• o n e •

If you have read my blog in the past, you may know that we gather together with our friends, celebrate the new year and all pray together and discuss where we hear God leading us for the year.  It is a night that always leaves my heart and soul feeling so refreshed.


• Christmas •

I have to say, as I think I mentioned in a previous post, this holiday season didn't really go as planned.

We had sick kids.  A sick mommy. and that spanned the three weeks following up to Christmas.  I was so bummed to not be able to make cookies and treats for our wonderful new neighbors (because we didn't want to share the nasty sick germs), we had to cancel my birthday plans because on my actual birthday the girls and I were all sick.  And really, the list goes on!


• feel the love •

So, do you ever look at your blog stats?  I rarely do. 
But I happened upon mine today... which led me to some of my old blogs.

Someone had happened upon a few of my blog posts from 2012 and were in the stats where it shows you what posts have been read recently.  And oh my goodness.  I REALLY enjoyed reading them all!! Especially my posts where I use to link up with "happy wives club" on the things we loved/love most about our husbands. 

As I was reading them, I thought. wow.  This was SO cool!  What a great place this put my mind! 

I was reading a chapter in a book the other day, about a secret to a marriage where you are still in love after 50 years + of marriage.  This author (Becky Thompson) had asked her dad.  And her dad had told her that he wakes up every day like it is the very first day he has every loved his wife.  No record of wrongs.  No skeletons in the closet.  He starts fresh everyday. 

Now at first, I was like - wait.  I love Rob MORE because of our journey, because of all we've been through and overcome TOGETHER.  Our love is stronger now than it was 6 years ago.  So why would I want to wake up as it was the first day of marriage every day?  But then it clicked.  The new love.  The new ooey, gooey, puppy love.  The new kind.  And I got it.  That and full forgiveness.  There is no way to hold any bitterness or lack of forgiveness in your heart if you are determined to love like it is your first day of marriage.  It's like the best of both worlds... loving like it's your first day of marriage with the history and strength of years of love behind you!

She went on to talk about being excited for your spouse to come home everyday... to see them, not for them to help with the kids. (ouch! am I right?!).  Now granted I am always SO excited for Rob to be home from work, but lets be honest, some days its because the girls are driving me a bit cray-cray.  and I want help with dinner time and bath time and bed time.  

Anyway, so you put these two things together and I really want to start a NEW list of "why I love my husband."  I contemplated doing a "why I love my family"  Or "why I love my husband" and then a "why I love my girls."  That just goes to show how all encompassing being a mom is. You are ALWAYS thinking of your kids.  Am I right?  But Then I remembered.  No.  Marriage first, Carrie.  This is something to do for your MARRIAGE.  which will ultimately benefit our family as a whole.  we know this. 

Do you want to join in?  Make your own list!  Let me know... I'd love to read it and support your blog! ♥

So here we go... The beginning.   Let's start with 5 reasons today....

I love my husband because...

1.  He loves and lives to serve Christ. 

2.  He takes time for things he knows are important to me and important to my heart.  In example, searching high and low THE WEEK OF CHRISTMAS, for Christmas PJ's for Hayden's Christmas Eve Surprise, because he knew it was important to me.  

3.  He asks me what I need.  He literally will ask me what I need in our marriage and what he can do better.  Let's be honest.  Sometimes I'm too scared to ask him the same question. ha.  

4.  He leads our family.  Pure and simple.  He leads us daily.  

5.  He is my best friend.  He is who I want to talk to if I'm sad or happy.  He's my go to.  He's my person. 


• lately, December 2016 •

Can you believe it?!  It is almost Christmas!

Excitement has been filling our home, as the question is asked daily, "what day is it today?"... "how many more night-night's till Christmas?"

I have to admit... Having kids makes Christmas even more enjoyable.  And let's face it.  I was obsessed to start out with!


• the foolish woman // the wise woman •

Lately, I have been praying a lot, asking for God's wisdom as we raise our girls!  What a tremendous responsibility it is to raise daughters of the King!  As I was praying with a mommy friend the other day, she prayed that God would show them wisdom in bringing up strong men.  My heart leaped!!! That is JUST what a "girl mom" wants to hear... that there are parents out there raising up STRONG men of God!!

But then, it got me to thinking.  Am I doing my part?  Am I seeking His wisdom in raising daughters of the king?

Sure we pray with our girls, we try to teach them morally and ethically correct behavior, we teach them to mind and obey, to treat others with respect, etc.... but is that really raising a daughter of the king?

God led me to Proverbs.  Do you ever have God lead you to scripture?  Sometimes I don't pay attention and when that happens, it's as if I see that book, or topic of the intended scripture everywhere, bringing it to mind.  God is pretty cool like that.  He will whisper quietly, then if we don't listen, he will continue to get a bit louder until there is no denying His voice!

As I read Proverbs 14, I feel I have been so foolish more than I have been wise.  I want to teach my girls wisdom.  I would like to teach them how to build their home up, not tear it down.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels like you can relate to the later part of that instruction.  Do you ever feel like everything is just falling apart?  I've so been there.

But what does it really mean to be foolish, tearing down your own home or wise, building it up with your own hands?

The scripture actually paints a pretty clear picture in the following verses. 

This is similar to something I would typically create in my journal!  I encourage you,
especially when God leads you to a certain spot in His word, to really break the
passages down and dissect them.  Get everything out you can!
So as I see my almost 3 year old, so full of pride, lashing out in tantrums.  Or reacting quickly in anger, or attempting to deceive me.  It is my calling as her mom to help her to realize that these are not qualities a Daughter of the King, a WISE girl, should posses. 

So how do we teach our daughters (and ourselves) to replace bitterness with joy.  quick tempered with patience.  deceit with truth.  envy with a peaceful heart.  mocking with honor.  How do I teach my girls to have lips that protect and a heart that fears the Lord? 

Honestly.  I think it varies from day to day and circumstance to circumstance.  But we will be tested.  The enemy would love nothing more than to see our girls, and us mamas for that matter, on that left column vs the right. 

A scripture I've been trying to teach Harper lately:

James 1:19-20, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."

My prayer is that God will show me, directing my steps, in how to raise our girls with wisdom.  To show me ways to relay His knowledge and understanding... His heart.

It is a huge privilege and an even bigger responsibility. 


When The Donut Sprinkles Hit The Floor: An anxious mama's heart

I'm not quite sure when I allowed anxiety to start playing a role in my life.

I can vaguely trace it back to a time of loss in my life.  I was almost 18 and my mortality had become quite real.  A loss so big happened that rocked me to my core.  That innocent, carefree teenager spirit vanished.

I dealt with it the best way my 18 year old self knew how.

Flash forward just a few years.  I was living in CA and had anxiety so badly it was displaying itself physically.  This time I asked God for help.  Saw a therapist.  And it was dealt with.

Flash forward even farther.... Our first and third pregnancies end in loss.  But I, by the grace of God, am a mommy to 2 absolute little precious miracles.

But.  I find myself constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop (or because I have a love affair with donuts...), I am constantly waiting for the donut sprinkles to hit the floor.  It's like I have this irrational thought that if I prepare myself for said sprinkles (by of course anxiously over thinking every different scenario - which never happen) I can be in control.  Right there with my proverbial vacuum, waiting to clean them all up.  Making life all nice and neat again.

Basically, you take rational worries moms have and magnify them til they are no longer rational.

But logically I know this.  God did not call us to a neat, nice and clean life.  He did not promise us this.  He did however promise us that we would never walk alone through the messiness of life.

For at least 2 years now, I have made decisions based on fear.  The fear of the what if scenarios.  I continue to fear losing my precious girls.  or them being hurt.  Or something else happening to the precious family I have been blessed with.

Then recently, I clearly heard my loving Savior's voice tell me - that by not completely trusting my girls to Him, I was going to lose them.  (Literally... maybe not, but I do know if there is fear/anxiety/burdens in my heart, there is less room for love and the joy that they bring me!)


Wasn't I trusting Him?  Even with my family?

Then this scripture came upon my spirit: "I have not given you the spirit of fear" and my spirit continued to hear these words... "Where there is fear, there is no room for trust, only doubt."

Again.  Ouch.

Friends, I'm still in the process stages of this. So bear with me.  God sure is!  (he bears with us in all things. Even learning processes. Am I right?! HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!).

So where am I going from here?  Right now I have asked God to help me replace my anxieties, my doubts, and my fears with praise.  Simply just stopping to praise THE ONE who has blessed me.  Covered me with grace.  And bears with me through all things.  To praise the one in whom it is safe to place my faith.

  Joshua 1:9 " This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For  the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

a few more scriptures on trusting God through fear and anxiety.  I've tried to link them all so they will be easy to read.  There are so many great scriptures out there, these are just a few of my favorites on this subject:


•Thanksgiving Recap•

We hosted Thanksgiving this year, and it was so fun!!

Our house was filled with yummy smells, yummy food, and wonderful family!  We spent most of the day cooking and preparing, then enjoyed such a great meal!  The girls were wiped.  We were wiped as well.  But it was a great holiday!


{8 months & life}

Oh my heavens!!!  Where is time going?!  How is Hayden closer to a year old than being a newborn?!  When did this happen?!

I feel like life has been a whirlwind lately!  It has been wonderful, but oh my goodness.  I feel like it was JUST Halloween and we are almost in to December already!  As I sat last week making some future graphics for the church, they are all Christmas graphics, I was filled with so much hope and joy!  I just LOVE this time of year!

Lately we have been....


{grace wins}

Goodness!! Does anyone else feel like their heart went through the ringer with this election?!

I will come right out and say I was NOT with her.  ha.  So, the outcome of the election was how I voted.  However - I will say, I was voting more on principles and policies than I was for the actual person running.  I've always considered myself "unaffiliated"... but as I get older, I'm realizing I am, in fact, a republican.  But please keep reading!

I honestly can say, I felt God ease my heart two months ago... well.  Actually.  Probably a year ago, I clearly remember texting my mom and saying "you know, I really think Donald Trump will be our next president.  Do I want him to be?  Not really.  But I think he will be."  We both laughed at the thought, and went on.  Flash forward to a couple months ago, as I was praying.  Praying for our country and just the possibility of it being ran by Hillary Clinton (who at one time I was somewhat of a fan of - but the past few years.  Goodness.  Let's just say, she completely lost my respect).  Anyway, I clearly felt God place on my heart who was going to be the president. 

I know there is a lot of fear that comes with this outcome for a lot of people. 

I've seen a lot of posts on social media filled with hate and bitterness.  Regarding how "hate won"  "racism won",  etc. 

But.  I'm here to tell you.  The fight has already been fought.  The victory has already been won.  Love won a long time ago.  Grace continues to win daily as it is poured out over all of us.  God loves each person on this planet, more than we can even fathom... whether you like it or not.  He won.  He defeated hate, racism, and other sinister things of this world many years ago on the cross.  Love won.  And His love pours over you. 

My prayer is this:  That the people of this country will stop buying in to the lies of the enemy.  That we will stop holding on to the darkness of this world, but will see the true light.  It has nothing to do with a presidential candidate, but everything to do with THE ONE who has already fought the battle for you - against hate.  against fear of difference.  against racism.  against homophobia.  against all hurt. 

I love the message translation of one of my favorite verses - Ephesians 6:12.  This verse is the prelude to the somewhat famous "armor of God" verses, that go into detail how God has equipped us for this battle - the battle against the enemy and things of this world. 

"This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels."

This IS for keeps, friends.  This is eternity we are talking about.  And, oh how the devil would LOVE to attempt to separate us with things that God sent Jesus to eradicate, to carry on the cross - to LEAVE on the cross.  We were not meant to carry the ugliness of this world past the cross.  I feel like I need to say that again.... WE WERE NOT MEANT TO CARRY THE UGLINESS OF THIS WORLD PAST THE CROSS. 

Will there be tough times.  sure.  We live in an imperfect world.  We are imperfect people.  And we are constantly fighting spiritual battles we don't even see.  So why take on the ugliness that has already been paid for?!  Leave it at the cross, friends! 

Ephesians 4, again in the message version, because it makes it so relatable to the world today!  Starting with verse 17, Paul lays it out pretty clearly for us...

And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go......
we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. ....
Don't give the devil a foothold in your life!


{gasp... the election... }

I have greatly avoided most political banter both on social media as well as in person. 

Now let me stop there.  Just because you may disagree with me.  Just because we might believe differently doesn't mean anything to me.  I love you the same.  I treasure you the same.  I respect your opinion.  Please do the same for me. There has been enough anger and resentment to last a life time due to this political season.  It is truly about respect - the respect of people's differences. 

I do believe Christians who believe the Bible as truth have a responsibility.  and that is to pray for this nation.  To vote for biblical truths. 

However, no one is changing anyone's minds.  That is in NO way the point of this post.

I watched a video today that stirred my heart.  It was a video by Franklin Graham and wow.  His call to our nation, his encouragement for Christians is just so moving.

I truly feel there is an anointed candidate in this race.  And because of that, that will be who I'm voting for.  Do I believe this person is a wonderful upstanding individual - no, I didn't say that.  Many a leader has been brought forward through God's favor an anointed, used, and worked to the glory of God without them being a saint.  To think otherwise is limiting my savior.  There are no limits.  And with saying that - if I'm wrong and His favor is shown to a different candidate, my opinion on this won't change.  It is about God's plan.  Not what we feel is right.  Who we feel is the right person.  Christians are praying.  They are praying for this nation, possibly more so than ever before.  God delights in those prayers.  He honors those prayers.  I truly believe His will will be done in this election. 

Personally, I feel the happenings of the last two weeks have been His hand unfolding.

If the outcome of this election is what I feel it is going to be... I truly feel that you will see Christian individuals and Christian organizations rise up.  Move to the front lines.  And no.  I'm not talking about the wack-a-doodles professing to be Christ followers.  I am speaking of those of us that strive to speak, walk, act, and live daily in love and acceptance of those different than us.  Those of us who serve the one true God - those of us who are not tied up in the legality of legalistic religion. (& yes the repetition of the form of legalistic is very much needed in that sentence...am I right?!).

I believe we will see morality seep its way back into the American spirit.  And I'm praying we will once again see unity.  I pray that we will see healing in our nation. In my heart I feel we are at a turning point in our nations history, and I'm praying it is for the good!

" if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2Chronicles 7:14

Not sure where to start in praying for our country?  Check out this link here for ideas on how to pray and for free journal printables. 


{escaping into fall}

so Sunday I popped out of bed, and as in our normal routine started getting ready for church and getting the girls motivated (well... Harper.).  And my sweet husband said... "so.... would you want to go on a fall adventure this morning? Have a family day?"

Now, I had already planned a little fall-ness for later in the day, which he knew... but this!  Oh my goodness!  First I was conflicted... the discipline of going to church every Sunday loomed over me.  Then God gently reminded me of the FREEDOM we have in Christ.  It isn't about checking that box off of "yep. went to church today!"... if anything, I think my beautiful savior was pleased by us loving on one another Sunday.


{pumpkin patch fun}

Last weekend we headed out to the pumpkin patch with our dear friends, the Shaidas! Our kids are stair steps in ages... they have two little girls, and a little teeny brand new baby boy that is the absolute sweetest!!! Talk about baby fever... as my husband rolls his eyes, ha!

But, if you remember, back in June Harper and I went and planted pumpkin seeds at our favorite local pumpkin patch. It is such a fun and neat opportunity for little ones... We then got two free pumpkins (hypothetically Harper's pumpkins... her little marker sticks had long washed away, but according to mommy's memory, at least two of the three pumpkins we took home might have been ones she planted. ha!). This pumpkin patch has sooo many fun activities for the kids. Harper's favorite was the big slide. We stopped many times along the way to dump hay and corn out of shoes. It was a beautiful, warm fall day spent with great friends. Just perfection!

I adore this time of year.  Fall is just the perfect precursor to the holidays.  So many fun things to do to create amazing family memories!  


{Miss Harper}

It's been awhile since I blogged about my big girl!

Y'all.  She's just beautiful.  I can't get over it.  I just adore her!

She's so quick and smart... has a memory like none other.  We can now have conversations with her basically like a grown up.  She's just amazing!


{He can move mountains}

So. I've been battling (somewhat) privately with something for about a month. It's been a tough one.


{6 months}

You guys.  I have slacked so much on the mommy blogging lately!  My goodness!

This little sunshine hit her half year mark on the 11th.  We were smack dab in the middle of moving into our new house.  She is such a trooper!!

She is the classic second born.  Laid back. Easy going.

She is such a joy!  Her smile.  My goodness!! It quite literally lights up my life!

She LOVES her big sister so much!  Harper always gets a smile from her little sister!


{home is wherever i'm with you...}

so.  we did it.

we moved out of our first house we lived in as a family of two.  as a family of three. and as a family of four.

i absolutely L.O.V.E. our new home.   like LOOOVVVE it.


{a little catch up...}

Considering I haven't blogged for over a month, I figured it was time for a little catch up!

Goodness.  Where did the summer go?

Most of August was spent recovering from a month of sickness for the girls and Rob... and then I got sick.  A crazy - dizzy - inner ear thing.  It was lovely.


{Hayden: 4 months}

Our tiny little princess turned 4 months old this past week!  I'm not quite sure where the past month went... oh yes, that's right.  my whole family has been sick for the past MONTH!!  I seriously feel like I stepped into a time trap!  I have no idea where the last half of June and the first half of July went... it's like I didn't even live them, aside from being in our house taking care of sick kids and a sick husband!


{UpSpring Baby Product Review}

I have received these products complimentary for my honest review of their product.  These are my own opinions. 

Awhile back I signed up with influenster to receive free products to review.  It's been so fun!

My most recent box came a few weeks ago, but as most of you know our house has been a sick ward for the past month!! BUT... this box couldn't have come at a more perfect time!  

It was filled with Upspring products geared toward a nursing mom.  One of the products I was most excited about were the milkflow supplements.  Although, I don't have a big issue with supply, it does dip now and then.  And well, Hayden has been sick.  For the first week or so she nursed nonstop.  But this past week, she went on a nursing strike!  I was SO worried about my supply!  I was not ready to wean her and well, lets be real... the little diva won't take a bottle, so that's not even an option.  

I immediately began applying my fennel essential oils and then remembered all the milk flow supplements I had received to review!  Talk about perfect timing! 
This flavor was my favorite!

Upspring sent me the cutest little shaker to use to mix them up.  It is just a powder, you add approximate 8-12 ounces of water and shake.  I will be completely honest... the taste of this stuff isn't the greatest.  But, it's definitely tolerable.  It reminds me of your basic vitamin drink, like an airborne or emergenC.  It isn't something that is refreshing, but I didn't have to choke it down either.  

As far as effectiveness.... drum roll... I honestly noticed a difference after drinking it one day!  It really helped my supply not drop when Hayden was dropping feedings.  By the second day I even felt overly full... not engorged, but I definitely felt fuller than I had in awhile.  This stuff works, friends!!  I was pleasantly surprised!  

When I was nursing Harper, I had supply issues and took fenugreek and didn't see results this fast!  

This supplement is all natural, vegan, and just good for you and your supply!  They recommend starting out with just one drink a day, then you can do more if you need to.  But, I feel like one a day really gave me the boost I needed!  If you had some major supply issues, like I did with my first, it is helpful to know you can use more to help produce more.  

I really was pleasantly surprised!  If you are looking for something that is refreshing and tasty, this probably isn't the product for you... but really, most supplements aren't yummy, and this is by far the best fenugreek supplement you will find.  If you are looking for something that is quick, that is healthy, and will boost your supply then this is definitely the product for you!  



{the trenches}

my.   goodness.

I have felt like I've literally been in the mommy trenches, and even just as a family lately.  my last post referred to this, but.  as it happens in life sometimes... it just got worse! i mean, you can't make this stuff up!  we've experienced everything from xrays, to our fish skittles dying (yeah and the fun of explaining death to a two year old), to Rob injuring his ankle pretty badly!  there's been a lot of sleepless nights.  a lot of praying and crying.  but there has also been a lot of good!


{mom life}

Truth time.

I've been in a not so fun, overwhelmed funk lately.  I've just felt like I was failing on every front.... At my job as a wife and mom especially. It took me literally breaking into tears in a restaurant of all places, to talk to my husband about it! 
Last night he blessed me with some me time, and today I'm a whole new person!... well after some starbucks, donuts, and park time with my girls!

Today I know it's ok that this little girl to the left is a typical two year old... that she is emotional, throws fits and tantrums, and is just down right defiant.  I know that means that she's finding her way in this world, and shes figuring out what is ok and what isn't.

Today I know it's ok that my precious 3 month old only wants mommy - that she insists on sleeping next to me, and doesn't like when I leave her sight.  I know that means she's building her foundation of love and trust and that gets to begin with ME!

It's so hard to get past some of the perceived concepts of perfection in parenthood.  I had finally had my fill.  My heart was overwhelmed... and I couldn't take anymore.  So thankful I was able to hit the reset button, and readjust my gaze to the One who is my true center.  Without my Savior, I am mediocre at best! He is where I find my worth. 

I was reminded today as I woke up, again not sleeping hardly at all (baby girl is literally nursing 24/7 the last few days {we are fighting off colds in our house}), that it was my choice what my girls see.  They don't have to see the dread, they can see the happy.  So even though I was about ready to lose it again inside, we got dressed and headed out of the house... we went to the store for donuts, shopping cart car rides, a pony ride, and starbucks!  Then off to a new park, and then to the post office!  To Harper it was the greatest adventure - to me it was survival, and also just happened to be what my heart needed!

So here is to the days of motherhood that feel like the stars aligned and everything is right with the world, but also here is to the majority of the normal, mediocre days... the days you feel like you're in the mommy trenches, but still so abundantly blessed! 


{3 months ♥ 29 months}

Our sweet little Hayden!  She is just so much joy and sunshine, in such a little package!  Everyone that sees pictures of her and not in person assumes she's a little chunk... which she is, but she's a compact little chunky baby.  ha!  She's still so tiny, yet so chunky all at the same time!


& just like that...

we are almost out of what I have so lovingly deemed the "fourth trimester."  I swear its a real thing.  And I'm even more convinced of it after having a second baby.


{spiritual challenges}


Goodness. Have you ever had a season where you just feel like your under spiritual attack?! I dislike using the word attack. I feel like it gives the enemy more credit ... And my God is so much bigger. Attack means he has made contact and I have somehow taken my gaze off the father and off the cross to even notice the plite of my self. And well I know I'm human, but that frustrates me to no end! It makes me mad at myself when I turn my gaze internal instead of eternal.


{motherhood is joy}

This was my devotional a week or so ago and I just can't get it out of my head!  It stuck in my heart! This is the mom I want to be.  I want my girls to feel like their home is the best place on earth.
I just love this!!!


{two months}

I can't believe how fast the last two months have flown by!! Yet, it seems Hayden has always been a part of our family.


{quick update}

Because who are we kidding. Who has time to sit down and blog long elaborate posts. Not this mom. But! There are so many things I don't want to forget - which is why you will find me "insta blogging" more these days. Didn't you know that was a thing? It totally is! Although - I just set my profile to private for the zillionth time. ugh. I totally go back and forth way too many times in this - but find me. You'll keep up with us easier on there ❤️ But here is a little 2 minute rundown of what's up...


{1 month : 26 months : life update}

Oh my. I've not been so great at blogging lately. Like at all. I haven't even sat down with a computer in forever. These girls keep me hopping - in the best way possible. I'm either nursing, cleaning the house, doing laundry, having tea parties, playing play-doh, coloring, or snuggling. Life is wonderfully chaotic, and I'm loving every second!!!


{3 weeks PP}

As Rob heads back to work tomorrow, I can't help but look back on our last three weeks!  What a treasured whirlwind! I can't believe it's already time for him to go back!!! As usual, time is going too fast!


{life as a family of four}

can i just say.  it's amazing!

sure, i haven't had much sleep.  the toddler is transitioning to a big sister role, which at times can be interesting.

but i am LOVING every second!

{& then there were four}

You know how they say, be prepared for your birth plan to go right down the drain?! Well. I've never really had a birth plan, not even with our first. I just decided from the beginning to go with the flow and it worked. Well this time, without knowing it, I just assumed it would be similar to my experience with Harper. And guess what... It was nothing like it. None of it. Like not one thing. 


{38 weeks with Miss Hayden}

So here I sit... pregnant.
Her little profile, with her hand in her face... at 38weeks!
And believe it or not, I really am ok with that!  I chalk it up mostly to the fact that I haven't gained as much weight this time, which in turn... basically I'm just not as miserable as I was at this point with Harper.  

But the thing I'm not ok with?! ... the on going contractions.  I mean, really.  They just get my hopes up that we are going to meet our little one really soon!  No matter what, I'm certain we will meet her within the next week and a half.



As are waiting for baby Hayden to arrive, as I have had contractions and they have started and they have stopped ....I am reminded of the time pretty much nine months ago when I was also in the spot of waiting. We just had a miscarriage and I was contemplating quitting my job, staying home, and working at a local church a few hours a week. The opportunity at the church locally had not been put on the table yet.  I was waiting.  I was praying.  I was prayerful and all at the same time hoping to be expecting a new baby as well.  & here again I find myself waiting - waiting on God's timing on His plan for our family - not my plan, not my thought of when is the best time to have this baby, but just waiting. there's so much beauty in expectation. in waiting. we're called to wait in expectation for Christ and his return. It's so parallel and poetic how God calls us to wait in our lives. 

As I sat mentoring a young college age girl this week, she was sharing the anticipation for the different upcoming seasons in her life. As I encouraged her not to rush through her current season, to enjoy the season God has her in, I was so blessed by the words God had for me to share with her ... As they were words I also needed to hear. 

I need to enjoy these last few hours/days/week with my precious family of three. Our lives are about to change - for the better - but none the less, we will never be a family of just the three of us again. Harper will no longer be an only child.  

So here I sit, literally intertwined with her, holding her as she naps. Soaking it all in. Because these moments are numbered. Who knows. Hayden could be here tomorrow. Or in two weeks. But no matter what, I don't want to wish this precious time with my Harper away! 


{could we really be close?!}

so as I headed off to my weekly doctors appointment yesterday, I wasn't quite prepared for what she would have to tell me!!



Currently, we are/have been....

The cute little "Hayden" sign at my surprise sprinkle!

Sprinkled with Love: Our friends and family have gone above and beyond lately to sprinkle us with necessities needed for Hayden!  It started off at my mom's group at church a couple weeks ago when they surprised me with a little diaper and wipes sprinkle!! I was so surprised and blessed by them!!



So you all want to see what the wheels turning in my head have turned up recently?

I know I rarely look at others boards on pinterest... I mean, I get on there, look for myself... repin what pops up when I search or if something I like is on my feed... but that's about it.


{36 weeks)

um.  excuse me.  how did I get to my 9th month of pregnancy?!

next week I will be considered full term!!


{Harper at 2 Years Old}

Our little princess, sassy, independent, love bug is two!

Yep!  Well, actually, she's been two for almost a month now but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it.  yikes!


{don't be easily swayed... }

Ok, so here is one of those draft posts that was definitely more for myself, or so I think, than posting.  But I just felt led to post it today.  I hope it blesses you!  Make sure you check out Pastor Dan's message that I linked below! ♥


{I love you}

We say "I love you" A Lot in our home. We say it every time we hang up the phone with one another, leave the house, or just out of the blue. 

Is it a habit? You bet!!!! But is that why we say it? Nope! There's a whole lotta love in this house! 

So it's no surprise that one of Harper's favorite phrases is, "I love you so much mommy!!! (Or daddy or baby Hayden). 

It warms my heart. Every time. It reminds me that even though we have no idea what we are doing as parents, we must be doing something right. 

So tonight my heart is full, as she rolled over in her sleep, hugging me, saying, "I love you so much mommy... Sooo much!!" 

Always, always baby girl!!! 


{pregnancy insomnia}

It's in full force folks. 

The last few nights I've gotten very little - no sleep! 

Tonight, I talked the husband into watching tv with me at 1am ha!! 

Then he fell asleep. Lucky guy!!! 

Then Harper woke up... I gladly went in her room to hang out. She wanted me to cuddle her back to sleep. Again. Gladly. My little one!! 

Now she's snoozing, husband is snoring. I'm wide awake. And Hayden is doing monster flips and jabs. Apparently ahe thinks it's a party. A 3am party. Signs if nights to come, I'm sure. 

So I guess I'll go back to researching raspberry leaf usage for the end of pregnancy. Sigh. 

Yay third trimester perks 😑



{the hospital bag... the second time around}

the bag... it's a large 31 tote.  I love it.  It's so roomy that there is
room for my stuff and Hayden's!
Well. As much as I had a little freak out this week that we have entered the "6 weeks and ___ number of days" ... because wow! That seems like not much time!! I thought it might be time to pack the overly talked about hospital bag.  Us expectant moms, we way overly talk about THE HOSPITAL BAG!  What to take, what not to take... what's needed, what isn't needed.  And honestly there are opinions all across the board.

The first time around I had thought through it.  And I thought I had done a pretty good job!  And I did... I didn't miss anything that I wish I had brought.  But that being said... I packed WAY too much!

I will tell you this.  You won't really know what you'll want clothes/pj's wise in the hospital until you've been through it. I had friends all across the board.  Some said they couldn't stand having pants on and suggested night gowns.  Some said they wanted nothing but comfy pj pants.  Some said they wore the hospital gown the whole time.  So I took both.  PJ's and a gown.  I didn't touch the gown.  I honestly stayed in the hospital gown for the first bit til things settled down and I wasn't needing to be checked every hour or so, then I switched to PJ's.  But.  I'm getting a little ahead of myself.



Oh my! We've been busy!! I feel like I have been so absent from everything but my family, and even then maybe a little.

I feel like things are evening out a bit.


Our Almost Two Year Old...

As I sit here, thinking this time two years ago, I was having full blown contractions. As I'm holding my almost two year old, I'm not sure where time has gone. Where have all these precious, fleeting moments gone? I don't think two years have ever gone so quickly!!! 


{maternity style}

So as you've read, I had the fun opportunity of collaborating with Pink Blush Maternity last week!  It was SO fun!

I honestly LOVE maternity style!


{a mommy must have!!! • a pink blush maternity review}

**Below are my opinions, and my opinions only, regarding the Pink Blush Charcoal Alternating Striped Nursing Cover/Scarf.  This is a collaboration/review that I agreed to do for the clothing company Pink Blush Maternity.  Any of my opinions or give away done in collaboration to this blog post are in no way associated with blogger, google, or Instagram.  

Loving this scarf!
So, mamas - as a second time mommy there are very few things that I consider a must have that I don't already own!  If you've been through one kiddo, you soon realize there's not much in the NEED column like you had once thought.  However, if you plan to nurse and don't feel super comfortable public nursing, but would like to not have to go hide out to nurse - a good nursing cover is a must! 

I love layering in maternity styles! 

This piece - a nursing cover/scarf has been on my must have list since one of my dear friends started using one. And mamas - there are SO many uses for this adorable accessory!!! Not only does this piece make for an adorable scarf, but there are at least three other clever uses! This one piece will seriously mark three things off your registry!  Sounds too good to be true, right?

So, needless to say - when I had the opportunity to review this product for Pink Blush Maternity, I jumped at it!!! 
I had been looking around for a good quality nursing cover/scarf since my first trimester, and they were all so expensive! Pink Blush Maternity has so many patterns to choose from, the quality is amazing and the price? ... So affordable!

Another casual option for styling
as a scarf!
So let's get down to it. There are all things we look for in products, right?  Fair warning, I'm pretty much in love with this nursing cover, and I think it is just the best thing...

I'm going to be completely honest for a moment. When I saw how affordable these nursing covers/scarves are through Pink Blush, and agreed to collaborate with them (meaning I'm putting my word on this item), I was so worried about the quality. How could something that is so expensive everywhere else be so affordable AND good quality through this company?! Well. I am more than pleasantly surprised!  The fabric is soft, thick yet breathable so that baby doesn't get too warm. I also feel it will wear well over time and be quite durable! I would compare this fabric to a soft, cozy summer weight blanket! 

I already mentioned this above, but the cost of this item is so affordable!  Not to mention it will allow you to mark three things off your registry for less than the normal price of one of those items!

These are SO in right now! Which, honestly, is another reason it was on my must have list! If all these mamas on social media and other mommy blogs are using them, they must be legitimately great, right?!

The "do I really need this?" factor... As a second time mama there are a couple things I've learned the hard way: 

• the apron nursing covers (the ones that have the loop that goes around your neck and then just fabric in the front) don't cover you completely. I used these through my first little one's nursing season because I didn't know anything like this nursing cover existed!  • the car seat covers that loop on to the handle of the carseat wave in the wind and often flap open or fall off.  • & the shopping cart covers... oh goodness.  Don't get me started on that one.  Let's just say I gave my not cheap brand shopping card cover away for free.  I used it once and it wasn't a fan.

This nursing cover wraps all the way around you, fully covering you while nursing.  
This car seat cover snugly fits around the car seat and handle, so it isn't going to blow away or fall off. 
This shopping cart cover isn't bulky, it will stay on snugly, and is easy to get on and off. 
Harper showing off baby sister's car seat with the scarf
as a car seat cover.
She was really wanting Baby Hayden to be inside!
Harper is SO ready for her baby sister to be here!

This normally would make me cringe!  Another option
with this scarf saves you from all those yucky
shopping cart germs!

Harper loved having a "blanket" as she called it
on the cart with her.  She kept saying, "sooo comfy!"

As I have now had this piece in full use for almost three months (my second daughter was born on March 11th!), I can honestly say I NEVER leave home without it! Like ever. I've literally turned around, gone home, and grabbed it when I've forgotten it.  I absolutely love this piece and recommend it to any nursing mama out there! I've mostly used it as a carseat cover and a nursing cover the last few months...but that's what I love - even as my little one grows, there's still so many uses for this ONE item! ♥

Please head on over to my instagram and enter for an amazing $75.00 giveaway through Pink Blush!  This gift certificate can be used on their regular website or their maternity website.  Just in time to get an adorable outfit for Valentines Day!!
1• Follow me on instagram (@blessed.mama)
2• Comment on this blog post. 

3• Tag a friend on the instagram post for an extra entry! 

Give away will end at 9pm Mountain time on Tuesday, January 26th.  Winner must provide me with an email address to send the certificate to.  This is sponsored by Pink Blush Maternity - not myself! 

** all pictures in this post are property of Blessed Mama's Life and Pink Blush Maternity only!


{the healing side...}

Of miscarriage.

My heart breaks every time I see some one post about loss. 

I've been there. Twice. 

It is quite literally the hardest thing I've ever been through. 

& even in our marriage. 

The first two are obvious. The third one - don't be surprised if your husband is sad, there for you, but not quite as shattered as you are. Especially if it's a first trimester loss. For men, a lot of times they don't begin bonding with the baby until they see your body changing and sometimes not until the baby is born. While mommys typically bond with our babies as soon as we see those pink lines. Within minutes we envision a whole life for our child. And that doesn't include miscarriage. 

What I can tell you is this - one day you'll heal physically. One day you'll probably scream at your husband in anger... Anger that he's ok and you aren't. Anger at God. Anger for just anger's sake!!! And then.... One day you'll heal emotionally. 

The later took longer for me. A lot longer. 

Then one day I realized without that loss there would be no Harper. And as much as I mourn the loss of our first (& third) pregnancy, the world needed this precious little girl. I may not understand the reason for miscarriage but I do understand that the world needed this amazing little girl, which just happened to be my second pregnancy - and since she was conceived three weeks after our loss - she never would've happened if we hadn't had that loss. That is so hard for me to wrap my mind around. But I can understand that we needed her. Our family needed her. Our world is a better place because she's in it!! And trust me- so is yours!! 

She's a world changer. She already prays for her family and friends and thanks Jesus for you all!! Her heart is so pure and bigger than big!! Her compassion runs deep and the joy that flows out of her is contagious!! 

I am so thankful that I have two heavenly children that I haven't officially met. Their little lives are so special and meaningful to my husband and I!! For they had our hearts from that first positive pregnancy test!!

But I can say - the healing on the other side is a little surprising.  Surprising in that I thought I'd mourn forever... that my heart would remain broken.  But when I found purpose in God's plan, and in His ultimate plan for our story, I found ultimate healing.  And I am so thankful!!

I constantly pray for all mommys that walk this same path.  So, if that's you today - if you are reading this and wishing and longing to be on the other side of this process - know you are prayed over and most definitely, not alone!


{mamahood thoughts...}

Today is a day I'm tempted to think I'm getting this mom at home thing figured out!! 

Today my toddler has made me feel like the toddler whisperer!!! 

Anyone else let a two year old dictate their mood and how you feel about your mom skills? Um. Me?! Pretty much every day. It's something I need to work on for sure!! 

But today - the toddler is sleeping. The dishes & kitchen have remained clean all day. I've somehow still had time to use teachable moments & read lots of books!!! I even got mommy things done: like phone calls about our old matress pick up (seriously - what do people do with their old mattresses?!), appointments made, and address lists made. We found a good rhythm today!!

It's these days we must celebrate and write down - because these days are golden. The days that make the fit throwing, exhausted, food stained clothes, no shower days oh so more than  worth it!!


mommy golden find:  Harper is obsessed with a couple of YouTube videos!! One being a Jesus loves me lullabye!! It's pure magic friends!!!!! Nap time is sooo easy with it!! 

a new mommy/daddy rule: nap time is two hours. No matter if she sleeps that long or not. & it's saving our sanity!!! My brilliant hubby!! 


{31 weeks & big sister stuff}

yes.  it's amazing! i can still see my feet!!
Here we are... Sailing right in to the 8th month.

This pregnancy has been challenging, yet it is still passing way too quickly! 

I had a doctors appointment today (it was suppose to be my 29week appointment, but was rescheduled). 

It's always reassuring hearing my sweet little Hayden's heartbeat!! 

I was thrown for a loop when my doctor said that my two week appointments begin now and then my weekly. And that I needed to call the hospital to do our pre-admittance appointment. I'm sorry, WHAT??? Aren't we still at like 20weeks?!


So at 31 weeks, at my appointment today....

• I'm measuring at 30 weeks, but we weren't surprised. Harper was (& still is) teeny too! 

• I officially passed my glucose test, by tons!!! I was shocked since I barely passed it with Harper! 

• I've only gained 12lbs!! Woohoo!! At 1lb  a week from here on out - that puts me at just a little over 20lbs - which is about 5lbs less than I gained with Harper. I'll take it!!! 

• got the whooping cough vaccine. So tomorrow my arm is going to be killing me!!! But!! It's the best protection for my little one! I made the same choice when I was pregnant with Harper. 

• I'm anemic. Ugh. More vitamins. They said I just need to get it under control before delivery. So we stocked up on vitamins today! & oh darn... I have to eat a lot of red meat. Bring on the steaks!!!! 

• I made all my appointments until the week after my due date. Talk about a wake up call!!! 

After the appointment today, we went to
a brand new restaurant (it's not even open for regular business yet) with my mother in law for lunch. It was so yummy!!! It's healthy, organic, and has tons of gf & df options! Win-win!!! Then headed over to look at some model homes. It has been an awesome day!  Now my little one is napping, all cuddled up next to me, as I blog and sip on some Dr Pepper!! ❤️ life is good friends!!! 

In Harper news, I had to sit her in time out this morning for the first time in quite a few days!! I was so sad - we had been on another angel child streak! Well. Then the two year old-going on 16 broke out the attitude this morning. And well. We refuse to let her act like that. So to time out she went. It broke her little heart. She got it!! And I even got to throw in the "how sad that your in time out... You haven't been in time out in so long!!!" I've been working with her so much on "bad choices" and "good choices" and their consequences. It could totally be a fluke, but it seems to be sinking in. At least this week! After the time out she needed some hugs and then it was like a whole new kid showed up!

She is starting to really want "baby Hayden" to come out now!! She asks if baby Hayden can sit next to her a lot. It's so adorable!!! And I'm quite in love with how she says Hayden!! 

Everyone tells me how full our hands will be having two girls so close in age. I mean really, I don't consider them to be super close in age - 23ish months. I know people with kiddos a lot closer. I'm personally so excited that we will have two girls so close!! Will we be busy?... I'm sure of it!! But these girls will always have one another and for that I am already so proud!! 


{5 lessons learned in 2015}

I've blogged a bit about 2015 lately.  There are just some memories I definitely want to capture and even more so - some lessons learned in 2015! We learned so much!! Our word for 2015 was growth, and God did not disappoint!  I started out the year (like even before midnight), with a heavy heart, fearful that my ambitions for my life were never going to come to pass.  Rob and I stayed up, praying, crying and praying some more.  Well friends, I can honestly say - by the end of 2015 God had answered our prayers!!! Our family was growing.  I am home so much with Harper.  Really - I am amazed!
Here are some quick (but not so easy or quickly learned) lessons I learned in 2015....

I watched God clearly answer our prayers last year. I saw his hand work and I saw his plan unfold. There are times I truly find myself questioning God and wondering how in the world certain things could be better than my own plan. Because I of course know what's best, right? That's my flawed human nature.  Because when it come right down to it, his plans are perfect.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Strength:   in 2015, I was yet again reminded of strength.  Not only my own personal strength, but the strength of my marriage.  We went through heartbreak and a lot of change in 2015.  I can honestly say, my husband only loved me bigger and better through all of it!  Was our marriage perfect in 2015 - no way!  But I really do think we stood strong - tried and tested - yet victorious!  What the enemy intended to tear us apart, only brought us closer together!
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Let it go: my first and second trimesters took up the last half of 2015.  This pregnancy has been more challenging than I had hoped, energy and just feeling good wise.  I learned to let things go.  If I needed to lay on the couch and let Harper watch 2 dora the explorers, it was ok!  If the dishes stayed dirty, it was ok.  If Harper pulled everything out of her room, into our living room - as long as she was having fun and staying occupied while I was able to rest - it was ok!  I have learned to chose my battles and not try to control every little thing.  Sometimes we will have movie/pj days instead of super clean house/preschool days and that's ok!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Provision:  I quickly learned in 2015 that God cared about even the littlest things in our lives.  He has provided abundantly for us in 2015!  We couldn't be more blessed! 
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Discipline: A lot of things changed for us in 2015.  We quickly became part of a tight knit church family.  Which in turn, has provided a lot of discipline in our lives - discipline to get up and go to church every Sunday, discipline to tithe, discipline to be in God's word, and discipline to show Harper how to walk with Christ.  Were we doing all these things before?  Sure - but we were in no way disciplined about them!  If we woke up on Sunday and were tired or Harper was having a bad morning, we just didn't go to church.  Now we have a little girl that LOVES going to church every morning.  Again - are we perfect at this - no way! But we are definitely learning the importance of discipline and the spiritual warfare that goes on all around us that we are often times oblivious to!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.



Harper has become sooo excited about church!! In fact, when Rob and I are both home in the mornings she assumes it's a church day & has started asking, "go to church? Play with friends?" It's so cute!!! Just lately Rob's schedule has been different so we've both been home in the mornings more and she's been a little confused haha. 

But anyway, today we got a compliment from her teacher that just made my day!!! It took me back to a season that dropping her off on her class was miserable!! 

One of her teachers said, "I wish they all were this easy!!!" As Harper walked right in to her class and started playing. 

Rob and I both laughed!!! Because about 6 months ago, I dreaded church - I chose not to go sometimes - because leaving your child as she's crying is hard! I know from working in early childhood it's part of development - and logically I knew it was ok - ok to walk away with her crying - we needed to teach her that if mommy and daddy left we would come back. But that didn't make it easier. It was hard. But when we started our new church, the timing was perfect - the teachers are super consistent and life got so much easier!! Harper loves her teachers!! 

So today, All of a sudden I realized I went from being the mom leaving her screaming child to the moms I use to look at and wonder how they did it - how it was that easy. 

I have to give all the credit to Harper and her teachers!! ❤️

& on the Hayden front - she moves and grooves all through worship!! Harper use to do the exact same thing. It just warms my heart - it is as if their little souls already know their savior - the one who knitted them together in my womb!! & I just love it!! 


{dear cosleeping mama}

I've seen a few cosleeping guilt posts lately, and even have a friend that is concerned she's making some bad habits with her second little bundle of joy - as he sleeps best right by her side, and she loves it too!! This was SO us with Harper. I loved it. Even in the hospital, the nurse came in and suggested ever so not subtly to put Harper back in her bassinet when we had both fallen asleep. I just always felt complete with her right in my arms. I wish I had a picture of us sleeping when she was tiny... I'd basically cocoon myself around her in full on cuddle. It was heaven!!! 
I swore I'd never let my kids sleep with me.  I was going to sleep train them! I had even said Harper would be in her own bed by the time she was a month old! Then Harper melted into my arms and I never wanted to put her down... literally.  
Anyway... Since I've seen a lot of cosleeping guilt and questions lately, I thought I'd break out a post I did over 8 months ago - when we were in the transition out of cosleeping. I loved cosleeing, especially at the beginning... the transition to her bed - not so much, but the months leading up to that were precious!  My mom group talks a lot about this.  In fact, we've talked about everything from other moms belittling us, to moms who have done sleep training that feel guilty that they didn't want to do cosleeping.... all across the board.  And when it comes right down to it, mamas - none of us have all the absolute answers!  In example, a conversation I had with a sleep training mom the other day - she had been shamed by a cosleeping mom for letting her child cry it out and was feeling guilty - I then told her not to worry, that all us cosleeping moms are secretly jealous that sleep training kids will fall asleep on their own, in their own beds, without a fuss - to which she replied, secretly all sleep training moms are jealous that cosleeping kids will cuddle on end and all that precious time we get with our littles. 
none of us have it all figured out. 
dear cosleeping mama,
Everyone has their opinions don't they? I'm here to say, don't listen to the naysayers. If it is best for you and your baby and your family, then don't listen to anyone else. All the "sleep trainers" and the "cry it out" moms... don't judge them either.  We all do what works best.  Like you, for us, it was cosleeping.
Cosleeping provides you with
  • More Bonding Time
  • Easier Night Time Nursing
  • Better/Longer Sleep
  • Endless night time snuggles
  • and a baby that will (more than likely) fall asleep on you in public, making others wonder "how you do it"…
  • studies also show, your baby will actually feel more secure, leading to more independence, it promotes healthy breathing, and improves baby's heart health as well!  And think about it... he/she is use to being inside your womb.  why WOULDN'T sleeping right next to you help with all these and more?!
As we are transitioning away from cosleeping, and our little snuggler sleeps in her own bed, all night… only coming in our bed for good morning snuggles, I miss those night time snuggles, falling asleep with her rubbing my face.  Enjoy it. Your baby won't be a baby forever! & don't worry about what anyone else says.  I wouldn't trade that extra bond I have with our H for anything!!  

Enjoy these sweet cuddles while you can, mama!! Don't second guess yourself, what you feel in your heart is good for you, your baby, and your family!  And if you do wake up one day second guessing yourself - look at the research and all the benefits you little one gets from cosleeping!  The list is endless! 


So many have asked... will we cosleep this time around?  Definitely!! But my goal is to do an altered version!...My vision is not as much bed sharing.  Have you seen the neat "side car" cribs on pinterest?  My HOPE (yeah, we'll see... remember when I said above that I'd never cosleep, ha!) is that Hayden will like her crib this way! and the transition to her room will be easier.  Harper HATED her crib.... like she never slept in it, hated it! So we will see!  Rob and I are going to get our room all rearranged and set up within the next couple of weeks!  SO exciting!