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Asked and Answered, Volume II



 Dad, this one is not for you.

This is the one about the baby making sex.

Because I excel at my craft (that craft would be blogging, in case that wasn't obvious) I am drinking wine for dinner to ensure my honesty is on point and my time is not wasted doing something frivolous like cooking. Just call me Saint Stephanie of the Two Buck Chuck.

So, here we go, the second installment of Asked & Answered 

Asked: So....I am a somewhat newlywed and have recently begun thinking about starting a family but I wonder how that whole "process" changes intimacy. 

You said you would answer honestly, right?

How does sex change during pregnancy and postpartum? 

I appreciate your honesty,

The Newlywed

Answered:

Oh, Newlywed. First, let me say that this was the first email that I received after my call for questions for this series went live. And, while some may have realized they had really opened Pandora's Box, I was stoked.

As always, I can only speak for myself (to be clear, I am speaking for me, not for my husband or on behalf of our marriage) so let's bear that in mind as we proceed.

Here's the bottom line, Newlywed:

Making a baby is fun for like 12 whole seconds (not a performance joke).

Deciding to start a family with your partner is a sweet, honest moment in any relationship.
It means that you love someone else so much that you are OK with producing an off spring that shares 50% of their DNA. That's a huge move. It takes honest conversation, running hypothetical scenarios, career planning, financial snap shot spreadsheets (oh wait, was that just us?) and a strong, hard look at what you each think the future would and could look like. And then you get down to business. You promise each other that you'll just "have fun" and "try not to try" so there isn't any pressure. You act like highschoolers and are genuinely pleased to see one another at the end of the day because you know where the night is leading. Hell, you may bust out some of those Honeymoon lace undies and get a giggle out of flushing your Birth Control pills.

Because you aren't taking things too seriously, you may only have a rough idea of when you're ovulating and how this whole baby making thing works but you'll be super sure that a teensy plus sign is just a few short weeks away.

And, if you're a Fertile Myrtle, you will pee on a stick just 20 some days later and boom, a smiley face (or, if you sprung for the name brand, the word PREGNANT in all caps).

But, more likely than not, you'll see a negative sign.
And that's OK.
It takes time.
 But something in that first negative can turn a girl just casually trying to get pregnant into a maniac hormone machine who must have a baby in her womb immediately.

Why?

I don't know, science or something, but just trust me on this one.

And then all of that fun, bouncy, sweet baby making turns into work.

It becomes ovulation sticks, calendars, apps, prenatal vitamins and a trip to the OB.
Sex becomes much, much more scheduled to increase your chances of putting a bun in that oven.
Some couples are able to rise above and hold off on the crazy for a bit, but I know I went straight to crazy town. I can remember bickering with Justin about something stupid like laundry and thinking to myself "oh crap, I'm ovulating, I can't waist a night on this fight!".

Obviously, I am a marriage pro.

I know some guys who feel like there isn't a huge rush when trying, much to their wives' dismay and, conversely, some guys who feel like they are being used for their goods. It's a delicate place for everyone and it seems that the male v. female mindset can be very different at each stage of the baby making game.

It took us 4 or 5 months to get pregnant.
Not long - very normal - but it felt like forever to me.
I wanted our baby and I wanted him more than anything I've ever wanted in my whole entire life.

And, thus, sex became a job.

A means to an end.

If I had it to do over again (and I guess I will the next go around) I would try to keep it locked up a little tighter emotionally. Try being the key word here.

As far as sex during pregnancy, that was not something that sounded appealing to moi.
I spent 12 weeks feeling like death unless I had a McChicken (no lettuce) in hand and then it was on to sore lady lumps and not being able to see my toes. I was not one of the preggos who felt womanly/sexy (bless you, whoever you are) so I had a tough time getting my mind right.

My OBGYN did inform me that many women find their sex life to flourish in the second tri, a fun fact that has somehow been spread to the men of the world. I didn't know until I got pregnant that guys think that all pregnant women get all hormoned up and ready to go in the second trimester, but my husband informed me that he received many a text from his friends telling him congrats on our upcoming second trimester free for all.

Yeah.

 I did succumb to the old wives tale that if you want your baby out, you do what put them in there, but alas, it proved to be a much hyped myth in my case.

As far as after the baby, I will respect my union and say that I was grateful for the six week grace period granted by the medical community. I did read an article that many women do not wait for clearance to go ahead and seal the deal but I was quite content to wait it out. At some point, you realize that if you have time for sex, you have time to nap, and the nap won out for me 9 times out of 10. Sleep deprivation does not make a girl feel sexy. 

So, Newlywed, I hope you are still reading and still have plans to one day make a baby.

Please know that the day I told Justin that I was pregnant will forever be burned into my memory as his reaction was simply priceless. The day our son was born trumps every single day of my life and our marriage is happy and healthy despite deciding to bring him into the world.

The first two weeks of our son's life were spent figuring out how to keep this tiny creature alive and, as we didn't have family within a million miles from us, we did it together, just the two of us. We were more a team then than we ever have been and that was without sex. I'm not a huge fan of the word "intimacy" but, for me, those two weeks of our life were perhaps the most intimate time we've ever shared. Tired, sans showers, covered in spit up and un-sexed, but incredibly in love with each other and the little family that we created. 
And now, pass the wine.
If you have a question that you're just dying for me to answer, shoot me an email at oliveandtate@gmail.com 

Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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The Before



So, I may have posted a few teensy sneak peeks of the new house on my Instagram account over the last two days...did you see them?? Things are finally (finally) starting to come together, and while we aren't completely done with construction, we are making major moves toward making this nightmare a home.

It might just be time for a reveal or two, so I thought we should take a moment to pour one out for the original house in all of it's glory. If you're drinking the good wine, don't pour one out, I'll do it for you as I'm slumming it with Two Buck Chuck.

Behold, the house that screamed "buy me! I'll be a fun project!"
the front door and it's gorgeous pillar enclosures


paneling is fancy


and so is a 3/4 brick side wall next to a fireplace!



I didn't know it at the time, but those widows are actually about two inches different in height. 


the....dining room?
and kitchen
and more paneling!


please note the custom wood spindles on the paneled wall that serves no purpose.


our dream kitchen





the family room complete with metallic lava lamp wallpaper


and an Austin Powers bar! 


some sort of built in for some sort of television...and two different doors to two different "storage" areas



the hall bath....
you could sit on the toilet and touch both the sink and the shower with your knees.


our future Master Bedroom Suite...
lots of magic to be had here


our babe's future abode


not pictured: our bathroom, the guest room and the super weird shape of the hallway. 

Seriously, I look at these photos and think
"what the eff were we thinking"

Think we were able to turn it around? 
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Asked and Answered



May I just say how excited I am about the questions that were emailed to me for this new series....
I mean, the very first one was about sex, so clearly, I'm stoked. 

I'm titling this little gem of a series Ask & Answered and I'm going to hold off on the sex question until a bit later (try not to be sad, I'll get to it, promise!) and today I'm going to do a quick round up of some of the quick answer questions that were tossed my way.

Asked: I love Starbucks and am always curious what people drink from there....so what is your go to drink?

Answered: so, believe it or not, I do not enjoy the taste of coffee. I didn't actually start drinking coffee until I moved to Maine and needed something warm to get me through the day. The Starbucks in Bangor has a drive through so I didn't have to brave the elements and get out of the car. Obviously, I became a regular. When I had the baby, the drive through team had me roll up at their window so they could see the baby sleeping in his car seat. My order is the same, rain or shine, -9 degrees or 99 degrees and everyone from my husband to my best friend know it by heart: a grande Pike's Place in a venti cup with extra cream and 5 Splenda. 
Yes, five. 
Four won't cut it and six is just silly.

Asked: Will you be relocating for work for years to come or are you already over it? 

Answered: when we got married, we agreed that we would consider any opportunity that advanced my Husband's career (the career that supports our family) and had the potential to make him happy at the office. I knew that would/could involve many relocations. While 2 moves as a family (and one for me to move to Greenville to be with Justin) in 5 years is a more than I honestly ever imagined, each move has been well thought out and we have agreed to each one - we aren't "sent" somewhere by the company. With that being said, our son is now our first priority. As he gets older, we are less and less thrilled with the idea of uprooting him. We love the Greenville area and are pleased to be back, but if I were a betting girl, I would bet that we'll make one more move in the near-ish future. We would love to stay in this house for many years to come (uh, especially since it's not even finished yet) but I will say that we make design decisions based on re-sale, something that most people don't worry about when picking paint colors.

Asked: ok, so you put it out there, so now I have to ask - how do you feel about your C-Section scar??

Answered: honestly, I never really think about it (unless my skin is dry, then it itches!). It's super, super low - well below my bikini line and it isn't nearly as long as I thought it would be. I was lucky and have very few stretch marks so I think that helps in regards to my feelings about the entire area. At this point (almost a year later), my scar is maybe a little more red than I would like but I know the scar will fade a bit with time (well, once I'm done having babies). Now that I'm thinking about it, I do wonder what will happen once they have to use the same incision area to get other offspring outta my Baby Maker - I mean, will that thing look like rail road tracks? Thankfully, it is covered by any type of bikini bottom I would ever consider wearing at this point in my life and therefor, never sees the light of day. 

Asked: did you hire a designer to help you with your reno?

Answered: nope! Justin and I made the decisions of all the things we wanted in our house and then worked with a drafter and our contractor to make as much of it happen as possible. Honestly, that may have been my fave part of the entire process - I stood in the house in it's original "before" condition and said things like "I need a desk" or "I want a gigantic island" and gestured wildly. The drafter walked around me measuring everything a million times and the contractor would tell me to slow my roll. At the end of the meeting we had a pencil sketch of the layout of the new house and that sketch became the blue print that we've all worked from ever since. 

Next week, I'll hit a big question that came in that deserves it's own post and we'll keep this crazy train rolling! 
Have a question for me? 
Send it, baby! 
oliveandtate@gmail.com



Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Date Night


Just dropping in to say a quick hey and, because a ton of you asked, give you the details on last night's Date Night Outfit. I wish I could stick around and chat but our cars were broken into last night (nothing of value taken but our cars are trashed, so yet another thing to clean up) and we're dealing with a brand spanking new water leak in our reno nightmare home so I've got to bounce.

We had a great dinner at a local steak house and my husband celebrated his big 3-0 by indulging in tons of steak and expensive bourbon. I celebrated his big 3-0 by indulging in tons of steak and cheap wine. It was a win all around.

Thanks to Ashley for volunteering to watch our wild animal baby so we could sit somewhere quiet and talk about how much we miss him, like the cliche parents that we are!




Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Roll Call


 | bracelet

What's up, friends?

So this weekend was one for the books - I took my old, tired, mom ass to the beach with a bunch of 25 year olds to celebrate my soon to be sister in law's last few days as a single woman. 

I barely kept up.
But I survived.
Mostly thanks to this:

 
I bombed back home just in time to ensure that my husband and son survived their first weekend home alone together and to give my husband a little Father's Day loving c/o the babe. 

Seeing as it's Monday, today seems like the perfect day to catch ya'll up on a few housekeeping items around here. 

1. So, some of you have reached out to me to say that Olive & Tate blog posts no longer show up on your Bloglovin' Reader. How you are surviving day to day without hearing me blab about something pointless, I'll never know, but if this is happening to you, I have a solution. So, Bloglovin' auto generates their blog page listings and after Newlyweds:North became Olive & Tate, a new page was automatically created for the new blog address. If you are following along on the account that has the old .blogspot address, you may be missing out. Some of you aren't having an issue with the switch and are following along just peachy with old settings. If that's you then rock out. If you don't see my eloquent and witty headlines pop up in your reader a few times a week, then pop over to the new Bloglovin' page and give that shiz a follow. 

2. This week may just be the week that I finally have a reveal post ready for one of the spaces in the new house! I know ya'll are sick of seeing pics of boxes and construction worker's butt cracks so thanks for being patient and waiting this out with me. We are still not done (I wanted to actually say that we are nowhere near done but I know my husband will say that's being dramatic) but I think we might just be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe. 

3. I found the cutest photog in Greenville and her work (like the pic above) will be popping up on my blog. She grabbed a killer snap that is now the cover page on the Olive & Tate Facebook page - haven't seen it? Oh, you must not be following along! Get over there and hit follow, all of the cool kids are doing it. 

4. Holy Hannah. Has anyone else read the new 50 Shades book? Uh. Go ahead and do that, too. You're welcome.

5. Ok, last thing.
I'm thinking of launching a new, currently sans witty title, blog series where I answer questions directly from the masses. I often get reader questions and occasionally they have become posts, but I thought I might open it up and see if ya'll have anything that you'd like me to answer directly. Keep in mind that if you ask, I will most definitely answer without a filter (because I don't have one). Anything is on the table (wanna know how I feel about my C Section scar? where my tatoo is? if I can still fit into my Catholic School uniform? how I choose paint colors? what my Starbucks order is?) and I will post your question (with your name edited, obv) and then my honest answer. 
Send me your questions to oliveandtate@gmail.com or leave them here!

Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Can't Live WIthout It



Aaaaaaaand we're back!

We took a little break last week because, you know, life and stuff, but we're back this weekend and ready to celebrate the impending weekend with our Can't Live Without It Link Up. Wanna play? Perfect! Just link back to Laura, Cait and yours truly, grab that sweet little image and post about something that you just can't live without it.

Let's get down to business, shall we?

My Can't Live Without It is my Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Perfume.


I wore it on my wedding day (hence the glam photo by Laura Gordon, wedding photog extraordinaire) and every time I wear it, I think of that day. Now that I typically rock leggings and tee shirts with Starbucks stains, I rarely pull out that sweet little bottle, but it sits on my dresser so that I may gaze upon it and remember fonder days of Date Nights and Cocktail Hours. When I do get all fancy, that final touch of perfume makes me feel like my old self, even if a "fancy" occasion means going to the grocery store alone. 

Now it's your turn!

Have a fab weekend my friends! 




Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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5 Things I'm Afraid To Tell You


 5 Things That I'm Afraid To Tell You
but will because I have no other blog post ideas
 

I thought a ridiculous photo was needed to set the tone for this one. This is a shot of me telling my fave photog that she should just photo the best part of me and call it a day. And I shook that best part at her to make my point.

1. Our new hardwoods are the floors of my husband's dreams. I never knew anyone could love flooring as much as this guy does. But they kill my feet. Or maybe my Tory Burch sandals kill my feet. Maybe its the deadly combo of the two. Either way, when I get into bed at night my feet ache so hard that I'm concerned they might need to be amputated at the ankles.

2. I ordered two rugs for our new house and because I am terrible at spacial reasoning, they were both humungous. I had to sell them second hand and the more people who wanted them, the more I wanted to keep them and force them to work. There are like five things wrong with that scenario.

3. My kid screams like I'm torturing him every single time I need to change his diaper or clothes. The only thing I can think is that he hates my choice in smocked attire for his masculine self. At this point, I've given up and he pretty much only wears a diaper at all times. I blame it on the heat if anyone gives me the side eye. And by anyone, I mean my husband and the check out lady at Target, aka the only two people we see on the regular.

4. I have a really deep loathing resentment thing happening for our contractor. It might not be healthy, but I honestly cannot stand the sight of him. I try to remember that he is a human being but mostly when I picture him he looks like a combo of the Joker from Batman and Daddy Pig from Peppa Pig. Go ahead and imagine that and tell me you wouldn't loathe it. Also, that's some creativity right there!

5. After I had The Great Moving Week Plague, I just couldn't stomach wine. Shocking, I know. I think I drank wine like the second I got my IV out that one time I was hospitalized with food poisoning. This virus just wiped me out and I couldn't even look at red wine. I managed to have a bottle or two of champagne this weekend at the wedding, so I'm working my way back to my nightly glass of vino, but it's been a weird few weeks to say the least. Oh, and P.S., we gave four of our best friends the Plague because we're super nice like that. Wanna be friends with us? Hope you have a strong immune system! 

The end! 


Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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The Bangles



Congratulations to Katie W.! A $60 shop credit to The Modern Bazaar is all yours, baby! 

P.S. the winner was chosen through Rafflecopter's random winner widget 

If today wasn't your lucky day, don't fret, you can still use the 15% off coupon code OLIVEANDTATE to snag a little pretty for yourself! 

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend - I managed to stay alive despite drinking my body weight in champagne. No big deal.
Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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The Aftermath




Just a few weeks ago, I hit publish on a post that really hit a nerve.

I mean, let's call it like it is, I had some riled up mamas on my hands.

My Instagram was flooded with comments, the post hit 1,000 page views in the first hour that it was live and the opinions were decidedly split. 

Should a stranger have told me to get my mom shit together?
And, now that the cat was out of the bag, should I actually get my mom shit together?

As mothers, the issue of prioritizing ourselves obviously runs deeper than a swipe of mascara or a few minutes wielding a blow dryer - I think, in general, we are fresh out of time, energy, and the two shits needed to even consider putting on a pair of pants with a button fly, but maybe that's just me.

And then I read your sassy remarks, thoughtful comments and direct emails in response to this very topic and it occurred to me that maybe I should put my money where my (gigantic) mouth is, ditch the old "but I'm a mom excuse" (and that comment about the button fly from five seconds ago) and get my shit together, you know, just in the name of blog research.

So I started pulling myself together every weekday. 

Yep, every single one.

It honestly took some prioritizing - and some shuffling of the way I looked at things - I felt like I was giving up the tiny bit of Me Time that I had during the day by spending the babe's morning nap showering, doing my hair and make up and putting on an outfit. Typically, I would spend the morning nap (usually no more than an hour) with a giant cup of Starbucks and social media (whoa, reach for the stars there, mama!) and I cherished every.single.second. To give that up for something as tedious as a shower, a round brush and squeezing into actual pants sounded less that appetizing. But I did it. 


And to prove it, I sent daily snaps of my mug to Meg. You can read her feedback and appreciate all of the glory that is our friendship. 



Shockingly, with the exception of a few rouge moving days, I am still doing it.


Yep. You heard me.

My name is Stephanie, I am a work from home/stay at home mom and I pull myself together even though I know I may not lay eyes on another adult human during the course of an entire day.


And I like it.

So here's what I learned after a few days of getting ready during the baby's morning nap:

I honestly feel like I am a better mother on the days that I am put together than the days that I am a hot mess.

That's a bold statement, so before you get all riled up, let me try to explain.

I am a good mother greasy or clean (and so are you) but on the days that I took time to get my shit right in the hour that I had to myself, I felt like the day just felt smoother. I felt less harried and more....accomplished. Instead of this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I wasn't getting anything done, that everything was a mess and that I had absolutely no time for myself, I felt more on top of things. Let me be clear that nothing else in my day to day life changed. There were still one billion puffs ground into the carpet and the baby still wore his pj's for most of the day, but I was different. 

Instead of feeling like I wanted needed the baby to entertain himself for just one minute so I could have 60 uninterrupted seconds to myself, I felt like I had time to sit in the play room and actually play with him. Instead of feeling so gross about my appearance that we slunk through the Chick - Fil - A drive through, we sent my husband a text and asked him to dine in with us at Chick- Fil - A instead (so, so fancy).

And speaking of my husband, I didn't look at the clock at 5 pm, realize he was (hopefully) on his way home and start making a mental list of all of the things we had accomplished that day (because my outward appearance clearly said zero) so that I would be ready to inform him when he walked in the door and surveyed the scene.

I am the first to admit that getting ready every single day is just not going to happen in my life as a stay at home mom to an 11 month old. But on the days that I can, I make it a priority.

And, that my friends, might have been just what I needed.
A moment, a simple activity like blow drying my hair that is just about me. 
Just about me as a person, me without him, not me as his Mom. 

So thank you to the semi-stranger who told me to get my shit together.

You were right.

*********

ok, mamas, hit me with it. tell me what you think because I know you're thinking something!
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Time and Date


So, I basically give my husband zero credit.

Like no credit, ever.

I'm sure being married to me is quite a treat 
(for the record he's no picnic either. ugh. see, I just can't give the kid a break)

Anyway, today is a rare moment where I'm singing my other half's praises. 
It doesn't happen often so try to hang in there and we'll all get through it together.

For Christmas, my husband surprised me with the sweetest gift he's ever given me -
a simple gold bangle with the coordinates of our son's birth place hand stamped on the front. He sealed the deal and had the babe's name and the date he was born inscribed on the back. He told me it was for me to wear everyday and remember the one good thing that came out of Bangor, Maine (that's a joke. kinda.).


I put it on and wore it for a few days before I asked him where he had it made. He, in typical husband fashion, shrugged his shoulders and said "some Etsy shop". Now, I love me some small shops but I was a bit concerned that my days with my bracelet looking gorgeous and in one piece may be numbered. I tend to be the type of girl who puts on jewelry and doesn't take it off until it falls off (or in the case of my wedding ring, has to be practically cut off thanks to pregnancy swelling).

Anyway, during our move from Maine to the apartment in South Carolina, I emptied out a drawer of random keepsakes (otherwise known as my bedside table) and found the box that my coordinates bracelet came in. It occurred to me that I had been wearing my little bracelet for 6 months, non-stop, and it was just as perfect as the day I put it on. 

If working with WC has taught me anything, it has taught me the impact of positive feedback so I searched the Etsy shop, The Modern Bazaar, and reached out to the owner, Jen, to tell her how well my bracelet was fairing and how much it meant to me. She and I struck up a conversation (mostly about my husband's stroke of gift giving genius) and I mentioned that I thought our wedding date should be commemorated as well. I had an idea for a similar every day bangle that would pair well with my coordinates bracelet but was just a bit different.

Wanna see what she whipped up?


A perfect gold bangle with our wedding date in Roman Numerals engraved on the outside.
I am so in love with the way that it turned out that I had to brag on Jen. And, because I basically badgered her to death into read this little slice of grammatical heaven, she decided to treat ya'll for putting up with me day in and day out! 


 Jen is offering the Olive & Tate faithful 15% off of your purchase when you use the code OLIVEANDTATE

and, because she's amazing,

she's also giving away a $60 shop credit! 
The giveway ends on Sunday night so I'll announce the winner on Monday
(so long, Monday Blues, am I right?)


In all seriousness, I know that shopping small can sometimes be a teensy bit more costly but the makers out there amaze me with their talents. Thanks to Jen for sharing hers with me. Go check out her shop, I know ya'll will love her too.
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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State of Affairs


With the exception of my blogger maternity leave, this past week is the longest break I've ever taken from this space. I won't lie, I've missed my nightly routine of flopping on the sofa with my laptop and a handful of so-so photos and dumping all of my thoughts into a blank Blogger page. I know ya'll have just been on the edge of your seats waiting to hear what paint color I chose for my powder bath and I am sorry to have left you hanging. 
(that was sarcasm, I know ya'll already know what color I chose, duh.)

I have to be honest though, this past week hasn't resulted in much to blog about.

 (today's snack time scene. obv, his girl Sophia is straight ahead on Daddy's big screen)

Here's a quick recap in case you're new here:

1. we've lived in our new house for 10 days

2. it is not finished.

3. yes, it was supposed to be finished before we moved in.

4. yes, the contractor knew when we were going to move in.

5. the baby got a stomach virus on Monday

6. I got a the same virus (henceforth known as The Great Moving Week Plague) on Tuesday

7. Justin got The Great Moving Week Plague on Tuesday night.

8. we are trying to unpack boxes but it is proving difficult with the house still non-functional

9. we don't have internet and won't until literally next week (!). side note: is it just me or is the music in Starbucks super loud? I'm old. 

Conclusion: our shit is a hot mess.

So, now we do our best to live in and around a construction zone.
As far as what the future holds, we are hopeful thanks to today's grand announcement 
(based on a few friendly threats from yours truly) that the work will be completed tomorrow. 
(not including paint and dry wall touch ups and my correct kitchen cabinet faces....yeah, let's not get started on the kitchen cabinet faces....).
I'll believe it when I see it.

But here's the bottom line:
I don't have any answers to explain our current situation or glam After photos to show you (and no, I do not currently feel like it will all be worth it) so we are going to move on. After today, we're business as usual here at Olive & Tate (.com) and tomorrow we're talking shopping small and then on Wednesday, I'm whipping up a post to tell you how things have changed since I published one of my most talked about (and viewed) posts ever. Thursday night will be another round of the Can't Live Without It Link Up and then I hit the skies to fulfill my duties as Bridesmaid for one of my most favorite couples. 

Sound like a plan?
Good! I'm glad everyone is on board.

See you kids tomorrow!
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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SOS



All photos in this post were taken today....

So, I'm guessing that ya'll have already figured out that things aren't exactly peachy in construction land. My radio silence across all social media platforms has resulted in many of you reaching out to make sure that we are alive. 
And we are, but barely.


My husband says that I'm not allowed to get on the Internets and trash our contractor. 
So, I won't.

But I will say that I spent a good portion on Friday standing in our driveway at the new house and crying. 
Real crying. 
An Ugly Cry.

Our house is frustratingly incomplete.

There are many, many small construction tasks that are hanging in limbo, each dependent on another half finished project for completion. There are a million excuses, people to blame, people who refuse to shoulder the blame and endless words to "explain" the state of our home.

None of them matter to me.


What matters to me is that we had nowhere safe to take our baby. What matters to me is that we had no where to put our belongings when the movers arrived because flooring was only partially complete in multiple rooms. We were forced to leave many items out in the yard. What matters to me is that we've had to ask our friends to help us finish projects left incomplete by others, to let us stay in their homes, drink their wine and (at this very moment) use their washer and dryer because we have a very sick baby who has left us with zero clean sheets for the crib or our bed (and yes, we own a washer and dryer in our new house, it just hasn't been appropriately installed). 

I have no kitchen and no laundry room, no living room and no space to just be. One guest room is stacked floor to ceiling, wall to wall with boxes and furniture because it had finished floors. The baby's bathroom has been only partially grouted for a week. 

We had to board poor Macie through the end of the week because we don't feel it's safe for her to be in the house with all of the construction materials laying around.

Luckily, we only did a cosmetic update to our master bath so we have a working toilet, sinks and a bathtub. Justin and I worked our asses off over the weekend and made a safe nursery for the baby and bedroom for ourselves. We have never been so grateful to be close to family - Justin's parents kept the baby all weekend and he was in hog heaven with all of his aunts, uncles and cousins at Camp Grandma.


In the midst of all of this, I am so very overwhelmed, but also so incredibly grateful.
Justin has been forced to take the past two days off from work to help finish tasks and manage the project. At least I've had my best friend around.

We launched our 4th of July Capsule Collection yesterday and I was able to work from my phone, managing the inventory as it flew off of our shelves. Meg and I are still in shock when we sell pieces, let alone sell out! and p.s. thank you for shopping small and letting us do what we love to do.

I genuinely hate asking for favors and help, but our friends have been bending over backwards to be there for us - so many texts begging to let them take the baby somewhere fun to play, offers to help clean, bring dinner and wine and, of course, letting us stay in their home with zero notice. 

We were able to sneak away to a friend's 30th birthday on Saturday and I looked around at my girlfriends pitching in to clean up the kitchen and gossiping about nothing and just had to stop them to tell them how grateful I am that we are home. Home with them. 

Soon we'll be able to really feel like the new house is home and until then, we'll just power through.

Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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