We have a lot of cousins. A whole lot.
When one of them decided to get married on our grandmother's (their great-grandmother) birthday, we were thrilled. Then during the reception, the bride and groom come walking out with a birthday cake for the matriarch of our family and that's when everyone knew just how very intentional this newly married couple were going to live their lives.
That fun and meaningful story describes Kourtney in ways words can not.
Kourtney Brown Dunbar is our cousin and SoSis cheerleader. She is constantly coming into SoSis after a Live or launch to intentionally support the family she married into. It blows us away each and every time.
She personally supports us too. On days when Chelsey is stuck in traffic trying to pick up Charlie Jo from school, Kourtney saves the day with a pick-up, change of clothes, snacks, and fun playtime (the girl didn't want to leave). It is in those moments that you realize just how special the people God places in your life can be and you hold on to those memories forever.
In part 2 of a 4 part series, meet our sweet Kourtney Dunbar. In this post, Kourtney shares the beauty of her current season, how to rephrase situations and just how sweet the small, but meaningful moments can be with two under four.
All photos by the talented Cassie Treuil Photography.
Describe what you "do"
I am an Occupational Therapist. I practice in the East Baton Rouge and West Feliciana Parish school systems - those kiddos have my heart! It’s a job that doesn’t feel like work, and man am I thankful for that!
Tell us about Hudson & Miller
I have two little ones, Hudson and Miller. Hudson (3) brings laughter to every room with his silly jokes and super cool “tricks.” He is full of energy and as playful as they come. He’s really embraced the role of “big brother” this year. He loves to be outdoors, is never without a baseball bat or fishing pole, and probably has better jokes than his dad ;)
Miller (1 in May) brings the sunshine to our house. She’s as sweet and snuggly as they come, happiest when she’s outside, and thinks her big brother is cooler than sliced bread.
Describe your current "season"
We’re in the season of stain remover, no doubt. Haha! Between the spit-up and grass-stained knees, we’re keeping the folks at Shout in business.
But really, this season we’ve been adjusting to life with two - Hudson starting activities like soccer and T-ball, while managing the sleep/feed schedule of a newborn. Learning to share our attention between the two of them, and wondering how we ever got so lucky. It can feel busy, exhausting, and overwhelming, but those are all far trumped by bedtime snuggles, hearing Mills say “Mama,” and seeing Hudson in a T-ball uniform (talk about TEARS).
Tell us one of your favorite "life hacks"
Hmm, I have one big and one small.
Big one - marry right! Kidding-but not really. Peyton is the first to notice when my plate is too full, and eagerly shares roles with me. He’s never too proud to change a diaper or wash the dishes, and he keeps me centered on what's important. As a mom, it’s easy to get caught up in the sleep schedule, lunch packing, and grocery list mindset. I count on him to tune me into the kids laughing together in the living room, Hudson happily dancing over a “home run,” and Mills sleeping that sweet way newborns do. He makes parenting really feel like a shared mission, and gets me out of the door on time most days.
My practical advice is rephrasing situations. “I wonder if you can pick up these toys before the music stops” goes a lot farther than “Clean up your toys” in toddler land.
Favorite Mama memory to date?
The other day I was in the kitchen, and looked over the island to see Hudson and Miller playing together. He was rolling around, she was crawling all over him, and they were both laughing in fits. It was a fun moment to dream of the relationship they will share. I hope they always stay silly!
If you had one tip you could give a new mom - what would it be?
Dive into your community. Hard. Those friends who send meals when they know life feels hard. When grandma wants to take the baby for you to rest. That cousin who wants to share a trip to the Zoo. Morning coffee at the park. Find your people - and walk through these seasons alongside them. Accepting help has always been hard for me, but I don’t know where we would be right now if we didn’t have the wonderful people around us encouraging us, praying for us, and pouring into our family.
I read a post the other day titled “Same, sis.” There’s something about that phrase that hits right with Mamas.
Baby still not sleeping through the night? Same, sis.
Not sure if you’re doing enough, or doing it right? Same, sis.
Can't mussel up the energy to cook one more dinner this week? Same, sis.
Not sure how you could ever picture a life without a toddler playing at your feet, a baby snuggled into your chest, and a love so deep you can’t think about them growing without eyes full of tears? Same, sis.
There are mamas all around you - many are so full of wisdom - and we’re all just figuring it out. I think doing that together may just be the best way.
Describe your style
These days, easy and functional. While don’t thrive on being trendy, but I do want to look put together. You can’t talk me out of good jeans, a pretty dress, or practically anything floral. I love all things sweet and classic, and I’m really striving to invest in quality like those jeans I’ll wear year after year or the sneakers I’ll wear through multiple seasons. I am LOVING the pretty colors and patterns I’m seeing out right now - perfect for feeling fun and put together, and really helping my closet lose that black and grey tone it’s so fond of.
THANK YOU, KOURT!
You know those family members who marry super cool, incredibly kind and exceedingly generous partners and you think to yourself - gosh, aren't we lucky to get to call them family now. Well, that's Kourtney in a nutshell. She lights up a room and is the encourager you want around at all times. We are so thankful to her for her unwavering support of SoSis and of US. Thanks for taking so much time to write these words, Kourt. We really do love ya like a sister.
SHOP KOURTNEY'S LOOK....