Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013 !!!

Wow who's blog is this again? Oh that's right, mine. Or it was prior to baby number 2! I miss blogging and hope I blog more in 2014 but lets me honest, it can't compare to cuddles and playdough with my babies!

2013 was a FAST year -- you know how when you were in high school all the people in their 20's and 30's told you how quickly it will all go by and how it goes by quicker every year? They were right! Nothing like having kids to show you how fast time can really go.

This year we...
 (I stared at this line for 5 minutes..........then got the calendar out to see, What Did I do this Year? --- this is called sleep deprivation people lol)

Found out that my best friend was pregnant ...... VERY big highlight of my year! 
( please excuse my best friend's apparent future in videography -- is that a word? lol) 
To my defense she was holding her phone in my face when she was telling me she was PREGNANT :) 

Worked HARD outside and now have a beautiful yard and grass area and patio! And outside lighting and a fence :) Jeremy did so many late nights out there with my dad (Thanks dad!) and it looks SO nice!

We had another niece and 2 more nephews !

We celebrated 5 years of marriage -- wow God is good!

We said goodbye to dear dear friends that we miss everyday :( Their work is accomplishing so much for God's kingdom but I selfishly want them back often daily!

Our sweet Juliana turned 2!!! Love that girl :) 

WE HAD A BABY -- Our precious first son!

We had lots of family time, dinners at home around the table, games with friends, conversations and new friendships. So grateful for this year. I am excited to see what God has for us next, hopefully soon!

Happy New Year!!

P.S. I think I am going to write a post tomorrow about 2013........YEAR of the coconut obsession :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

This blog has been seriously neglected these days. (good thing it's just a blog right?)

Just poppin' in to say that I am buried in Christmas projects, 2 kiddos and the stomach flu sooooooo I will get back to blogging and sharing some of my Holiday Favorites soon!!!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Boats

You've probably been seeing this "idea" all over Pinterest but really......it's brilliant.

 Spaghetti squash boats are an amazing replacement for pasta. Now seriously.........I know the feeling when someone shares and "amazing" recipe that to me tastes like cardboard and I wonder how long it's been since this person ate good food. But we love these and even my husband loves these. We have been trying to eliminate grains/wheat from our diet as well as refined sugar. Something I totally went lax about at the end of my pregnancy and took too long getting back into after baby was here. We both feel so much better when we don't eat wheat/grains and refined sugar. What a concept huh? Eating REAL food that God created for us to eat! Besides I am tired of eating chemicals and high fructose corn syrup in EVERYTHING. For real. 
Gone are the days where I spend and hour baking my spaghetti squash (although that is still a great method) and then attempt to scoop out the blistering hot inside! Instead I cut the squash down the middle horizontally. (If you can do this first feat you are already onto a good start!)
 These things have a THICK peal so be careful! 
Then scoop out all the seeds from the middle and put a tablespoon or so of water in the little boat part of it. Cover with plastic wrap well and microwave on high for about 5 minutes, I like my spaghetti squash a little softer so just keep feeling the outside till it's the consistency you like :) 

Let it cool for a few minutes then serve your delicious homemade sauce right inside and top with cheese! YUM! I'll share my sauce recipe soon it's not difficult at all! 

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I like real blog posts. 
I like when someone actually takes the time to open up even just a little bit. As much as I love another Paleo recipe or pictures of perfected fall crafts -- I like to hear from real people about real problems in life 
Because I can relate. 

Why don't we open up more? Why are we all so concerned with what other's are going to say or think or perceive of us more than we are that our words could possibly help someone in a similar situation. I am far more encouraged when I read or hear from a friend who's struggles are similar to mine than I am by her clean house or cute kid crafts....not that those are bad at all. But I wonder why we honestly open up so rarely if it is so valuable to our community of friends and family. I think it's because we think no one wants to see that mess....we want to live in some delusion that things look perfect like in a magazine. But that's not real life. And it certainly isn't my life. 

The danger with living in this state that things have to be "perfect" all the time means that when real life struggles and trials come our way they undo us. Instead of taking them in stride as a part of this life we allow our entire identity to be rattled by them. 

My life is always messy. I am short with my toddler, I waste time, I get tired of bouncing a baby around all day. My house is usually messy (unless I hear you're coming over then it gets cleaner in 10 minutes than it has all week!) My toddler watches more tv than I vowed she ever would and projects than I have started are strewn throughout my house. I am commonly unshowered and unrested. I am unrested because I waste time on the computer or on my phone when my children are distracted instead of taking time with the Lord. I am short with them because I am not taking time to find rest and refueling from God who is the only one who can provide the strength for this job. 
And the other things just come with having children :) 

I have been reading "Loving The Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic and wow...have been convicted, challenged and encouraged in this tiny read. I want to share this snippet from today about motherhood:

"The opportunities for growth and refinement abound here--but you have to be willing. You have to open your heart to the tumble. As you deal with your children, deal with yourself first. This is what it looks like and feels like to walk with God, as a mother. God treats us with great kindness as we fail daily. He takes the long view of our sin--knowing that every time we fail and repent, we grow in our walk with Him. It is easy for us to accept this, because our sins are, well, ours.
But our children sin against us, annoy us, and mess up our stuff. We want to hold it against them, complain about them (if only to ourselves), and feel put upon by their sin. We have a much harder time accepting that every failure from them is a wonderful opportunity for repentance and growth an not an opportunity for us to exact penance. 
It is no abstract thing--the state of your heart is the state of your home. You cannot harbor resentment secretly toward your children and expect their hearts to be submissive and tender. You cannot be greedy with your time and expect them to share their toys. And perhaps most importantly, you cannot resist your opportunities to be corrected by God and expect them to receive correction from you."

This has been my prayer these days. To allow God to work in my life and accept the growth that motherhood demands instead of fighting to regain control and work things out my way. Motherhood and child rearing can bring so many things of our own heart to light for us to work through with God and grow from OR it can make us bitter, unhappy, frazzled with the chaos of our life and selfish. 
Anyways! Hope you are challenged as I am to take the words from this great book to heart! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Bouncing" back after a baby --- ya right!

I have been talking with so many friends lately about this desire to bounce back post pregnancy both in the physically arena and in our productivity.

Before I say what is on my mind, trust me I all about getting back to they gym and eating a healthy diet for both your recovery after pregnancy and to help with energy and breastfeeding! This is not a post about just letting yourself go and eating garbage and not being active. But this time around for me that awesome "fluff around the middle" has hung around a lot longer -- in fact it's still there! After my first baby I was back in all my jeans shortly after and I really didn't know what all the fuss was about with losing weight after a baby. I know that is going to sound SO bad but honestly it just went away, no work really required! I even loaded up on food I wouldn't normally eat due to "breastfeeding" haha. It has been humbling this time around to have expected all the weight to melt away like last time and to see it still sittin there! This isn't about me seeking some kind "you look great" praise from you all, I just want to express how that pressure to bounce back to our pre-baby bodies is not only unrealistic........I'm not sure it's healthy. 
We for some reason crave comments like "wow you don't even look like you've had a baby!" or "look at her you can't even tell she's had a baby" and I realized -- Do I even want that?
I have had a baby!
2 babies! Do I really want to look like I did before my body had carried and delivered two children? Sometimes I do! But I have also been coming to terms with while I want to lose the rest of the weight and be healthy.....things will never look the same, and that's ok. For those of you that have had children you know what I am referring to! That little pillow around your belly button is the hardest to get rid of if ever :) 
I am still of course getting my butt back in the gym and getting back into eating foods that give me energy but I have been mulling over these ideas lately of why do I want to look like I haven't had a baby when I have?

This also HUGELY applies to life after a baby. I have been reading a lot about other cultures where a women who has just delivered isn't allowed to cook for weeks, or go in public for a month, or have people over. She is supposed to be at home, resting and bonding with her baby. In the US we are so productive based that we want to be "up and at it" as soon as we can after a baby. Myself included! I did NOT want to be one of those people lounging around doing nothing -- but what is the cost of going at it too soon?
  • Your recovery will be longer since you aren't allowing your body the time it needs to rest and heal.
  • You will feel emotionally spent and frazzled because you really are trying to accomplish too much! 
  • You could even have complications with breastfeeding like clogged ducts, mastitis, etc.......just ask me I know. ;( 

Be ware of craving those compliments about "look at all she is doing! I can't believe she just had a baby!" I have been challenged lately to just take time with my children. Sit and read books, do puzzles, go for a walk. All the things you "need to get done" will still be there later. 

This is all to say, you know yourself! And if your an extreme doer like me then you need to take a break, take a breath, and relax. You will still have all those things to do after you've rested! I have found such joy
and peace in letting things go that I would normally have stressed over getting done.

What are your thoughts on this?! Do you think too many women do too much? Or do you think too many women take it as an excuse to not do things that need to get done? 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Never Buy Play Dough Again!

I still remember peering up to the stove while my mom stirred together a hot ball of sticky play dough in whatever color I chose. I loved that warm, soft, fresh play dough! I can't believe my daughter is over 2 and I am just now making it for her! 

This took my maybe 5 minutes! Less time than going to the store for it or even going to the right isle for it! I definitely will never buy play dough again now that I really know how easy it is :) 

Here is my recipe! I really want to play around with some of the recipes that don't use heat or cream of tartar but this classic recipe is foul-proof! 

Let your little one help stir and drop the food coloring in, I love this adorable new skill that Juliana has where every time she sees me working on anything she runs and grabs her little chair (or drum set........cause that's the same thing right? LOL) and brings it to stand right next to me and help. Sadly even on her chair she still can't see the counter -- though she can unbolt the deadlock on the door.....yep -- so she usually needs some help. I enjoyed making this with her this morning! And we are still playing with it now.

½ cup salt
1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
Food coloring

1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized saucepan.
2. Stir over heat until dough is pliable.
3. Allow to cool and store in a well sealed plastic bag or container.

(saying "cheese!")

This makes enough for 2 kiddos to have a good sized lump to play with.

Happy Play dough Play!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Curious George Party

Last weekend we celebrated our firstborn turning 2!!! My gosh :( How fast time goes. She is in love with Curious George...in LOVE. 

It was a SUPER fun party theme. I love all the fun details and crafts when hosting a party, this one gave me plenty of ideas :) 

How cute is she in her George Skirt?

My dad is awesome and dressed up as The Man in the Yellow Hat

Fun food table

10 am is a good time for a 2 year old's party since it's pre-nap and morning is usually little kiddos best time of day. We did lots of morning food like bagels and cream cheese, pb&j's, cheese sticks, cherrio necklaces, apples and yogurt, fruit, etc :) 

Apples and Yogurt that I put a few drops of yellow food coloring in and suddenly......"banana" dip!

We gave each child a banana with a balloon attached for their "party favor". This acts as cute decor as well!

Baby love <3 p="">

Cake cones! These were fun! I poured cake batter into ice cream cones, then frosted. super cute. I wanted to use mini cones but seriously could NOT find them anywhere. Also if you make these leave the OUT overnight, don't wrap up or the cone will get soggy. Thankfully she's 2 and could care less :) 

For the banners I just cut triangles out of cereal boxes and glued on paper, done!

Such a fun party!!!!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Birth Story Finally!

Our precious son was born 4 weeks ago and I am just now able tor sit down and write out the wonderful story of how he came into the world!

I am not sure where the past 4 weeks have gone...not to sleep that's for sure! But we are loving EVERY minute with this boy. It is so much more fun the second time around -- is that ok to say? The first time you have so much stress about becoming a parent, what having a baby will be like, how your life will change, etc etc. But we both feel like the second time those things have already all happened, so you are just EXCITED! I have been able to enjoy these first few weeks so much more this time around since I know he's fine...he's not going to die if I don't check his breathing every 30 minutes :)

My first baby came fairly quickly so this time around since we knew we had an hour drive to the hospital we wanted to leave as SOON as I had contractions and just hang out, get dinner, go for a walk if needed to but I did NOT want to be in labor in the car. I am so unbelievably thankful that everything went so well. Praise God! I was more nervous about this labor actually because I did know the pain that was coming!

(fuzzy "Go Time!" picture)

I started having some contractions around 5 pm on July 24th, very sporadic and not painful at all. I knew this pre-labor could last a long time but I also had the feeling that once active labor started, it would go very quickly and I wasn't sure when that was going to happen! We were having a BBQ at my parents and swimming and stuff but about an hour later I told Jeremy to eat some dinner cause I thought we should go home and pack stuff up. We got to the hospital around 8 pm and they told me I was at 3 cm....and I was only having mild contractions. We decided to go for a walk, get some starbucks and come back later. We did this twice---- lots of walking and Jeremy reminding me things would start to happen soon. It was actually a really special time of walking outside, watching the moon, stopping to pray and I love remembering those feelings of excitement, anticipation, nerves and peace :) By midnight I was still at a 3 and was only having contractions if I walked.........ug what!?!?

I love my midwife and that hospital SO much. They were just so amazing the whole time. Instead of discrediting what I had told her about my first labor she agreed that once things actually started it would probably move quickly. They said we could stay in a postpartum room and sleep. She said we could stay the whole night if we wanted......so sweet. I don't know any hospital that would let you just sleep there all night even if nothing happened progress wise.

Jeremy promptly fell asleep :) Love him.
 But I could not get comfortable so I decided to go for a walk in the serenity garden. I had 4 intense contractions while I was out there (and of course texting -- haha shout out Whitney and Heather :) so at 1 AM  I came back and said, "Ok I think I should at least get checked out." I started shaking pretty badly, also another clue things were moving along!

When I got checked I was at a 7 ! Yea! I was shocked I went from a 3 to a 7 in an hour, yea! Things moved so quickly from there on out. They knew I wanted to labor and deliver in the tub so they made such a nice area with candles and music. So funny that after all those Bradly Classes my hubby and I took (and all his handouts he had in his pocket to remember........he's cute :) things again moved so quickly we didn't use much of them! But the information was definitely there in my mind! I kept doing what my instructor had said and with each contraction envisioned the baby's head moving down.............and............yes by the end all Bradley went out the door and I was screaming again like last time.
 Oh well!  

It's hard work.

Seconds Old!

(ahhhh all done!)

Jeremy was such an amazing coach. I love that we did those classes together, it made our teamwork a lot more fluid. He did such a good job encouraging me, putting cloths on my head and so much more!

My mom and sister got there in time but my other 2 sisters arrived 10 minutes after he was born!

 I felt so bad after they drove so far at 3 in the morning. This labor was so different from my first in so many ways! It was VERY different not having my water break till the end this time, I prefer it breaking in the beginning!!!! Also this boy's head and shoulders were much larger.............................enough said.
I did not enjoy pushing the head out,,,,,,,,,,,,,then pushing the shoulders out.

William was born at 3:09 am weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 19 inches long, head 14 inches. 

I am SO thankful for how this birth went! That moment when you grab your baby is unlike anything I have ever experienced. There are so many emotions (and JOY from knowing you are done with that pain!).
It was so amazing to have him Thursday morning and be eating dinner at home Thursday night.

I love this boy!