Monday, December 4, 2017

Mommy Style Monday: Holiday Bucket List

I love the holidays!!

This time of year is just so full of traditions, it's hard not to feel nostalgic and excited all the time - at least for me! And the best part lately is that we can start establishing traditions in our own little family of four. I absolutely love celebrating the holidays with my family back in Utah, but it's also fun to start doing our own thing, even on a small scale!

This Thanksgiving my sister and her husband came to visit us, and we had a blast. We made Thanksgiving dinner together, went to a local candy shop and made candy canes, saw a fun Christmas light display and visited Chriskindlmarkt about an hour away from our house! I love visiting seasonal events around the community. There is usually so much going on, it's fun to be a part of it!

In our own house, I decided to do a little family party on Dec. 1 to welcome the season! We made and frosted sugar cookies, watched A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the babies  (just Nathan haha) opened their Christmas pj's! It was so fun to share the excitement with Nathan. It's the best watching him start to understand what's happening!

While that weekend was jam packed with different events, here are some things still on my list to do before the season ends:

1. See the Live Nativity. There is a church here in our area that puts on a very well done Live Nativity! You can drive through it, or walk. Last year we walked, even though it was extremely cold. They have hot chocolate and cookies inside their building afterward, and it was a really fun thing to go to!

2. Check out Purdue's Christmas tree. They bring in a giant real tree every season and decorate it, and it is a wonder to behold!

3. Go to the lights at Temple Square when we're in Utah. If you've been, this goes without saying, in my opinion haha.

4. Take Nathan sledding. This may also have to wait for Utah! Depends what happens here!

5. Watch all my favorite Christmas movies - Elf, A White Christmas, The Santa Claus, A Christmas Story, etc. (And also watch plenty of cheesy ones that are NOT my favorite, just because they're feel good shows haha)

6. Make an effort to serve others - in my family and outside my family. Focus on the reason for the season!

Basically I just want to do all the holiday things in my path! We'll see how many I actually get to. I mean, if it was just me I would get to all of them, but I do have two small children and a very busy husband ha ha. I think the main thing is, just spending intentional time with my family making memories. It makes the biggest difference in the atmosphere of our home when we are intentional with each other, and the holidays always remind me of that!

What will you be doing this season? What's on your bucket list? Let's check out the other ladies who signed up this month below. And remember, to sign up here for next time!

Kiana at Glitter&Donuts
Monica at It's All About
Erica at Good Job Momma
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Amelia: A Birth Story

The end of this pregnancy was completely different from the end of my pregnancy with Nathan. With Nathan, I felt no warning signs of labor at all. One day he was firmly inside of me, and the next day I was in labor. This sweet baby girl kept me on my toes! I felt contractions nearly every day since week 35, but especially once I hit 38 weeks. I was having Braxton Hicks all the time, and had just got used to it. It was a little bit frustrating to feel my body prepping, but still have no idea when she was actually going to come. On Oct. 25, I was a few days past 39 weeks, and I'd been having on again/off again contractions for the past three days. I went about my day normally, trying not to think about the impending arrival. Alex had a test that afternoon, and we jokingly had told the baby she could come whenever after the test was over.

I took Nathan to the library that morning for story time. When we left we still had some time before lunch, and Nathan wanted to go to the park and kick a ball. I agreed, since there was nothing else to do, even though it was super cold haha. We drove to the park and kicked a ball back and forth, and I thought, maybe kicking this ball will put me into labor! After a while at the park we went home for lunch. That evening, I had Activity Days (it's my calling at church). When I got there the other leaders joked around that they thought I wouldn't be there that day! I pretended to be find with still being pregnant, and also pretended to not notice the steady contractions I was having.

After putting Nathan to bed, Alex and I settled in to watch a show and just relax. During the show, I realized that my contractions seemed to be pretty close together, so I secretly started timing them. They were roughly 5 minutes apart! I was surprised, because they weren't extremely painful yet, and when I got to that point with Nathan, I was in SO much pain. I told Alex about the frequency, and we decided to wait and see if it kept up for another half an hour. We called our friends who had agreed to come over in the middle of the night and let them know the situation. Half an hour later, the contractions were still coming and I started to get VERY nervous. Was this real? Was it just practice like it had been for the past week? What was happening? This was just such a different feeling from Nathan's labor I wasn't sure what was going on haha. We finally decided to call the hospital and they told us to come over, so we called our friends who came quickly and got all set up for the night to take care of Nathan when he woke up!

I just felt really silly this whole time, because the contractions were very frequent, but not super painful. I was concerned about the frequency because I know that second babies can come a lot faster, but the lack of extreme pain was confusing me. It was definitely very uncomfortable and not fun, but I was handling it fine. We drove to the hospital, and when we checked in the people at the desk were laughing because apparently everyone in the city was giving birth that night. We got checked in to the last available room! At this point I was feeling a lot more silly, because there were all these women in SERIOUS labor, and what if mine was fake and I took up a room someone else needed??

We got settled in to the room, and the nurse checked me and concluded I was at 4cm dilated. So that was good. I was 4cm when I checked in with Nathan too! But then she asked me to rate my pain and all I could say was like, 6? Maybe 7? She seemed skeptical of my presence there, but I could have been projecting my own insecurity onto her haha. She said she would leave me there for a bit and have the doctor on call come in and decide if I should go or stay.


I was definitely in extreme pain, and there had been no sign of the doctor or any nurse since the first nurse left! The contractions were coming one after the other, and I kept thinking for sure the nurse or a doctor would come back any minute. Finally, I just told Alex we needed to call them because I wanted the epidural and they were taking too long. This whole time we could hear other ladies down the hall giving birth, and it was actually kind of crazy! Alex called the nurse and told them I was in a lot of pain and they should come back, so the first nurse finally came back. They got me all set up with the iv, which I just have to say is definitely the worst part of having a baby. They totally messed up the first time and were like, "sorry! We never mess up! We're all really good at doing this!" But you know what? When I had Nathan the SAME thing happened, so I don't believe them. I have a super nasty bruise on my arm from this now.

Anyway, the blessed anesthesiologist came in and did his duty. Pain free, I happily relaxed on the bed and tried to get some sleep. To everyone who chooses to have unmedicated births, I salute you. Frankly, the epidural is my favorite, and I am not ashamed. I got the epidural around 3:00am and after that we just waited! I tried to sleep, but the hospital bed is just the worst, and the blood pressure thing squeezes your arm every 15 minutes, and yeah, I at least got some relaxing in. At about 6am the nurse finally came back (yes, we were left alone for a few more hours. I think this was because they were so busy with all the other women, but it was a stark contrast from when I was in labor with Nathan! They were much more attentive to me.) She checked me and said something like, "There is still a little bit of cervix left, I'm going to get a delivery table ready." And then she left the room very quickly. I was like, "What? What does that mean!?" Like, was I about to have the baby? What was happening? Alex was clueless as well. That was the last time I saw that nurse. I think she must have been very tired.

They got the delivery table set up, and a fresh, not tired nurse came in and happily clarified that I would indeed be having the baby in about an hour, and I should call her if I felt a lot of pressure. The nice thing about the epidural is that I really could feel pressure, but no pain. I did not feel out of control of my body whatsoever. So about an hour later, I was feeling lots of pressure and they came back in and got ready to deliver!

This part is seriously so surreal. It was surreal with Nathan, and it was just as surreal with this baby. After nine long months, you finally get to meet this little person you've been dreaming about!! I pushed for like 10 minutes, and out she came! She was face up, which could have been a big problem, but she was just a tiny little thing, so it didn't cause any issues.

Sweet little Amelia Casey was born at 7:53am on Oct. 26, 2017, weighing 6lb 12oz! We were in awe of how tiny she was. We were also in awe of how loud she was. She wasn't thrilled about the whole ordeal haha. But now she is the most content, happy little thing and we can't imagine life without her. I can't believe I'm a mother to two sweet little spirits, but I love them both so much!! Nathan was so excited to meet her and was so soft and sweet with her. He even said, "I love baby Mia!"

I love my little family of four!

p.s. why does everyone have babies in the middle of the night? Like, no one was giving birth at noon the next day. (I know, because they didn't have enough rooms on the mother/baby floor for me to move into so I had to stay in delivery all day.) Is there a scientific reason for this?? Alex and I were discussing.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Mommy Style Monday: Cold Weather Momiform

Ok! It's been quite a while since I blogged last, and a whole lot has happened. You guys, I had a BABY! In fact, she's laying right next to me right now, trying to decide if she wants to wake up or not. I'm planning on updating you all soon on the birth story and all that jazz, but today is Mommy Style Monday, so we'll just have to wait! 

Honestly, besides the baby, the thing I was most excited for at the end of pregnancy was being able to wear WHATEVER I WANTED. Maternity clothes are great for like, five minutes, and then you're just kind of over it. I may not be quite ready to squeeze into my old jeans yet, but you better believe I've been wearing all my pre-pregnancy comfy clothes! (It's not like I have anywhere to be anyway ;) ).

So, without further ado, drumroll please, etc. etc. below you will find my "cold weather momiform". Basically you could catch me in this type of outfit in fall/winter every single day and not be surprised. 

(None of these are affiliate links, they are just links for your convenience.)

1. A cozy cardigan - no explanation needed.
2. A basic t-shirt - I have way too many and not enough at the same time.
3. Fun warm socks - I inherited this love from my mother.
4. Booties - Any kind, but I got these Sorel boots a couple years ago and they are the best!
5. Thick leggings - High waisted please, and I don't want to see ANYTHING through them. Keep me covered, please.

Seriously, why do we even need any other clothes in our closets?

Let's see what the other beautiful moms are choosing to wear for the colder months! If you'd like to sign up for the next month, fill out this form here! We'd absolutely love to have you.

Kiana at Glitter&Donuts
Erica at Good Job Momma

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Monday, October 9, 2017

37 Weeks Pregnant: Almost there!

How far along? 37 Weeks! I can hardly believe it. 

How big is the baby? Haha I am just laughing about this because I got this app that tells sizes, and it's the weirdest! I changed it from fruit because I didn't know what any of the fruit was (like, how is that helpful?) to "fun and games" and it's even less helpful! Supposedly baby is the size of a tackle box. Sure, thanks.

Maternity Clothes? Yep. Maternity clothes are unfortunately my life. I'm pretty over it. But pretty maternity dresses like this one from PinkBlush help ease the pain a little bit! I love this color of blue, it's so flattering on everyone!

Sleep? Ugh, I don't want to talk about it. But ok, let's do this. With Nathan I slept SO WELL the whole time. It was incredible. This time around? Not so much. I wake up ALL THE TIME. And then it takes me a super long time to fall back to sleep. Alex gets up at 5 to go to the gym and I can never fall back to sleep until like 7, and then I feel dumb for going back to sleep at a normal time to be awake! But I need the rest! Don't judge!

Best moment this week? Finally getting things done! I got the closet in the nursery organized with both Nathan and baby girl's clothes and it looks really good if I do say so myself! And I finally started packing my hospital bag as well. Feeling more prepared!

Symptoms? Less sleep, achey hips, getting REAL tired of bending over to pick things up.

Food cravings? Just cookies all day every day, nbd.

Food aversions? No pasta please!! 

Gender? Girl Girl Girl!!! And I have all the cutest little girl clothes to prove it!

Labor signs? A couple weekends ago I had super consistent contractions for like 5 hours! They were like 10-15 minutes apart, but they stopped when I went to bed. That is what spurred me to action to finally get organized and packed ha ha ha.

Belly button in or out? In and staying in!

What I miss? My body being able to easily move around, and my cute pants.

What I'm looking forward to? At this point, just meeting baby girl!! The anticipation is getting so real!!

I can't believe that we're in the end stretch. I am so excited to meet her and hold her and love on her. I'm also very nervous about Nathan. I know he's going to be the cutest best big brother, but I just don't want him to feel like pushed to the side or anything! He's my little bud, and I hope he knows he is going to stay that way!! Anyway, if any of you have advice about helping your toddler with the transition of a new baby, feel free to give it to me! 

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Mommy Style Monday: Get Ready with Me!

Something I have always made a priority is getting ready for the day. I knew that with motherhood would come limited time for getting put together in the morning, but I tried to make sure I consistently did it, because for me it really sets the tone for the rest of my day! I'm not talking about getting dressed to the nines with a full face of makeup every single day - there's really no point to that ha ha. For me, getting ready ALWAYS includes washing my face and moisturizing. It USUALLY includes putting a small amount of makeup on. And it SOMETIMES includes doing my hair.

If I've at least washed my face, I feel much better about getting started on my day! I will usually throw on some CC cream, under eye concealer (be gone dark circles!!), a little blush, fill in the eyebrows, and it's not complete without mascara. This process takes less than 10 minutes. If I'm feeling fancy I will straighten or curl my hair, but you better believe that only happens regularly on Sundays. I also put more effort into my makeup on Sundays, but today I'm focusing on a typical weekday for you all!

Yes, a lot of Mary Kay ha ha.. that's a long story, that maybe I will share one day. Until then, this is what I have:

Mary Kay Timewise Face Wash, Moisturizer, and Day Solution - I've been using this stuff for two years now, and I really haven't felt like switching anything up! I definitely see the results I want from their skin care, and I'm not ashamed of it ha ha. In fact, I recommend it highly! I use their night solution, you guessed it, at night, and it is awesome as well.

Mary Kay CC Cream - I love this because it does what it's supposed to, color corrects, and it feels super light on the skin, like you aren't wearing anything at all! PLUS it has sunscreen in it, and I love feeling like my face is protected. My nicer foundation for dates or Sundays is the Tarte Amazonian Clay and I will go to my grave announcing it's the best foundation in the world. Amen.

Under Eye Concealer - I recently got the Mary Kay under eye concealer, and it works GREAT at erasing the dark circles. What it doesn't do is brighten, so for days when I want a little more brightness under my eyes I use the NYX Gotcha Covered concealer in a shade lighter than my normal skin tone. It also works great, but feels a little thicker and creases sometimes.

Brows - Right now I'm using the e.l.f. brow pencil thing, and I'm feeling fine about the results. You can't beat the $2 price either.

Mascara - I am all over the place with mascara, but right now I'm using the Maybelline Rocket Volume and I really like it! At night I put this oil on my eyelashes, recommended by my friend Monica, and it's seriously increased the length and volume like crazy, so this mascara looks awesome on my lashes now haha.

Anyway, here's a blurry picture of what I look like today. Nothing fancy at all, but it helps me feel put together, and ready to take on the day! I'm always more productive if I took the time to get ready.

Let's get ready with some other super cool moms! Click their links below, and remember, if you want to sign up for the next Mommy Style Monday, fill out the form here.

Kiana at Glitter&Donuts
Monica at It's All About
Erica at Good Job Momma
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

He's TWO!

So, I have this kid named Nathan. 

He's pretty cool.

Like, wayyyyy cooler than you can even imagine probably. No one is on his level.

He just turned two on Sept 13! TWO. I HAVE A TWO YEAR OLD.

I asked him how old he was and he said, "one!" and I had to tell him that he was all done being one! He's two now! He was confused by it for the first day, but now he'll proudly tell you, "two!" 

With Nathan's monthly updates, I never included the numerical stats of his growth because I thought no one cared, and now I'm kind of mad at myself. I've been updating his life in a Promptly Journal, and I don't remember any of the numbers! So you'll have to forgive me if you don't care that Nathan is 26lbs - 25%, 35.5in - 75%, and has a head circumference of 48cm - 50%.

On to the good stuff!

This two year old can talk. your. ear. off. His favorite topic is, of course, vehicles. Every day the first thing he wants to do when he wakes up is, "play cars, mama?" I am an EXPERT at playing cars. Let me tell you how it goes: First, we each get a car. Nathan believes strongly that his cars should each have friends, so when he gets a new car, he immediately picks a friend out for it from his collection. We put the cars on the ground/couch/table facing each other. One car says, "hi!" and the other car must reciprocate. This is followed sometimes with a "how ya doing?" "I'm good! How are you doing?" "Good!" Then the cars will usually crash into each other a few times, every now and then apologizing for their clumsiness.

Is Nathan obsessed with the movie Cars, you ask? Why yes, yes he is. "Lighting Keen" and "Maner" are his favorite characters in the whole world.

Nathan's other interests include kicking balls, playing with the neighbors cat (a.k.a asking it to come here, and then running away from it), face timing his Grammy, PopPop, AbiJake and Via, eating applesauce, and playing hide and seek with his Daddy. 

Nathan is a very sweet soul. He loves sharing things that he loves with other people. If he's enjoying a food or toy, he would like whoever he is with to also have a turn with that food or toy. He's shy at first, but if you show an interest in one of his interests, he will be your friend forever. He's extremely polite - I almost never have to remind him to say please or thank you. In the middle of the night if he needs a drink I'll hear him wake up and say, "Na-Na's water please, mommy!" haha. Oh yeah, he refers to himself in the third person as Na-Na. He's very opinionated, and not afraid to let you know how he thinks things should be done. I get called out for holding my car wrong all the time. He loves playing in water, picking food from our garden, and playing in the front seat of the car. His memory is astounding - when we went on an airplane to D.C. Nathan was telling Alex how to get everything together to get off the plane, and didn't like it when Alex tried doing things his own way instead of mommy's way haha. He helps me find the car in the parking lot. When we go to different stores that we've been to with friends, he always asks about that friend. For example, when we go to Target he wants to see our friend Annie. 

Another thing about Nathan is that he sleeps. A lot. Like, the night isn't completely without 14 hours of sleep, and then he takes a 2 hour or more nap in the middle of the day. And he still goes to bed on time! I am not complaining at. all. I hope he keeps it up when baby sister is here...

Anyway, I could seriously go on and on about how amazing I think he is, but I'll save that for the Promptly Journal haha. If you want to hear more, just email me and I'll give you an earful ;) 

I am so lucky to have him in my life! I don't know what I did to deserve such an awesome kid, but I'm going to do everything I can to help him continue to be awesome. His life is about to be turned upside down with a baby sister in 6 weeks or so, and that makes me really sad sometimes, but I know he's going to be the sweetest big brother and it will be so fun to watch that relationship flourish!

Happy birthday, little sidekick. I sure love ya!
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Fall Favorites Box!

Hi everyone! I have loved doing these fun boxes this past year. It's so much fun to receive mail, and to pick out and send cute things to someone else! We've decided we'll be doing seasonal favorites boxes, so that means we'll just do it once a quarter! Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. So, you guessed it, this box is fall favorites!

I got my box from Kiana and it's so cute!

Kiana's blog is called Glitter and Donuts, so it should come as no surprise that her package included a cute Halloween towel with donuts on it, as well as a glittery pumpkin decoration! I love both, and it's making me want October to come right now so I can keep it all out! (The Count Your Blessings Pumpkin is actually already on display, because that works for the whole season, in my opinion.)

The nail polish came at the perfect time, because I REALLY needed to re-do my toes, and I wasn't loving any of the colors I owned. The red is so pretty! And I love the lipstick as well. It's the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink, and it seriously stays on your lips all day long. I gave Lipsense a couple tries, and I was never super impressed. I felt like it didn't stay as long as it promised, and I also hated having to reapply the gloss to keep it on! This lipstick is one you just put on, and don't worry about for the rest of the day and I LOVED that. Now I want all the colors!

And finally, Kiana's cute little boy Boston sent Nathan that book, and it's Nathan's book of choice at the moment. I pretty much have it memorized haha. It's so cute to hear Nathan say "Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin, mama!"

Speaking of Nathan, I should probably hire him as my artistic director for the blog, because he really knew what he was doing. ;) (a.k.a. he saw me set it up and then told me he could take it from here hahaha)

I sent my box to Jessica from Mason Jars and Lemon Bars, so you should click over to see what my fall favorites were!

If you want to get fun mail, make a new friend, and participate in the Winter Favorites Box, click here - we would love to have you! It will be in December, so you have time to prepare!

Check out what the other ladies sent and received below!

Kiana at Glitter&Donuts
Britt at My Little Sunshines 

And if you haven't signed up for our next Mommy Style Monday post going live on October 2 and would like to do so, click the link here.
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