Jun 22, 2017

30 Days

Just a measly little 30 days left on these crutches. I've found that saying it in days versus weeks somehow helps. And tomorrow that number will start with a 2 and I'll be practically done then! ;) I'm trying to be obnoxiously upbeat today, we'll see how long it lasts. The sunrise this morning was absolutely gorgeous and it started my day off right, that's for sure. It was a beautiful, simple reminder that today was a new day. What's that Anne of Green Gables quote/scene...  ?

We've obviously put a lot of house projects on hold because of my injury. There is a lot I can't really do. So all those blog posts about home updates and decor and furniture and such are just going to be on the back burner for the summer probably. If I ever get around to them at all. Instagram shots might be the easiest/best way, because everyone just wants photos right?! We did get news that our new bedroom furniture is being delivered next week (way ahead of schedule!) so we are PUMPED about that.

A few phone pics of T recently. When your momma is on crutches, sometimes lunch time gets creative and you get to eat on the counter. He thought it was hilarious! And a new set of jammies (wearing 18 month now- though still a little big) and a ball. He says ball probably 500 times a day, no lie. He's obsessed.

And last but not least, the book party I mentioned a couple days ago is happening TONIGHT on Facebook. Please leave me a comment/message if you'd like an invite. I'm pretty pumped to host and would love you to join in the fun :)

Jun 20, 2017

Usborne Kids Books

It's no secret that we are big book lovers in our house. Jared and I both love reading and it's been fun to introduce T to the amazing word of books as well. He flips through books all day long and in my totally unbiased opinion, it's the cutest thing ever ;)
Usborne Books & More was a new thing to me a few months ago. T was gifted a couple of them for his birthday and they are easily some of my favorites of his now. They have a ton of these "That's not my .... " books that are adorable. They are all touchy-feely books and T loves all the different textures. So far we have three of the versions but I seriously want every single one of them!

After we were gifted some of these, I've bought a handful of new ones for T and I've also purchased a few as gifts for friends and family as well. The quality is awesome and I just think they are stinkin' cute. A kid can never have too many books. They are my weakness just as much (if not more!) than kids clothes are! 

They have baby books all the way up to young adult/reader books. You could seriously spend hours browsing their site and all the categories they have. I even bought a few to stash away until he's older because I couldn't resist. Jared is a total space geek so I knew I had to get this one. He and T will be pouring over this one before I know it!

All that to say- I'm hosting an online book party via Facebook this Thursday. If any of you are interested in shopping, and even if you're just semi-interested- let me know! I'll send you an invite to the group and you can check it out for yourself. As with most online parties it will be live Thurs, June 22nd at 9pm (EST) but you'll have a little time to shop/decide over the weekend. However, the most fun and possible prizes (FREE BOOKS!) will happen during the party time.

I'm not getting paid for promoting Usborne, but if you shop my party I could earn some free books :) Check it out and holler if you want to know more and if you want a link to the online party!

Jun 19, 2017

Monday Musings

Even though I know I need to give it up, I'm freshly caffeinated off of Mountain Dew right now. I only tell you that to explain that I'm typing even faster than usual and I make no apologies for what direction this blog post takes. T is napping and it feels good to have a small window to hammer out some words and connect with you all.

I enjoyed getting to celebrate Jared for Father's Day over the weekend. Last year was his first one, but T was only a couple weeks old and we pretty much floated through a hazy sleep-deprived newborn schedule at the time. I knew then he would be an incredible father, but the past year has proven that countless times. T is lucky to have him and I know he and Jared are going to be best buddies forever.

Jared's new Warriors hat was his gift from us :)

On another note, I love online shopping. Not in the sense that I shop all the time, but when I do- it's online. I love to take my time, comparison shop and not get all sweaty and stressed in store because I don't know what I'm looking for. And now that I'm on crutches I am utilizing everything online as much as I can. Groceries, thanks to ClickList at Kroger, diapers, thanks to Amazon Prime and I finally let myself buy a pair of shorts last week, too. I seriously owned ONE pair of denim shorts that fit so I snatched up these white ones and I'm super happy with them. They do run a little small, I think, FYI!

After a week of moping and grumbling about my injury, I took this weekend to be as productive as I could be. Of course there's a lot I can't do, but I did have both my crockpots going in meal preparation on Sunday so it felt nice to be doing that right at least. I have missed cooking and having a meal plan each week!

I need to cut myself off for now because this blog post could NOT be more random if I tried. Stay tuned, though. I have something fun and book-related to talk about tomorrow so make sure you don't miss it!! :)

Jun 16, 2017

On A Lighter Note

Thanks for all your kind words on Monday's post! It's been a downer of a week over here but the notes of encouragement really helped. I appreciate that some of you said to just complain, wallow and get it all out because that's what I needed to do before I could move on. It's not going to be easy but I'll get through it just like anything else. One day at a time, right?! Hey, tomorrow marks 1 week down. I have an additional MRI this afternoon so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for positive news.
-So a few things on a much happier and lighter note today:

In true perfect timing, Keepsake (both a website and app) contacted me about checking out their photo printing/framing services. Since one of my June goals was to get some photos printed it was a no-brainer to partner with them. I chose a different type of photo than I normally would, a far away silhouette that my sister-in-law took of Jared and I on vacation. It was a beautiful night on the sandy dunes and I loved the colors in this photo.

Our house is so empty and blank that it was tough for me to choose a frame... I wanted them all! In the end I chose a distressed blue frame for my photo. I'm planning on hanging it in our bedroom which we are in the process of decorating in blues and greens. Can't wait to show you all how our room turns out but it might be awhile because we're waiting on our furniture to be delivered.

Also? I absolutely LOVE that the frame comes ready to hang. Sorry, but I'm just lazy when it comes to decorating- plus, I'm on crutches. I am all about easy and simplified right now :) I unpackaged the picture, admired it and then immediately hung it up.

Now that I got to see the photo and frame quality I will definitely be using Keepsake again ASAP. We have so many cute photos of T from the beach that I want to frame. PS- they have free shipping. Always. NEED I SAY MORE?!  Use promo code LFF15 for 15% your order! 
*I received my print/frame free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I seriously recommend them 100%!!

-I've been reading like it's my job.
In trying to find the silver lining of being on crutches, I have been using it as an excuse to read all the books that have been sitting around forever. I've already read 1.5 books. This week. That's a record for me, for sure. By nature I am a do-er at home, I like to be busy and I like tackling projects - so being still does not come easily to me. Books are helping however, and I'm trying to appreciate that I have the time for them. Anything I should check out while on the injured list??

-Free Trial at PureFlix.com
If you've read my blog for any amount of time, I think you know that I don't promote anything I don't think is worthy of my time- or yours! So PureFlix.com, a streaming site specializing in Christian movies, is something else getting my stamp of approval this week. They also reached out about their website and told me they're offering a 30-day free trial to anyone so I figured I'd check it out and see what they were all about. I've got the time right now, right?!

PureFlix is kinda' perfect for us right now. I can check out new things there when I'm home and T is napping, or Jared and I can check out some new titles for our date nights in- which is pretty much the majority of all our dates these days. At first I thought it might only be kiddy stuff, but they have a huge range of family-friend stuff in all categories: documentaries, heath and fitness, travel-related titles and even devotionals! I love old movies so Jared and I watched a documentary on Alfred Hitchcock that I'd never seen and it was fascinating!

So check 'em out! Like I said, free for 30 days and no commitment past that if you decide it's not for you. PureFlix asked me to share what I've been watching lately so I figured I'd share a few recent go-to's for us and also what makes our movie night a little bit more fun ;)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Let me know if you check out either of these cool sites!

Jun 12, 2017

A New House and Something's Already Broken...

And that something would be ME. If you didn't catch my Instagram post over the weekend I am officially (and very unfortunately) on crutches. For the next 6 weeks I will be moaning and groaning about this because I can't even believe it's happened. My back/hip area was hurting prior to vacation but I thought I'd just pulled a muscle or something with all the packing and moving. While on vacation the pain got increasingly worse though and started shooting down the back of my leg so I knew I needed to get it checked out.

Two doctor appointments, an x-ray and an MRI later we have found the culprit. This is the actual dialogue that happened between my doctor and I when he walked in to see me after reviewing the MRI:
Me- Okay, is it bad news?
Dr- Well. Are you sure you didn't fall? Get in a car accident?
Me- Nope, why?
Dr- You have a freaking fracture in your sacrum. (Said incredulously)
Me- Um, my what?

Your sacrum is the bone at the base of your spine and mine is apparently fractured. My doctor truly couldn't believe it but he said it certainly explains the pain I've been in. We really don't know how it happened since there hasn't been a specific incident, but sure enough it's there. My treatment is to stay off of it for 6 weeks and I'll likely do some physical therapy after that. He's also going to have the doctor who specializes in spine injuries follow up with me and possibly do another MRI. That freaks me out a little, but I'm trying to trust that everything will heal up okay.

If I'm being honest here, this news really crushed me. I know there are certainly much worse things in life but right now this feels like the worst possible news I could get. I have been looking forward to this summer for quite some time now. I've been so excited to get our house in order and to enjoy this summer with T but crutches are obviously going to put a damper on that. So yeah, some tears have been shed over the situation but all I can do is take the recovery one day at a time. Seriously, please pray for my sanity as I stay cooped up inside for half the summer :(

Thanks to those of you who have already reached out with kind words of encouragement, and for the sweet flowers and goodies that someone sweet dropped off for me. It made the crappy news (and pain!) so much easier to bear. Six weeks- let's do this.

Jun 7, 2017

Currently: June Edition

This month's Currently link-up is extra fun because Anne was kind enough to let me cohost with her! Yay! It seems like a lot of link-ups die out after awhile but I'm glad this one is still going and growing because I look forward to it every month. For any new faces stopping by, hello! :)

PLANNING: Blog posts, cleaning schedules, the week ahead, doctor's appointments, you name it! It feels good to have nothing major on our upcoming calendar. Just time to get organized. June is officially my put life back together month, in case my other posts haven't made that clear- haha!

WISHING: I wasn't in so much pain. I'm not sure what I've done, but I've been having major back/hip pain lately. It started right before vacation and I think I aggravated it even more while we were there. If it doesn't ease up soon I'm going to get it checked out. Fingers crossed this isn't a repeat hip injury :(

LEARNING: How to parent a toddler. I mean, I think I'll be trying to learn how to parent for the rest of my life, right? But T is changing so fast and all of a sudden I'm like, "Holy cow! I have a one-year-old and everything is so different!" There is always going to be something to learn, some new obstacle to make it through and I know it's going to keep me on my toes.

BROWSING: Magazines for home inspiration. I can't tell you the last time I let myself sit and flip through magazines but I did it this weekend and enjoyed every second of it. Lots more of RealSimple and HGTV browsing are in my future.

GOING: Hopefully nowhere ;) I told Jared that after vacation I was good with staying in the house for a solid month and just unpacking and settling and laying low. But with these beautiful summer days, I'm not sure how much I'll actually do that. We are due for another zoo trip, some pool days and walks at the park.

Jun 6, 2017

June Goals

It has been a few months since I did a goals post and this post is long overdue. I have completely let the chaos of selling our home, moving in with family for six weeks and then moving into our newly built home take over. My planner hasn't been touched in months and if we're being honest here, I don't even know where it is right now. Still have a few of those boxes to unpack- whoops!

But now that we are in our house and I feel like we can finally get into some sort of routine, I'm excited to set some goals and really push myself this month. There are a LOT of things I want to accomplish so hopefully by month's end I feel really good about things. Here we go!

Lose 10 pounds.
Y'all. I could write an entire post about my body post-baby, but I'll spare you that agony. I have reached the lowest of the low here. Once I stopped BFing/pumping around month 7, I feel like things really shifted. In a bad way. All those extra calories I was eating suddenly were showing up in the most unflattering ways and I let things spiral out of control. I am wearing a size I never thought I would and going to the beach last week just made it all the more obvious. Time to take care of this body- it's the only one I get!

Organize/Set-Up our Office
We will be organizing parts of our home for quite awhile, I'm sure, but this month I want to make the office a priority. Since I work from home part-time, I want my dedicated space to be not only organized but inviting as well. There are a few things I need to buy (still deciding on a chair!) but mainly just unboxing the rest of our office supplies, books, electronics, and finding a place for everything. Paint will come later, but I am shopping around for that perfect color.

Create our New Budget
With all the life changes that have happened in the past year, it's definitely time Jared and I sit down and reevaluate all aspects of our finances and our budget. With another family member, a new house, me leaving my job and getting a different part-time job... our heads have been spinning! We still have a lot of goals and ambitions for the next few years and having a clear picture of where all our money is going is so important to us.

Stock the Freezer/Pantry
With a new, big kitchen at my fingertips I am thrilled about cooking and eating at home more often. So much of life feels like it stopped throughout the moving process. Now it's the little things I'm looking forward to doing in my day-to-day and stocking our freezer and pantry is on my list. It may seem silly but now that I have the space, I want to make it easier to cook at home and not make the excuse that we just don't have anything. I'm hoping to make some good freezer meals to stash away and I want to buy a few extra things for the pantry each grocery trip to have on hand- things like pasta sauce, canned goods, baking supplies, etc! I figure if I grab a few extra each trip it won't feel like I had to spend a ton all at once.

Print some Photos
What? You thought I could write a goals post without mentioning at least some type photo project or goal? :) Again- with the blank canvas of a new house my walls are begging for some photos to go up. With T's birthday and our vacation pictures I want to choose a few to print and frame and decide where to put them. At the old house we had wedding pictures everyyyywhere and while those will still have a place here, it is time for an update!

That's it for the month. I feel ready to tackle the world this month- let's see if I can do it! :) What are you all working towards in June?

Jun 5, 2017

Outer Banks Vacation

It feels like a lifetime since I've been in blogworld. How is everyone doing?! My Bloglovin' feed is ridiculously full and maybe one day I'll catch up with everyone else, but I'm not making any promises. ;) Jared, T and I went on our first family vacation last week to the Outer Banks/Nags Head North Carolina area. We rented a big house right on the beach with 7 of Jared's immediate family members and it was certainly a memorable week.

We had beautiful weather all week with really only one overcast day in the entire vacation. Having a place right on the beach definitely made it easier with a one-year-old. It wasn't too far of a walk to get him back in the house to get cleaned up, eat and take a nap a couple times a day. T really was a trooper the whole trip. He loved the sand and the pool and the ocean.

However, just because he loved the atmosphere did not mean I had a vacation- HA! To everyone who told me it's totally worth it to take little ones on vacation, I'm doubting you today. Did I love seeing my little guy experience the ocean and sand for the first time? YES. It was adorable. Did I also love getting to be with Jared for a whole week and no work? YES. A hundred times yes. But goodness gracious I AM BEAT. It was just as much work (if not more) having a kiddo on vacation. And I won't even get into the roadtrip there (bad) and the roadtrip home (beyond terrible) sooo yeah. Jared and I are good with not traveling again for awhile ;)

While in no way was that trip relaxing, I still indulged in delicious food all week both at our beach house and at a couple fun restaurants. Shout-out to Sooey's BBQ and their crew who made us feel like family by the time we left our dinner. They actually took my brother-in-law back in the kitchen/grill area so he could see the "meat pit" where the magic happens, haha.

There were late-night hot tub talks, mexican food, ladder ball and lots of laughter throughout the week. We also took an hour or so after dinner one night to walk the dunes that were right down the street from our beach house. It was a hike but totally worth it for the views!

Now we are back home and recovering from the chaos the last month or two have been. It was a little easier to leave the beach knowing we were coming back to our still VERY new house. Now it's back to the unpacking and finally feeling like we can settle in. Ahhh, home sweet home.

May 31, 2017

Beach Life

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend and I hope you're getting back into the swing of things, wherever you might be. I'm at the beach, by the way! We road tripped with our little guy for his first ever beach vacation. We are here in North Carolina with all of Jared's family and we are living it up. As much as you can with a one-year-old ;) Not to scare anyone... but a portion of our roadtrip was BRUTAL. T was just not having it but somehow we made it and we're trying to soak in any relaxation we can. This pretty pink house we're renting certainly helps.
And getting to have an anniversary date night out at the beach was pretty awesome too :)

I can't wait to share more from our vacation and catch up with you all, too!

May 28, 2017

Stronger Than Ever

It seems like my blog has been one thing to celebrate after another lately. I guess April and May are just a busy time of partying in our world ;) Today marks an extra special day, though. Jared and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary!

The past year was probably the most challenging, memorable and incredible year of our marriage thus far. Last May 28th we were getting to know our 2-day old baby in the hospital after a whirlwind delivery.  Each year is so different and I love looking back at what's changed in our marriage and in our lives. This past year was certainly a life-changer.

Having a child changed who we are as individuals and as a couple. I now understand more than ever how important quality time with your spouse is. Before T was born, every day was all about us! We could ditch our dinner plans for a night out at the drop of a hat. Jared could go out on an ice cream run at 11pm just because. If a Groupon caught our attention we could buy it and hop in the car for a roadtrip with hardly any notice. Those things are few and far between (or non-existent in some cases!) but that doesn't mean we can't make every day special together.

In the past year, we often went days where we hardly talked about anything except T. We rarely had date nights out of the house. It was hard. It was an adjustment. But after the realization that hey, we need to try a little harder- it impacted me in great ways. Jared is an incredible husband, father and friend and I don't want him to ever forget any of those things. I don't want us to be so focused on our roles of mom and dad, that we forget to be husband and wife.

Our marriage has been challenged and changed and stretched in the past year, but today on our 6th anniversary I feel that it is stronger than ever. Putting the extra effort in and nurturing our marriage is something I never ever want to stop doing. I love you, Jared! So happy to be on this adventure of life together.

May 26, 2017

Happy Birthday, T!

My brain cannot process the fact that it's been an entire year since T joined our family. A year ago today I was in the hospital, anxious and excited that meeting our son was about to become a reality. Time is truly the greatest thief of all.
7 hours before we met you!!!

I don't even know how to put into words what this child means to me. It's all those cliche things you hear and roll your eyes at but then wind up realizing they're pretty accurate. He's the light of our lives. The hard days are all worth it. You didn't know you could love someone this much. Blah, blah, blah... they're all true though. T, your dad and I love you beyond what we could ever express. You've challenged us and changed us in your short year of life; I can't imagine what lies ahead for all of us. A lot of fun, I hope ;)
3 weeks old♥
It's easy to reminisce and look back on your tiny baby days with fondness and even a bit of sadness because it truly goes so fast. But I also get excited about each new thing you learn and each phase I know we still have ahead of us. It feel like I blink my eyes and you've mastered a new skill or suddenly you're doing something so hilarious we can't stop laughing.

Thank you little boy, for making me a mom. For being silly and ticklish. For loving long walks at the park and throughout the neighborhood. For being such a good eater and an even better sleeper. Thank you for your patience with me as I learn about you and what makes you tick. Thank you for the open mouth kisses and the very, very occasional snuggle you let me have. You are simply the best. Happy Birthday, sweet T.
1st Birthday party

Some stats about you at age ONE:

  • I'm guessing you're around 22-23 pounds but I won't know for sure until your well-check in a couple weeks.
  • You wear all 12 month clothes right now, but I can tell we'll be moving to 18 month clothes pretty soon. *Sidenote, I wish they made 15-month clothes.
  • You've truly been an amazing sleeper all along and I am forever grateful for that. You still take 2 naps a day and you sleep 11+ hours straight every single night. 
  • You love all food and trying new ones never seems to phase you. Blueberries and cheese seem to get you most excited though ;)
  • You're not walking yet, but I feel like it is very close. You love cruising around the furniture (especially in the new house with more room!) and you're starting to test things out by trying to let go, but you still fall on your booty at this point.
  • Music makes you so happy and you love to dance and clap your hands.
  • We don't let you watch much TV, just a few minutes here and there when I need to get something done or on the occasional morning where I'm just not awake yet. You definitely recognize Mickey though and I want to take you to Disney SO BADLY!!!
  • You don't like being in your carseat a lot of days, which makes for a very whiney ride somewhere. Other days, you don't care at all and you're happy to sit back with your books and enjoy the ride.
*Post coming soon on one-year of motherhood. Warning, I have a lot to say/confess.

May 24, 2017

1,000 Books

Something I've loved about being a mom has been introducing T to the love of books and reading. He truly loves flipping through books and as a biased momma I think it's the most adorable thing ever. He has favorites that he gets excited to see and I love his little inquisitive face when we get a new book for him to check out. 

Library storytime is already a favorite activity at ours. We've only made it a few times lately because of all the chaos, but T absolutely loves it and I know it'll be a regular part of our routine again soon. On our last visit there, I picked up an informational brochure to see what else was going on at the library in the coming months. Apparently there is a program called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten so of course I asked about it!

It's as simple and to the point as the name of the program. I registered T for it which only took a few minutes. Then you can track the reading online if you want, or they give you a log sheet for older kids that might like seeing their progress. Obviously we are reading to T right now, but that counts too! They want you to count each story you read to them, stories they hear at daycare, the library, while a family member is visiting, anything! As long as your child listens to the entire book, it counts. *The program says to count repeat reads over and over again, but I'm not planning on doing that. I love the idea that T has "read" 1,000 unique books before Kindergarten!

Again, T is obviously a little young for some aspects, but as he gets older there is more fun stuff too they'll enjoy. Each time your kid reads 100 books you can bring your log sheet to your local library and get a sticker/prize or some type of goodie bag. Once you finish your 1,000 books you can come in for a celebration and a free book to keep.

So all of our county libraries participate in the program which I thought was so cool and worth sharing. If you aren't local, be sure to check here and see if your library does the same thing. Anything that encourages a love of reading is worth talking about!

May 23, 2017

His First Birthday Party

Hey world! I'm alive! And live in a new home! And already hosted a party! Yes, all of those !!!s were necessary. It has been one crazy week - but who am I kidding? Our life has been crazy since the beginning of February. But we're finally at the finish line. We're in our new home and hosting T's first birthday party was honestly a good way to kick us into unpacking mode and get a lot done in a few days. Now that all the big things are in the house, we can take our time getting organized and decorating- which is the fun part!

But back to T's party. It was such a special, low-key afternoon with just our immediate family and I loved it. I totally forgot to take a picture of the food spread, but it wasn't anything too crazy ;) The usual party type of food, including my crack dip. Everyone got to see the new house and then spoil our little guy for his first birthday (which by the way, isn't officially until this Friday! He's still my baby!!) He acted shy at first with that many people around but quickly warmed up and enjoyed opening all his gifts and ripping into the paper.

Plus, he got his first taste of something really sweet and he definitely enjoyed himself. I'm not sure how much of it he actually got into his mouth but he certainly enjoyed what he was tasting. Sidenote- I am still trying to get all the cake out of each crevice of his highchair.

Jared and I both felt so sentimental after his party. We looked through countless photos and videos from the past 12 months and truly marveled over the fact that our little boy is turning one. People always tell you how fast it goes, but I seriously can't get over it. We love seeing his personality blossom and we love watching him learn things every day. I might not always love the whining or the teething, but T is so SO worth every struggle and every stinky diaper ;)

May 18, 2017

Closing Day!

It's finally here! We'll be closing on the new house this afternoon and spending the next few days moving in and unpacking. I am weirdly excited about the unpacking process. Packing everything to move out of a place sucks... just no way around it. But knowing we're about to settle into a home for years and years, finding the perfect place for all our things? That is going to be so much fun! Sure, we'll be sore and tired from hauling in box after box but it's going to be SO worth it.

The new house will probably feel pretty empty for awhile. Since it's much larger than our previous home, we definitely have some furniture shopping to do as we settle in. I'm not in a hurry to get it all decorated ASAP, as I think it's going to take us some time to figure out what we like and how we want to style things. Almost all the furniture we've owned has been hand-me-downs or Craigs List finds, so I'm pumped to invest in some nicer things that will hopefully last us a long time.

So we'll be a little busy for the next few days. If you don't hear from me, I may be buried in cardboard boxes ;) Oh, yeah- and we'll be hosting T's first birthday party Sunday afternoon. We are definitely crazy people, but I just didn't want to wait and put it off for weeks which I know would have happened. It was hard enough finding a date that most of our family could attend so we're just rolling with it. We're keeping the party low-key with just immediate family members but I can't wait to celebrate our little guy.

I'm sure no one will be surprised by this, but we went with a Mickey theme. It's pretty much giving me the Disney trip itch more than ever. I cannot wait to take T there one day! But for now, some balloons and party hats will have to be enough ;)

I will be MIA for a few days, so I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

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