Monday, December 28, 2015

What a Week

Today, Adalynn is one week and four days old. I cannot believe it. 

Between learning how to care for her, friends & family visiting and trying to get a pinch of sleep once in a while, the first week flew by like the snap of your fingers. We've really been feeling the love from everyone with all of the phone calls, texts and cards. Not to mention the food! I haven't had to cook a single thing since we arrived home last Saturday, it's been so nice. 


I have been taking pictures non stop, my Instagram is already full of her. You know those annoying people on Facebook that everyone always complains about? The ones that constantly post pictures of their babies and you think..."If I have to see one more picture of that baby, I'm going to puke!"


Well, that's me now. Sorry folks. Well...Sorry, not sorry :) Just pull up your barf bucket and get ready for the ride. 


Now we're off to take a nap.




Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Our Own Christmas Miracle, in the Tiniest of Packages


Adalynn Jane
6lbs, 11oz   ~   11:57 pm



She is FINALLY here! We cannot believe it. 

It has been such a blur, but we have thankfully taken lots of pictures and videos so we don't forget one single moment of this special time. 

As I sit here typing this, I think back to a week ago. I was sitting in this exact same chair, uncomfortable with a big old belly, writing a few blog posts and wishing and hoping for her to come into this world. 

This morning I sit here typing this with a little naked baby on my chest, her daddy sleeping next to me and my dog at my feet. At this moment, I don't think life could get any more perfect. 

We are so in love.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Baby's First Christmas Ornament

Christmas ornaments are pretty special to us, so when it came time to pick out the traditional 'baby's first Christmas' ornament, I was a teensy bit stressed. 

I loved so many of the beautiful, dainty ornaments in porcelain, but that always makes me nervous because...hello...breakable. Then there are ones you can personalize with names, plastic ornaments, wood or clay ornaments. Or I could just make it myself. Too many choices!

Here's a round up of a few of my favorites, I especially like the little deer family in the upper left corner. And the flower ball, because it looks like our wedding flowers :) 



After searching and searching, this is the one I decided on. 

It's porcelain, but we'll just have to be extra careful- after all, we're the parents now!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Have A Lovely Weekend

Photo: Flickr

It's been pretty warm here for the past several weeks, way too warm for December. We've been able to have a few afternoons with the windows open, which I love because...fresh air in December to clean all of the germs and stuffy air from the house. Although I would trade it for snow. 

What are your plans this weekend? 

Here are a few links to check out, I will warn you- the desserts will make your mouth water. 

SGT Reckless, the Marine horse.

Dying for Christmas dinner in the Great Hall of Hogwarts.


Triple decker chocolate peanut butter bars (only 5 ingredients!)


Simple, DIY kitchen pot rack.


This Christmas candy crunch looks delicious. 


8 stylish gift wrapping ideas.


Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Things To Do Together this Holiday Season

Photo: Flickr (modified)
Bonus- most of these are free!
 
1. Bundle up and walk in the snow, take your dogs with. 

2. Go out for a drive on the back roads during a snowstorm, crank the holiday tunes. 

3. Find an awesome sledding hill. 

4. Decorate cookies (or invite some friends and have a cookie decorating party).

5. Ice skating!

6. Chop down a tree at your favorite tree farm. 

7. Take a walk or drive through a neighborhood lit up with Christmas lights. 

8. Volunteer a day or night to a cause of your choosing... maybe a soup kitchen or animal shelter.

9. Snowball fight! 

10. Build a nest on the floor, then watch movies & play games all night. 

11. Skeetching. You know, with the sled or tube behind a car. We did this all the time as kids and always had so much fun. (No, it's not entirely legal, be careful!

12. Build a giant snow fort. 

13. Take a horse drawn sleigh ride through the country side.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Seriouly Scored On Some Diapers

The Honest Company

Saturday night, or Sunday morning at about 1 o'clock, I found an email in my junk from The Honest Company. They were having a huge sale, up to 40% off when you spend $100. Even better? You can purchase a bundle in which all of the products are already 35% off, combining the promotion and the bundle price is a double whammy. 

I crunched the numbers using a size 3 and figured out this breakdown per package:

Normal price: $13.95, coming out to about $0.41 per diaper.

Bundle price: $9.07, coming out to about $0.27 per diaper.

Bundle w/ 40% promo: $5.42, coming out to about $0.16 per diaper. 


$0.16 per diaper!

On top of that, diapers are bundled with wipes and those ended up being $.02 per wipe, as opposed to $.07 per wipe.

$0.02 per wipe!

Can you tell I'm almost a mom now? I never thought I'd be so excited about prices of diapers and wipes.

Then I went on Amazon to compare prices of the jumbo economy packs using their lowest price of subscribe & save. They sell Pampers for $0.27 per diaper, Luvs for$0.23 per diaper and Huggies for $0.22 per diaper. Yep, I was pretty much shaking my tail feathers :)

I was so stoked I had to brag to Kelly about all of the money I saved, I think after the first couple of "great job honey!"'s, he was a tiny bit sick of me talking about it. I decided to text my sister-in-law who might find this information a little more exciting than the hubs. 

I was so so excited to find this deal because I absolutely love that The Honest Company is all about being good to your baby's skin.

The inner and out layers are plant based. The diapers themselves don't contain latex, lotions, fragrances, gluten, a lot of the most common allergens, phthalates, optical brighteners, heavy metals, or organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT) and are made without chlorine processing. 

In other words, they are about as 'pure' as you can get with disposable diapers. It makes me feel very confident that we will be treating our little girl's sensitive skin as gently as possible.

Plus, the prints on the diapers are just about the cutest things I've ever seen. 
The Honest Company
She got some cute pastel tribal prints, strawberries and cute little skull prints because she's totally going to be a rockstar. 


The Honest Company
This is the first time I've purchased diapers, thanks to the diaper party that Chris & Kaileigh threw us. I've read a bunch of posts online on how to stockpile diapers at the lowest possible price, this way you're not making midnight diaper runs and having to pay full price. 

The hard part is...I've never been a mom. I don't know how many diapers babies use. Plus, babies aren't robots, they all use different amounts. Thankfully, there are lots of helpful mommies out there who have tallied up their diaper usage for the first year of their baby's life.  

These are a few of the great references I've found to estimate diaper usage in the first year, along with the rock bottom price you should ideally be paying for diapers.

How To Save Money & Build A Diaper Stockpile (Parents.com)

How To Save Money & Build A Diaper Stockpile (Thriftyfrugalmom.com)

Stocking Up On Diapers: How Much To Buy And At What Price (Southernsavers.com)

The Infamous Diaper Count (Mommyneurotic.wordpress.com) 

10 Secrets to the Best Prices on Diapers (Passionforsavings.com)

All of these mothers say that they typically try to pay no more than $0.13 - $0.14 per diaper and no more than $.02 per wipe. My goal is to stock up as much as I can ahead of time to avoid paying any more than these prices for diapers and wipes. 

I'm going to stick a pen & paper on our stockpile and every time we open a new pack, mark it down. Hopefully in a year from now, I can look back and count how many of each size diaper we used along with how much we've spent for the year on diapers. I'm writing it down here to hold myself accountable so I don't flake :) 


PS.
Two days, two posts about diapers. Think this blog has gone straight to babyville. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Diaper Party For The Guys

So, one of the coolest things ever for a dad-to-be, Kelly's brother and sister-in-law threw him a diaper party. It's like a baby shower, but for guys. 

This is a zero-picture post because this happened to be a guy's only party and they had much better things to do then take pictures...you know, like drink beer and stuff.

Instead of a shower with a registry, the guests simply have to bring a package of diapers. Easy as that! By bringing diapers, guests recieved a raffle ticket to be put in the drawing for a few different gift cards. I believe they had a few for Cabelas and some gas stations. His cousin drew one of the gas station cards and ended up giving it to Kelly, which was really sweet. 

They made a bunch of easy food that could sit out for a while, sloppy joe's in the crock pot, chips with queso and salsa, oreo cake balls and some other munchies. The party was in the shop at the farm where they could have the heat on. They listened to a few football games, played darts, bean bags, and beer pong. And drank beer. Don't forget the beer. 

Kaileigh even make a cake out of beer bottles and the top beer had a baby bottle nipple. Now obviously a beer cake isn't going to last long in that situation, so I've googled a picture of what I imagined it looked like :) 


Buzzfeed
It was a great way for Kelly to get together with the guys to celebrate becoming a dad, without all of the fluff and stuff of a baby shower. And as he didn't get home until about 3:30 am, I'm assuming they had fun!

It was like a mini Christmas morning when I finally got him out of bed the next day. We ended up with an unbelievable amount of diapers. 17 packages of diapers and quite a few packages of wipes as well. And ye of little faith here had a thought that, being guys, they would all bring size 1 diapers, I was wrong! We ended up with all sizes, newborn through 4! And just because I could...I counted them. 969 diapers. 969! 

We're so grateful to Chris & Kaileigh for throwing this party. We're incredibly fortunate to have such amazing friends and family to celebrate the great things in life. 

Everyone was so generous, we now have a giant pile of diapers to help get us through the first year of her life! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

She's Already Teaching Me A Thing Or Two


As we wait day after day for our daughter to make her way into this big, wide world, she is already teaching us one of the most important things about being a parent. Patience.

For a couple of weeks now, I've been hiking up and down our hill, climbing our stairs again and again, eating spicy food, filling up on pineapple, washing the floors on hands and knees...pretty much any safe thing that's been suggested hoping to get her out and not go past my due date (why are due dates necessary?!). 

This past weekend, I finally came to terms with the fact that she is going to come whenever her sweet heart desires. There is nothing I'm able to do about it. Sure, I might try to 'help' things along, but ultimately it will happen when it happens. 

This is one of the things that I want to keep at the top of my list of 'parental priorities', if you will. As much as I want and like to control things in my life, she will now be a part of my life, a part that I cannot control. 

Sure, we can try to help as much as possible, giving her nudges in the right direction, but in the end we have to remember that she is her own person and will ultimately have to get there on her own. 

As much as I might want to push her to crawl, talk, walk, learn to read, make new friends, play a sport...all of these things will come in time. Or they may not come at all. It's going to be our job to be there for her, having her back and guiding her while she is testing, learning, and figuring out these new things for herself. 

No matter how caught up we get in day-today- life, I hope to always remember this very important first lesson my unborn daughter has taught me. 

"Patience is not the ability to wait, 
but the ability to keep a good attitude while you are waiting."
-Joyce Meyer

Friday, December 4, 2015

Wishing You A Holly Jolly Weekend

Source: Ian Mckenzie
Hello Lovelies :)

How was your week? Mine was nice and relaxing. Went out for a friend's birthday dinner and ate quite a few hot wings trying to start some action with the little one.


One of the highlights of my week was on Wednesday. A good friend of mine (we have tons of pictures of us in diapers together) recently moved home from Brazil where he was working for about ten months. He came over for lunch, it was so great to see him and we were able to spend a couple hours catching up on a little bit of life. 


Here are some links, and a song to start your weekend. 


Check out this amazing idea for a school gift giving program. 

Funny pregnancy sayings. I can relate to all...especially #4!

Drooling over this turkey pesto avocado panini.

Mermaids. For real.

Can this game guess what region you're from based on your vocabulary? (I apparently speak like I'm from the West coast!)

Yumm... home made eggnog coffee creamer.

By far my favorite version of one of my absolute favorite Christmas carols. Such talent, brings tears to my pregnant a--.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! 

**Also. Don't take your 9-month pregnant wife (girlfriend, partner, friend, surrogate...) to Hooters for lunch. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Finally...Christmas Season Is Here!

How was your (hopefully, long) weekend?

Besides a minor, pregnancy-induced hormonal fit that I had on Friday, our weekend was great. I'm going to blame it on being overly tired from all the festivities on Wednesday & Thursday...that's okay, right? 

I've always loved the weekend of Thanksgiving because it is always filled with family and friends, everyone is so laid back and relaxed. It's just a good time! 

The next best part is decorating the house, inside and out. And we always end up getting our tree. 


We didn't see our favorite photographer this year, so these are Kelly's mad skills with an iPhone :) Here is our tree from last year

It's been funny these past few weeks, we've spent a lot of time saying "This is our last time ever doing this alone!" 

And nothing is more official than having stockings for the whole family, right? I got one for each of us last month at Hobby Lobby when they were having their 50% off Christmas sale. They ended up being only $6.00 a piece - score! Since we don't have a fireplace mantel, I'm going to screw some hooks onto an old piece of barn wood and hang it with the stockings above our pellet stove. 

When do you put up your tree? Real or fake (no judgements, it's the Christmas spirit that counts!)? To be honest, we have one real and three, small, fake ones :) 

Hope you have a wonderful day.

PS.
Don't forget, it's Cyber Monday. Make sure to check if there's something you've been really saving for! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1937. Photo: Walter Kelleher
Good Morning!

Can we just take a moment to appreciate that nose? 

Will you be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? My sister and I are going to be baking pies and dinner rolls while it's on. It's one of my favorite traditions, the smells of fresh cooking food and baked goods while the parade is on. And being dog lovers, we never miss the National Dog Show either. It always seems to set the festive mood for the rest of the weekend.

Lately I've been saying that our little girl can arrive anytime now. While talking this morning with Grandma L, I told her that now baby can wait until next week to come because we've got too many fun plans this weekend. She just laughed as we talked about how I have absolutely no control over it. It's hard! I'm realizing that I really like to have control over things in my life - more so, things going on with my body. So for the next couple of weeks, I'm going to try and not think about when she's coming. (yea, right)

Thank you for following along on my blog, I always look forward to hearing your comments. I really enjoy creating this little space and appreciate you following along. 

PS.
Here's some history on the Thanksgiving Day parade (see if you can spot some of the oldest balloons!)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chickens in the Snow



We had our first snow this weekend and it was wonderful. The first snowfall always feels so magical, no matter how old I get, the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night to the first snowfall always makes my heart beat a little bit faster with Christmas magic. 

I popped right up out of bed Saturday morning, grabbed my camera and went outside. It was our chicken's first snow and I couldn't wait to see how they were going to act. 

Now I know where the term 'don't be a chicken' comes from! 



That's as far out as they would come. They refused to step foot in the snow. 




Then Kelly grabbed one and stuck her in the snow. She just looked completely unamused and refused to budge, he decided to take pity on her and put her back in the coop. 




Then we discovered that all they needed was a shoveled path! So simple! I mean, we can totally come out every morning after a snowfall and just shovel paths around the yard specifically for our spoiled sissy chickens! 

...so not happening. 




Apologies for the bad quality of this picture, but these were our three brave little chickens who actually got out and about in the snow, they're on their way back to the coop here. 

So that was their first weekend in the snow. The snow is, sadly, suppose to melt off today which I guess is a good thing because we have a few things that we'll be doing to improve their outdoor run and give them a bit more snow-free ground to play on. 

Do you have chickens? How are they in the snow? 

The Word I'm Trying to Ditch



There's a word I've been using more and more lately, and the more I notice it, the more I use it. I've used the delete button on my keyboard multiple times in blog posts to get rid of this annoying little word. I kick myself when I'm talking and it comes out of my mouth. 

The culprit: 'just'.

I just want... I just think... I just mean... I just have to... I just feel... 

It's almost as if by saying the word 'just' that you are demeaning the next part of your sentence. Especially with an opinion, like when you say 'I just think that...' Whatever it is you think now has less value because of that silly little word. You sound ten times more confident saying 'I think that...' instead of 'I just think...'

So here's my challenge to you: quit saying 'I just'. See how much more confident and assertive you feel when you kick that word to the curb. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Have a Lovely Weekend



How was your week? The double rainbow from above happened on Wednesday and was absolutely gorgeous, it was the biggest, brightest rainbow I've ever seen. Followed by the prettiest sunset! 

Deer season opened this sunday and Kelly shot us two deer, so we're pretty stocked up in our freezer and it should last us until next season. We have a pretty relaxed weekend coming up with...cross your fingers, drumroll...snowfall!


Hope you all have a great weekend! Here are some links to enjoy...


Tried this recipe and it was delicious.


Simple, rosemary wreath place cards. (Could dual as napkin rings!) 


Fascinating video on how cranberries grow and are harvested.

An extremely pregnant women with a few questions for motherhood maternity customer service desk.

Home made peanut butter dog treats.

Really want to see this movie.

A new turkey brine recipe.

The 'official' Black Friday website.


**Also, I'm going to add the quote of the week that came from my sister. 
--"If I was your husband, I would want to cuddle you all the time because you're so fluffy!"

Thank you, thank you very much. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thankful Thursdays



A cup of tea in the morning (or afternoon, or night...)

The barn, where everyone is loved and we all feel like family. 

Family. 

Hallmark Christmas movies. 

Getting together with old friends. 

A safe harvest season.

Spa nights at sister's house. 

Michigan weather where it snows one day, then is 60 degrees the next.

Extra cheery attitudes around the Holidays.

Black yoga pants that I can stay in all day. 


What are you feeling extra grateful for this week?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Hostess (When You're Not Sure What They Might Like)



Welcome to the first installment of this year's Holiday Gift Guide! 

Holidays are full of parties and different social events. You might not always have a personal relationship with the hostess to know her style, but here are some unique gifts that could work for anyone...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide



Can you believe it's that time of the year again? Tomorrow I'll be starting my holiday gift guides, which I'll be posting every Wednesday. I have so much fun compiling these lists, I hope you enjoy! 

Psst...
You can find last year's gift guides hereherehere and here.

Monday, November 16, 2015

You Know It's Time To Buy A Maternity Shirt When...

You start looking like Gloria from Modern Family. And I don't mean in the Va Va Voom kind of way.

The other day, I was telling my sister how I finally caved and bought a few maternity shirts. Reason being this. I was out in the pole barn last week sanding a couple of boards when, all of a sudden, my belly felt cold. Like, really cold. So I looked down and lo and behold- my stomach is just hanging out! Yea. Not pretty.

This is the impression I like to do for my sister that gets her rolling every time...I shake it and everything.

But then she reminded me of Modern Family. Remember the episode when Gloria was pregnant for Joe and they were all trying to get her to realize that she needed to update her wardrobe?


That was me. Just chilling with my belly out. 

So that, folks, that is how I knew I needed to get some maternity shirts.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Happy Friday (the 13th)!


This picture kills me. Sometimes they remind me of Simba & Scar at the end of The Lion King. 

What are you lovelies up to this weekend? It's been windy as all heck for the past two days, our poor chickens look bewildered standing out in the rain and wind, every time I walk outside they come running as if to say 'help me!'. Poor little babes. 

My sister in law is in a Mary Poppins play this weekend, we will be heading to that at some point. Kelly is finishing up harvest this weekend in record time - they are usually finished around the first week in December, so it's pretty exciting that he'll have a little more time this year. 

Here are some links, if you're interested.

Craving something bad for you? Check this out.

This chain restaurant is the first to try out a 'no-tipping' policy.

I'm constantly referencing this guide for how to cook different grains. 

Had this porn for pregnant ladies site up the other day and got caught by my husband! 

Want to try this delicious looking recipe for a skinnier pumpkin spice latte.

Simple, beautiful Thanksgiving table centerpiece (would be a cute hostess gift too!)

Make this paw print ornament for your pup out of salt dough. 


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thankful Thursdays

I thought I'd start a mini-series this month, being that it's the month to give thanks and be giving. Being grateful is important all the time, but it always gets special emphasis around the holidays. So, in light of all that biz, here is a list of what I've been thankful for lately.



Having a healthy pregnancy. 

A healthy, active baby girl in my tummy.

A hardworking, healthy, loving husband who keeps our home safe and happy. 

Trustworthy vehicles to get us back & forth to where we need to go. 

Having a comfortable home to call our own.

Living in the country and having sweet, sweet neighbors.  

Our four-legged family members who greet us with a tail wag and a kiss.

Our two-legged family members who provide us with eggs to fill our bellies. 


What are you feeling thankful for lately? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pregnancy: Tips for Second Trimester Bliss




























During my first trimester, everything I read said that the second trimester would bring more energy and less nausea. 

Needless to say, I thought people were insane. What, my body just knows when it's been three months? Then - BAM - I magically feel better? No way. 

Yes way. These people do not lie. I remember being sick every single day, then waking up one day and feeling pretty good. That day I did get sick a couple of times, but overall felt pretty okay. It went on like that for about two more days then, just like magic, I felt one hundred times better.

By this time for me it was June, just beginning summer in Michigan. Here are a few things that helped to make the next three months comfortable.


1.) Maternity Shorts

I bought two pair. A grey denim pair for daily use that were a shorter length and had just two small, stretchy panels on the side that were easily mistaken for pockets. No belly panel and not one person realized they were maternity shorts. The second pair I bought for the barn. They were a longer length and had the full belly band cover - with all of the bending, stretching, turning and twisting, I didn't need any of my front or back accidentally popping out!

2.) Forever 21 Tank Tops

These camis are the best. They are thin and come in a ton of different colors, but my favorite thing about them is how nice and long they are. Instead of spending $10 or more for those shirt extender bands that only work as shirt extenders, I recommend investing in a few of the F21 tank tops. 

3.) Maternity Pillow

My sister surprised me with a full body, maternity sleeping pillow. It's great! I even took mine camping with us to Silver Lake. There are several options out there for different shaped pillows and it will make your nights much easier having one, especially when you get into the third trimester. One tip, don't throw away the nice zip-up bag it comes in, save it for storage. 

4.) Air Conditioning

Okay, I realize that if you don't have air conditioning, you are most likely not going to put it in solely because of your pregnancy. I feel for those poor mommas who have to spend their third trimester in the hot summer months. 

In June, we had our family reunion in Charleston where we all played 18 rounds of golf. I was on a team with one of my cousins and our grandpa, and by the 17th hole I just couldn't play any more, I was dripping hot and so uncomfortable. That was when my saving grace grandpa did something wonderful. He dipped one of the golf towels in our cooler full of ice water, rang it out and draped it over the back of my neck. Today, I can still remember how absolutely amazing and refreshing that felt. Same idea here, if you're going out, take a frozen water bottle with you. When you get hot, you can rest it on the back of your neck or hold it up to your face. 

One of my favorite things to do is sit outside and read, so I just moved my chair under our giant shade tree, filled up our kiddy pool with ice cold water from the hose and stuck my feet in while I read. If there's no breeze, take a fan outside - you might get some laughs, but who cares, you're pregnant! Try anything to keep you from becoming overheated because, when that happens, life becomes unbearable for you and everyone around you. 

5.) Lumbar Pillow or Stand Up Desk

When working at the office, it suddenly got quite uncomfortable to sit at a desk for eight hours. My back would get quite sore, which never happened before. 

I found what helped is when I took an extra sweater and rolled it up to form a sort of lumbar pillow to set behind my lower back in my office chair. This lumbar back support pillow would work perfectly for something more long term than a sweater.  Another option is to use a stand up desk. I was able to use this standing desk, which was awesome because it sits on top of your current desk and is adjustable. That meant I could stand up for an hour, then it easily drops back down so that I could sit for a while.   


So that's it! A pretty short and sweet list because, like I said, I felt much better the second trimester. A few clothing items to make you slightly more comfortable in your growing body and remembering to stay cool in the summer months. 

What season was your second trimester? Any suggestions for making it more comfortable? 


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