Monday, December 31, 2012

goal setting

The hubs and I have a lot of thoughts for 2013. I'm so excited for just about everything.

Starting tomorrow we're officially cutting out junk food in our diets. We'll be cutting dairy, sugar and meat - so being vegan sans sugar for this month. I mentioned reading the book Seven and this is how the first month is going to look for us. I've thought a lot about this and only eating seven foods I just can't wrap my head around. I think a healthy 'cleanse' is what our family needs. Fueling our bodies with predominately fruits and vegetables. I tried to go paleo once and it was horrendous. I have a strong feeling this will be different.

Mostly because there is a spiritual component. I'm cutting out everything but the necessities in my diet giving me room and time to focus more on my Creator. This makes me excited. Nervous because I know it's going to be difficult, but also really excited to see how God uses this and what he's going to teach us through this. Plus, I'm kind of excited for the hubs to STOP drinking 10324 cups of coffee a day! (So thankful he jumps on board with all of my ideas!)

We have mini goals of nightly chore chart, inviting friends over for dinner way more often (we need something to propel ourselves towards completing that nightly chore chart..), weekly family/budget meetings - I get our social calendar and hubby gets the finances - we make an awesome team. 

My photography business is going really well and I'm excited to see what happens with it in 2013. To think I've only been doing this for about 6 months is crazy - I never imagined it would grow to what it is now. It's not huge, but when I started I had so many doubts I didn't think I could do it. And now I'm doing it and it's awesome.

Our kids are fantastic. I'm working on a routine for us and it's a challenge. A big challenge because routines don't come easy to me. But routines are so beneficial to little ones I know I can do this. But I'm excited that 2013 is just a new page. A new page for us to start again and for me to take a deep breath and just try my darndest to rock it.

I went to a Jazzercise class with a friend yesterday. Yes, Jazzercise. And you know what? That is one tough class. It was so much fun and I am so sore today, I've decided to join with a goal of going 2-3x per week. 

Lots of random tiny updates... I plan to write more as our family goes vegan this month, so if you're interested in that type of thing, stay tuned! :)

Friday, December 21, 2012


My daughter woke up at 6am. I rolled out of bed happy. Thrilled, actually, to go and see her. To nurse her and comfort her. All of the noises she made were the most beautiful noises I've heard in my whole life and I couldn't believe how lucky I am to be her mommy when she looked up at me and smiled.

I laid her back down at 6:30 only to go back to bed to find my son laying his sweet head on my pillow. How in the world did I get to be so lucky? To have this two ridiculously awesome children. I don't ever, ever want to take them for granted.

I'm sitting on the couch while my son watches Wonder Pets and my heart is so full I feel like it's going to burst. This is joy. I've found joy in the mundane today... and it's just ridiculous.

I wholeheartedly believe this shift is all due to being thankful. Every year around this time my husband is very, very busy with rehearsals to prep for the Christmas Eve rehearsal. This year we'll have two services Sunday he'll be doing acoustically as well as two services on Monday for the holiday. It's the busiest time of year for church rehearsals. If I'm being honest... I'll admit that usually around this time I'm horribly selfish. I'm mad that my husband isn't home for more than a couple hours and upset that our kids aren't getting to see him.

But this year? This year there's been a change within me. (Sorry if that sounds cheesy or lame, but it's just true...). God is changing me and I'm learning to listen and take heed of some of these lessons. So the past two days I've not gotten to see my sweet hubs hardly at all and like I said, that usually has an incredibly negative impact on my attitude. But this year I've chosen to not complain. Often I think of that verse "Out of the heart the mouth speaks..." and I get so disappointed with the state of my heart if I can be so complain-y. Anyway, I've not complained. I've not moaned or given him a hard time for leaving to go to rehearsal, which I'll admit, I've done many, many times before. And this alone has such a positive affect on us, on me, and I can only assume on him as well.

He has to go to rehearsal. I can serve him by taking care of our children and just simply encouraging him. It's so simple and makes me feel so guilty. I think so highly of this man. This sweet wonderful man that is my husband. Why would I want to do anything but encourage him? To try to bless him? So with that guilt of how I've acted in the past comes change for the future. I did not complain about any rehearsals but only  tried to encourage him. I wanted him to be fully present without worrying about me or the kids. He is so busy and is giving so much of himself - literally going from work to home to play with our kids and  interact with them as much as possible in the one hour he has at home then head to rehearsal just to get home really late and go to bed then wake up early and do it all over again. He's awesome.

And because I've been more aware of my actions - how big of an impact my words and expressions leave on my husband - I've chosen to try to be a blessing to him. Bless him by doing the dishes and cleaning up our art projects. Bless him by picking up the trains scattered throughout the living room and doing bed time with both of our sweet children. Bless him by only speaking positive words and not words that would make him feel any less than unbelievably awesome. And because I've been trying to be a blessing - I am blessed. I have this joy today that I can only believe is a result in my change of attitude. God is so, so good.

A tiny shift in attitude but has left such a big impact on my heart. I encourage you to be a blessing today. Even if that just means doing the dishes. ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've gone back and forth about whether on not to write this, but it's a lesson I've learned and while I still have so many things I need to learn and in no way have 'mastered' this - it's something that has changed me. For the better.

I've been reading the book One Thousand Gifts for over a year now and you guys, it's incredible. I've read and re-read so many pages and have to put it up for weeks at a time to absorb some of these lessons.

Anyway, the overwhelming theme of the book is thankfulness. I started reading this book at a low point in my life - I had a one year old, was nannying a little girl and was also pregnant and getting so sick every day. I was depressed and overwhelmed.  I bought this book and within a week even Michael noticed a shift in my demeanor after I started reading it.

So shift to today. Emmaline is what we'd call a terrible, horrible, not good sleeper. At 2 months she was sleeping through the night. At 4.5 months she was up nearly every hour each night. This lasted a month (still in the throws of it, honestly). It's hard. We're exhausted.

But I've had a mental shift. Yes, it's still hard. But being thankful helps. It starts out drowsy with not much heart, but once I pick it up, it's amazing to feel the change within myself.

Fourth time getting up with my girl... Thank you for this daughter of mine, thank you that she is healthy and home... thank you that we have a home to bring her, that we are able to give her a room of her own, a bed... Thank you for being with my body as it provides nourishment for my daughter and thank you she is comforted in my arms... and on and on. Then I climb back into bed happy and not nearly as upset as when I got out of bed.

Thankfulness precedes the miracle. every time. I've seen these little miracles within myself when I open my heart and say thank you. And my problems that seemed so overwhelming at first seem so small looking at them with fresh perspective. Yes, I've gotten just an hour of sleep before I hear her start to stir and whine and wail. But reminding myself that she is healthy and God is with us and He is good makes it easier. I've been so blessed by these long nights. It just took me awhile to realize it.

A friend posted a quote the other day that essentially just said... you're in this position, get what you can get out of it while you're there. (horrible translation, but that's what I took) and I'm realizing I've learned a life-changing lesson. Pretty neat.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I'm not a good blogger. But I'm sitting here during nap time, editing photos but my head is just full. Full of thoughts that I need to empty someplace before I can go back to editing.

I want to move. I want to move into a house and decorate it just like all of the pins I've pinned on Pinterest. I was it to be full of cool antiques and colorful fabric and things that I've done myself. A house that is kid friendly without being overtaken by toys and stuff. However, I need to buy the stuff initially to get it there, right?

I want to go shopping for all of this stuff to make our house a more beautiful home. But in my heart I know stuff does not a beautiful home make. A beautiful home is made with love and memories and patience and kindness with open doors full of community and friendship. I know this, but my heart is not always there.

I started reading the book Seven. This book is about getting rid of stuff to focus more on God. To have less of me and my stuff and more of God and his kingdom. I'm really excited to take part and actually start doing some of the stuff I've read about. I asked a group of women to go through this book with me and we're going to start it together in January. First up, reducing our diet. While she chooses just seven foods to eat for a month - as a breastfeeding mother who will also be cooking for my 2.5 year old I won't be reducing that much. I think however we'll do a only plant based diet for the month. Look at me, already compromising. ;)

But food is not the point. The point is balance. I need to learn how to balance my wants and my needs. A beautiful home is nice - but the fact that I have a house alone is something to be thankful for. I need to be thankful for what I have without longing for more stuff. Truthfully, I don't so much want more stuff, just different stuff. I love getting rid of stuff... if you know me well you know it's probably my very favorite thing to do. Purge. I love it. And most of the time I'm disgusted with the amount of crap stuff we have.

So I'm torn because I do not have balance here. On the one hand, I am thankful... on the other hand I'm not happy with what I have because I constantly want different stuff. I read fashion blogs and home design blogs and they leave me unsatisfied and wanting. Wanting a new living room and a new wardrobe. Wanting to be more crafty and DIY-capable. Then I read books like Seven and they leave me unsatisfied with my situation and leave me wanting to be more like Jesus... but still with the super cool living room and the closet full of beautiful clothes. My heart is not like His. I have a long way to go and I'm just searching for that balance.

But that balance of being, what, satisfied? But is being satisfied the point? No. The point is Jesus. Loving people how he does. Getting to know the poor without just throwing my leftover stuff or money at. Without constantly wanting different stuff then what I have, which I should be nothing but thankful for. And that is where I wish my heart was. I have a long way to go. Jesus, wreck my heart here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I did not realize how busy October was until I uploaded all the photos from my camera I keep in the diaper bag. It has been such a busy, fun month. I'm totally loving all of the harvest parties and festivals. 

I ran my first 5K this month. I walked more than I wanted to, but still was nothing but proud of myself at the end. My time was just under 39 minutes... and I already know it won't be my last 5K. I felt like supermom at the end as it was time to nurse Em and I got to chat with Caedmon about the firetruck he got to explore. :)

Caedmon is a garden gnome for Halloween and he's probably going to give me a hard time about it when he's older... but seriously cute. Like cutest kid at the harvest party. ;)

My favorite moment of this night - as they were walking past me Caedmon saw me and said, "Mommy! I'm riding a pony!" Melt my heart.

Still a little proud of myself for giving him cotton candy, ha. He really only had a few bites... but it didn't stress me out one bit.

We're going trick or treating tomorrow - just a few houses but I'm super excited. Having a toddler is the best. Emmaline is so fun, too. She's so social and has started reaching for things. Hard to believe she's 4 months old!

More updates later, nap time is over for today! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My first 5K is in 3 days. I'm excited and nervous and I also don't think I'll be able to run it in entirety. But I am confident I can run half, walk a few minutes, and finish out running. Won't know until Sunday, though! My friend Amanda is training with me... not sure if we'll stay together on race day. Even if not I'm just so thankful to have gone through the training with a friend who started out in just as lousy of shape as me. Still awesome to think seven weeks ago I could barely run for 90 seconds... and now I can run 10+ minutes. If you keep at something you really will get better at it. No matter how bad you are at the beginning!

Running has actually taught me quite a bit. Amanda had given up on training due to shin splints. One day she sent me a text that said something like, "I haven't done any type of exercise in three weeks since I stopped training." God put it heavy on my heart that she needed to run with me that night. After a lot of persuading, she decided to come with me. I had total confidence that God was going to heal her shin splints and she wouldn't be in pain if we asked for that. This confidence made me a little fearful because... what if He didn't heal her? I thought he would... but you never know for sure. So, I told her we would pray for her leg and she would be fine. And you know what happened? God healed her. She was able to keep up with me for the most part and didn't have any pain. It was one of the first times God has spoken to me in that way and I'm just glad I followed through and wasn't scared of what she would think if I told her "God told me He'd heal you if we ask Him to" :)

Big brother is very into doing things himself. I can't even play with him a lot of times because I'm doing it wrong. Seriously, he gets super upset if I touch his trains or cars while he's playing. I can build the track - but that's about it.

Getting undressed is also something he prefers to do himself. He didn't nap today and when I went to get him he had taken of his shirt and pants and thrown them out of the crib... I couldn't stop laughing when I saw him.

He's also talking in full sentences. I picked him up from preschool today and he said, "Mommy, I learned about owls today." Whoa! He's saying 'water' correctly and it makes me sad. He's growing up and is so smart and is only going to get bigger and smarter and wiser from here on out. There is no one like him.

And my girl... the compliments we receive are "Wow! Look at that hair!" "She is so alert for just three months!" "Look at those eyes!" and her smile will make you melt. Sometimes while I'm nursing she'll look up at me and smile and I know there is no greater feeling in the entire world when that happens.

I'm a volunteer photographer for an event Saturday. I'm going to be photographing families who can't afford to get family photos done. I'm intimidated, but excited to be able to serve with this. But Michael has to work so I had to figure out who could watch our kids and makes me nervous. I hate it when I'm not when them and I REALLY hate it when I can't just leave them with daddy when I do have somewhere to be.

That is another new thing. Having somewhere to be. Sure, I have had dentist appointments or things... but that's what - twice a year? I'm not used to leaving my babies. I'm not a "work outside the home" kind of girl. Sure, sometimes, I welcome it. But just as often, it makes me sad. Luckily a shoot is at most three hours with travel time. And once I get to a shoot and find my groove I'm so thankful for the break from home and the opportunity to connect with other people and just help create something beautiful for them. It's new and it's good... but very different from what Michael and I are used to! He is normally the busy one, but now it's me. He's so supportive and just wonderful. I couldn't pursue this if it weren't for him.

Really random. I think I've forgotten how to blog - if there even is a specific way. Regardless, it's updated. (You're welcome, Amanda!) :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Well, hello. Sorry it's been a little while since my last update. This blog has definitely not been high on the priorities list... which is a little unfortunate because I love being able to look back at certain points and just see where we were. More importantly, where my kids were because I forget way too quickly!

So, I just thought I'd do a quick little update at what has been going on in this household. :)

Michael... has gotten a new job! He has been in training the past two weeks. He's an extremely social person so this has actually been a little tough. He's been in an office completely alone and I have definitely noticed a lack of spring in his step each day when he gets home. But training will soon be over and he'll get to rejoin his coworkers in a new position. He'll even have his own desk! He's also got a birthday coming up this weekend :)

Caedmon... He has started preschool two days a week. One thing I was referring to when looking back to past blog entries - this was one of them. I was so unsure of how this would go. Well, my expectations have been blown out of the water. Admittedly, I've been less nervous the older he gets as he is just really comfortable in all sorts of new situations... so I knew he'd do great with preschool. But man, boy loves it. I'm excited for him and glad we made this decision to start him at 2. He's also talking up a storm. Full sentences, too! :) He's just so smart and I can't get over him. And he used to pronounce trains "papa" for Thomas and "peen" for James and "peepee" for Percy. He is now saying all of their names correctly. At least he still says "lala" for water and "foofoo" for orange. I cherish those mispronunciations, they remind me he's still my baby! Definitely not ready for him to say those the right way... It will be a sad day in my book. Last night we prayed before dinner with him and he wanted to keep praying "pray again! again!" so we'd say "thank you God for ____" Well after dinner we were playing outside and out of the blue he said "thank you God for mommy" So thankful for my little mister!

Emmaline... She's doing awesome. Her favorite thing is to be held and she refuses to sleep unless she's held or in a moving car. So sometimes we'll take random drives just to get her to get a small nap in (girl wakes up the moment I set the car seat inside... every. time.) But she's just a wonder. A ridiculously beautiful dream come true to us. Caedmon is a big fan of hers, too :)

And me... I've had my hands full. Ha, we all know how much I love that phrase! But I keep really busy with house related things especially while little man is at preschool. I'm training for a 5K at the end of October, so I'm running 4 times a week and have joined a running club (potentially a second, too!) and recruited a friend who is training with me. It's something that's been on my bucket list and I'm just so proud of myself. I've never been a fan of running so this is a huge deal to me that I'm actually enjoying myself :) And the other thing I've been busy with when I'm not playing and caring for my kids is my photography business (eee!). It's going better than I hoped and I just love it. Michael has told me I found a hobby I love at a time when I really needed it and for that we're both just thankful. I finished up my first class last week and can definitely tell I've learned a TON... so that is very exciting! I plan on making a real blog on this soon, so stay tuned. :) In the mean time, check here if you haven't yet! :)

And that's a quick synopsis of our lives right now. Glad to get you up to speed, ha :) I'm going to try to be better at updating this. promise.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I know I haven't blogged in awhile... but as every random stranger I come into contact with yells me, I have my hands full. Beautifully, wonderfully, tirelessly full.

So I don't have much to share except I found an excellent 'green' company that meets my super-high standards for my family and it's actually reasonably priced! If you know me well, you know I'm all about getting chemicals out of our house and this company offers so many easy alternatives to make that an easy transition. Plus, every item I've tried so far I've been very impressed by.

The company is called The Honest Co. and Jessica Alba founded it when looking for non-toxic household items and diapers for her family. I can relate to knowing how hard it is to find those things, for sure!

Anyway, just had to pass it on. You can get a free trial of diapers and wipes and also some household goods. No promises, but I think you'll be a fan, too. Now, let's get all those yucky chemicals away from our families and homes!

We considered using the diapers for Em (loved our free trial), but we're going to give cloth another go. If I can't keep up with the laundry, I promise you you'll see her little bum in some super cute honest dipes. They're seriously adorable - AND plant based! Hoorah! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

updates on our big brother

One of big brother's favorite things to do is "hod hur" translation: hold her. It's pretty sweet. In the photo above he was pointing out different body parts on sister. We're trying to keep him as involved as possible. When he sees me changing sister's diaper - he wants a diaper change, too.

The one word I can think to describe our son as we've brought home a sibling for him is understanding. My first trip out alone with both of them was to Em's two week check-up. He was a dream. He took a train from the play area in the waiting room and when we got called back he put it back without me asking. He got a little impatient towards the end of the visit and when I asked Dr. W to check out the dermabond on his face he got a little upset but other than that no problems.

My second trip out alone with my two babies was to Target. And he did awesome - he sat in the cart the entire time. I was just so impressed with him.

And for naps... we normally read books and sit together for about a half hour and it's a really special, nice time for us both. But lately sister cries when we start nap time or at some point before I leave his room. So our time is cut by... 20 minutes. If she's not crying I spend my usual time with him but it seems to never fail that both kids need me quite a bit at this time of day. But he's just been very understanding when I tell him I have to go check on the baby. If he's not asleep and I come back to read with him more sometimes he'll say "check baby?"

He has started waking up a bit in the night or waking up at 5. Last night he fell asleep in our bed at 5 (thank goodness!) and slept till 7, but he's been ready to go at 5. Meaning he's taking a four hour nap in the afternoon. And I'm not about to wake him. He still goes to bed between 8 and 9.

The only other thing - he's sort of acting out maybe? He's started drawing on our couch. We recently got rid of our coffee table so all the pens/markers got moved to the side table next to the couch. Both the coffee table and the side table had child 'locks' on them but the one of the side table didn't stand a chance. He got in there and just drew all over the couch. He conveniently does this the few moments he's in the living room alone. He's done this three times now. Good thing that couch was just $200 and we have no attachment to it. Unfortunate that people now see a very marker decorated couch when they come over making us look like maybe not the best parents, ha.

We've not been watching TV during the day either. Something I'm super impressed with myself for... when I was pregnant I was just so tired. And I'm more tired now but not as physically exhausted. Sometimes we'll watch before dinner or something but only for about 10 minutes. This could change - but for now... I'm a happy momma to be able to sit and run around a little easier!

But in all, things are good. Really, really good. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I haven't updated much... and you're probably not surprised.

I'm adjusting to having two kiddos really well, I think. It feels like our daughter has been with us forever already. It's crazy how one day you're pregnant and lamenting over the fact that you've been pregnant forever and all of a sudden one day you're no longer pregnant and I can barely remember what it was like, it feels like it was so long ago that I was waddling along with that big belly!

I took both kids out to church Sunday - but Michael was there and C is kind of well known around the church, so I didn't feel like I was solo. Then on Tuesday I took both of them to Target. And it could not have gone better. C never sits still in the cart. He wants to walk with me or help push or go exploring off on his own. He truly is Mr. Independent. But he sat in the cart the entire time. I pushed the cart fast and slow as we talked about what those words mean... I handed him various things and I had an unending supply of crackers (or was willing to have an unending supply - I would have bought more crackers if I had to). And little e slept the whole time!

Michael and I took the kids to a children's garden this morning - and we actually ended up buying a season pass C had so much fun. He learned about different kinds of bugs and got to water vegetables and go pretend fishing (they had sticks with little styrofoam balls on the end, looking like buoys). It was really neat and I can't believe we hadn't gone before!

We really are adjusting well. C has taken to being a big brother very well. The other night Michael was taking him upstairs to go to bed and he said, "night night momma... night night baby" and gave her a kiss. I asked for one and was denied - sissy really is the only one he's into giving kisses to right now. :)

Em is getting up twice at night - pretty consistently at 1 and 4am. She is fussy around 830-930pm, which is unfortunate because that's when I'm ready for bed! So I'll nurse her and usually hand her off to Michael and he gets her to sleep and I get a few hours of sleep before I'm up to nurse her again. She's still sleeping most of the day but each day is has a few more minutes of awake time. She's already gained a pound since her birth! Very, very thankful to have very little nursing issues. It feels like ages since I nursed C... it really is so nice to have that bonding time and just experience again.

I have an appt tomorrow with my midwife just to check in, I think. After 1 week postpartum I was feeling great... my pain completely stopped and I just felt mostly back to normal. That feeling continues and right now I kind of just feel like I want to run, ha. I've never, ever wanted to run but I think now being so close to my normal size I'm just excited to not have that 40 extra pounds around my belly anymore! So, hopefully this feeling will continue in 4 weeks when I'll get the green light to exercise! :)

That's all of our little updates... thanks for checking in with our little fam. :)

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Since we've been home - Michael and I have been splitting up every day. He will take Caedmon out somewhere - to the park, Monkey Joe's, the store, today it's a dinosaur exhibit downtown that we saw a commercial for while we were in the hospital (it was weird for us having so much quiet time, we were able to watch a TON of HGTV. We've never had cable so this was a treat!) :).

And I'm sitting here, catching up on blogs I like to read, and watching my precious girl nap and it's wonderful. But I'm sad I'm not with my big kiddo watching him have so much fun seeing all of the dinosaurs. I looked online at the exhibit and it looks SO COOL. I know he and Michael are going to have a blast and I just wish I was there to take pictures and just experience it with them. Em and I could have gone, but it's $15 for adults to get in and we'd like to wait till she's at least one week old before taking her out.

Also, yesterday I wasn't too active - I cut up a watermelon and made some kale chips (which Caedmon would not stop eating so those will definitely be a new staple in this house!) so nothing too strenuous but it was the most I have been on my feet since Em's birth, and then I rested some, then I played out on the back porch with Caedmon. He was in his little pool and I sat next to him - occasionally picking up a ball or toy that he threw out. I didn't feel like I was overexerting myself by any means but after we came inside my body just felt off. Certain parts of my body that were finally starting to feel almost mostly normal again (or at least not constantly painful) were aching something awful and my back hurt and I was just miserable. So today I'm just going to try to take it very, very easy.

So for several reasons the dinosaur exhibit is just for my boys today. And I'm excited for them to get that guy time. But it just makes me a little sad, too.

And on a different note - things are going really great at home. Like I said, my recovery is very much still in process - it's hard to not do things when you're feeling good it's just remembering that you won't continue to feel good if you try to do things like normal. I'm not supposed to lift anything over 10 pounds (Caedmon is 25). I'm still picking him up some but just once or twice a day. He sits on my lap or we sit on the floor but it's weird not holding him and walking (honestly after 5 days of not carrying him I didn't even realize how heavy that boy is!) And Emmaline is a dream. She's still in that constant sleepy state and is just so precious.

Michael held her while I was napping in the hospital and when it was time to feed her he handed her to me and said, "Every time I look at her she just gets more beautiful." And another time I asked him to hand me my phone while he was holding her, but she was holding on to his pinky of his free hand and he said, "She's just holding on so tight... I'll get it when she lets go." She already has her daddy wrapped around her fingers. :) Basically we're both smitten.

Caedmon is just excited about the baby. We're trying to teach him to be gentle around the baby but our boy is not quite grasping that idea. He's very, very active and it's just tough. So honestly they've been separate unless I'm sitting on the couch holding both of them while we watch TV (Unfortunately there has been more TV watching in this house then we'd like - but we're just getting through this stage. And we will.) It's been encouraging to me to hear lots of mothers I really admire and look up to tell me their oldest watched lots of TV as they transitioned their families from three to four.

Anyway, that's a little random update while I have some down time. Turned out to be more random than I had intended... hope you don't mind :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Birth Story

Wanted to get this written before I forget any of it... sorry if I over shared some :)

We woke up and it was a typical Sunday. Well, almost typical. Michael was off from leading worship at church (which is very, very rare - but we knew baby would be coming soon so they gave him the Sunday before and the Sunday after our due date off). Anyway, so we woke up and made biscuits, sausage and gravy - my absolute favorite breakfast. We had bought some sausage at the farmer's market on Sunday and I was so excited to make this :) I'm pretty good at making gravy :)

So then we ate breakfast and got ready for church. All of us together! Michael usually leaves the house at 7, but this week he got to come with us and it was just so nice getting to do church as a family. Dropping C off together and then sitting together for the ENTIRE service. Didn't realize quite how much I missed that!

The after church we headed up to Michael's hometown to go to his aunt's wedding. We weren't sure if we would be able to make it to her wedding depending upon baby's arrival - but I was still feeling mostly okay (later everyone told me I looked slightly miserable but we made the trip regardless). If anything we were hoping the fact that we were an hour from home would kick start labor :)

The wedding was fun but we left early because there wasn't air conditioning which I hadn't anticipated and was just very, very uncomfortable (probably why everyone later told me I really looked awful... sweet family we've got ;) ) When we got in the car we were all kind of cranky. Caedmon had missed his nap - so Michael basically wrangled him the entire ceremony... which is exhausting. And I was just HOT. But C quickly fell asleep once we were on our way and the air conditioning of our car did wonders for Michael and I. :) As soon as we walked in the door home my boys laid on the couch and turned the TV on and I went upstairs to lay down. Next thing I know Michael is waking me up asking me if I want to eat. So I head downstairs and eat.

About an hour later, around 7p, we were sitting on the couch and I felt a contraction. I told Michael I was pretty sure I had one and asked him what time it was - sure enough five minutes later I had another contraction and that continued for about an hour. They were 5 minutes apart lasting about a minute but they weren't too strong - I was able to talk through them fine. Then they started getting further apart and waning off so I just tried to get my mind off of it. We all went for a walk around the block and then when we got home Michael took C upstairs for bed and I rested on the couch - timing my irregular contractions.

We started a movie on Netflix and around 10 we decided we needed to try to get some sleep. I wasn't sure I would be able to fall asleep (contractions were about 4-6 minutes apart at this point, but still not very strong). But we went upstairs anyway. We talked and got ready for bed and then Michael went down to eat a bowl of cereal and when he came back up I was fast asleep. We called our friends that we had asked to be prepared to watch C for us and just let them know what was going on - that labor could pick up or not but we just wanted to have them on standby and to make sure they had their phones on :) We also called my midwife to just let her know we thought we'd be making a trip to the hospital that night.

I woke up at 2a with STRONG contractions. I went downstairs thinking I could work through some of them but they were coming about 3 minutes apart, lasting one minute. Then they were just right on top of each other - I'd have three right in a row and then a minute of two of rest. I woke Michael up and told him to call Mark and Maria and get our bag together for the hospital. It was mostly ready but we needed to throw in cameras and toiletry things. I got in the shower to try to help get my mind off of contractions somewhat but they were very, very strong.

Michael called Mark and Maria and told them we may have to meet them at the hospital (he may have been super nervous at this point). And Maria said Mark started driving 100 mph to get to our house (he's a paramedic so he also would have been able to birth the baby and he even said he was mentally prepping for that possibility when he got to the house and saw me having a contraction). They made it to our house, we never had to wake Caedmon up and we left for the hospital a bit before 3. 

We got to the hospital (just 2 miles from our house) and headed upstairs. Unfortunately my pre-registration hadn't gone through so we had to fill out some paperwork. Hard to do when you have about a minute of rest with a minute of contractions. But together we got it done and I was taken back to the room to get checked to see if they'd admit me. They checked the baby's heart rate and she was doing great then they checked other things and I felt like they were taking just a long time to check my cervix - I was seriously reconsidering my decision for a natural birth. Finally she checked me (to see if I was actually going to be admitted, even though my contractions were obviously strong) and said "Wow, girl! You're an 8!" So they wheeled me back to a delivery room (the natural delivery room with the tub). and I climbed in to the bed while they checked other things. My blood pressure, took blood samples and I can't remember what else all while I was having horrible contractions. There was one nurse who kept saying "Concentrate. Work through it, focus... don't let negative thoughts of 'I can't do this' get in there." And that was just really big for me. So every contraction I repeatedly had the thought "I am a boat." - I blame my friend Faith for this :) She recently posted this quote:

""If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him." Seneca
It's surprising how easy it can be to just let our life send us careening this way and that, as if our boat has lost its rudder. We complain every step of the way, of course, about how bad our luck is, how nothing is turning out the way we want. 
How can we be disappointed about where we land when we didn't know where we were going in the first place?
If I want my life to make sense, I need to start with a mental map of what direction I want to go. "

So I started thinking "I am a boat and I am guiding this baby out - focusing not on the pain but on my strength (okay GOD'S strength... I literally had zero strength of my own). But I didn't want to get caught up in 'winds' of thoughts that it was too hard or I just couldn't do it. So, hence the thought "I am a boat." For whatever reason - it was very effective for me! Piece of advice when going through labor... have something like this to focus on. I had a similar focusing point when laboring with Caedmon and it is just very, very helpful to have a go-to thought when laboring gets really tough.

Anyway, I had just made the comment, "I don't want to do this anymore..." Contractions were painful and I was just having a really tough time. The nurse checked me and said I wasn't quite there yet - but too far a long to walk, use the tub, or get any medicine without all of it going right to the baby. My midwife walked in less than a minute later and after talking to the nurse decided to just try to encourage me. I had rolled on my side at in between being checked and her arrival and my midwife told me to try bearing down during my next contraction. So I did and was elated when she said, "It's time to have a baby!" After just one more push, Emmaline was born. Just two pushes... less than 5 minutes. Disbelief doesn't seem to quite cover it.

It was an amazing experience. My last three contractions before pushing were extremely difficult, but I could literally feel her moving  down so I knew I was close - but the hardest thing about that moment is just not knowing how close you are or when exactly it's going to end.

So my midwife walked in the door and it was time to push and then our daughter was here. I couldn't believe it. I said to Michael over and over "I did it." Even hours later I just couldn't believe I had done it! Really, really awesome experience. She was born after we had been in the hospital for just an hour - all of the nurses kept saying "that's the way to do it!" 

And now we're still in the hospital. I didn't have any tearing or any other issues so my recovering is going really well - still have some struggles, of course, but thankful for where I am. And Emmaline? She's awesome. She's got a ton of dark hair and the prettiest blue eyes - just like her daddy. I think Caedmon looks like daddy - but with my eye/hair color... I'm hoping Emmaline looks like me but with Michael's eye/hair color. :) She's eating every 2.5 - 3 hours, nursing and latching great, passed all of her tests and the pediatrician said all around she's very healthy. We're so thankful! Caedmon is pretty excited to be a big brother and gets excited every time he's seen the baby so far - although I'm not sure what his opinion will be when she's coming home with us :) He's been thrown off a bit that mommy and daddy aren't home with him in the mornings, but I think he's old enough to go with the flow. He's loving being spoiled by nonna and pop pop. Internet at the hospital isn't the greatest - so photos to come soon! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

nursery update!

(Our last nursery update is here). Not sure when it happened... but I was leaving her room earlier this week and realized everything is more or less put away. Pretty neat. I finally decided on wall decorations (or at least locations of wall decorations...) :) SO I figured it was finally time to give you a little update. :)

The frame on the upper right is just a stock photo - plan on updating it with maybe a pregnancy photo I like or with a photo of her. Haven't decided yet! The pennant banner on the left I made and was going to just hang on the wall, but it looked too empty so I got out a frame we weren't using, removed the glass and backing, and just hung it there. I really like it! The bottom right photo is this card by Katie Daisy. I really love it. 

This is above the changing table/dresser. That is a corkboard I bought a HomeGoods last year for our bedroom but I actually never did find a good place to hang it. My original pennant banner was too long so 3 of my triangles ended up there :) I'm sure they'll be replaced as I find new things to put on her board, but I like it there for now. The print on the right is another favorite of mine from Katie Daisy - it says "Be filled with JOY" And all the way to the right is the hairbow holder I made. Already full of some pretty cute bows for little miss :)

On the front of her door. I couldn't help it.

A mirror I found at HomeGoods ($20!) that I spray painted white (was originally black) and a free printable I found from Pinterest. 

This is the crib skirt I made. Hanging it turned out to be much trickier then I expected, but I'm really happy with how it turned out! 

The dresser I found via CraigsList that my dad painted for us.

love this dresser!

This rocking chair isn't actually going to work. It's not exactly comfortable and seeing as how I'll most likely be nursing in that area in the middle of the night for many, many months to come - it just won't do. We're going to use Caedmon's chair in this room (the ottoman is actually in here already but it looks weird to me right now so that's why there's no photo!) :) But I think our big boy is ready for a reading nook of his own, sans chair. I'll post a photo of this corner once we get that chair in there. I didn't get the best shot of the cornice either, but it's the same hummingbird fabric as the hairbow holder below. I LOVE it. I think it adds so much femininity to this room - especially with the stripes going on on the other wall. 

Closer up of the hairbow holder. Fun little project for me that was super duper easy.

Her closet! Full of cute little dresser and shoes and so many other baby things...
And one last photo of my boys new favorite hang out spot, he loves playing "night night" in here. Uh-oh! :)

So, here I mentioned my little check list - thought I'd run through it real quick and see if there's anything else I need to finish :)

  • Move white dresser and chair into nursery
  • Have dad take brown dresser
  • Arrange furniture
  • Lower cornice by about 1 inch (not finished, guess I just forgot/got used to it where it is!)
  • Find ottoman for the rocking chair (this changed, too - decided to reuse C's chair in this room)
  • Hang prints and other wall decorations
  • Find photos for the empty frames (1 5x7, 1 4x6) (mostly finished - just need to have a belly photo or a photo of our girl printed, but I'm waiting til after she's here!)
  • Make a yellow fabric flower for the frame with the gray print (this should be done tomorrow.)
  • Spray paint mirror for above the crib white  (even though it's not really above the crib)
  • Hang mirror
  • Install extra shelf/hanging bar in nursery closet
  • Look into blackout curtains/blinds (for both nursery and C's room)
  • Finish washing all sheets, blankets, changing pad covers
  • Spray paint rocking horse white (it was mine when I was little and it currently has some red nail polish for eyebrows and rosy cheeks... not the cutest thing as it is right now!) (and this is going to have to get bumped to someday far off in the future, ha)
  • Choose paint colors
  • Measure wall/figure out stripe order
  • Paint
  • Make cornice
  • Hang curtains and cornice
  • Find prints for nursery
  • Make hair bow holder
  • Make crib skirt
  • Find a mirror/art for above the crib

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

thirty. nine. thirty nine!

Shew! Can't believe I'm 39 weeks. On the one hand I'm incredibly anxious to meet our baby girl and just get to look at her face. And on the other hand I'm so nervous to go back to that newborn stage with a toddler, too. I know she's going to come when she's ready so I'm just trying to be patient and trying not too think about it too terribly much. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

random thoughts...

I can't believe we're going to have a baby. There are moments when I feel like it is never, ever going to get here and I truly in my heart think that I very well may be pregnant for the rest of my life. And then there are other moments where I know it is going to be over so soon and I'm not cherishing the present quite enough. 

Caedmon is my baby. Right now he doesn't have to share my attention with a soul - he gets all of it. I'm nervous for how his whole world is going to be shaken. But at the very same time, I am beyond thrilled that he is going to have a sibling so very close in age. 

I am an only child (well, I do have a much older half-brother and half-sister, but neither has ever lived with me and so in my heart I claim only child status). And I was not a fan. Family vacations were fun, but I think I always felt like there was something missing. Even still I get a little tinge of jealousy when people talk about their siblings, simply because that's a relationship I am unable to experience... but it's one that I've always known I want children of my own to experience. That is probably where my desire for four kiddos comes into play... We're going to see how we do with two, but in my heart I've always wanted four kids. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what the future holds. :) 

Anyway, so I'm thankful God is providing for this dream of mine in growing our family. I'm excited to see the brother/sister relationship and I hope I help foster their friendship well. 

Michael and I have a tendency to be a tad... lazy. We're big time procrastinators. I tend to want to start 10,000 projects at once and I think I overwhelm my darling husband to the point of entire lack of motivation. This is a challenge in our marriage but I think we're learning how to work together more and more on it. But we've slowly been working on our baby girls room more and more. Her closet is all put together, dresser is organized, all clothes and blankets are washed. And today we hung things on the wall. There are still 3 more frames that need to go up but I am thrilled to see it's finally coming together! Seriously, really excited. 

Caedmon has figured out how to climb into sister's bed. Her mattress is much higher than his, creating a perfectly sized step for him to hoist himself inside. He has crawled out only once by himself. He still hasn't figured out how to accomplish this in his own bed and honestly, I think he has little desire to do so. He likes his bed and does really, really well in it. Our pediatrician has a 3 year old and she is still in her crib, so I like that there's no rush. I'm hoping he can hold out until he tells us he's ready for a big boy bed himself.

Caedmon is such a big kid already. He's almost 23 months old and is just awesome. I know every mom says that but man, he's so cool. He knows all of his colors now - and he says them like this. "Ree - Red" "Boo - Blue" "Lellow - Yellow" "Geen - Green" "Foo Foo - Orange" (yea, no idea but it's cute!) "Pu-ple - Purple" "White" And he uses them correctly! His favorite is to point out colors of cars right now. White truck, Ree caw, etc. I just remember a few months ago I was so worried about him not speaking and now he is talking up a storm and is just so smart. Earlier today he handed me his sippy cup and said, "Take it." Nuts. Every day he's saying something new or stringing more words together. Makes my heart so happy... and if I can offer one piece of wisdom to other moms - DON'T COMPARE YOUR KIDS. Really, just don't. Because they are all going to do things at a different pace and that is no reason to worry about their development. 

He also knows the names of all of the sesame street characters, dozens of different choo-choos, and Pooh and Tigger. He doesn't know the name of many people yet. Just last week was the first time he used a name "Eck" for Eric - a friend of ours from church all on his own. He calls my friend Tara "Ta ta" and he tries to say her sons name but I know I'm the only one who understands that one. But it's fun to see him recognizing people. 

He's starting school in September and I am just so excited for him. I haven't mentioned this but he does so well in the nursery at church now. I started attending a Wed. morning bible study and I think that really helped - just being looked after by others more frequently. But he doesn't cry when I drop him off and he honestly doesn't even get too excited when I pick him up - he just wants to keep playing. But it makes my heart so happy. It used to be such a major issue for us and I never saw an end in sight... and all of a sudden he does so well! It's awesome. I'm so proud of this kid. :)

This ended up being really random. But I hadn't posted in awhile and Caedmon is napping and I just thought I'd write. And now I think I'm going to go take a nap while I've got the chance! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Sorry for the lousy photo! I realized yesterday I hadn't asked Michael to take a belly photo this week - so that one is just going to have to do! :)

So, last week I mentioned I wasn't too totally miserable yet. Well, boy has that changed! Last Wednesday we were at church for an event and lots of people asked me how I was feeling - I told them great! I'm still feeling really great. And then the following morning I woke up so awfully sick and have just been some degree of miserable ever since. Pregnancy is not for the weak at heart, for sure!

My midwife appointment this week went well - and it looks like I will be keeping that 39 week appointment next week after all. Unfortunately no other real news to share! Sorry I've been slacking in the blog department... my mind and my days have been busy with one or two other things lately. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

37 weeks

Thirty-seven weeks! Sister is now considered full term, but I'm not feeling totally awfully miserable yet, so I have a feeling we've got a few weeks left :) No questionnaire... just photos this week.

I sat down in hopes of Big Brother sitting with me and pointing to sissy for the camera... no such luck. Mister was off to play with his trains! But before nap time he was rubbing my belly and even lifted up my shirt and kept saying "hi sissy... sissy" pretty precious. I'm nervous for him as his whole world is going to be rocked in a few weeks. Well, honestly, I'm nervous for all of us! Definitely excited but in this moment right now, I'm mostly just nervous.

I had a midwife appointment this morning and everything is great. I've gained about 35 pounds so far - I actually haven't gained any weight the past three weeks. It could be my appointments are always in the morning, apparently you can weigh 5+ pounds heavier as the day goes on. Pretty crazy! With Big Brother I gained 43 pounds, so I feel like I'm doing great. And my blood pressure is pretty darn consistent. Since my first appointment each number has varied no more than two... for the past 9 months. Pretty crazy. I bet you're pretty excited to know that about me, huh? :)

I made another appointment for next week... and one for the week after. Although I told them I was hoping I won't have to make that appointment. ;) Will definitely let you know how things go... but I think it will be at least two more weeks before we meet our sweet daughter and become a (real) family of four! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Introducing... Melissa Rossine Photography

I've mentioned here and here about photoshoots I've done. So thankful for my sweet friend Ashley for modeling for me and letting me take some maternity photos for her and then asking me to do photos for her family! Really awesome.

In college I had many, many roommates and several of them took photography classes. I always wanted to, but honestly felt like my creativity was nowhere near the level of theirs and so I avoided signing up for that intro to photography class. But it's always been something that I wished I was good at and something that has never stopped being fascinating to me.

But I didn't realize quite how much I loved photography until after my son was born. We bought a DSLR camera a month before we found out we were pregnant - it really was something I knew I always wanted and luckily we had some wedding money to "play" with. But I never really had anything to photograph before I met Caedmon. I adore photographing my son - I love capturing all of his different expressions and now I love looking back on photos I took of him a year ago and just admiring how much he's grown. It's awesome to have those memories captured.

I've never really had a hobby. I've always wanted one - but just never found one that fit. I've always been jealous of my husband because he is an exceptionally talented musician. Exceptionally. I wanted to be exceptionally talented at something. I like doing creative projects but I don't have one that I consistently go to when I need a little creative outlet. But photography is something I'm just gaining a new appreciation for each time I pick up my camera. It's the first hobby that I actually love! Not that I'm especially talented in this area - but I truly believe my skill here is growing and I think with a bit more practice I might even someday get to the level of exceptionally talented. :)

I've talked to many friends about how I want to be a part-time photographer, if you will. I absolutely love staying home with my son (and future daughter) during the day... but it gets lonely sometimes. I don't know many other women my age with kids yet so we don't have a lot of play dates or anything during the day. So the opportunity to get out of the house every once in awhile to do something I love I think would really be great for my soul. My friends have all been super encouraging - telling me that I do actually have some talent and I just need to basically put myself out there and practice more.
So here I am. Trying to spread my wings into a totally new thing that is just mine. My break from chasing my toddler around and get out of the house and just getting the opportunity to do something I love... and hopefully create something beautiful for other people. Now, I have no idea what will happen with this - I'm leaving in God's hands and his timing and will just have to wait to see what the future holds. But right now - I'm just thankful to have found a new hobby that I truly do love!

So, all of that to say... I had another photoshoot this past weekend. And another one next weekend! And two or three others lined up. I'm pretty excited for the chance to just build up my portfolio some more and get more practice. The really neat thing is that I can really tell a difference between each shoot - just how much I'm learning from each one. That has been the most encouraging thing.

I went to dinner with some girlfriends a few weekends ago and mentioned that Michael had told me I just need more confidence in myself - and also more practice with photography. And that a photographer friend who I really look up to told me essentially the same thing. Maria piped up and said she and Mark really needed some new photos of themselves for around their house... and that they would be happy to model for me! From this conversation I'm also doing a mini-shoot, and another shoot for two other friends of mine. Pretty neat. :)

We've known Mark and Maria for about four years - they are one of the most awesome couples we're lucky enough to know. They make each other laugh so easily and it's impossible not to have a good time when you're around them. You can just tell by how they look at each other in the photos how crazy they are about each other - and they've been married almost 10 years! So awesome.

This is one of my favorites - I just love how he is looking at her! It makes my heart happy.

I was able to get so many pictures of them laughing - it was perfect! 

This one is my favorite from the day. I just love everything about it.

And this one is so very them. They are seriously the most in shape couple we know. For real. Right now they're training for the tough mudder happening in just a few months! I'm definitely not that brave. :)

Ah, what a wonderful way to spend a few hours! I had so much fun... and I think they did too :)
 If you're interested in a photoshoot - please let me know! Would seriously love the chance to hang out with you and hopefully create something that you love. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012


How far along? 36 weeks

Updates on baby: still doing great! she's probably weighs about 6 pounds and is probably gaining an ounce a day.

Symptoms/Body Changes: Heartburn. Bleh! But the nausea didn't bother me this week, so that's been great :) Mostly just physically uncomfortable at this point. I got out my birthing ball (that is really just a big pink ball) but it's more comfy than the couch. Plus I feel like it's never a bad idea to just roll my hips around - I mean, that's got to be good for them, right? and I cannot stop reading peoples birth stories. It's for some reason my new favorite thing to do before bed!

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing new... heartburn has been awful, awful so I'm trying to be mindful of things I eat - but honestly I have heartburn after everything.

Getting ready for baby: We have the dresser! And the rocker and her room is really coming together. I also took C's old car seat to the fire station this week and had it installed. And we deep cleaned both cars and started clearing a place in our room to set up the pack n play - which is where we plan on letting her sleep the first few weeks. (We moved C to his crib at 4 weeks, thanks to my dear hubs. Hoping the transition for baby girl will go just as smoothly!)

What I miss: Being able to walk around without feeling like a 300 pound man. 

What I am looking forward to: Midwife appt tomorrow, always good to just get to hear her little heartbeat :) 

Weekly wisdom: Make lots and lots of plans the weeks before your due date. This time goes slower than the whole pregnancy combined - so give yourself lots of things to look forward to! (And friends, don't be surprised if you get a bunch of texts from me trying to hang out with you...) :)

16 weeks

26 weeks

36 weeks

Saturday, May 26, 2012

foodie friday

So I mentioned here a little bit about how we do our grocery shopping each week - and since I shared a lot of what we bought I thought I'd share just some of the different meals we had, too. Sorry, I wasn't so good about taking photos this week!

We almost always have a veggie dinner night - where we try to round up some of the veggies that we haven't eaten yet. So one meal consisted of mashed sweet potatoes, corn, asparagus, a side salad, and a tomato because I really wanted to finish off the rainbow of colors I had going (red - tomato, orange - sweet potato, yellow - corn, green - asparagus and salad). Random, but a yummy dinner!

We also lately have been having burger night at least once a week. For this meal we added a bit of onion, garlic and cheese to the ground beef and Michael made patties and cooked them on the George Forman. We put some lettuce and tomato on them and I made sure to buy some whole wheat buns, too! We also had sweet potato fries topped with cinnamon, corn, and macaroni and cheese to finish off this meal. *Caedmon ate ONLY the macaroni and cheese at this meal. Such. a. bummer!

And a few other simple meals we had were - 

The pasta we got from Lexington Pasta was one meal that we had with some asparagus.

Spaghetti is another weekly staple. We had this with a side salad this week.

And then yet another staple around here is black bean burritos with guacamole. We have whole wheat tortillas and fill them with some brown rice, black beans with some Rotel mixed in, cheese, sour cream, guac, and jalapenos. :) Very easy and also very yummy! I make excellent homemade guacamole... or I sure seem to think so :) Michael always teases me about eating most of it all by myself. But this week Caedmon gobbled it up, too!

I could so easily be a vegetarian :) I like that our weekly meals generally only have meat in them once or twice. And we have been doing so good with incorporating at least one or two veggies into each meal dinner time.

We ended up using all of the produce from the market except for a few peaches and a little bit more lettuce which will just carry over into this week.

We went to the market this morning and I have several different things on the menu for this week - hopefully they'll work out! And hopefully I'll do better with next weeks foodie friday as far as photos are concerned :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

to-do lists

I love lists. I make at least one a day of just different projects I want to do, birthday ideas, chores that need to get done, things to add to our grocery lists, whatever... I just love them. So, while I was thinking of our nursery to-do list, I thought I'd go ahead and share it here, just because maybe you like lists, too. :) My dad is coming up this weekend with the dresser and a wooden rocking chair so we're hoping after that we can get everything finished. And then I suppose I'll have to find other things to keep me busy over the next few weeks.. :)

  • Move white dresser and chair into nursery
  • Have dad take brown dresser
  • Arrange furniture
  • Lower cornice by about 1 inch
  • Find ottoman for the rocking chair
  • Hang prints and other wall decorations
  • Find photos for the empty frames (1 5x7, 1 4x6)
  • Make a yellow fabric flower for the frame with the gray print
  • Spray paint mirror for above the crib white
  • Hang mirror
  • Install extra shelf/hanging bar in nursery closet
  • Look into blackout curtains/blinds (for both nursery and C's room)
  • Finish washing all sheets, blankets, changing pad covers
  • Spray paint rocking horse white (it was mine when I was little and it currently has some red nail polish for eyebrows and rosy cheeks... not the cutest thing as it is right now!)

Okay, that's all I can think of for now... hopefully by early next week it'll all be finished and I can snap some photos of it all completed! I've been waiting because it's just not there yet, but hopefully it will be soon.

Also, I think having a daughter is going to help me become even craftier. I've made a cornice, crib skirt, hair bow holder, and I sewed a pennant banner to hang somewhere in her room of just some scrap fabric I had... It turned out really cute and I'm hoping to find the perfect place to hang it. Anyway, there will definitely be photos of all of these things soon! Promise. :)

And because maybe I'm weird I like seeing the things I've completed, so I'm going to go ahead and include that, too. :)
  • Choose paint colors
  • Measure wall/figure out stripe order
  • Paint
  • Make cornice
  • Hang curtains and cornice
  • Find prints for nursery
  • Make hair bow holder
  • Make crib skirt
  • Find a mirror/art for above the crib
So very excited to get this room done and to meet our baby girl!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

foodie "friday"

I dropped the ball with foodie friday... sorry friends! But I decided to try to make up for it by posting a bit about our food budget and how we try to make it work. I've had several people ask me about this and while we're definitely not experts, we are learning a few things about trying to make our food budget go as far as possible, especially with us being a one-income family.

I guess the first thing I should mention is we really, really try not to eat out. And honestly with Caedmon being the active little boy he is - neither of us even enjoy going out to eat anymore. It ends up one of us will be fiddling with him the entire time so we're really not able to chat or enjoy ourselves. Half the time I sit by myself with Michael takes Caedmon for a walk or he sits by himself while I take him to the restroom to distract him with washing his hands. It's more stressful than anything. Sometimes it goes well, but the past few times it definitely hasn't been worth it. It's just easier to eat at home (unless of course my parents are with us or we're on a date... but those are special occassions!). 

So our eating out budget is nil and we're currently budgeting $100 for groceries each week - however, lately we've been going over by about $10-$15 each week. No bueno. I have a friend who was going to price check certain things on different days of the week at farmer's markets... and another friend who shops at 3 or 4 different stores to get the best prices. I wish I was more like that! Unfortunately, I'm lazy, but I will definitely try to do better. We do all of our grocery shopping at Kroger, Whole Foods, or the farmer's market. 

 We start at the market and just look around for different types of produce we want to eat for the week. We're buying almost 90% of our produce there. And just knowing that we're supporting local businesses for some reason really makes me want to eat more veggies. I realized when our veggies our from Kroger I don't feel that pull to make sure I eat them all and honestly we would end up throwing some away consistently. Not so with farmer's market produce for some reason. Whatever, it's working for us! :) We also buy a pound of ground beef each week and a pound of bacon about once a month. So we walk around first, look at prices and decide what we want and then walk around once more and make our purchases.

Here's a little breakdown of what we spent this past week. We might need to try to start bargaining with some farmer's to get a better deal, I mean, people do that, right? So in case you can't read it above, we've got:
Strawberries - $5 from an incredibly sweet couple from Madison Co.
Sweet potatoes - $5 we bought a basket of them and there are about 9 small potatoes in it
Peaches - $5 another basket, there were about 7 in it
Pound of ground beef - $4, from Triple J Farms... we did a CSA with this farm a few years ago and just really like supporting them. Plus this is about the price we pay for beef at Kroger, so I feel like it's a really good deal!
Asparagus - $5 we've been buying some each week, the past weeks it's been $3 and this week they raised their price to $5... we may not be buying this each week anymore!
Onions - $2 for 4 small onions
Lettuce - $4 a bag of 3 small heads of lettuce 
Pasta - $4 for 2 bags of pasta - which is one serving for our family
Corn + Tomatoes - $6 (Corn was .75 each - we bought 6 and tomatoes were $2/lb - 3 tomatoes at 1 lb)
Honey - $7.75, which is very pricey but the size jar we bought will last over a month

So total we spent $47.75 meaning we had a little over $50 left to spend at the grocery store. So after we get home I sort everything and make a meal plan for dinners for the week and then make a grocery list of things we'll need to fully complete our meal plan for the week. You'll see our menu (hopefully) Friday. :)

This week our grocery list was really small - avocado, bananas, ranch dressing, ketchup, milk, yogurt, eggs and bread. But somehow we still went over budget. It was sort of a lack of communication - I knew we already had things like spaghetti noodles and pasta sauce but Michael was the one to do the shopping this week and came home with some more :) And we got extras like ice cream, hummus and pita chips, 2 boxes of cereal, mangoes, etc... But now we'll have some extra things that will go into next week/the week after so hopefully everything will all balance out.

We really try to use the cash system as far as food is concerned and for the most part we do really well. However, when we go over we just put the rest on our debit card. Ideally I think we could put back a few items to make it essential that we only spend the cash amount we have on hand. It's something we're still working on. But one benefit to using cash - it hurts a little more. When you go over it's maddening to hand over all your cash and still need to give the cashier your card. And on the other hand it's incredibly awesome to hear your total and know you stayed in budget.

I know Wal-Mart is cheaper, however, we buy nearly all items organic and Wal-Mart does not have very many things (if anything?) organic. It's just something that we think is important - but I know some people aren't into it. We've noticed as far as dairy items are concerned Kroger and Whole Foods are the same price - both typically have one brand of something on sale each time I'm in there. Kroger also sends us lots of coupons in the mail every few weeks and we really try to utilize those when certain items are on sale. We don't use these every week or anything, but it's something I'd like to get better about.

I saw on Pinterest a tip on planning meals for the entire month at once - I think this could be a really neat option. However she bought most ingredients from Sam's (we're unfortunately not members) and when you're only shopping once a month there's not a ton of opportunity to buy fresh produce (something we're trying very hard to incorporate into our daily diets). So while that would be really awesome, I just don't think it's right for our family. But I'm definitely snagging some of her recipes and the idea to double them and keep one in the freezer. I should start now so we can have a few stowed away as we become a family of four!

So, pretty random :) And maybe more then you wanted to know about our grocery shopping visits... :) But if you have any tips of your own - please send them my way! How do you do your meal planning for the week?