also keeps me very aware of how BIG God is, how beautiful His design for life is, and how little control I have.

There are so many different paths and stories of motherhood, and I often feel conflicted trying to make sense of it all as I pray for my own babies, believe with friends for babies, and mourn when things don't go the way we all wanted. This makes it hard for me to talk about pregnancy and babies without acknowledging that we all have our own stories, and that there is space here for every story.

 If it comes to your mind, we welcome your prayers for our baby girl to be healthy and strong. I pray often that she would be whole, complete, lacking nothing, and we welcome anyone to join us in that prayer. 

If you're pregnant or at any point in your journey of motherhood (a journey that begins long before having a child in your arms) I'd be happy to pray for you, too. Just leave a comment or send me a message. 

Thanks for sharing in this exciting announcement with us, friends.

All photos by Rachel Coffey (love her!)