12.30.2015

{Christmas glimpse}

I have a lot more pictures than this... But this will have to do for now ❤️  I'll more to this post later! Enjoy a glimpse in to our Christmas day ♥

Christmas Morning ♥
Opening her first present on Christmas morning ♥

Of course Daddy got her a light saber!  She was SOOO excited!

baby boy, enjoying the warm and cozy morning, cuddled up to mommy
with sister's doc mcstuffins stuff!
Christmas Dinner at Ama & Ampa's 

giggles & tickles form daddy!  She was trying to take his hat off...
we had a competition going to see who could leave theirs on
the longest! of course he won...





12.29.2015

{ #lifegoals}

I see this hashtag a lot.  and honestly.  it makes me roll my eyes a lot. ha.

But.  As the year is about to begin, and we are concentrating on our vision for the year... which isn't quite complete yet... I cannot wait to blog about it!! But it includes simplifying.  Focusing on our family.  Focusing on our relationship with God and decluttering any obstacles.

have you have felt God hit you over the head... repeatedly.  it's those quiet whispers that are easy to ignore, then they get louder... then basically what he is wanting you to hear is EVERYWHERE!!!  yeah.  welcome to our life the last month or so.

this coming week, our pastor is going to challenge us to fast.  fast in prayer.  fast from one meal.  fast from eating for the week (biblical fasting is quite frankly amazing isn't it?!).  I've never fasted for a week... and well, I doubt it would be too smart considering I'm pregnant.  but I hope to do that before long.

but one thing that has been following me wherever I go... those not so quiet whispers... spiritual warfare.  we are equipped to battle this warfare... God has already defeated our enemy.  but.  that doesn't mean we can do whatever we please.

long story short:  it's time to prune some branches.  this is hard for me.  let's use the example of social media.  i have struggled with this for years.  i think mostly because i realize it is empty... time used up on something that is quite empty.  our pastor made an AMAZING point this past weekend:  we aren't always called to prune dead vines and limbs.  sometimes those things that need pruning are live... they may even be good.  but if they are taking up space and taking away from God and His plan for us... then it's time to prune it. That hit me like a ton of bricks!!! That is why I struggle with social media... I love the connections and the friendships I've made, I love taking part in others lives and sharing my own... but is it fruitful?  Not really.  It isn't bad, but I don't feel it really produces fruit either.

so.  here i am.  i have limited my self on instagram and facebook checking and posts... mostly you will find me here on this blog... sharing my thoughts and collecting memories.  i will still check facebook, but i'm just not making it as easy for myself and same with instagram.  so you can still find me there... just don't be surprised if it takes me a bit to get back to you.

instead of grabbing my phone and looking on social media when i wake up, i am going to grab my youversion app on my phone or even ... gasp... my bible!

wish me luck friends!!

12.28.2015

{husband love}

I think it's so important for us mamas to brag on our husband now & then... Don't you agree?!

Well, my guy... he's pretty awesome!

I use to do a post every week about "why i love my husband...".  I LOVED doing it!  I'm sure some saw it as nauseating, while some I'm sure thought I was over compensating... while, y'all... I just believe in building my husband up, in our home as well as publicly!

I'm not going to pretend we have a perfect marriage.  We don't.  not in any way, shape or form!  That man can infuriate me more than any human being on the planet.  We know how to push one another's buttons and often times do it accidentally.  But on the flip side, there is no one I'd rather be on this journey of life with!!  He's my best friend and we have been through so much together.  I can't imagine doing life without him!!


My hubby took me and our little lady out to dinner tonight!! It was just one of those good nights!  We had planned to go to dinner, but little did I know he would surprise me with dinner at one of the best italian places in town... one we rarely go to because, well... we aren't rich, ha!  Apparently Harper knew... she wore her pearls ;) ... anyway... it was a great evening!  Harper was so well mannered at the restaurant and the food was amazing.  Then something happened that made me take a look at my phone (we are trying SO hard to disconnect in order to intentionally connect...) and I had a text from my husband!!! He had sent me a starbucks card ♥  now come on.  how sweet is that?! swoon! ♥  this man.  he spoils me.  To top it all off, he took me by hobby lobby on the way home... even though the broncos game had already started!! Such a wonderful man!

I've been feeling larger and larger everyday.  I can honestly say I never feel more beautiful than when I'm pregnant and I can contribute a lot of that to my husband.  He tells me how beautiful I am more than once a day.  Last night I mumbled something about feeling uncomfortable and larger than ever.... His response was "no, you are my gorgeous pregnant wife!!".  Now come on.  As much as it makes me roll my eyes a little, that sticks in the heart, am i right?!

I just love this man!

I love that our girls get to have him as their father.  Their first true love!

We are three blessed gals... that is for sure!! ♥

xoxo ♥ a wife in love! 

{Hayden Alexis}

Our sweet baby girl - our second born.

Oh how I cannot wait to meet her, get to know her personality, study her little face and hands!! 

At almost 28weeks it's so hard to believe we are in the final stretch!!! I cannot wait for our girls to meet!! 

It's no secret that we wrestled with a name choice for awhile!!! We found out we were having a girl around the 12 week mark!! I was dead set on a name. Like set!!! Rob didn't like it. No budging. And that just wasn't ok!! Our baby girl had to have a name we both love! So Eden quickly was marked off our list, although I still love the name!!! 

I let it go. We didn't really talk about it much, we threw around a few names here and there - Rob even downloaded name apps on his phone since he was the one more laid back and I was the one sitting over here saying "I am growin a child inside me!!! We need to name her!! Lol" 

You might remember a few months back Hayden was even a name I said we had thrown out. We had a list!  We had it down to three: Emilia, Emery, or McKenna. I loved the E names and we loved the idea of her nickname being "emmie"... but neither one of them seemed to be our baby girl!  I know about ten jillion McKennas. But, I love the name. And hearing Harper say it was even cuter!!... "Kenna!!"  That was quite honestly almost our pick! Like we were almost there!!! And then I just kept seeing it everywhere - friends little girls on Facebook, random strangers kids on social media, etc and I just realized I just really didn't like it for this baby! I knew that if it was THE name, no matter the cons, I'd still love it.  But - I left it on the table for Rob to decide! We went back to the drawing board so to speak and pulled out the list on my phone. I just REALLY loved the sound of Hadlee and Hayden both - and how they both sounded with Harper!! Rob wasn't sold on Hadlee... and I was iffy on Hayden for awhile. But the moment I heard "hayden alexis" and even better, saw it in writing... my heart knew!  But I didn't want to push Rob too much -  I really wanted it to be his choice.  

Two weeks ago we had Rob's parents and his brother and our sister in law over for dinner. We started talking names. We discussed our list and then some!! We still weren't 100% on any of our new top three. I mean. Throughout this pregnancy we had about five different top threes haha. 

I had about all given up - thinking ok, we are going to just have to meet her first. 

Then Christmas morning came. 

All three of us had opened most of our gifts, it had been a picture perfect morning. Like really. We were all in a great mood and even laughed together as I got grumpy making breakfast... Cause mama doesn't really operate too well that early on half a cup of coffee. It was just a good good good Christmas morning. Then Rob handed me a bag. Inside was a hobby lobby bag. At first I thought- wow!!! He got me something fun from Hobby Lobby!!! ... Which he did ;) I just had no idea how fun!! 

I opened it up and started pulling out wooden letters!!!! All random and out of order. But I saw an H, an A, a D, and then a Y... I then knew!!! I started bawling!!! It was right then.. RIGHT THEN that I was 10000% sure!!  Our little girl is Hayden!! Little miss Hayden T!! 

Harper has already been calling baby sister, "baby haayyyden".  It melts my heart!!

It's so amazing how when you decide on "the" name how much peace it brings.  I remember the same feeling with Harper.  It just gives the baby an identity and it's so awesome!! So keep an eye out for lots of "#harperplushayden" hashtags!! Apparently, Harper and Hayden are pretty popular sibling names, ha! So I had to get creative with a hashtag that could be ours alone ♥ 

So very excited!!!

12.26.2015

{Christmas 2015}

Waking up this morning was so amazing... Sleeping in (thanks Harper), and then walked out of our room.

Oh. Boy. 

Our house. Is. A. Mess!!!

Basically Christmas exploded yesterday and then we left for the day. 

Funny how I forgot that. 

Toys to sort through, find a spot for. Laundry to do. Dishes to do. Oh and I just asked Harper if she wanted to get dressed and go brave the crazies for some good after Christmas deals. She literally laughed hysterically at me. So is that a no?! 

But my goodness what a wonderful day yesterday. 

It really started Christmas Eve. We got all dressed up and went to one of our Christmas Eve services at church,  it was wonderful. Then we ran home, I changed out of my 5inch heals (yeah what was I thinking lol), and headed out for our first Christmas dinner at the Harrison's. We ate yummy food and spent some great quality time together. Then headed home, got Harper to bed and the presents out and stockings stuffed. 

Christmas morning was so fun!! We woke up, well... First off... My hubby woke me up at 3am wanting to have Christmas. I gave him (I'm sure) the craziest look and politely (or not so politely) told him he was crazy!! So around 7 we got up, did stockings, stuck a breakfast casserole in, and opened gifts. Harper was so fun... "For meeee???!!" Before she opened everything. It was the cutest!! 

After we ate and were lazy bums - played with new toys - we headed to Matt & Leah's for brunch and a wonderful time with family and friends!! Then back home for nap time - then straight over to Ama & Ampa's for Christmas dinner and secret Santa gifts!! 

Such a fun day!! And in between all that, Rob gave me exactly what I wanted for Christmas (he got me so many amazing things... but this is what I REALLY wanted!!) !! A name for our baby!! We had it narrowed down - but he wrapped up the letters to the name and gave it to me for Christmas. I cried. It was so special!! And now our little one has a name!! We announced it on Facebook and Instagram today after telling our families yesterday. I'll do a separate- all on its own post about her name soon. So until then... You can check us out on fb or insta! 

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!!!  Keep an eye out for a baby name post and of course more Christmas pictures! ♥  It's time to go brave the post holiday crowd and tackle target!! But of course, mama will need a Starbucks fix first ... All my Starbucks are out of caramel brûlée and some even out of red cups (gaspppp!!!)... So I gotta soak up that chestnut praline!!! 

Xoxo❤️

12.23.2015

{27 weeks}

Just a quick little update!! 

Happy Third Trimester!!! 

The belly is finally front and center! I've said so many times that I'm carrying this baby differently. I'm really thinking it has a lot to do with my placenta being up front. 

Two milestones this week... 

• the husband looked at me and said, "wow your baby belly is finally getting big" lol. I laughed. Because I totally agreed!! 

• a stranger asked me for the first time when I am due!!! 

I feel like the baby has also turned - at least I hope! I'm feeling a majority of my kicks higher up past my belly button, where they had been quite low. Also, I went from having more of a small cantaloupe looking belly to a more stretched - from top to bottom - belly!! I'm curious to see what my doctor says in a couple of weeks! 

I feel like we are SO close to a name choice!! I can't wait!! 

Busy! Busy!!! It is Christmas Eve, Eve after all ;) 
Xoxo ❤️

12.22.2015

{the chaos}

So anyone else began the Christmas chaos?! 

This year was suppose to be nice and relaxing. We aren't traveling. Our families aren't really doing presents besides buying for the kids. 

Simplify. 

That was our goal. 

I do still think we will have a peaceful holiday. I really do. 

But man. How did I all of a sudden get so much to do?! 

I'm way behind on wrapping Gifts. You'd think it would be easier this year since basically I only have Harper's to wrap. But hers are the hardest. While, we don't really do the whole gifts from Santa thing... I normally would have them all wrapped and under the tree by now.

Well. This child is sooo excited about Christmas and loves the idea of gifts and giving gifts even more!  There are two gifts under our tree right now and they are both for her daddy. I think she's tried giving them to him every day since they were placed there... Saying "merrryyyy Christmas daddy!!!" Ha! It's so cute!!! But has led me to waiting to wrap stuff. And waiting to put stuff in the stockings. And just waiting. 

I'm not so good at this. Ha! 

It makes me feel like it's chaotic. Even though it's really not. 

I'm so excited for this Christmas with her, though!!! This is our last Christmas as a family of three!!! Exciting and a bit sad, all at the same time! 

I want to make sure our little princess- our soon to be big sister has the best Christmas!!!! ❤️

12.18.2015

{instagram}

Did you guys know that some users accounts were getting locked or even deleted last week????  Insert terrified face here!!!! Aside from blogging, Instagram is my go to memory catcher!! I locked that baby down!!! I havn't had my account private in awhile!! Here I am, secretly wishing I had backed up my photos already... I need to do that asap!! But - in reality, I feel bad because I get request for follows in and I don't even know they are there, yikes again!! 

But. - do you all snapchat?! Wait is that the right verbage?! Is it a verb?! I'm not gonna lie - snap chat makes me feel old. All of my mommy friends and I laugh- none of us really know exactly how to use it. Completely. Yes. I just admitted it!! 
Ha!  

Ok. Enough social media monopolization for now!! 
Xoxo❤️

12.17.2015

{expectant}

Sometimes I forget that I'm not the only one "expecting".

Our whole family is waiting in expectation! 

Even Harper. 

Granted, she isn't quite certain exactly what is happening... How could she. She's not even two. But she knows sister is in mommy's tummy and she wants her to come out! 

In fact, the common happening around our house is for Harper to want to lay on my baby belly. She will lift up my shirt, just enough for her little face to touch my skin, and lay there - feeling her baby sister kick her. She loves it. 

It is the sweetest thing!! But it reminds me. She is waiting too. Just like I'm waiting to be a mommy again, she is waiting to be a big sister for the first time!!  So amazing!! 


I'm the youngest in my family - so this big sister thing is new for both of us! I'm so excited for her! She is going to be just the best big sister!!! 

12.16.2015

{26 weeks}

My last week in my second trimester... Next week I'll be seven months pregnant.

That is just so crazy!!! This pregnancy is seriously flying. So fast that I had a little freak out in my head yesterday.... Haha. You know that point when you realize what your body is going through and is about to go through again!!  yeah. 

So anyway!


At 26 weeks, I'm already feeling it. I'm tired. But at the same time, I'm really enjoying this pregnancy!! This little girl is so active- kicks, rolls, hiccups... You name it! 

I think we are closer to naming her - I think. Right now it's down to two! Unless we hear a name that we haven't heard yet and fall in love with it - we are either going to have another little "H" or an "M"! Both aren't too common, and I love that!! Rob and I can think of two famous people with the "H" name and well - the "M" is a little more popular- but none the less, I think we have it narrowed down. Harper has a favorite. It's pretty cute!! I'll have to get a video of us talking to her about it to post after we announce the name - hopefully that's before the hospital, haha!

No crazy cravings this week. No stretch marks and my belly button is still in. It never popped with Harper so I'm very curious to see if it will this pregnancy! I feel like my weight gain has been good - even though we don't even own a scale hahaha!! I'm so dreading my glucose test in a couple of weeks ... Ugh!!! I don't mind the drink - more the way I feel when my sugar plummets. Ready to get it over with though. 

& I have to confess.  you see that scarf?! I pretty much live in it.  It is so comfy and warm... and goes with everything!! It was an early gift from Rob and Harper... shameless Old Navy plug ;)  It seriously has been my go to this winter so far!! & that sweater?! Well, my sweet sis-in-law brought me over two huge boxes of her maternity clothes! Thank goodness!! Even though this isn't my first pregnancy, with my pregnancy with Harper - most of my maternity clothes were hand me downs... and well, I handed them back, ha!  I have a few pieces I've picked up here and there, but I was wearing them every few days.. now I have some super cute pieces to put in the rotation!! & this sweater is a new favorite!! There's room for the bump, but isn't baggie! And well.  I've been living in those jeggings too... thank you forever 21! I've seriously had these pants longer than I'd like to admit, ha!... their elastic waste make them great for maternity and just regular day.

This week, on the agenda... you guys.  Tomorrow I'm cutting a few inches off of my hair.  When I say a few, I mean like 5! haha!  that is, if I don't chicken out ;) We shall see!!

Well, that's about it at 26 weeks.  We have been so busy that really, there's not much pregnancy news!
Hope you are all having a great week!!
xoxo ♥


12.13.2015

{bye-bye paci!!!}

So, we've been paci free for a few weeks now. I hesitated blogging this milestone... Mostly because I was unsure it would stick. 

Harper did it all on her own. 

I had heard rumors of fairytales of this happening. I thought surely this was impossible. 

I was wrong. 

I'm not a fan of pacifiers!!! In fact I wasn't sure we'd even introduce one when she was an infant. 

But life happened. Her first shot in the hospital - the nurse said the paci would help ease the pain during it. So we agreed to her giving it to Harper. Then Harper had jaundice so we had to have her blood tested everyday for a week ... So I applied the same logic the nurse told me. Then I happened upon the amazingness that my baby that already slept like a champ would sleep even longer with a pacifier. This tired mommy was sold!!! 

Which led us to having a 22 month old still walking around with a pacifier in her mouth!!! We had been saying since she was a year old, that once she lost them all - they were gone - we weren't buying new ones. 

Guess what. She always managed to find one. Then one day, out of the blue, a few weeks ago, she wanted to throw them all away!!! We actually tried talking her out of it - we were sure she didn't realize that meant they were gone for good. She insisted. So we let her. Then Rob sneaked then out and we washed them and hid them, just knowing she would want them back. Well. We were wrong. 

In fact, she found one this weekend and told me, "baby paci!!! Baby sister!"  I was shocked. 

She has been so easy so far with things like this. It was a similar transition when she quit bottles. 

Now can potty training now be this easy?! 

Harper is quick to tell you these days that, "I a big girl!!!" ... I keep reminding her she will always be mamas baby!!! ❤️

12.12.2015

{life before the mom-knot... }

i've seen so many posts lately about how mamas can't remember life before their babies.  and i know what they mean.  they mean they are happy.  that their children are the perfect addition to their family.  that their children make their family complete.

and with all of those statements i whole-heartedly agree.  but am i really the only one that remembers life before the mom-knot?!

i'm not saying it was better... in fact, the exact opposite.  but i'd be lying if there were some days i'd love to sleep in, sipping on coffee, and watching something besides diego or dora.  ha!
but those Saturday morning snuggles i got this morning... the ones that lasted for almost 2 hours, little arms wrapped around my neck, lots of smooches... those i wouldn't replace for any sleep filled night or sleeping in til 10!  in fact, i wouldn't trade any of it...

as we prepare for our second little princess, i know life is getting ready to change even more and i'm so excited!! because if i've learned anything in the last almost two years of motherhood, it's this.... that even the most challenging of changes or seasons are beautiful when you are a mama.  this is what God has called me to do.

last night as we laid in bed, our family of 3 (+ little sister in my belly), doing our evening devotional with Harper, watching her sing "I give because God gave me Jesus... it's what I do, do do, do...." at the top of her lungs, I felt God whisper to my heart... this, this why I created you - for you to be her mommy, for you to lead her in my way.  And that my friends, that trumps all.  if i was created ... my only purpose in life, being for nothing more than to be her and her little sister's mommy... then that, my friends, is the highest purpose i could ever imagine!

so for a split second, i might long for binge watching on netflix or amazon prime - something else besides shows that wait for your response awkwardly... all it ever takes is that sweet little voice or hug... or even being called "mommy", and i'd trade every 8hour+ night of sleep i've ever gotten! ♥

12.08.2015

{top three Tuesday... }

So I saw a fellow instagramer post about blogging a "top three Tuesday" as she had seen someone else do. 

Honestly, there were parts of today that could've been a lot better. But just like anything in life, there was so much more good than negative in my day & I want to focus on that!! So I thought I'd join in the top three Tuesday this week!! 

• my sweet husband hearing my frustration and getting me Starbucks AND another new Starbucks Christmas mug!! It really brightened my toddler tantrum filled day right up!! 

• having our brother, sister, and our nephew & niece over for dinner! Watching our kiddos play together and laugh together. Sharing my day with my sister in law and her literally sitting there saying "me too!!", sharing an evening with her over a cup of tea/coffee, as our kids ran back and forth between us and their daddies. I'm not sure we finished one complete thought but the time was still so good for the soul!!! I just love our family!! 

• the fact that my baby girl is peacefully sleeping, and she insisted on cuddling baby sister (in my belly) for awhile before her daddy took her to bed. The sweetness and love she already shows her sister... It melts my heart!! ❤️ 


12.07.2015

{currently}

I decided to pick back up doing a "currently" post here and there & link up with Becky over at Choose Happy ❤️ 

Currently, Ive (or we) been.... 

Craving: 
Sushi!!!! In fact. One of our grocery stores has a little sushi bar and I literally crave sushi from there... Constantly!! Not from our normal sushi place - FROM THE GROCERY STORE, people!!! Logically that sounds awful haha. But they make the best spicy crunch roll! It even has bites of jalapeño in every piece!! Rob was a loving husband and went and got some for me this week when the baby was basically demanding it!! 


Which leads me to the next item.... 

Sipping ... 
On his sushi run, this grocery store also happens to have a Starbucks - at which he also bought me my annual Christmas mug from him!! What a great surprise!! I've really enjoyed sipping my yummy lattes from it this week!! 



Toting... 
No, not THAT kind of toting y'all!!! I know I live in CO, but jeez ;) 
I found THE CUTEST bag this week (of course while shopping for others)... FOR TWO DOLLARS!!! Two!! 
I fell in love with it, because... Well I'm definitely #crazythankful!! 


Christmas-ing.... 
Last year, my mother in law and I started a little tradition of taking Harper to see Santa at a local high school's craft fair! He's really just the best looking Santa... And he's free!!! Harper did well... She was apprehensive and didn't really want to smile, but then didn't want to get down from his lap when it was time to go, haha! 

Continuing our advent...
We have continued our Tisthammer family dinner/advent by meeting last night as a family. We have also been doing advent with Harper nightly, using the you version app for kids and of course her chocolate countdown and link chain countdown ❤️

& more Christmas-ing.... 
Tonight we had our super fun ladies Christmas party at the church - including a Christmas mug exchange (does that have my name written all over it or what?!) it was so fun!!! And gave me an excuse to make gluten and dairy filled Christmas treats!!!!! 


Well, there's really so much more going on around here too... I'll get to that eventually I'm sure :)
But these are the highlights over the last few days. I just love this time of year and how enjoyably busy we stay!! I think we have plans every day/night for the next few weeks. It wears me out thinking about it a bit since I'm such a home body - but it's all so fun and festive!!! 
Have a great week, friends!!! 
Xoxo 


{letting it go... embracing the good}

so last week I won a give away that one of my favorite instagram mommy friends was doing!! you should really check out her blog, friends!!!... click here!

i met MaLyn a while back through social media!  in fact, in this give away post, she refers to the fact that a year ago she made the decision to make her instagram public (take it off private settings) in order to connect with moms through instagram (see that here)!! i, for one, am so glad she did :)  even though, ironically enough... we didn't meet through instagram, but through facebook i believe. 

anyway... it really got me to thinking.  i've wrestled with social media and the sharing vs not sharing of my life publicly for quite awhile.  i know there are major creepers out there... like major.  like scary, steal your picture creepers.  and i also know there are just people out there that are nosy and curious, harmless... but really that i'd rather them not know all the ends and outs of my life that are meant for my family and friends.  so every once in awhile, you'll see me fort knox it and lock everything down in a momentary freak out, ha!

but this was such a good reminder to me that opening myself up publicly really does have some awesome benefits!  i have met some really really awesome friends through social media.  a lot of mom friends and mom blogger friends who i really do feel like are real life friends, even though i have never met them face to face.  we've laughed together, prayed for one another, and listened to one another vent, and i'm pretty sure even cried together on occasion.  i've connected with some amazing women that i'm quite certain i wouldn't have met otherwise.

to those of you that legitimately want to connect and get to know one another because you feel we have common ground, please, please do!!! find me on insta! for the super duper creepers... the scary ones.  just don't.  go find some one else to be scary creepy to.... i promise there are a lot more interesting people out there! and for the harmless, nosy/curious ones...
welcome to my unbelievably happy, blessed, wonderful life!  and yes, this happiness is real.  hey ... maybe let's be friends, then you don't have to be nosy ;P

i'm sure i'll continue to flip back and forth, especially as my girls grow.  it's hard wanting to share how wonderful they are, but being concerned about putting them out there where the whole world has access. 

but that being said... let's connect!  if you love jesus, your hubby, your kiddos, your friends... and chick- fil- a & caffeine... or if you're just a non-creepy stalker mama (ha!), I'd love to get to know you ♥ 

here's to social media, bringing mamas together!
xoxo ♥

12.06.2015

{my sweet, sweet girl}


As my little one leaned over to snuggle my ever growing baby belly, I came across a blog post on expecting a second daughter. These words are basically straight from my heart!!! 

"So, while I’m sorry that the era of just-you-and-me is coming to a close, I’m going to stop and decide to always remember this precious, beautiful time we’ve had together and be grateful that you were the one who taught me how to be someone’s mother. You, with your sweet, gentle nature, your enthusiastic and kind spirit, and your compassionate and loving heart.

What an amazing big sister you’re going to make. Your little sister is going to be thrilled when she finds out that you’re the one she got."-RASHA RUSHDY (via @scarymommy)

12.03.2015

{happiness is...}

I'm having one of those super thankful days!!

Where I just look at my beautiful family and think, wow.  I. AM. SO. BLESSED!!!

During my life, I've seen people attempt to find happiness in material possessions and I won't pretend that I haven't from time to time.  And I won't begin to pretend that I don't see people's picturesque homes or blog worthy outfits on social media venues and sigh... ha!  And don't even get me started on the ideas pinterest puts into my head ;) 

But then I quickly remember.... even if we were all crammed into a one room house - we would have each other & I get to stay home a lot with my girls!! And really, that time is worth more to me than any pretty clothes or home décor (which really, I feel like we also have... maybe just not the latest and greatest)! I clearly remember a time, when I wanted to stop working so bad and stay home with Harper... telling Rob, that I really didn't care if we ate soup every night.  I just wanted to stay home with my baby! And really, it's so true!! So as I sit here in, well... to be honest, who knows how old these clothes are! ha! I'm thankful for a husband that works so hard so that I get to spend so much time at home with my babies!! And my goodness... we have so much more than enough!! I could really want nothing more!!!
... ok, I really need some Rubbermaid drawers/organizers to get our girls' closet in order so I can start washing and putting baby clothes away.  But that's reachable. and manageable.  I think.  ha!

so, lately when I see something on social media that might typically make me wish, gosh... I wish my house looked like that, or I looked like that, or... fill in the blank, I'm trying really hard to just be thankful for that person.  And guess what.  It's working :) 

So here is to putting a stop to comparison!  Because really, what good does it do?! ♥

Let's be thankful for our own blessings, friends!
xoxo ♥

12.02.2015

{transitioning back to blogger}

I've been working for the past month or so, transitioning back to blogger from wordpress.  There are several reasons, that I won't really go into. 
I like the options blogger gives me, without charging me any additional fees. 

I played around with weebly some, trying to decide between that and blogger.  It then hit me... blogger has all my posts, minus the last two years!  Why wouldn't I just go back to them and slowly, but surely pull all my posts from wordpress that are missing over to blogger? Let me tell you... it is no small task!  Blogger doesn't read a wordpress export file, so there's no quick and simple way to do it!
My goal was to get a month + pulled over, then start using blogger again.  So here we are...

I'll continue to work on pulling more over in my not so free time ;) 

Thanks for following along on the ride of my blog switching... go figure that I'd end up back with blogger after switching to wordpress 2 years ago.  So typical Carrie ♥

I will keep my old wordpress blog up for a while until I get it all pulled over.  Feel free to access that here!

xoxo ♥

{twenty-four weeks}

We had a doctors appointment this week AND an ultrasound!!


We were able to push the ultrasound out time wise since we already knew the gender!
The appointment went really well! We had the ultrasound first, then met with my doctor. Can I just say... the further we get in this pregnancy, the more and more of a comfort it is to have the same doctor that delivered Harper... the same doctor that has walked through two miscarriages with us!  the same doctor who, even though Harper wasn't with us at our appointment - asked about her by name, remembered when she was born, and how old she was!  So comforting!!


At the appointment:
  • Baby weighs 1lb
  • Is cute as can be... Pictures are so much like her big sisters!! - minus the foot in the mouth from this little princess ;)
  • Baby kept putting her feet in her mouth! At first I thought it was her hand... Then the technician said, "she's definitely sucking on something but I'm pretty sure it's her foot!" Then as time progressed and she was looking at all the "parts"... Sure enough... A long skinny leg was stretched all the way to her mouth ❤️
  • Baby was breech today, but my doctor wasn't concerned at all since we have three more months.
  • Baby's heartbeat was 160!
  • & we were right... The placenta is right up front! Which is why I could feel her butterflies but not her kicks for so long! ... I can DEFINITELY feel them now  ;)
  • I have only gained 1lb since my last appointment. I was shocked since we are in the middle of the holidays. Hopefully I can keep it up!
  • Glucose test next appointment. Here's hoping the sugar crash doesn't give me an anxiety attack like it did last time!!!
Pregnancy wise:
  • Acid reflux/heartburn have been giving me fits! My doctor told me what I could take tho. So fingers crossed that will work!
  • Still wearing combo maternity/non maternity clothes.
  • Belly button is still in
  • No stretch marks or linea negra yet.
  • I feel like there's a chance my sciatica might hurt the rest of my life. Ha!
  • No off the wall cravings besides just food in general.
  • I feel like the belly is more and more out front, but feel a lot smaller than I was with Harper.
  • we still haven't finalized a name.  I have a new favorite (I think!)... a favorite out of our top three anyway ♥
This ultrasound really has me excited to meet this little one!! Harper was SUCH an EASY baby, I'm hoping this little one is no different!  Harper would let us sleep for 5 hour stretches even from the get go... we would have to wake her up to eat!  It use to drive me crazy, because she was SO hard to wake up to nurse!! But I realize now it was actually a blessing, haha!  If this little one is anything like her big sister, we will have nothing but smooth sailing! ♥

11.26.2015

{thankful 2015}

I have so much to be thankful for this year!!! I'm thankful for my God & the grace He continues to give me!



I'm thankful for my husband. That he works so hard and loves our family so well!


 I'm thankful for my Harper. She brings me so much joy and love! 
I'm thankful for my growing baby belly!! I cannot wait to meet this little one! I'm enjoying her little active kicks all day long! 


I'm thankful for our health and for the good health of our parents & grandparents! 




I'm thankful that even though my family is spread across the nation, we will be thinking of one another, and all thanking the One who has blessed us immensely!! I'm thankful for our warm, cozy home! & all the wonderful memories and growing we do here! I'm thankful for our friends and the beautiful community we get to do life with! I'm so thankful for this new season of life and where God has brought us! We all have so much to be thankful for!!! Enjoy your time with family and friends!!

11.24.2015

{little kicks and kisses}

As Harper and I are cuddling this morning, she is laying her little head on my baby belly, gently rubbing and kissing her little sister. 
She must have woken little sister up, because she very quickly started kicking Harper. The first time Harper was actually able to feel her and knew what it was ❤️ 
My heart is melting!!!  
Love these little precious, treasured moments!! 

{friends•giving}

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Ok friends... I usually don't "reblog"often, but our dear friends over at Courageous Love just blogged about our friendsgiving this past weekend! it was on my "to blog about" list and well... Autumn said it better than I ever could ♥ Check it out: Friendsgiving ♥ I'm so thankful for these friends of ours!!!

11.23.2015

{life before being a mama}

Rob and I often joke that our kids probably won't get away with anything. I can smell alcohol, weed, tabacco smoke a mile away. Basically anything they shouldn't be doing my mommy senses are already in tune. Or it could be I've been there done that... Or at least been around it enough to know about it.
There are a lot of things in my past I'm proud of. ... Some details not so much. But I have lived a life that over all I am SO proud of!
As I read an article shared by scary mom on Facebook ... I won't share because it has some crazy choice language for effect and, well that's not me anymore.
Anyway, I could relate. Like a lot!!! More than I'd like to admit! 5 things your kids don't know about you.
And then I got to #5 and here came the tears!!!
5. I used to dream of you. Before I uttered my {first curse word} or took my {first drink}, before I knew anything else I’d ever want in my life, I knew I wanted you. The idea of you, of my own family, it was always the dream. In some strange, cosmic way, I was your mama before I was your mama. You were always meant to be mine, and I was always meant to be yours. Yes, you changed some things about me. But you gave me the most precious gift in return. You made my dream come true. And for that I'd give the rest up.
It's truly amazing to me the path life takes us on to get to where we are and to where we are going.  That "dream", that dream is what kept me going so many times when I was at my lowest.  The dream of my family!
I am so thankful to my savior!  That He knew my dream.  He placed it in my heart. and He continued to discipline me to reach that dream!

11.22.2015

{pregnancy & life at almost 23 weeks}

It’s here!!! I don’t want to jinx myself, but the part of my pregnancy that I remember with Harper is finally here with this little one. I FINALLY can say I’m enjoying my pregnancy!!

I told Rob last night, you know – I’m actually enjoying things now! Granted I am so ready to hold this precious little one in my arms, but I’m trying so hard not to wish away time!
We have been talking names – a lot!!! We have a top three that we actually agree on. Who knows if we will actually pick one of those or not. But shocker – my precious FAVORITE name isn’t on that list of three. Ha! I stuck to my guns a bit more with “Harper” but with this one, maybe it’s because I’ve watched Rob be a dad for almost two years now – but I want us both to LOVE the name. There are so many things we love about our top three!! I’m tempted to share, but there’s seriously a chance we won’t use any of them ha! I’ve found that I really like “e” names and “m” names this pregnancy!! I can’t wait to name her tho! To Rob it isn’t as big of a deal. His perception is that we have 4 more months. But to me, this little one has been growing inside of me since July!!! And now that she is so active and is such a huge part of my day to day, I really want to give her a name.  It is on Rob’s heart that this little one is going to be powerful, a leader, and protector! Where we just kept feeling “joy” with Harper, which is SO accurate, this one is so different!!! A good different!!

We get to see her through an ultrasound before too long! I can’t wait!! She will be a full month “older” than Harper was when we did her anatomy scan. I’m excited to see the difference.
The farther along in this pregnancy we get, the more similarities I’m seeing. Even the little kicks are so much like her big sisters! I’m definitely carrying her a little lower than Harper, but size wise I’m a little smaller in picture comparisons which is crazy to me!
No crazy cravings, besides Starbucks!! These holiday drinks are getting me!!! Holy calories!! Ha! And I’m really looking forward to pumpkin pie today at our “friend thanksgiving”!  Besides that, I’m loving grape juice and orange juice!!
Harper has been gently rubbing my belly and kissing baby sister. It’s really the cutest!!!
Time is flying!! And I know it goes by even faster through the holidays! I’m going to be in my third trimester before we know it!

11.20.2015

{our daughters, love, and yes ....sex}

I know I've mentioned before that I always envisioned myself a mom of boys.  Well, here I am with a daughter and pregnant with our second daughter.  Does God have a sense of humor or what?!  Can I be honest for a second and share one of the many reasons I always thought I'd have wanted boys? ... love and sex.  As a female, my perception of how easy these areas are for boys made me want boys.  How am I possibly equipped to teach daughters about love and sex?!  Harper is not even two and I feel like I'm already going to fail miserably in this area!
It terrifies me to think of the day that we have to have "THE TALK" with our girls!  I hope and pray that Rob and I display a true, passionate, REAL love for them.  I pray that they will not be fooled by the lust that overtakes our world.  I pray that God will protect their hearts, helping them save their hearts for someone worthy of that heart, that will respect them in all ways.
As I was reading a mother's letter to her daughter about sex I couldn't help but feel incredibly blessed and encouraged.  Why?  Because my girls have a true love example in their Dad!  I am so thankful and overwhelmed that this many is my husband, the father to my precious little girls!
I am so thankful that my daughters will have their daddy as their first example of true love!
So here I am, another Thankful November post, thankful for my amazing husband... for the amazing father of my children!
** please take a moment to read the article I linked above.  It literally moved me to tears of thankfulness. 

11.18.2015

{one of those days...}

So you know those days… Those days where you’re just in a funk? I honestly think it had a lot to do with the fact we were snowed in yesterday… Not that we leave the house everyday, but it just left me feeling a little stir crazy!!! & I needed an attitude adjustment pronto!
So thankfully, my sweet mother in law had noticed Kohls was having a pretty good sale today so she and my hubby sent me on an early birthday shopping trip! I grabbed my little sidekick, stopped for Starbucks, and went shopping. It was just what I needed! Harper was the perfect little coshopper, helping me pick out new boots and Christmas ornaments! This kid. She literally gave me advice as I tried on boots… “No mommy not those” vs “oh….. I like!!!” Haha. My little fashionista! Lord knows I need the fashion help ;)
We spent quite a bit of time just shopping and enjoying our time together. Then this evening her daddy took us out to dinner! Talk about a turn around in attitude and outlook!
So today I’m thankful that just because a day starts blah, it doesn’t mean it has to set the tone for the whole day!! So thankful for some special people in my life, including my little side kick ❤️

11.14.2015

{21 weeks/21 months}





today I attempted to get a cute picture of the baby bump and Harper since the bump is 21 weeks this week and Harper is 21 months.... Well. I should've known better! We are both under the weather, look a mess, and well... She's 21 months haha. This is real life friends!!! I just had to share how funny these are! There's MAYBE a couple that are ok... Side note, what did we do before phone camera timers?...















11.13.2015

{the differences...}

 
So I've shared before how unbelievably different this pregnancy is from my pregnancy with Harper! It's crazy different. It's funny, because even though we are expecting another little girl - it's as if from the very start she decided she was going to be completely different from her older sister. and I love that! Granted, I've often joked that if you could promise me kids like Harper I'd probably agree to tons of kids ♥

I was thinking about it last night as I laid in bed, nauseated as could be... yes at 21 weeks I still get surprise nausea hits. It's just wonderful, ha! I was thinking about how I maybe had one or two times of nausea when I was pregnant with Harper and that was in the very beginning of my first trimester. It got me to thinking... is it my mind set that is different? Is it actually the pregnancy? As I hear my doctor saying - no two pregnancies are alike, try not to compare.

I feel like when I was pregnant with Harper I had NO idea what being a parent would be like. Sure, I had my ideas - I grew up around kids, so I thought I knew what it would be like. But really, I had no clue. So really, the pregnancy itself was the best thing that had happened to me as a parent at that moment in time. It was awesome having a little one growing inside of me. I was annoyingly blissful (I've read my past blog entries and even I'm annoyed at my self, ha!... and also love that my clueless, naïve self loved Harper so much!).


But then she was born. They placed her in my arms for the first time... and then it began! THAT was the best moment! Then she nursed and THAT was the best moment! Then we took her home and THAT was the best moment.... flash forward to the first time she crawled, the first time she walked, the first time she said mommy... those are all "best moments"... greatly surpassing my pregnancy emotions with her! Every day and every second is a new bet moment as a mom. This morning, even at 5am when I heard her wake up... "mom! mommyyyyy!!! maaaaaaaaaa!!!" that was my hearts best moment of the day so far! Chances are this will be our last pregnancy. So even from the beginning I decided I wasn't going to wish it away. I was going to enjoy every bit of it. The kicks, the hiccups, the aches, the pains. But man. It's hard! Once you know how much joy is to come... you know how much happiness and just the amazingness that is to come when they place that baby in your hands... how can I not wish it away? Rob and I were talking about how we are over half way there now... 19 weeks left. And then joked if she is like her sister that means 17 weeks left. Then we both looked at one another! 17 weeks sounded so soon, haha! He was like but we don't have a name... to which I responded I KNOOWWWW!!! All of our friends know, he is driving me crazy with picking a name... crazy! ha! So that response was pretty comical! I am so excited to meet this little one!! March seems like an eternity away, but I also know how fast it goes. Not to mention how fast time goes after they're born... I don't look forward to the feeling of those fleeting moments x 2! But I do look forward to celebrating the differences and similarities! I'm so excited to see what those are... even down to the labor and delivery. I think like anything else, there are things I hope we can repeat and there are things that I know we've learned from and will do much different this time around. I'm sure that will continue as long as we are being called "daddy & mommy"! But oh, my heart... I'm not sure how there's room for any more love - but I can't wait! ♥

11.10.2015

{starbucks, snow, & thankfulness}

so.  it’s that time of year friends!!! TONIGHT!!!
TOINIGHT IS SUPPOSE TO BE THE FIRST SNOW!!!!
as much as it becomes pretty old after, oh I don’t know… MAY!… I love the snow, the winter, and just the magic of this season! and I swear having a little one that is just as excited is just amazing!  as we took our Christmas stuff out the other night… her face just continued to light up as her daddy continued to bring boxes up as she whispered and yelled “Chrissssmiieeee!!!” So adorable!!
Anyway.  So the snow. yes! so excited! we will see if it actually happens and if it actually sticks so it’s pretty! And for the first time in a long time, I’m not thinking… UGH! I have to drive all the way across town in the snowy, slick conditions! It definitely takes the joy out of the pretty snow, let me tell ya!  SO.SO SOOO very thankful for this new season of life!!
AND.  something else to be thankful for?… thank you groupon and starbucks for teaming up once again, to give me a discount on holiday drinks! ha!  with all this nonsense going on about the starbucks cups, I’m so happy to be supporting them in saying… WHO CARES!!! Do I think the cups are a little plain this year? sure… does it offend me as a Christian? NO WAY! I believe Candace Cameron Bure said it best:
“Starbucks War on Christmas? It’s a red cup, folks, Until Starbucks puts a baby Jesus or nativity scene on the cup while saying Merry Christmas, then pulls it because they say it’s offensive, let’s talk. I don’t remember Starbucks ever being a Christian company, do you?”
“A Santa, a snowflake, some holly, a polar bear, some jingle bells or plain red cups don’t define Christmas for me as a Christian. My relationship with Jesus does. I will joyfully sip on my Starbucks coffee, in a plain red cup, and instead of complaining about the lack of decorations, I will lovingly share the good news of Jesus Christ with friends and co-workers or anyone who’s willing to engage in conversation. Merry Christmas to all!”

11.07.2015

{Christmas Cheer}

I am so thankful for my husband (see, warned you that I’d use this one a lot this month). I’m so thankful that he humors me in my Christmas craziness.
Picture him, tonight, head lamp on, heading out to our outside storage shed – all because at 6pm I decided I wanted to decorate. No complaints. I mentioned it and he went!
So now I sit, sipping on vanilla camomile tea with twinkle lights everywhere, in front of our fire place as he gets out little princess down for the night.

Sigh. I love twinkle lights!!!! And my husband ❤️

11.06.2015

{memorable moments}

Thankful for memorable moments with my little girl!!
As we sit, in warm jammies, with a warm quilt, watching Anne of Green Gables. Her first time meeting Anne-with an E!!
I’m watching her amazement, as I remember mine as a little girl. And my heart is full.

11.03.2015

my husband, my hero}

Today I am thankful for my husband. I’m sure this will be a repeat thankful offense this month.

But this week I’ve been so thankful for him literally coming home and rescuing me a lot this pregnancy. Lately it seems that I have all this energy to go, go, go & keep up with my little energy crazed adorable tornado then all of a sudden it’s gone and I’m depleted. Like can’t go. At all.
As I type he is downstairs with Harper, getting his new Xbox (spoiled ha! But really it’s a whole other story. This guy has been selling stuff on eBay, including his 360 to save up $ for this. So proud of him!!), letting her play and go crazy while I sit. Just sit. And maaaybe sip on some yummy hazelnut coffee ;)
This man. He blesses me. So thankful.

11.02.2015

{our ultimate provider}

Today I am thankful, SOO very thankful as I’m reminded that God is our ultimate provider!
I know I’ve mentioned before that me getting to stay home with Harper the majority of the time was and is a HUGE leap of faith. We have never been budget people. We’ve always had enough and never really worried about a budget (we still need to get better at this). But man. Now every penny and then some is accounted for. But you know what?! We let go of our worldly fears and trusted that God would provide. I often tell myself … Repeatedly. “Today’s Manna.” (See exodus 16). Basically, God gives you what you need, when you need it. It is human nature to hoard it up, saving it for later. But really. It is for today that God provides. And tomorrow he will provide.
I have been reminded of this lately through the timely selling of our extra car. We had it listed on Craigslist for about a month and I knew when it was Gods timing for us to have the $ it would sell. And guess what. It did!
Again, today I was reminded of this. As a new season is starting, I was looking at Harper’s wardrobe thinking – man. She needs new clothes and shoes!!! I kept looking at thrift stores and my mommy sites and just hadn’t had any luck. Today, an old coworker’s fiancé text me saying she had a whole box of clothes for me – for Harper. A whole box of winter and summer outfits and a whole bag of winter and summer shoes!!!! Harper is so set!!!
Friends. God is so good. Even in the little, seemingly insignificant things. He is faithful!!!
I could go on and on with examples, like how He supplied money for dinner for a date night this past weekend. Even the seemingly small things friends. He’s there.
Sure does a heart good and I’m so thankful!!!

11.01.2015

{thankful November}

One thing I love about November – blogging about what I’m thankful for – I’d like to say every day, but that’s not too realistic ;)
Today I am thankful for all the fun we’ve had this weekend!
Friday night we got to have a real grown up date night! Harper had a sleep over with Rob’s parents! A kid free 12+ hours!! We headed to our favorite gluten free restaurant down town and then to the philharmonic. It was a wonderful, relaxing evening. I woke up Saturday to a quiet house, which was sooo strange!! I loaded up Lilly in the car and headed to Starbucks then to pick up H… I missed her too much!!
 
 
Yesterday we had such a fun day!! Harper’s cousins came over in the afternoon to play a bit and the adults got to catch up. Then it was time to get ready for trick or treating!! Our church was having a trunk or treat … And I’m so thankful. It’s scary out there for an almost two year old! When did Halloween become all about the scary and not for just the fun of it?! Anyway, some of our dear friends met up with us at our church so our girls could “trunk or treat” together for a bit! It has become a little tradition. And I’m loving it!!
 
Harper didn’t last long. What is it about Halloween, toddlers, and melt downs?! She wanted to eat all the candy as it was being put in her bucket… And it was being put in by the handfuls!!!
So about 45 min in we called it a night. Then it was home to eat some treats and crash!
 
This morning, I was reminded how thankful I am for our church!!! The message today was just one of those that leaves you with your toes stepped on, your heart encouraged, and basically just wanting to do better!

After church Harper and I headed to Starbucks for Christmas cups and Christmas drinks!!! The Christmas bucket list for this year has officially started!

Tonight we head over to some friends for birthday celebrating!

It really has just been the best weekend. Not to steal the thankful thunder from the rest of the month, but so thankful for family, friends, and an awesome church family!!
 

10.30.2015

{21 Months}

 
Our little princess, soon to be big sister, is 21 months old.  3 months from being TWO!!! How did my teeny-tiny little baby get so big?! ok… she’s still teeny, but she is so big!!!

She is so amazingly smart.  It is so fun to have full on conversations with her these days.  Harper is simply amazing!

People are often confused at how old she is… she’s so small yet is so smart and talks like someone older than her age.  It’s pretty trippy… Rob says it freaks him out sometimes, ha!
I’m also learning she is a lot smarter than I even give her credit for… I catch myself thinking in certain situations that she won’t understand whatever it is, but explain it to her anyway, only to find her fully comprehending what I just said.  This happens often when she’s being a stinker ;) ….which happens more often than not.

Basically, I’m not sure if any child has been more loved than we love this little one!  She remains our sunshine!… and really, this only increases as I see her being so sweet to my baby belly, giving “sister” kisses and putting her little hand on my little bump in hopes to feel baby sister.  She literally grabbed the heart monitor out of my doctor’s pocket this week and said… “SISTER!!!… I listen!” ha!  My doctor was amazed as she watched Harper turn it on and know how to use it.  She was in disbelief.  Yes we have one at home, but this one is hi-tech!! And worth more than we make in a month hahaha!…. oh our girl!
I see more and more of myself in her daily! She is stubborn but so tender hearted! Is basically obsessed with animals, boots, the color purple, her daddy, almond milk, all her stuffed animals (ALLLL of them!!).  She LOVES her cousins Blakely and Levi.  And talks about them constantly when we aren’t all together.
She can do pretty much anything she sets her mind to.  I see her frustrations in things that are harder for her and her temptations to give up if she isn’t good at it.  I’m trying so hard to encourage her to keep trying, that she can do it (again, her mama’s personality!).
I find myself trying to guide her in not having the same flaws as myself… i.e., not showing her how to be fearful, encouraging her to do whatever she wants.  If she grows up and is scared of snakes, it will be because SHE is scared of snakes, not because I instilled that fear in her.  I sat out early on to not let my fears be hers.  This broken world we live in does that enough for us as it is…
Newest developments:
  • She can almost count to ten with our help.  She likes to skip from four to six… we are almost there.
  • She is getting her colors down pat.  Her favorites are blue and purple.
  • She points out circles… A LOT!!  We are trying to move on to different shapes, but circles are definitely her favorite.
  • She loves singing songs!  Let it Go is a favorite as well as Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle and Itsy Bitsy Spider.
  • Teeth wise she has all her age appropriate teeth with the exception of her canine-pointy teeth.  I’m dreading those for her, as I’ve heard they are painful.  Her molars seemed to not be too bad for her… we shall see about the 2 year ones when that time hits.
  • She can draw H’s (probably one of the easiest letters of the alphabet) and she thinks it is the greatest… H mommy see!!! “huh-huh-huh”!
  • She also attempts to draw circles which end up looking more like ovals – that is if the ends of the circle meet.
I try to keep her challenged!  She loves to draw and do art as well as play with playdough.  She loves cutting the playdough with a plastic knife.  Basically she loves doing anything that makes her feel like a big girl – I’m hoping that works to our advantage as we dive in to potty training soon.

10.29.2015

{19 weeks…}

ok.  this pregnancy is flying by.  if you ask my hubby, he feels like its going slow, ha! probably because my whole first trimester I was a BEAR!!! My first trimester did feel like it took FOREVER… but now that I’ve been feeling better, it is flying by!

We had a 19week appointment yesterday.  Everything was great!  Baby girl’s heartbeat was strong and the doctor could even hear her doing flips… sounds like we have another active one on our hands!  I was so happy to hear that because, while I started feeling full on kicks from Harper pretty early, this little one has been a little quieter.  My doctor thinks that my placenta must be upfront.  She encouraged me not to compare pregnancies, but to get use to what is “normal” for this one.  Easier said than done… am I right mamas?!  Since we already know the gender, we decided to push the ultrasound out to our next appointment.  As excited as I am to see our baby on that big screen, the farther we push it out, the shorter the time will be between the ultrasound and actually meeting her.
I’ll try to get a bump picture up soon… man.  I’ve been awful at taking those this time around!
Anyway…


How Far Along: I am 19weeks today!
Baby is the Size of a: According to my what to expect app… the baby is the size of a tomato!  And my uterus is the size of a cantaloupe!  Craziness! Even though this isn’t our first, this all still amazes me!
Symptoms: the nausea is gone.  Thank God!!! My sciatic issues were improving until this week.  Tuesday night I thought I was going to die.  I couldn’t move.  But my doctor said that is common, the baby was probably in a position that was just pinching that nerve.  but man!  then I’ve woken up with major charlie horses lately… probably means I’m not getting enough water.  Which makes sense since my food aversions are pretty much all gone.  Coffee is back, but I’m trying to use being off of it for so long to my advantage.  My body is use to not having it now, so I just drink it occasionally.
Gender:
A GIRL!!! We are SO excited!!!  Granted, now our set in stone – “we are only having two kids” has now turned into… eh, we’ll see. ha!  mostly, to try for a boy… but I have a feeling our family is going to feel complete once this little is born.  Rob is totally happy having all girls.  He’s the best!!! He just adores… ADORES!!!, Harper, so I know this next little will be just the same.  And let’s be honest.  It makes life easier.  We don’t need anything… NOTHING.  We might splurge for a double stroller eventually and I might grab a moby wrap from one of my mom sights, but that is seriously it.
And nursery wise.  We are going to try to keep big changes at a minimum for Harper until months after the baby is born.  Since they will be sharing a room, we will wait to move the baby in there until we are past the cosleeping/room sharing stage.  Her clothes/diapers will be in there and that is about it.  I’m hoping to keep things as “normal” as possible for H.  But I am excited to add some fun decorations to their room eventually – replicating a few pieces I made for Harper.

Big Sister:

Oh she is getting more and more excited about this big sister thing!  She has started calling the baby in mommy’s tummy “sister” and it melts my heart every time… like in to puddles!  We keep saying we are going to hit potty training hard… but we just aren’t there yet.
Name Game:  Ugh.  can I get another… UGH! ha!  So, I’m that mama that God lays on my heart the name of my child and I’m set!  I’ve had this child named since before she was even conceived.  But my hubby.  He’s the easy going, patient, laid back type.  Which I typically LOVE in most situations.. .   but this.  IT. IS. DRIVING. ME. CRAZY!!!! He did the same thing with Harper.  He has to mull it over for a bit.  Which I get.  But… I WANT TO START CALLING HER BY HER NAME!! ha!  So it might change.  to what I don’t know.  but we will see…. we’ve thrown around some H names… Hadley, Hayden, Haven, Haleigh… But none of them seem right. I like them mostly because they sound cute with Harper.  but we will see. I’m still holding out for my #1 pick, which I’ll keep under my hat.  hopefully we have something in the next 20 weeks ;)

Looking Forward to: 
 honestly.  Harper meeting her baby sister!!!! I’ve been reading up on the best way to do the introductions… there’s a lot of research out there!  i.e – to not be holding the baby when Harper comes in the hospital room.  That Rob and I introduce them together… the baby being in the basinet, etc.  Who knew… thank you pinterest ;)

10.28.2015

{arizona dreaming chili}

so.  here we go with another recipe.  ok, so if those of you that know me – you know that I can cook.  My mama taught me well.  But.  I am not a fan of cooking.  Well, more than that, I’m not a fan of the mess and I quite frankly lack the patience.  That sounds so sad, I know, ha! Anyway.  With our recent diet changes and me being at home a lot more – the excuses were off the table.  Plus, it has been kind of fun to try new recipes and take on the challenge of making them gluten free and dairy free!
So.  all that to say. the fact that I’m now posting two recipe posts in a row is so laughable to me.  Like hysterical!
But anyway. Here goes.
If you have a Penzeys Spices and have never been – shame on you.  If you don’t have one, check them out online! They are just wonderful.  And they speak one of my love languages – FREE! ha!  If you sign up for their mailing list, they send you coupons for free spices – A LOT!

Well, their last magazine had a coupon and a few new recipes that I just had to try.  One was “Arizona Dreaming Chili”.  Named after their spice that’s used in it – Arizona dreaming.  I tracked it down online so you all could have it to :) You can find it here! Of course I altered it a bit… I can never just leave a recipe alone!
I didn’t use the diced tomatoes – we don’t like chunky tomatoes in anything!  And I also left out the sugar, because – well.  It seemed excessive!  I also added corn, which was a nice addition and added a little sweetness (probably made up for the lack of sugar).  Also, I cooked the meat in a skillet with Penzey’s roasted garlic seasoning and some onion, then threw it all in our slow cooker to simmer for a few hours.  So basically, I went the middle road.  I had more time than the stove top directions, but didn’t have 8 hours for it to all cook in the slow cooker.
It turned out so yummy that we had leftovers of it again last night!  I of course paired it with Fritos! You can’t have chili without Fritos! I had also picked up a gluten free cornbread mix to make with it, but we decided we didn’t need it (we weren’t that hungry).  But next time I will probably serve it with gf cornbread as well!
Give it a try!  If you don’t have Penzey’s, I’m sure you could use a taco seasoning and some red pepper flakes to give you a similar taste.  The arizona dreaming spice looked like it has a lot of different spices in it, but I’m thinking that would get you close.  It is a spicy dish, so fair warning!
Happy slurping ;)

10.23.2015

{Gluten free/Dairy free}

So as promised on my insta, I’m going to attempt to share some of our favorite gluten free and dairy free recipes that we discover along the way!
Rob has had pretty severe sinus issues for years… like since I met him – 11 years ago! Last year he had surgery and had to have a repeat again the end of September.  Something is obviously causing these issues.  We had tried gluten free in the past – but once he was tested for celiac, we decided to go back to gluten filled eating.
After his last surgery, he decided he was going to cut out dairy and gluten and see if it helped.  We are pretty sure it is the gluten that is bothering him, but dairy is a known irritant for sinus issues.  About 6 months back, we took Harper off diary milk.  She would have these random throwing up issues.  Like she’d throw up and be done. Every time I’d think she was getting sick and every time it would be a one time occurrence and no one else would get it.  My mommy gut told me it was the milk.  We took her off of it, started giving her almond milk (which she loves) and she has been great! So needless to say, we have been dairy sensitive for a while anyway.
Gluten free has been very easy for us!  There are so many great substitutes out there!  The dairy cheese has been a bit more of a challenge! So I’ve been on pinterest A LOT! looking for great recipes to help us in this transition!  What I’ve been doing is this – I either look for dairy free recipes and see how I can adapt them for gluten free or look for gluten free recipes that are cheese based that I can sub maybe almond milk in.  So far, so good!
Our favorite recipes from last week were a fried chicken and garlic mashed potato recipes.  Now that doesn’t sound gluten OR dairy free at all huh?! It didn’t even look like it!  And it even tasted like the real deal!  And… it really wasn’t that much work!
You can find the original recipes here:
I didn’t really change much on these recipes. I added just a smidge  of butter to the potatoes to make them a bit creamier. For the chicken, I just used out gf flour instead of the almond flour and tapioca starch. I also used evoo instead of coconut oil… We aren’t following a paleo diet, and even tho I love coconut oil, I feel like I can taste it a little.

All you gotta do is steam your favorite veggie and you have a fantastic dinner!!
We also did breakfast for dinner last week, which is a great option for gf and df! We had eggs, bacon, and pancakes!
I used this recipe: http://www.thisgalcooks.com/gluten-free-pancakes/ 
In which, I used almond milk instead of dairy milk and added some cinnamon :). They were super yummy!!
On the menu tonight – gf/df lettuce wraps!! Thanks to my mother in law :)
I’ll continue to share some of our favorites as our journey continues!
Happy eating!!

10.21.2015

{our CA vacation}

what a wonderful last couple of weeks we had in California!!!
it was so strange to be back “home”… we hadn’t been back in THREE YEARS!!! but it weirdly felt like time had stopped and began again when we arrived in most areas.  Sure, our friends’ kiddos are bigger and a few things had changed – but for the most part it was just like coming home.
We hit up most if not all of our favorite spots!  It was just so great!!!
We spent a couple days with Rob’s grandparents inland – we played a lot of pinochle and took Harper to the Apple orchard and even ate lunch up in the mountains.  It. Was. Hot!!! But it was such a blessing to get to spend time with them!
Then we headed to our old church to see quite a few friends – many that we consider family! Then off to get settled at one of my life long best friend’s places! Her beautiful condo, alone, was like being on vacation! haha! An ocean and harbor view… can’t beat the location!! But anyway, we picked her up and headed to Disneyland where we met up with quite a few of Rob’s cousins.  One in which, has a daughter just days older than Harper! They live in Hawaii, so it was their first time meeting… they were SOOOO adorable!  It was a great day at Disneyland… I was EXHAUSTED as it was SO stinking HOT!!! and well, let’s face it Disneyland is exhausting anyway!
We spent the next few days with Rachelle!  It was such a great time of catching up! And Harper LOVES her “rachepelle”  (yeah, not sure why she insists on putting a “p” in her name!).
After Rachelle’s, we headed to the Jones – some of our dear friends!  We went to dinner, hung out, and spent the night at their place.  We then headed to the beach cottages on Wednesday!  To celebrate their anniversary and being married 40 years, Jack and Kathy treated us all to one of our family favorites – Crystal Cove Beach Cottages!!! It was such an awesome time of relaxation with family! So many family memories made! And Harper LOVVVVVED the ocean… like obsessed love! haha.
We wrapped up our vacation with one more night with Rachelle – squeezing in as much time with her as we could :)
As amazing as our vacation was, it was so unbelievable good to get home! Harper was SO excited to be HOME!… she literally giggled as we put her to bed that night.  As much as we love CA and as much as it still feels like home, I was quickly reminded why we chose to move.  Just the unsettling in my heart – the mind set of needing more and wanting more – the battle of constant comparison to the person next to you everywhere you go.  Where as here in CO – our wonderful little life is way more than enough, and I was so blessed to be greeted by that feeling of, “ok, no THIS is HOME!”
Ok… here is the official vacation photo blast:
On the airplane, headed to CA!
Playing stickers with Great Grandpa T!
Her first In-N-Out!
Her favorite spot at the T’s… Daisy’s dog bed!
Apple picking at Riley’s Orchard (Oak Glen)
We had talked about picking apples and how they grow on trees for about a week! I don’t think she was too impressed at first, ha!
It was SO hot!! This little venture ended up to be a pretty comical family memory for our little family! Mama and her great ideas ;)
because this picture pretty much sums up our seemingly picture perfect orchard trip… ha! we all know, there’s usually stories and inside jokes and memories not seen in pictures ♥
the view was pretty unbeatable tho!
sometimes just have to step back and realize… man, we are blessed!
this is when we started having fun… the granny smith orchard!!! our favorite!
now this looks like the kind of apples I like! :)
cause some days you just want apple turnovers for lunch…
painting great grandma T’s sidewalk with water… the things you do when it is so stinking hot out!
Driving great grandpa T’s golf cart!
On the tram into Disneyland!
She was pretty excited and in awe!
our family ♥
she thought this was pretty neat!!
meeting Taiyo for the first time :)
I don’t think Taiyo really knew what to think of Harper, ha!
Meeting Pluto!
Needless to say, our child is NOT scared of dressed up characters, ha!
high fives for Pluto!
Tea Party with Daddy at Minnie’s house!
Aunt Dena bought her a balloon that mommy and daddy were way too cheap to fork over the $ for, ha!
Rob and his cousins on the tea cups, that I always refuse to go on with him… for good reason!
Waiting to meet Mickey!
so adorable!!!
so much fun!!!
cousins!
sleeping on Auntie Ro on the tram back to the car…
Waking up at Rachelle’s!
Seriously… this is the view form our room’s balcony! So relaxing!
Painting at Aunt “Rachepelle’s” ♥
Getting ready to walk to the water for the first time!
I think she liked it…
swinging in the waves!
a much needed treat afterwards… which lead to a parking ticket. thanks Newport!
of course we had to go to our sushi place!
swimming at Aunt Rachepelle’s pool
the view from our cottage’s deck ♥
the view from our cottage’s kitchen!
the trader joe’s by our cottages had a “pete the pelican”… of course she found it!
my family ♥