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These are great keepsakes that we can pass on to them when they are older. Another sweet tradition we have is decorating gingerbread houses together. This year I smartened up and decided to hot glue the houses together and then allowed them to go nuts with the decorating. I hope you enjoyed this sweet space for our girls. It makes my heart so happy to see the magic that this season brings to children and even the way it can make us feel like kids again ourselves.

Chelsea Coulston is the resident decorator, baker, and pillow hoarder around these parts.

A wife to an active duty Sailor and mom of two girls, Chelsea's got a knack for decorating even the most challenging spaces just see her military base house! She's inspired by cool beach tones and warm natural elements that remind you of a day at the beach. After living in a half dozen rentals, she's enjoyed spending the last few years in a cute ranch style home that she and her husband have almost completely renovated themselves.

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Chelsea lives in sunny Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and two daughters. I think she has good taste like her Momma! Looks so cute! So cute!!!! The tree, the stockings, the Bank gingerbread house.. Such a cute room. Oh my gosh Chelsea! Her room is so so so cute! I love your Nutcrcker collection! Everything looks so pretty.

LOVE this space! I know doing this type of thing is a ton of work for you, but I can only imagine how special this is for P and M. You rock, my friend. This is gorgeous. Your email address will not be published.

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Turn on your JavaScript to view content. Sign up to receive FREE decorating printables, available exclusively to subscribers! Now check your email to confirm your subscription. I hated babysitting though if any of the kids I babysat for are reading this, I loved you. I didn't go all gaga over little babies.

Spending any more than 15 minutes with kids utterly exhausted me and I couldn't wait to escape. In my mids, my now-husband and I talked about how we wanted kids one day but that it could definitely wait. Our life was great, and I was in no rush to change it. Fast forward a few years, and I was pregnant with our daughter.

I spent all 9 months daydreaming of our future as a family of three. I looked forward to the magical transformation that I would undergo the minute my daughter entered the world. I imagined every detail of new motherhood, from the snuggles in front of the Christmas tree to the surely devastating moment I'd leave her at daycare and return to work. I was so ready for the next chapter. But when my daughter was born, that transformation never happened. And it hasn't happened in the 10 months since. I love my daughter more than anything in the world and feel lucky beyond belief to have her, but that's where the similarities with my mom's experience of motherhood end.

I've found being a new mom mostly terrifying. The days are challenging, the constant worry draining and the sleepless nights downright miserable.


When I headed back to work after three months, I felt mostly relief that she was in hands I deemed far more capable than my own. I've often felt like a fraud, spending more time than I care to admit missing my old self and wondering if I'll ever get her back.

Dream Home Restoration Part III: The Playroom and Book Nook

Every month my daughter gets older, I feel joy that we've made it this far, rather than sadness at how fast she's growing. These months are hard, and I look hopefully to the future. I know many women like my own mom who are crushing it at this motherhood thing. They've flourished in their role, savoring the little moments and managing to juggle everything with what looks like complete ease. Though I suspect the truth isn't quite that straight-forward, I envy them regardless and spend a lot of time wishing I could be half the mother they are.

No, this is not how I pictured motherhood. Slowly but surely, though, I'm discovering who I am as a mom and learning to embrace her because she's the only mom I can be. I may not be the natural I expected to be, but I always come back to this: No one could love my daughter as much as I do. I'm not the best mom in the world, but I'm the best mom in the world for her. I hope one day when I tell my daughter about my life before and after her birth, she'll see only how my heart grew exponentially with love. That she'll feel like the most special person in the world, so very loved.

In the meantime, I'll continue trying to learn from the best. Plans do not always I am a huge fan of you feeling empowered and actively involved in the decision of your birth. That's why I think it's a great ides to develop a birth plan, or your birth preferences, ahead of time. As promised in The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama , here is a birth plan worksheet that you can fill out and present to your team.

Use the questions below to guide you as you complete the worksheet and chapter 25 of the book for a more detailed explanation of each item. And try to make it relaxing and fun. Make yourself a cup of Crystal Karge's delicious ginger tea page , sit back, and daydream about how you'd love your birth to be. Your place of birth and who catches your baby can play a significant role in what your birth—and prenatal care—will be like, so spend some time considering what you think you might want.

Check out this guide to help you decide where to labor!

6 Tips for Taking Back Your Playroom

Besides your medical team, who would you like to be with you during your birth? Consider the people that bring good energy with them, are good at supporting you, and well, don't stress you out. Remember, you don't owe it to anyone to invite them to your birth. You are the boss! Are you thinking about working with a doula? Read why more mamas are working with doulas. And visit page in The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama for a reminder on how to make the "who should I invite to my birth" decision.

Perhaps you know that you want an epidural, or maybe you are sure that you do not. Or maybe, like many mamas-to-be, you are undecided. It is important to include your thoughts about pain medication in your birth plan so that your team can best support you. Return to chapter 22 for an in-depth look at all of your options. Another factor to consider is: Would you like people to offer them to you, or do you prefer to initiate the conversation if desired?

For example, if you are planning to have an unmedicated birth, would it be irritating if people were to ask you if you want an epidural every hour? Or, would you find it comforting to be reminded that it's an option?