. . . for Lauren and Lauren

November 20, 2014

Our front door

hello sign for front door

I shared this picture on instagram and a few of you asked about the wreath I made.  I LOVE our front door.  Painting it was the best decision.  It was kind of a pain, but cheap and completely worth it.  I love our front door and think it makes a huge difference in the look of the front of our house.  

My friend has a die cut machine and cut out the hello sign for me out of black vinyl.  I looked at a few tutorials on pinterest for the wreath and pretty much followed this one.  I had some jewelry wire I just used at the beginning and end of each burlap roll.  I used 2 1/2 rolls of burlap.  I bought those two little Christmas floral sticks and just stuck them into one of the loops and used wire to tie them at the top.  I thought it would take a long time, but probably took about an hour.  

burlap wreath
burlap wreath
That O is driving me a little crazy and needs to be moved up a bit!  
hello front door

I think I'll keep this wreath up for a long time and just change out the floral part for the seasons! These would probably be a good Christmas gift to give someone too, and cost under $15 to make. 

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November 19, 2014

In numbers

top: c/o sheinside    scarf: discovery   boots: discovery

TWO days in a row I wore this sweater

THREE days until my sister and her family gets here for Thanksgiving.  

FOUR. the number of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I ate in one day last week.  

FIVE. the number of healthy days Addilyn has had in the last three weeks.  She always gets colds and it makes me dread this winter.   Last winter was rough and I'm worried we'll have a repeat.

EIGHT days until my favorite day of the year.  The day after Thanksgiving when we cut down our Christmas tree. 

FOURTEEN the high temperature yesterday.  I am not ready for freezing winter to start already. 

I was going to attempt to count the amount of Gilmore Girls episodes I've watched last week but that'd be a waste of time.  It's a lot.  It's so convenient to watch episode after episode on netflix, especially on my Intel tablet before I go to bed.  I'm already sad about finishing them all, which I'm sure will happen soon.  

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November 18, 2014

Things that make me cry . . . .

I should make a disclaimer that I promise I have weeks where I don't shed a tear.  Multiple weeks actually.  Then out of nowhere one thing leads to another and emotional overload.  Last week was proof: 

Hearing Christmas music in Target. 

Frustration over Addilyn's sleep struggles and the fact that she is sick again.   

This video of a dad who took a 15 second video clip of his daughter from birth to age 14.  

Feeling lonely and overly sensitive in regards to current friendships. 

Looking at these pictures of Addilyn, and thinking about how much I love her.  

This blog post sharing 35 moms bragging about their awesome mom skills.  

The rockettes dancing on the today show.

Yep.  Tears.  Real tears.  Clearly I am extremely excited for Christmas this year.  

Now give me something somewhat irrational that made you cry recently.  

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November 17, 2014

A special tee from a special boy

tee: LCF Threadz (Liam's Cancer Fund)   moccasins: freshly picked 

I've said it before but I truly mean it, that one of the best things about blogging has been meeting others and getting to know them.  I am often amazed at how many awesome woman there are out there, and in the last year feel like I've met some really amazing moms.  Moms that are strong, talented and sweet.  Dawn is one of them.  I commented on one of her instagram pictures saying how cute one of the shirts she made was and she messaged me that she wanted to make one for Addilyn. And I love it and can't wait for Addi to wear it on Thanksgiving day.

I figured we'd try the shirt out and take some pictures, so that I can share with you a little about Dawn and her family.

Dawn began her shop LCF Threadz in 2010, when her son Liam was diagnosed with cancer.  (You can read the story here.)  Spending more and more time at the hospital and at doctor's appointments hooked up to an IV, regular clothes got in the way and wearing just a onesies in the winter wasn't practical. So Dawn began making baby legwarmers for Liam.  Then several friends wanted pairs too.

Dawn was a former teacher, but quit as she needed to be with Liam as he was going through treatments.  She started her shop as a way to make some money for the hospital bills.  Sewing became her therapy.  She started learning to sew other things like carseat covers  and then soon started doing personalized shirts like the one she made for Addilyn.  She sets aside a profit from those sales to donate to CureSearch and uses the rest to pay for Liam's medical bills, who is currently doing great!

Dawn also has a daughter who is close in age to Addilyn, and I love following along with their family.  Plus Dawn is a marathon runner, which makes me love her even more.  I love sharing the word about Mom's shops, but especially ones that help support a need that I can't even imagine going through.

Dawn thanks for sharing your story with us!  You are such a strong, amazing mom to a super special boy! (And a your sweet Aubrey too!)  Thank you for the adorable shirt.  I LOVE it.

Check out Dawn's etsy shop here and facebook page here!  She has the cutest Christmas pjs and does lots of custom orders too!  

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November 16, 2014

Mixed Emotions

I remember a lesson I would teach my third graders about mixed feelings.  We'd spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year talking about feelings and the importance of learning how to recognize feelings and be able to vocalize them.  There was one lesson where I spent time explaining how one event can bring a mix of feelings.  

How you could be really excited about something, but also anxious.  The start of the year can be exciting, but also nerve racking to be in a new classroom, with a new teacher.  Christmas can be something you look forward to, but maybe it's the first year without a grandparent around so it makes you sad too.

October 30th is a date that I will always remember.  It's the date we had our embryo transfer and got pregnant with Addilyn.  I shared this picture on instagram and wrote a little about my feelings for that day.  

I've gone through plenty of phases where it's been hard for me that I didn't get to get pregnant the "normal" way. That it involved medicine, shots, doctors, appointments, waiting and waiting and so much praying. But there is something special in that this day two years ago we saw our Addilyn as a tiny tiny dot magnified by 500 and witnessed even more so that God can do miracles. I'm teary eyed this morning as I think about where we were two years ago today. Praying that we'd get to meet this baby nine months later. October 30th will always be a reminder of a God's faithfulness and answered prayers. Extra thankful today for our miracle

The night Chris and I were talking about that date and he asked me if we transferred two embryos that day.  We did, which means only one of our babies made it.  Not that I forgot it, but I was mostly celebrating that day as it brought us our baby.  But it is hard to think about that fact that we had two babies.  To think about what our other baby would've been like.  If we would've had another girl or a boy.  If he or she would've looked like Addilyn.  I really can't imagine my life with twins, but everytime I see pictures of twins on instagram or facebook, I can't help but think about how we should have twins.  

I think about the other three embryos we also lost and how we have four little babies that we didn't get to meet.  

We're quite undecided as if we'd pursue IVF again, as there are so many hard things about it, but I also can't imagine not having any more babies.  Thinking about how we lost four babies in that process makes it so hard to think of doing that again.  

It's weird to have two such opposite feelings about the same event.  I celebrate October 30th as the day we saw Addilyn as a tiny dot that grew into our baby girl.  But I also feel sad thinking about the tiny dots that were our other babies.  

Sometimes I'm afraid that I shouldn't feel sad for those babies.  We have a perfectly beautiful and healthy baby girl.  Some people go through years and years of infertility and never get their baby. Minus my one which ended in an early miscarriage, they probably only lived a few days or a week or two.  I never saw them on an ultrasound or felt them move in my belly, but they were our babies. Our babies that we saw as tiny little dots.  

Life is messy and emotions are conflicting and sometimes the same thing can make you happy and grateful, but also sad.  I remind myself often that God used that experience to change me and grow me and I think He will continue to do so with whatever is in our future. 

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