Monday, October 31, 2011

It's safe to assume....

She hates her halloween costume. 

It really is quite sad, because this little piggy is adorably cute--but Emeline wants nothing to do with the hood, which is the ENTIRE POINT to this costume. Welcome to the fun toddler years. Last year was so adorably sweet, because she sat still in her little horse/giraffe costume, and just complied. This year is fun because she can toddle around, and yet, she won't keep her dang costume on. Figures.

The best thing about this costume is that her piggy noise? A scrunched up face and then she breathes heavily through her nose as if to "oink", but it sounds more like she's about to hack up a loogie. 

I'm sad because I totally forgot to get her pig noise on the video below. And also, I'm sad because I said, "Ducks flap their arms". Fail. They flap their.....wings. And also, at the end when my dog barks, she calls him "Daisy" (my parents dog). But despite all the errors, it's worth a look. Because kids doing their animals noises? Priceless, man.

So tonight, we will go trick-or-treating. With a kid in a puffy pink vest who will have coordinating leggings and onesie, but will not resemble a pig since she won't keep the dang hood up, and she'll beg for candy like the best of 'em 'cuz I taught her well.

And then, all the candy will be mine, because who in their right mind gives an 18 month old candy? So, it sounds like a good deal to me.

Have a happy day, friends.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Slow down everyone you're moving too fast.

We have Snow. In October. Yesterday, the news said that the last time there was significant snowfall around here in October was in 1979. And 2011 just trumped that. Go figure. It's beautiful actually. And because it was so unexpected, I find myself enjoying it more than I ever would before, oddly. Snow just slows us down.

Anyway. We have our daddio home with us today, and Emeline? Girlfriend It's so funny because when he's home, she won't let him leave her sight. That girl is so in love with her dada. She wants to sit on his lap during breakfast. And snuggle with him while they watch football. And have him carry her into the store. And follow him up the steps and into the bathroom. I LOVE IT.

Totally love it.

It melts my heart. 

I just love that she knows that weekends are special when daddy is home, and that she clings to that--even as a kid, wanting to soak up all the time he's home. I find it sweet. And really kind of adorable that even her little self recognizes that. 

So that's just what we're doing today. Soaking it up. Slowing down. Making mickey mouse pancakes. Snuggling under warm blankets. Making chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Watching football. Sipping hot chocolate. Lighting our pumpkin candle.  Taking it easy. 

Our plans to clean the garage, organize the closets, consolidate our crap, and do do do...well that? That got put on the back-burner. And totally I'm okay with that. 

The snow slowed us a down a bit, and I'm enjoying this day.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Notes of the week.

1. I'm consistently running now. By consistent, I mean 3x a week. I've finally worked myself up to doing distance runs of 2 miles and over. Two nights ago I ran my longest run ever...2.25miles, and I hope to beat that tomorrow by adding another 1/4 mile. Considering I started just a few weeks ago and hated running only 5 minutes straight? I say, success.

The thing is? I still hate running. There is nothing enjoyable yet about it. I like how I feel afterwards, but that's about it. During it? I feel like stabbing myself in the eye. Also, My sister took me on my first two miler earlier this week, and she had to encourage me the entire time, because I literally complained non-stop. I'm a whiny runner.

2. I was encouraged by my friend, Hailey this week to attempt carving holes in the tops of my cute little pumpkins and use them as little votives. I had been wanting to do this forever, and for some reason, I just didn't. But after seeing hers, I knew I could do it. And now? These are my favorite and only Fall decoration.

3. I've attempted making Emeline's halloween costume all week and it sucks. It's horrible. Also, some of the key elements needed to make what I was attempting to make her (see how I'm trying not to give it away?) didn't even COME IN YET.  Shipping fail. So? Screwed. See also: making halloween costumes costs just as much money if not more.

So, you'll find me at the stores this weekend scrounging through costumes trying to find something for my toddler girl to wear. Yep, I'll be That Crazy Lady. Sigh.

4. I stepped foot into WalMart this week (I know. The horror.) and found a grapevine wreath for $3.50. I snatched it up, got a little .94 cent bundle of fake leaves, and then a box of $5.00 "whicker spheres" (I really just want to call them twine BALLS), and I whipped this sucker up in a few minutes when I got home. 

It's not bad. Not awesome. Some old fabric criss crossed on one side, a hot glue gun, the balls, and the leaves. A fall'ish wreath, yea?

5. I cannot believe I didn't have the chance to write about this yet, but on Tuesday I got to meet Desiree of Hitting My Stride. I love her! And I've been reading her blog for a while. All through her days of trying to having a baby, and then through her pregnancy. Me & Emeline had the privilege of meeting her sweet little lady, Sofia, too. Or as Eme said, "Baby! Uh-Oh, Baby?

See, Desiree's moving here. From Texas. Talk about a huge move. So? The bonus is, I get a blog friend-turned-in-real-life-friend out of the deal. And it was fun meeting up and showing her some of the prime shopping locations around here. There's nothing that can bring two women together like their love for shopping. Especially for their baby girls.

So, it was awesome. And she is awesome. And I love how we were able to just connect right away. She's such a wonderful momma.

6. This weekend we actually have a semi-free weekend, and thank the Lord, we could use it. That had nothing to do with my week, but it must be said.


Happy Weekend, friends.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

There's an app for that, but it would help to know about it!

You know I love my iPhone in particular. Therefore? I'm an app gal. I've got an app for running, an app for pandora, an app for photo collaging, and app to track my period (tmi? oh well, I'm forgetful, yo), an app to entertain the child....etc...etc. And chances are, you love a good app, too.

So imagine my excitement when I heard about this awesome website, Their job? TO FIND ALL THE COOL APPS OUT THERE & TELL YOU ABOUT THEM. Like, you just sign up, and they will email you new, fun apps they find either daily or weekly (for iphone/ipad and droid users) FOR FREE.

Seriously. When I heard about this, my first thought was Why didn't I think of that?, and my second thought was, AMAZING. They basically do all the leg work in finding apps I need want. 

And this part just tickles me, you guys. They asked me to participate in their Show Me Yours (get your mind out of the gutter), and asked me to share my favorite 3 apps. And? They even wanted to put my face ON THEIR WEBSITE! *gasp*
{just a sneak peek--if you love me check out the full version here}

The greatest thing is, the fabulous ladies who run AppSmitten? Are friends with Erin Condren. Like, real friends, in real life. IknowOhmygoshRight? So guess what?

If you sign up for AppSmitten (it's free! totally. and awesome.), you'll receive a 20% off code to use at Umm, hi? That is awesome. *codes being given out until 10/31

I signed up for AppSmitten the other day, and today? I got an email that looked like this: 

Just some of their top 10 apps they wanted me to know about. And seriously? WHERE HAVE I BEEN? The google search app? Seriously? I must live under a rock. You do not want to know how much I rely on google for answers. But now, all the more convenient. The flashlight app? For real? I'd have had no idea.

Anyway. You get the point. A genius idea. A genius website. Free. Just to make our life easier and a little more "appy" as they say :)

So go sign yourself up because it's awesome (and free 20% off code to EC ain't bad either), and I just had to tell you about it. And also? My face is on their website!! Squeeee!


Happy Thursday!

**opinions expressed are 100% mine. I'm pretty much just obsessed with this idea and think it's genius & fun.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy place.

I honestly didn't realize how much that little farm down the road from my house would become like my little sanctuary. I mean, I love it. So much. And so does Eme. And we have gone multiple times. Alone, with friends. Whatever.

Now that Declan is home a few hours early due to a schedule change, we are able to do more things as a family. This has been a bigger blessing than I ever could have imagined. Truly. So yesterday, late afternoon, we took Daddy to introduce him to our little happy place. And it was indeed, happy.

It was just one of those afternoons I enjoyed so whole heartedly. I had lots of full-heart moments. 

It was good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Family Pics on a Whim

Last week I asked my sister-in-law, Lyryn if she could squeeze us in for a little family photo session sometime soon. Of course, she graciously accepted, and we'd planned on doing it sometime this week. Except, Sunday rolled around and it was GORGEOUS out. And my plans to meet my friend Jess fell through because she was dealing with pukey kids. And so, at the very last minute (well, a few hours before), I texted Lyryn asking if she could squeeze us in today. I figured our chances were slim, but--it worked out in our favor. Because, hooray! We got our pictures done.

I scurried around after Church to make sure our outfits were all set and ready (coordinating, yet not "matchy"), and we were off. We went to a local winery who let us use their grounds as a backdrop and it.was.perfect. 

She posted our little sneak-peek on facebook last night, and here are my favorites from that. You can see a few more on her blog today. Thank you, Lyr!

Seriously? This is priceless moment right here.

...and I have seriously NO idea why I am poking her in the forehead, but I still love this.

I always treasure family photos. They are just so, so special.

If you're local, and need a photographer--check Lyryn out.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Tips for baby feeding magic. I don't have many. Oh how life changes.

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what's for dinner? Check out their cute "Quest for Yum!" video and see what happens!


I kind of have this theory that mealtime is either one of those crazy stressful times in family's day, or? Totally peaceful. I like to guess that if you fall somewhere in between, you're kind of lucky. In our house, it seems like mealtime is stressful, more often than not.

I hate to say that. But, it's true. I've gotten to the point with our sweet toddler girl that fighting The Food Battle is oh so tiring, yet, I know it's essential to her growth & nutrition to just keep on pushing with her. So, I try anything.


I bet most parents are willing to do the same. You know, I play all those little baby games with food, I pretend to make the spoon like an airplane, flying all around her head, and then "missing", and the coming back in "for a landing"....only to hope to God that my little girl will pry open her mouth and let a bite of something...anything (other than goldfish crackers) in her mouth. I try to mix food up in other food, so she gets confused and just eats it all. But? She's too smart for that. I mean, it's rough. Learning the tricks to get your kiddo to eat. Honestly? If you have no food issues in your house, I envy you...slightly a lot.

Basically, I miss the days of this:


and this:

You see, I used to be the mom who boasted on how well versed my child was with food. She was an amazing eater. Basically, anything I put in front of her? She gobbled up. But it's been really rough lately as you know.

And the one thing that's been my saving grace to get a serving or two of veggies in her? Those amazing little packets of yum that Plum Organics make. You know the ones? They basically have a built-in straw. Allowing independent toddlers to walk around feeling like the Queen of The World...well, independent. She thinks its a "treat", but secretly I'm all "har-har! I got you!" because I'm that the child ingested something good for her.

This is my trick. Honest to God. Give my child one of these. The only mom trick I have up my sleeve right now because everything else is failing. Truth? This post would have looked a lot different a few months ago. But, boy, how times can change, and fast.

Will this phase last? God, I hope not. But, while we're in the mist and muck of The Toddler Picky Stage, I'll thank my lucky stars that the brilliance of these little packets exist. 

So, what's the magic to feeding your baby in your house? Any special tricks or tips you've got?

Be sure to check out this awfully adorable video that's totally entertaining and cute. I kinda perma-smiled the whole time, but I'm a sucker for the video-game feel. Go ahead. Watch.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Plum Organics, visit their Facebook page

**Edited to add: I feel like I must pat myself on the back. I got my child to eat my pork tenderloin this evening, and peaches. Oh, and the night before she ate my chili. So--I guess it's not all bad. She has her days :)

My vulnerable mom-side.

This weekend I had a meltdown. Yes, that's right. I'm admitting to breaking down every once in a while, I mean, I'm human after all. 

But really. It was a rough last week, in general. Lots going on. Lots of transition for my husband. Lots of stressful things came up. I had a very long week with Emeline. I mean, parts of it? Were amazing. Looking back, we had a really, really great week. We did a lot. I got a lot done for work. We did errands. We are starting to get the hang of this one nap a day thing. She is testing her limits. And I'm learning that toddlerhood is no freaking joke. But I was really tired. Kind of drained, honestly. I did a lot of giving, and giving and giving. And not a lot, or any, resting. 

And by Saturday? I was kind of ready for a day where my husband could be around. I needed a little break from mommy'ing. I can't help it. I was kind of at my wits end. At the last minute, Declan went into work for the day, and although I gave him my blessing because I knew he needed to do that mentally to feel ahead. I, however? Had pushed past my limits.

I honestly don't know what got into me. But I was emotional like whoa. I felt like such a bad mom. I felt like I was snapping at her. My voice grew loud when I would tell her no, and my patience level? Was low. If existent at all, honestly. 

About mid-morning I was on the phone with my sister, and had Emeline on my hip. I was blah blah blah'ing about my morning so far, on the verge of tears just because, when she did it. Emeline lifted her hand, and smacked me across the face. HARD. 

I was in shock. My baby girl just smacked me in the face? WHAT. The. Heck. She doesn't witness hitting. No one hits anyone in this family. And there is something so degrading about your almost 18 month old smacking you across the face in your already weak-state. 

And so? I started bawling. NOT KIDDING. On the phone with my sister. I just sobbed. Through big.huge.tears I had the hiccupping sobs and explained that I had no idea why Emeline just hit me. And I just can't parent today. And that I'm at my wits end. I feel like such a terrible mom. And OMG WHY AM I SO EMOTIONAL ABOUT THIS? And for the love, WHY DID MY BABY GIRL JUST SMACK ME!?

Susan told me to call my mom and then call her back. See? She's smart. She knew all I needed to do was ask for a little help. And the truth is? I think Emeline was sick of her momma. Like, too much togetherness for the week. Like I said, it was a l o n g week. A transition for her, too, all of us-honestly. 

So I call my mom. I remain calm, cool and collected for all of 5 seconds before I start word-vomitting-through-tears that I just need a break. And I'm so sorry. And are you guys home? And pleeeease say you're home, pretty please. 

Before I could even get out all the words, and without even an ounce of hesitation she was telling me to get my butt over there and let them have Emeline for the day, that they'd be more than happy to hang out with her and let me go out and do whatever I needed to do to just get myself together. Within 10 minutes, I was at their door. No lie. 

I love that about my parents, though. They didn't judge me, or think I was a bad mom. In fact? My dad right away said, Sometimes moms just need a break. Go! Have fun! 

And can I tell you that my normally attached child didn't give a crap that I left that morning? In fact, she stood, happily waving at the door saying buh-bye to me repeatedly. It was as if she was willing me away. I told you, she was sick of me, too. Like, Thank GOD you brought me to MomMom & PopPop's you crazy woman. Now leave already so we can have fun.

But yea. A few hours out did the trick. Lunch with my sister. A few errands. Just feeling....normal'ish. I just needed to refill my tank because it was running on empty. 

And while I was gone? Emeline was happy as can be. She ran around my parents yard helping my dad pick up sticks, she jumped on the trampoline, she swung, played with the leaves, and she ate some lunch.   When I got home? I was happy to see her. And she was happy to see me.

I think admitting that I got to a place where I felt so, so frustrated that it drove me to tears makes me kind of vulnerable. The fact that I'm sharing it with the internet...yea. But, it's the truth. And if I learned any lesson this weekend it's to ask for help. Even if it's just a little bit. Because we all have our limits, and I just happened to reach mine. 

I'm human after all.

PS: thanks mom & dad. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Silent Sunday

I heart fall colors....and hand-me-downs.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

No. Already? It can't be.

Honestly, I'm the girl who cringes when I see the mall get decorated for Christmas before the kids have even gone trick-or-treating yet. It just seems...wrong. But, I love me some Christmastime. And there are certain things that require planning when it comes to all things holiday. You know, like our coordinating, yet, not-matchy outfits for family pictures.

And well--the special holiday cards that the adorable picture I've dreamed up in my head will go on. And I don't know about you, but I'm a bit worried about getting a toddler to sit still enough to get a decent Christmas card picture, considering last year? I had this precious little elf-baby who sat oh-so-still for her momma. And, well? Sigh.

I have Shutterfly to thank for that adorable design. Yep, I do. And about a billion other bloggers last year. And the great news is? Their designs are a-freakin'-dorable, and dare I say, better than last year? 

I even got Declan an adorable calendar with pictures from our photoshoot last year that he still keeps at his desk. Their gifts are awesome. 

Okay, okay--but enough of that. Which one will I choose this year? You'll just have to wait and see. 

There's good news for you.

Awesome, in fact.

The first (3) people to comment leaving their email address and to say something adorably sweet (hehe, I kid! But really. Added bonus?) will get a code from me for 25 FREE Shutterfly cards of their choice! **codes gone!**

Friday, October 21, 2011

The things I don't want to forget.

My friend Lindsay did a cute post a few weeks back with all these sweet details of her little lady that she doesn't want to forget. So I'm following her lead once again, because these times? Go way too fast.


Emeline is in this really, really adorable phase, mixed with the occasional toddler tantrum. I'm convinced God makes them so cute so you handle these kiddies at this age. You know, it balances out. "You're crying hysterically over my coffee cup that you can't have, but gosh darn it, you're so dang cute!" Kind of like that. 

Anyway, this morning I was just soaking in her sweet little toddler girlness. Every time she stabs a piece of her egg with the fork and it stays on, she goes, "I DID IT!!" It's ridiculously cute. She's so proud of herself. 

Whenever anyone leaves the room, or she can't find someone--she throws her hands up in the air and goes, "Uh Oh! Dada!" (or 'insert name'). I love it, it's so silly with her little pixie voice. 

She is obsessed with STARS. Obsessed. I could probably blame swim lessons for this because we sing twinkle twinkle a few times throughout the class as she floats on her back. But every time she sees a star, she stops, points and yells, "STAR!" (sounds more like "Dar!") She has a pair of footie pjs that have stars all over them, and she's in happy heaven when she wears them.

I never realized how many stars are in books, around the store, on objects everywhere until I had a child pointing them out for me every five seconds.

She also will spot Elmo, "Melmo!" or "Dora" in any store...a mile away...on the tiniest of stickers that I cannot even see. Like, she will repeat over & over & over again until I acknowledge that indeed, Melmo is over there on that shelf.

This doesn't necessarily win points for cuteness, but she is totally aware now when she goes "poo"--and she always points to her bottom and says "poo!" as she's going. I'm no expert in this area, but now that she's aware, perhaps it's time to get a little potty for her to play with and get used to? I'm not pushing it. But I have set her on the big potty a few times and she is totally freaked out by it. So THAT'S gonna be fun when it comes to potty training, yea?

She gets attached to random objects before bed lately. This week, it was a box of Dora bandaids. So we had to compromise, and I put a bandaid on her arm so she could go to sleep with Dora that evening. The bandaid has been off now for days, but she still pulls up her sleeve, and goes "Uh Oh, DORA!?"

She loves babies. Like, real ones. She isn't even remotely jealous if I'm holding a new baby, or if a friends baby comes over to our house. She just leans over the carseat and babbles all these little cutesy baby'ish things (basically the same thing I do when a baby comes over, ha), and smiles, tickles their feet, etc. When anyone sees how sweet she is with babies, everyone says (always. always.) "I think someone's ready to be a big sisssssterrrr!" Without fail. While I do think she will make a great big sister one day, not yet :) Although it is so sweet to see how much she enjoys babies.

She loves shoes. I had bought a new pair for her a few weeks ago and she spotted them in the morning (while still her in pj's) and she whined and cried for her "Shoooooooes!" (she says this perfectly clear) and so she sported them with her pjs all morning. In fact, they were about a half size too big, but she loves them so much they are part of her wardrobe almost daily. 

I fear for my wallet. 

She puts words to "songs" now. So, she'll be back in her carseat, and singing a little tune about "Dada" or "Momma", or "Mac-a-boy". She actually has a really darling singing voice :) No. Really.

Every time she sees a flower--whether in a book, at a restaurant, on the side of the road, etc--she squishes up her nose as if she's smelling it. Without fail. My dad taught her this months ago and she has not forgotten it. It's really cute ;)

She's starting to put more words together in a string, which is so fun. Now at night, when we leave her room and say goodnight and tell her we love her, she'll go "I la-lu DaDa" or "I la-lu Momma". It's freaking melt.your.heart over here, folks.


I'll leave it at those for now. There's always more, but I could probably go on for days. Which just goes to show I am a sucker for my kid. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sometimes, a girl just needs some chocolate.

Last night we decided to bake brownies for our dinner at Declan's parents house. It was a last second idea, and I had a toddler practically throwing herself at my feet at the time. Actually, if I remember clearly, she was banging her hands on the oven door loudly in protest and whining something I couldn't quite make out because my ears were RINGING by that point. But yea. Right around dinner time every evening is her breakdown time and it's so super fun.

Fun times, indeed.

I decided to pull up a chair and let her "help" me make the brownies. 

And suddenly? Girlfriend was happy as a clam. I mean, chocolate? And "helping" like a big girl? Equaled no more tantrums (until I took away the spatula, but let's not talk about that right now), and all smiles. 

This was a parenting win in my book.

I should have known chocolate makes everything better. 


Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Questions Part Deux.

This is the 2nd half (and final) answering of questions post. I had a few repeats on questions, so if you don't see a part of your question, it's because I answered it either yesterday or on someone else who asked first. Hopefully this wasn't incredibly yawn-inducing. 


Sarah's World asks: What is your favorite clothing store?

It's pathetic to say Target, right? Gah. I'm cheap. I honestly shop at Kohl's often and one of the highlights of my week is when the peel-off 20-30%'s come in the mail. I get my cuter statement pieces from places like Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, or random places like Ross, Marshalls, etc. The occasional Old Navy, or Gap Outlet sale. I guess? 

Rebecca asks: Um....I actually don't know any of the answers to the questions you those are my questions.

Ha. Okay okay. 

Favorite Pandora Station: Justin Bieber. Don't knock it till you try it.
Favorite brand of mascara: Mary Kay Lash Love
Do you dye your own hair?: Yep. Natural Instincts, baby.
You have tattoo's? Where?: Yes! I have a Jesus fish on my right foot that my sister & sister-in-law have, too. I also have my miscarriage tattoo on my left, inside, top area of my foot which will help me always remember that little love I lost. I have plans for a big 'ole pretty tattoo on my upper back and I AM SO STOKED about it :)
Your dog's name is, after Apple products?: Well, kind of. I mean, we love our apple products, it's true. But we loved the name Mack, and just decided to spell it like "Mac" in honor of our favorite technology. Nerd alert? Absolutely.
How do you get your husband to do the laundry anyway?: It's called, a big screen tv, cable, a beer, and football. Strategically placed right outside of the laundry closet. You leave him alone for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon with all of the above items, and voila. It's magic, really. 

ECoop asks: Where is the constant messiest place in your house? and why?

Everything. All the time. So it feels anyway. But, really? I would say that my master bathroom and closet are the constant messiest places in my house. It's a combination of laundry I never put away (I never said my husband puts away the laundry), my hair that sheds incessantly, my makeup and jewelry all over the counter, and my child who pulls out everything from all the drawers while I'm getting ready. 

It's pretty much NEVER clean. In fact, it's borderline disgusting most of the time, and I'm not proud of it.  

Sarah asks: I'm sure you get told all the time how great you look, how do you respond?

I laughed out loud a little at this question. First of all, I don't really get told that too often. I mean, for the most part people have seen my transition from fat girl to normal girl in a fairly slow way. So it's not as shocking. You know? But when I do get complimented I've learned to accept the compliment and return it with a simple thank-you.

I've never heard the name Emeline before, where did you find it?

One of our favorite musicians, Ben Folds has a song called "Emaline". Spelled differently, yes, but pronounced the the same as we do. We have loved that name ever since we heard that song umpteen years ago. So, that's where we actually heard it first, and honestly, I had never heard of it anywhere else prior to having her except from other people saying they knew someone with the name, etc. Oh, wait! I do remember someone telling me his 105 year old grandmother was named Emmaline. :) I liked that, as I'm obviously into the old fashioned nature of her name.

I've since met people with little girls named Emmaline or Emeline but only via blogland. None still in real life.

When is the world going to be blessed with another one of your babies?!!!!

Oh Sarah, you make me laugh today. Let's see. I do want more kids, I totally do! But I am working right now on getting myself worked up to be able to run a 5k, and going from a non-runner to a semi-runner is proving to be challenging. I'm getting more mentally ready, let's just say. Soon'ish? But not too soon. I don't know a non-vague way of answering this question :)

Basically? I just don't know yet. 

Dana asks: Tell us about your family, parents & siblings? You know how y'all were as kiddos and how y'all are now? 

Family of 6. Four kids. I'm number 3 of 4 children. My parents are still happily together after 34 years of marriage. I have a brother who's 32, my sister, Susan (whom I talk about often) who is 29, then me at 26, and my little brother, who is 22. 

We all had our moments as kids, you know? Fighting one second, loving each other the next. But the best thing of all is that now, as adults? We are all really close and I love that! I've always been close with my sister, but my brothers have really turned out to be pretty awesome guys. I love hanging out with everyone. My family time is some of the most precious time of all to me!

What is your go to bible verse/ favorite verse?? 

Oh wow. I used to always say it was, "A Friend Loves at All Times" Prov 17:17. I guess, maybe, in a way-it still is? I guess I'm just learning still what this means. All times? Really? Easier said than done. But, I'm a continual work in progress. 

What were you like in high school? 

I talked to a lot of people. I had a lot of acquaintances. I did not have a lot of "friends". Like, real, close friends. I had a few and that was it, and I was fine with that. I didn't play sports, although I wish I had the courage to. I was into my extra classes like drawing, painting, ceramics, etc--but not over the top. I've always been a pretty balanced person. I'd say the same about my high-school life. Kind of balanced. There doing my thing because I had to, but not a huge fan of school, although I did slightly above average grade-wise, etc.

So, overall? No big deal, really. Just me. 

And lastly, how do you do it all?? Seriously, you work, take care of the most beautiful little girl, take the most awesome pictures, have time with your hubs, do tons of creative things I would never even dream of accomplishing, do tons of work for y'alls church, and look fab/stylish all the time??? Do you sleep? Come on, can I get a sweatpant/messy hair shot, HAHA!! :)))

This just makes me laugh. You are so nice first of all. Secondly,  you are crazy! :) Most of the time my house is a mess, dinner isn't made, and I never get around to making that craft I've been eyeing on Pinterest. 

The only thing I do typically get done daily is getting myself dressed (which is why you don't see me in sweats/messy hair pics), getting my daughter fed (so long as she'll eat it, ha), and writing blogs. All the rest? Is totally up in the air. :)

In all seriousness--I do sleep. Actually, I sleep quite well these days. I spend the evenings from about 8-11pm some nights getting work stuff done, while Declan works on his own stuff for Church or whatever (he runs the finances). There are many-a-night we sit with laptops open on the couch working side by side. Also, he has a bunch of meetings and other things in the evenings so I have that time to get my work done once Emeline is in bed.

For a while there, I felt like I wasn't seeing much of Declan. But, with a recent schedule change he had, he's now home with us by 4:30pm instead of 6:30, so it gives us a lot more time with him and as a family.

Shannon asks...Why are your posts so cute? Ok..that one is cheesy but seriously your blog has quickly become one of my favorites! 

Ha. Well thanks! I have no idea how to answer this. I appreciate that you think my posts are cute and thanks for reading. :)

Is that a feather hair extension in your side bar photo? I'm kind of obsessed with them and too chicken to try.

Yes, it absolutely is! I got it done at the beach this summer at a nice salon, and it was SO fun--I loved it. But it fell out a month or so ago and I've yet to have it put back in. I think they are a fun, cute way to add a little sass to your hair. 

Holly asks....If you could invent something, what would it be?

I used to LOVE this question, because as a teenager I would always say that I wanted to invent something that would do my hair and makeup daily. Probably because I am SO not a morning person. But now? As a mom? I want to invent something that puts sippy cups back together after they've been washed. I swear, putting sippy cup parts together is the bane of my existence. 

What quotes or sayings inspire you?

"Free to be Me". Francesca Battistelli's song has always spoke to me, and I'm just learning to be comfortable in my skin, in who I'm made to be. 

Whitney asks....What is one thing you think is worth the splurge?

Ohhh. Very good question. Where do I splurge? I think we splurge when it comes to technology. Since we are Apple loyal, that is our go-to computer--and they are more pricey than PC's but to us? Oh so worth it.

And also? I don't even remotely coupon for food shopping. I just don't really get it nor do we have a good grocery store around to do it at. 

And what is an area you try to save money in and how?

Oh gosh. Okay...let's see. I buy inexpensive clothes. I don't go and get my hair professionally dyed or highlighted. I cut Declan's hair instead of paying for it. I use coupons on certain products & stores when I can. I got the Target Red card (which now links direct to your checking account) so that saves me 5% now one very purchase. Not much, but something! 


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some questions answered...part 1 I guess.

Hailey asks: Did you (or do you now) have any celebrity crushes?

No, not really. I am not much of a celebrity crush kinda gal. At all. In fact, I don't even stay remotely up to date on my celebrity gossip unless I buy an US or People magazine at the airport every once in a blue moon. Sorry, I'm no fun in this department. 

JoJo asks: List 3 things in your life you would like a do-over on. Not that they have to be regrets, just if you could. 

I really had to think about this, but here they are:

1. Play a sport in high school and get over my stupid fears. 
2. Paid more attention to my weight earlier on so I didn't have to look back on all my photos and just see a fat girl. 
3. I had a massive falling out after my wedding with one of my very best friends from something I still don't fully know the reasons. I honestly wish somehow, whatever happened could just be done over. While it's been years now, I still sometimes wonder what my life would be like if she were still in it. 

Katie @JakofHearts & 'Lil Woman asks: What mode do you shoot in? Are you an auto girl or a manual girl? What kind of camera do you use to get these awesome shots? 

Why thank you :) My new camera is a Canon 7d. I don't typically shoot in full auto. I never use my flash if I can help it, so I want control over this. I tend to shoot mostly in manual if it's a pretty controllable light environment. I mess with aperture and the fstop, and the light meter. Oh, and unless I'm trying to shoot really quick, I also tend to manual focus, too. Not always, but often. 
I'm so not a pro when it comes to my camera. But, I'm learning. 

Ashley asks: What photo editing program do you use when editing your photos?

I use Adobe LightRoom to edit mostly.

Have you thought about making your hobby of photography into a business? 

Not really. First of all, I think I need to be better before I ever dreamed of charging someone. Secondly, the market is kind of saturated, so I feel like I should just keep working on my photography personally because I love it, getting my style & groove (that comes with time and practice), and then maybe sometime down the line (far, far down the line), I'll think about it. 

But for now? I just like it as a hobby. 

"B" asks: What lens do you use for people pictures? I take a lot of action shots but my people pictures don't come out as nice as yours...

"People pictures", aka: Portraits :) I prefer my 50mm lens for portraits. I've heard the 85mm is great, too. Same concept as the 50. A fixed lens, so you obviously have to move more as the photographer, and work more for the shot-but it's worth it! It's on my camera 75% of the time I'd say. 

'Lil Woman asks:  How did you first get into blogging?

I started blogging 11 years ago on LiveJournal. Crazy talk, I know. I was 15/16 and just talking about crazy nonsense of life, with no rhyme or reason. But I wrote, pretty consistently for a long time. I went through a little dry spell during college, but then came back to blogging (on Blogger) in 2007 and pretty much never looked back. Only my mom and sister read my blog for a long, long time. Then, suddenly around the time of my miscarriage I started noticing more people popping around. It just kind of organically grew from there.

What are some of your favorite blogs? 

This is the part where I shout out to people, right? I'm all about blogs that are consistent posters. That being said, my girl Jess from Dude and Sweeties is great, honest, mom of 4, whom I adore. My crunchy momma, friend, Gina is pretty fantastic, too. Lindsay and her cute baby Eva-I heart them. I enjoy Laura from Life Uninterrupted. Also, Meredith from La Buena Vida. Of course, I'm a Kelle Hampton lover, too. There are more, but I'll stop there for now.

Miss Chelsea asks: You seem sorta like a hipster (in a good way). Yes? No? If so where did it come from? (if that even makes sense, just do your own thang, I dig it!)  

Ha. Oh how I wish. Hipsters are cool, right? :) I don't know, honestly. I'm laid back in some areas SO MUCH SO. And then in others? Not quite. Declan & I love finding undiscovered music, though--but I still listen to all mainstream stuff, too. And the tiny bit of hipster that lies within me, where did it come from? No idea. None at all. 

Ali asks: What is your #1 guilty pleasure? 

Uh. Hi, I'm a grown woman who listens to Justin Bieber. So I guess that's my guilty pleasure. 

What makeup do you use on the daily?

I use my Mary Kay mineral powder foundation, some cover up, blush/bronzer, and I always do my eyes--which means eye shadow, eye liner (most the time) and then my favorite Mary Kay Lash Love mascara.

If you could spend a day to yourself (& unlimited funds) to do anything...what would it be?

Girl, two words: Spa.Day.


I'll be back with the other half sometime....:)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The beach feeds our soul.

*If you missed the One Kings Lane deal last week for Erin Condren moolah, have no fear! Zulily is hooking you up today with the same deal of $50 worth of products for only $25. So go. Go now. Sign up & then find the deal on the main page.

This past weekend was super-fab. For real, for real. I get so happy, so-so happy when I have a weekend that feels fulfilling, relaxing, and that helps me feel renewed. It's pretty sad but weekends can just be so busy and go-go-go, you don't get much time to just rest.

We had a girls overnight at the beach in honor of my sweet sister, Susan. You see, October 15th was supposed to be her wedding date, but a few months ago plans got called off, and she went through some serious heartbreak. (For the record, she is totally okay with me mentioning this, but you can check out her journey in her words here.) Anyway, we just knew it would be a good idea to make this day into something good, where she was surrounded by some of the girls who adore her & love her, rather than be home and all bummed out. You know?

And honestly? We had a blast. And Susan did, too. There was joy in this weekend. Smiles. Lots of smiles. Laughing. Chatting. Breezy beaches. Shopping. And even some baby cuddling. It was good.

While I know it was a weekend meant to honor Susan, how far she's come this last year, and to surround her with love--I think we all needed this time in so many ways. 

ahhh. Good 'ole girl time (plus a newborn baby boy, which frankly? is totally therapeutic too!)


The beach is good for the soul, man. ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Steppin' out....Sunday?

Darn it. I really wanted to participate in a Steppin' Out at Harper's Happenings but it was yesterday. On Saturday. When I was at the beach, not thinking about social media what-so-ever. And now it's Sunday, which is when in my brain I thought the link up was. But, it's not. So, whatever. I'm posting it anyway.

My outfit: Top-boutique at the beach. Sweater-Gap outlet. Belt-Charlotte Russe. Jeans-Lauren Conrad Skinnies/Kohls. Boots-JustFab. Hat-Boutique.

Emeline's Outfit: Shirt-hand me down. Vest-Carters Outlet. Tights-hand me down. Skirt-Old Navy. Boots-Stride Rite. Necklace-beach boutique.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's part of my story.

I can remember every last detail. Every single one. I can remember the glazed over look of the ultrasound technician at my 10 week scan. I remember the look of fear that swept over my husbands face. I remember how full my bladder  was and how badly I just wanted them to just tell me what I already knew from all the non-verbal cues. I remember waiting, for way too long, with my head in my hands--numb...over knowing what was to come. Waiting for the doctor to call. To tell me that my baby had no heartbeat. Shattering all my hopes for our little family I had dreamed up that had become a reality to me when I saw that positive test. 

I still remember the walk of shame out the door of the ultrasound place. No one would look at me in the eyes....because, of course, they all knew that I was one of those poor souls who just got The Bad News. I held it together until we stepped right outside the doors, and then I sobbed. Screamed, probably. I wanted my baby back. To be thriving in me. For me to be a healthy home for him/her. But I couldn't make it happen. The baby was dead.

My heart was sunk within me. I literally felt a weakness come over me. I had no control over what had happened, I'd done nothing 'wrong'. But why? Why? And now I was left to deal with all these emotions and a sweet husband with a mascara-drenched shirt. He stuck by me. He felt such a deep sense of loss, too. He couldn't understand the pain my body was going through, but he was there for me in every way. 

I wrote about my feelings very candidly here. For a long, long time. I walked through all the stages of grief and I told you about my raw, real, hard, and true feelings. It pained me, but I had to write it. My first pregnancy, the one that's supposed to be filled with anticipation and excitement ended in heartbreak and mortality. 

I've come such a long way since this July day in 2009. So far in my own personal life, in my faith, and in Who I Am. I'm so grateful for this outlet though, because it brought so many of you here to relate with me. I've received so many emails from ladies who have dug through my archives & miscarriage posts looking to find some solace in knowing they weren't alone in their feelings of anger and heartache. And although I hate that I had to be a part of the 1 in 4 statistic, I'm actually grateful that I now can empathize and have such a strong understanding of something I may otherwise not. 

It changed me, as a person, it did. However, I am not defined by my miscarriage. My loss is part of my story. 

I am so grateful that so many of you have trusted me with your stories. You all have had a huge impact on my life, too. And I'm so thankful that we're able to stand together in remembering these babies. 

I pray that you'll have the courage to talk and write about your experiences, too. You just never know who you can reach out and touch.


*October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, light a candle.*