This is 37

Monday, June 29th, 2015

37a 37b 37c 37d 37e 37fI’m officially in my “late 30’s” and it feels pretty amazing.  It’s a little surreal…did I really graduate from high school close to 20 years ago? I remember when 40 seemed really old.  But man, oh man am I glad I’m where I’m at.  I’m finally at the stage in life where insecurities, body image issues, and fears don’t rule me.  It’s a good place to be.

I foresee big things happening this year.  I’m choosing to go back to work part time and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll be getting licensed and joining my husband’s growing real estate team and at the same time re-learning how to talk with adults. When you spend the majority of your days with a two year old and a baby, your vocabulary and conversation skills become very limited.  I’m not kidding; I’m excited to have adult conversations again that go beyond the scope of poop, potty training, and sleep training. I’m also excited to experience what it’s like to miss my kids.  I think going back to work is going to make me a better mother.

I’ve also been busy with @TheVillage253.  It has grown into a beautiful community of women and I’m really enjoy organizing events for local moms.  I’m humbled and astounded at how organically and quickly it’s grown and how receptive moms are to it.  It’s not just fulfilling the desires of my heart, it’s fulfilling the needs of the community and I’ve been blessed immensely by it.  (You can read more about @TheVillage253 here).

I just have a feeling that this is going to be an amazing year.  I’m excited to set some new goals and see where life takes me!

Outfit details:

  • Chambray : H&M
  • Blouse : Target
  • Skirt : Thrifted
  • Bag : Lily Jade
  • Belt: Thrifted
  • Shoes: Thrifted

Photos:  Moch Snyder

 

 



Pippa Grace :: 11 Months Old

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

11 months old11 months old11 months old11 months old

 

Well here we are Pippa Grace, 1 month shy of being a one year old!  Life got crazy and I skipped a 10 month update, so there is a lot to catch up on!  Most notably, teeth!  Your poor gums have been swollen for what seemed like months.  Finally, 2 little bottom teeth have poked through (but only in the last week).  I got almost 11 whole months of gummy smiles and that made my heart pretty happy.

You graduated from an army crawl to a full hands and knees crawl and you pull yourself up a little more these days but overall don’t seem too interested in standing.  You’re overall very wiggly and make diaper changes quite challenging.

These past couple of months you’ve blessed me by mostly sleeping through the night.  We’ve had a rough night here and there but overall I think you have this sleep thing figured out.  And you still take 2 pretty decent naps during the day. Thank you for that.

You’re obsessed with your pacifier.  The only time it’s not in your mouth is when you’re eating…I had to bribe you with food to take these pictures.

You LOVE your sister.  She let’s you crawl all over her and you let her suffocate you with hugs so you’re pretty even. Every day you look more and more like her and less and less like me.  Your once black hair is 3/4 of the way to blonde…I’m pretty sure by the end of the summer I’ll have two completely blonde babes.  Another thing, you’re hair…it’s OUT OF CONTROL.  You no longer let me adorn your head with headbands, so we’re pretty much stuck with the whale spout to keep it out of your face.  I think some pig tails are in your near future sweet girl.

See Parker’s 11 month update here.

 



Family Reunion :: Chanute, Kansas

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Family ReunionFamily ReunionFamily Reunion Family Reunion Family ReunionFamily ReunionAlthough none of my family lives in Kansas any longer, there is a lot of history there, and where my side of the family held it’s 5th family reunion. A lot of people ask me if my family gets together annually, and for the past 5 years the answer is yes.  Family dynamics can be complicated, but all that really matters now is that all of us, (from literally all across the country) are making the effort to make up for lost time. It’s beautiful.  I love that my kids have had the opportunity to meet their great grandparents, and God willing will have memories of spending time with them as they get older.  Each year the reunions tend to get bigger with more and more extended family joining in the festivities.  My whole life my family was me, mom and dad; and the latest reunion boasted 28 attendees!

I can’t say Chanute, Kansas was ever on my bucket list of places to see, but spending time in this small town, rich in family history, and hearing stories of my grandparents and parents growing up on the farm was the perfect place to connect with family roots and each other.



Happy Father’s Day Andy! You’re #DoinGood

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Thanks to Socialstars and Minute Maid for sponsoring this #DoinGood post dedicated to Andy.

Dear Andy,

You’ve been a father just shy of 3 years and I get choked up thinking about how lucky these two darling little girls of ours are that they get to call you daddy. There is a lot of expectation packed into the title of “Father,” and although you are a mere mortal, I’m confident that Parker and Pippa will grow up thinking of you as Super Man.  Because you truly are the daddy that does it all.Happy Father's DayYou adventure with them out in nature, you cuddle with them on the couch, and you dance with them in the kitchen. You wipe noses and bums, kiss ouchies, wipe away tears, and are the best tickle monster there ever was.Happy Father's DayI don’t think a day passes that you don’t mention how much you love our little family.  You kiss our girls so much they are constantly covered in a red rash from your beard.  But beyond your sweet affection, I’m grateful our girls will grow up with an example of what it looks like to love and lead a family.  You are the calm in the storm and the voice of reason and the perfect balance to the three ladies in your life.  Happy Father's DayIt breaks your heart thinking about the girls growing up.  Boyfriends, heartbreak and childhood milestones–I know you want to protect them from all the hurt their future holds; but I’m comforted knowing that when they’re teenagers and beyond, and they come home with tears in their eyes, your strong familiar arms will comfort them, and your words of wisdom will encourage them.  Happy Father's DayIf I haven’t told you lately, you’re #doingood daddy! All three of us ladies are lucky you’re the main man in our lives!

Know a parent who has been #doingood lately? I bet they would be encouraged to hear those words–go tell them! You can share your stories of great parenting and check out others by following #doingood



Potty Training & A Big Girl Bed

Monday, May 18th, 2015

potty trainingbig girl bedbig girl bedI feel like I differ from most moms about childhood milestones.  Instead of getting weepy and nostalgic, I get excited that we’ve moved on to more independence.  Yes, there are challenges that come along with big girl undies and a big girl bed, but I love that we’ve transitioned through these phases, and did so fairly well (Thank you Jesus).

I had major anxiety about both potty training and moving Parker from her crib (which she slept in wonderfully) to a twin sized bed. We potty trained first.  I did the typical sticker chart and chocolate as a reward and loosely followed the 3 day potty training method.  By day 3 she pretty much seemed potty trained!  However, the following week she went through a bit of regression with pooping.  After throwing out about 10 pairs of underwear I switched to just pull ups and started the reward system over again with stickers, chocolate, and ice cream.  After about a week we were back in big girl undies and so far so good!

We put together her big girl bed about a week after potty training her, and to my surprise she did amazingly well with the transition (I was worried we were doing too much too soon).  I took her to Target to let her pick out her bedding (I was shocked she chose Hello Kitty over Frozen) and besides skipping naps 2 days in a row, she didn’t have any problems adjusting.  I was worried she would get upset seeing Pippa in her crib, but she didn’t seem to notice or simply didn’t care.

Cheers to independence….I can’t wait till she can wipe her own butt.

 



The Village Dinner + @TheVillage253

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

The Village DinnerThe Village DinnerThe Village Dinner The Village DinnerThe Village DinnerThe Village DinnerThe Village DinnerA couple of months ago I wrote a post on motherhood and loneliness and it seemed to have struck a chord with many of you.  Combine the digital age with calendars chock full of appointments and it seems like relationships take a back seat to our schedules and instagram likes and comments trump real life coffee dates and breaking bread with friends.

I have found that making mom friends is hard; and it’s not because other moms aren’t wanting or willing, it’s just near impossible to coordinate schedules when you have kids.  And relationships, if you haven’t noticed take a lot of time and effort.  When you meet up with a new friend once every couple of months, it’s difficult to get past surface conversation and develop intimate relationships. And in this season of life I desperately want deep, intimate friendships.

I know there is a hunger for moms to have their own “tribe,” which is why I think so many women are drawn to and rally around anything that promotes the sisterhood of mothers.  The Village Magazine is an Instagram account and quarterly publication who is doing a beautiful job at this. One fantastic idea they have is promoting and finding hostesses to host dinners in local cities.  I kept checking for an event in Seattle and when none showed up I emailed them asking if I could host one in Tacoma with my super talented friend Danielle Kartes of @rusticjoyfulfood.   Simultaneously I finally put into action the Instagram account @TheVillage253 (which is not related to The Village Magazine)…the idea that had been in my head for months–I just decided I didn’t need to know every detail of what I wanted it to look like; it’s not a business venture, so who cares. It’s a tool to meet other local mama’s and why put that on hold?

The tickets to the dinner sold out right away…which confirmed what I was thinking; moms are eager, desperate perhaps for community with other women.  Some wonderful local mamas volunteered their amazing gifts and talents to create a spectacularly beautiful event.  Moms mingled, ate, hugged, cried, nodded in agreement, laughed, lingered and left with their hearts filled and eager for another gathering.  The Village Magazine’s tag line is “Bringing back the village,” and mama’s across the world are saying, “Yes, I need a village to do this motherhood thing”. We were not meant to navigate motherhood alone, yet so many of us are.

@TheVillage253 has honestly been a way for me, a desperate housewife, to meet up regularly  with other local moms and think of ways to gather these moms on a frequent basis.  I don’t just want a playdate, I want real friendship.  In addition, it’s a great resource for moms who have questions about anything local, like midwife recommendations, kid friendly restaurants, indoor activities etc. My hope is that eventually other moms across the 253 area code (which is a fairly large area) will become admins of the account so we will have multiple postings a week of local meetups, playdates, events etc.  In this day and age we have to be intentional about relationships; it’s too easy to keep up with someone on social media and neglect face to face interaction.  I love social media, but I’d much prefer to look you in the eye and tell you in person you’re an amazing mama, and to get to know you beyond the cropped, filtered, edited squares of Instagram.

Acknowledgements:

And a huge Thank you to the local merchants who blessed us mamas with beautiful gifts:



Pippa Grace :: 9 Months Old

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

9 months old 9 months old9 months old9 months old 9 months oldThis squishy little peanut is 9 months old.  Time has never gone so fast or so slow.  It’s a little mind boggling how different she is from Parker.  Parenting these two girls is sure to keep me on my toes. At 9 months she still has no teeth…but she sure loves to eat.  Chicken is her favorite…baby girl can put down some chicken!

She has no interest in pulling herself up on things yet, and manages to army crawl quite quickly to get around.  But her favorite mode of transportation is in my arms.  She’s never quite content unless I’m holding her (and now Daddy!).  When I’m holding her she is the happiest baby on the block.  Once I’m out of sight it’s pretty much blood curdling screaming and crocodile tears until I reluctantly take her again. She’s a master manipulator at just 9 months.

Last night was the first night she slept through the night.  I’m hoping it wasn’t a fluke and that she has finally transitioned into being able to sleep for longer stretches.  Sleep training has been difficult because the last 3 months she caught her big sister’s upper respiratory colds.  I’m hoping her immune system has built up enough strength to get her through a few months of health.

At her 9 month check up today she measured at 28 inches (62nd percentile), just under 19 pounds (61st percentile) and in the 97th percentile for head circumference.  It’s hard to believe in 3 short months I’ll have a 1 year old!  (See Parker’s 9 month update here).

 



Easter 2015 In Photos

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Easter 2015easter 2015easter 2015easter 2015 easter 2015easter 2015easter 2015 Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetThe sugar high from Easter has come and gone.  I’m not super into holiday crafts, so the fact that we dyed Easter eggs is pretty impressive in my book.  Parker absolutely loved it…it’s really priceless to see her light up over new things.

I’m a couple of weeks late at getting this post up, but I couldn’t have a major holiday go undocumented!



Pippa Grace :: 8 Months Old

Monday, March 30th, 2015

8 months old 8 months old 8 months oldIn my last post I mentioned how I forgot Pippa’s 8 month update…but it dawned on me just before she turned 8 months old that I had been telling everyone she was almost 9 months old.  I clearly have not been getting much sleep.

This sweetly stubborn girl is not a fan of beauty rest.  After attempting weeks of sleep training I’m convinced that this child is just incredibly strong willed and some sleep strategies simply won’t work on certain children. That being said…I’m incredibly sleep deprived.  I’ve literally been on my knees praying over this child that prefers screaming over sleep.  I just don’t really know what to do.

Food is a fun new part of the day.  Pippa loves to eat, and she can put away quite a bit of food.  She loves chicken, apples, pears, cheese and broccoli.  Well, she’ll actually eat anything that’s put in front of her.  And she drinks out of normal cups (assisted of course).

It’s funny how kids are so different in their development.  By this age Parker was pulling her self up and crawling all over the place on her hands and knees.  Pippa army crawls, dragging herself around and doesn’t seem interested in pulling herself up yet. And honestly I couldn’t be happier she’s taking her time; the last thing I want right now is to chase after two mobile kids!

Her babbling sounds pretty much just consist of “ma ma,” and of course that makes me happy. She curls her top lip over her gums and looks like an old lady when she babbles…it’s adorable.  She’s addicted to her pacifier–Parker was not a binky baby, so I’m starting to get nervous about the weaning process; hopefully that won’t be too difficult.

She squeels with delight while playing with Parker…Pippa absolutely loves when Parker is around and fortunately Parker is quite fond of Pippa too.  Seeing their relationship develop is pretty much the highlight of my life.  It’s so dang sweet.

Parker’s 8 month update is here.



#Motherhood

Monday, March 16th, 2015

motherhood motherhoodmotherhoodMy laptop has been gathering dust over the past few weeks…I swear it grew eyes and every time I’d walk by it was staring at me and I could hear it saying, “Are you ever going to write again?”

I miss this space.  But it’s been a season of life that has called me away from “me time,” and has instead had me torturing my snotty children hourly with a nasal aspirator, swaying back and forth and comforting sweaty, feverish children, giving bubble baths at 3 am because coughing fits turned into puking sessions, and simply being with clingy, needy, sick babes for the last few weeks.  My husband and I can’t remember a time we’ve been so sick.  It’s been a long winter and we haven’t quite put away the children’s Tylenol or Vicks Vapor Rub just yet; we’re about a week shy of spring and I’m praying the new season brings health.  (I may have also just bought every immune boosting tincture, serum and essential oil on the market to prevent this from ever happening again).

But life goes on.  Five years of marriage came and went…somehow Pippa became an 8 1/2 month old.  I missed documenting her 7 and 8 month updates which makes me a little sad.  Parker passed the 2 1/2 year mark…we attempted one day of potty training before “the plague” hit our family which has caused me to hold off.

While I’ve been house bound with the girls and intentionally spending less time online, I was struck with how lonely motherhood can be. I’m surrounded by amazing women with children of similar ages, but even when our families are healthy it’s hard to coordinate schedules to meet up more than a couple of times a month.  Add sickness to the mix and you can literally go months without seeing your friends.  And if it’s a new friendship it’s even harder to develop closeness when so much time passes between meeting up.  And lets get real…there’s very limited time to have “deep” discussions when you’re on a play-date; the reality is you can’t really look someone in the eye for longer than 10 seconds when you have young children because conversations are constantly interrupted by, “‘Don’t touch that,’ ‘Don’t put that in your mouth,’ ‘Share please,’ and ‘Did you poop?'”

So it got me thinking, if I’m feeling lonely and I’m fairly outgoing and intentional about meeting other moms, there has to be a ton of other lonely moms out there!  So I’ve had an idea brewing in the back of my mind that I’m working on (unfortunately it will just serve local Tacoma mamas), but it’s a pretty basic idea that anyone can copy (I’m sure there are already people doing it).  The details aren’t quite all worked out yet, but if you’re local to Tacoma, stay tuned!

 



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