Hi, I'm Julia Goolia and you are reading my blog. You say you want to learn more about me? Perfect. Let's chat, but first let's get one thing straight: I'm long-winded and show you way too many pictures in a single post. You've been warned.
The Goolias, November 2015:
I'm a small town mid-Missouri girl who moved to The Big City (St. Louis) for college. There I became a sorority girl who also managed to be a psychotic perfectionist, determined to get straight A's and over-achieve her way through Physical Therapy school. I like to be an oxymoron sometimes. Masters Degrees are not always fueled by an equal amount of hours bonging beers and using multi-colored highlighters in the library, but somehow it worked for me! Because really, I've always been a big nerd just pretending to be cool. Always will be, too.
I also met my handsome-fraternity-boy-husband, Nate, at college. He is a nerdy-but-fun person, like me! We started dating when we were mere babes, at age 21---ah, the glory days. We thank the Lord that our college years came well before social media. You are welcome for that one, dear internet/family/offspring/pride.
Once I had successfully nabbed my diamond ring from said Frat Boy, we had one of the best days of our lives at our wedding in 2007. Seriously, it was awesome, if I do say so myself. I'm an ex-Knottie and Nestie, so you may have found me through a haze of lacy wedding gown/red brick pictures floating on the internet. Look familiar?
Nate then convinced me to move to Wisconsin with him so that he could pursue his doctorate in Physical Therapy in his home state. So that meant I got to be the primary breadwinner for our newlywed family for a bit, while Nate kept his head in the books (and not keg-standing this time). I started this blog in 2007 after our big move as a way to stay connected with friends and family back home in Missouri. Little did I know that I'd continue writing here in my beloved corner of the internet for many more years, through many more....transitions;).
First came posts and pictures of our 'first born', a wimpy but adorable Cockapoo named Henry. We ran a lot back then and I'm not even sure what else I blogged about. I'm too afraid to dig through the archives. May the force be with you if you choose to take that route. Note: there are no links in this paragraph;)
Then came my first pregnancy (lots of blogging! belly pics! etc!). Pre-Eclampsia and a marathon induction started my my venture into motherhood, with Truman's birth in March 2010. He was a fat, sweet, fairly easy baby but he never slept much. I don't think I cared since I was so enamored with our new son. We are still pretty much obsessed with Truman, in fact. His sensitivity, cautious soul, and right sided dimple are all too much to bear sometimes. He's our rule-following first born and I've thought 'This is my favorite age YET' with each stage Truman has given us as parents. He is seriously an awesome kid.
Then came a surprise second pregnancy in 2011 that ended in miscarriage discovered at nine weeks, but the baby stopped growing at six weeks. The process that followed this heartbreaking ultrasound was painful, extremely drawn out, and finally resulted in hemorrhaging four weeks after the missed miscarriage diagnosis. Then I switched OBs and received the D&C I needed so badly, seven weeks after we found out we were losing the baby at that first ultrasound. Those seven weeks were the longest, darkest of my life. But somehow we all pulled through and came out with added humility, a sense of patience, and surprising strength on the other side of losing Wren. It absolutely changed me.
A few months later, I got pregnant for the third time and subsequently became a total mental case throughout my pregnancy. I mean, she *did* give us a heart attack with a 'threatened miscarriage' in the first trimester, and we were told this baby probably wouldn't make it when I started bleeding heavily at six weeks. But! We welcomed our little fighter girl, Cecelia, in May 2012 and have thoroughly enjoyed her antics (again, no sleeping as a baby! Never!) ever since. Our little ginger-headed spitfire can light up a room with her smile and she sure knows how to make us laugh, while we wonder what we ever did to deserve this little spunky sass pot. She has more personality in her big blue eyes than I have in my entire body, and I fear for our lives when she is a teenager. She is such an awesome kid (sense a theme here?).
We bought our first house during Cecelia's pregnancy, too, in February 2012. It's a wonderful home built in 1925 but it needed lots of cosmetic updates when we took the keys. Therefore, 2012 is the year known as 'buy a new house, do a ton of DIY renovations, and have a second kid' for us. Good times. I have no idea how I found the energy to paint every square foot of the interior when I was seven months pregnant but decorating and DIY projects have always been my thing. I have a Pinterest problem and am probably a part of the 'Pinterest problem' in social media, too. I can't help it, promise.
Kids rooms: my favorite area to decorate!
Things were settling into a routine after those big transitions. I was down to working just three days per week, Nate was working full time, and the house project list became incredibly small (ie just the super expensive/boring stuff remains). Our two kids were both sleeping fairly well, finally, and things felt balanced. I wanted another baby but wasn't sure I could convince Nate to embrace the chaos of the first year all over again. That sweet concept of 'balance' is a difficult one to willingly relinquish, so why mess with a good thing when you have it?
I weaned Cecelia at sixteen months, began waiting for my first cycle, and a few weeks later in November 2013 I got a shockingly dark positive pregnancy test. Surprise! My fourth pregnancy was thankfully uneventful aside from being three days overdue with our boy (i.e. going crazy at the very end. Legit crazy). Porter arrived in July 2014 and he's awesome, too. He's been proving that he is his own person from day one with being overdue, then weaning himself at six months, not crawling until a year...you know, maddening things like that. Then after his first birthday he started crawling, pulling to stand, and basically began running all over the place and he seriously won't stop talking/keeps up with the big kids like it's nothing. I cannot get enough of this little guy and we couldn't ever imagine our lives without this little surprise/secretly wanted baby.
What else can I tell you about me?
I secretly love gangsta rap along with techno music, as a result of my mid-MO roots combined with an amazing semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. Sometimes I like to drive my mini-van and pretend to be hard while singing every lyric to Gin and Juice. I know, I'm not sure who I'm fooling, either.
I'm a retired jock (high school basketball and volleyball 'star', depending on whether you talk to my parents about this one or the general public) who still prefers sports bras, yoga pants, and zero makeup to the fancy counter parts of underwire, jeans, and a prettied-up face. A fashion blogger, I am not.
I'm a Type A perfectionist who likes to compartmentalize, plan, and make lists...but who also has a flare for the creative side of things, mostly when it comes to crafting and decorating. I strive to be zen and super laid back as I also balance my first-born, over-achieving neuroses. No small feat, my friends. I am absolutely a hot mess sometimes.
I truly love my job as a part-time Physical Therapist, where I work in the home care setting. I enjoy helping other people, the flexibility and autonomy of my job, using the healthcare part of my brain, and I really really like working just three days per week. It's a great balance for me to switch between a SAHM and working mom throughout the work week. How many times can I use the word 'balance' in one post?
I'm powered by black coffee in the mornings and red wine in the evenings, usually not in reverse order. I am a mom who runs (mother runner?), usually while pushing a massive double jogging stroller. I will partake in the occasional half-marathon for that whole 'setting a goal and achieving it' thing. I've done one full marathon pre-kids and have no desire to train for another anytime soon. Halves are my fave, though. No double strollers allowed.
I love my kids more than I could ever properly capture in words. Maybe that is why I'm so long winded---because I can't ever seem to get the stories just right. And I want to remember all.of.the.stories, momnesia be damned! Truman and Cecelia truly take my breath away in those 'time stopping' moments of parenting, when it all seems too beautiful to be true. They entertain us, make us feel pride like we've never known, and provide for countless blog posts as a mommy blogger;) I also love my cherished 'me time', and the peace and quiet that sleeping children provide. Little kid years are no joke, man, but they are still wonderfully exhausting in the best way possible. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I try not to take myself too seriously because life is short, time flies, and it's a lot of fun if you don't get wrapped up into other people's expectations. Nobody is perfect and none of us really have a clue what we are doing, anyway. Let's enjoy the chaos and find the humor (ie make fun of ourselves) wherever we can!
I'm nothing special since there are about 40 million other mommy-bloggers clogging your internet these days, but I've been blogging for nearly EIGHT years now. Same domain, same blog, same blogger with a little different priorities/new family members. I realize that blogging is sort of 'out' these days but here I am, plugging along in the name of copying and pasting a lot of my posts directly into our family photo albums. I blog for me but I definitely enjoy the connections we make through social media. So I kind of blog for you, too (the pressure!).
So, hi, that's more than you could have ever wanted to know about little old me and my sweet family. I hope you'll stick around to read more of my ramblings!