. . . for Lauren and Lauren: 2017

September 18, 2017

Our sweet Molly girl

I keep thinking about writing this post and then can't do it because I am still struggling to put into words how sad I am and how much I miss her.  We had to say goodbye to our sweet Molly last Sunday afternoon.  In less than three weeks she went from totally healthy as far as we knew, to finding out she had colon cancer and it got worse so quickly.  

I don't even know how to describe the role she's played in our family the last ten years. Our first "baby" and with us for so many of our newly married memories. She welcomed both our babies home and loved on them from day one.

She helped Addi learn to crawl and Isaac learn to stand. Her name was Isaac' first word. She saved me many mornings during the 5:00 hour when I had zero energy to entertain a crabby toddler. She cleaned up my floor a million times a day and chased my kids around the kitchen when I made dinner. She was part of our daily naptime and bedtime routine. Isaac had a permanent relaxing spot cozied into her stomach where I'd find him all the time. My list could go on and on! She was so easy to love and loved my kids more than I could ever imagined possible. I couldn't have loved her more and I can't even picture our daily life and routine without her here.

It has been a rough week since she died and I am not at all used to her not being here.  The kids still call her by name at random times, looking for her.  I expect to see her all throughout the day and look at the space where her water bowl was and it just looks so empty.   We miss her so so much and our house feels sad and lonely without her.  
I don't think you could find a more gentle, patient, happier or more beautiful dog. We hit the jackpot with Molly. We are so thankful God gave us ten years with the best dog in the world.

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September 10, 2017

18 months of Isaac

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Dear Isaac - 

18 months old! Happy half birthday sweet boy.  Every week you are more and more this little boy and less and less a baby.  You are still so tiny and sometimes I think I expect you to not be able to do certain things or say certain things because you seem so little, but you are talking more and more and acting much more like a toddler these days.

You love your sister.  You call her "Adda" and say  her name all the time.  She started preschool a few weeks ago and the first two days you cried and cried when she walked into her room.  You asked for her every few minutes and were so excited to go pick her up.  You like to be playing with whatever she is doing and think you can do anything she can do.  For as much as you love her, you pull her hair all the time.  You think it's hilarious and I don't even know what to do!

You still don't love the car, but it's finally getting better.  You'll laugh at Addi, sing songs, blow bubbles with your lips and like when I play music.  You also don't love sitting in your highchair. You'd much rather stand in a chair and try to look like a big kid.  It will be quite awhile until you can actually sit in a chair - you are so so tiny.

You love animals.  Especially Molly.  You call her everywhere, tell her to lay down, lay on her stomach in this perfect little nook for you and roll all over her.  Feed her your food, hug her and ask for her whenever she's not right by us.  We say goodnight to her a million times before naps and bedtime and you get so excited to see her in the morning.  You also love the goats and chickens, and love any dogs we see anywhere.

You are obsessed with lawn mowers and tractors.  You like to look at books and pictures of lawn mowers, and love when daddy takes you for rides on his.  You also love his ATV and would tide around that all day if you could.  You love playing in my car and pretend to drive and climb back and forth between the seats.

You are talking more and more these days.  Your favorite phrase is "What that mama" or "Who that mama."  You say please mama and one more all the time.  You can say most of our family's name, although you don't have a name for yourself.  You also think it's hilarious to say "you grandma" when I ask you who someone is.  And then you laugh and laugh.  You also laugh so hard when I tickle you and say "more, more."  You could spend forever being chased around our couch and I love watching your tiny self fall over because you are so excited and laughing so hard.

You like to wake up at 5:30, which of course I am not a fan of!  But I am thankful you go to bed so easily and are usually asleep by 7:15.  You sleep with your two puppies in your sleepsack and always with your sound machine.  I'm starting to lose hope that you'll nap longer than an hour ever.  Please do!

It takes you a long time to warm up in any new situation or any situation with lots of people.  You usually spend the first 30 minutes or so wanting to be held and whiny and pointing to the car or wherever.  But once you are comfortable you're happy to play and maybe step five feet away from me. ;)

You're still this tiny little thing.  You weighed 20 pounds and 14 ounces and are 31 inches tall. Both in the 20th percentile.  You're mostly in twelve month clothes and I'd guess you're legs will still fit in some of your pants from last Winter!

You are just so adorable.  I still look at you and can't believe you are ours.  I love you so much sweet boy!


your mama

September 7, 2017

Bring on Fall

top: c/o  shein   jeans: old navy   booties: justfab

We've had some cooler weather this week and it makes me so excited for Fall.  Cooler weather, open windows, candles, new decorations, family traditions, and Fall clothes.  Let's be honest, I could name so many other things.  I can not wait.  Bring on Fall!  

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September 6, 2017

Loving . . . .

top: shein

This top.  I got this top a few years ago and have worn it pregnant, not pregnant, summer and Fall and I love it.  It's still on the site too.  

Loving these similar style tops/dresses too . . . 

one  //  two  //  three

90210.  I should be embarrassed to admit I'm watching this again.  But it's happening and I'm sucked into it and far into too many seasons now.  I should be reading books or a million other things that would be better for my brain before I go to bed, but I love it too much.  

Burn Boot Camp.  A friend of mine goes to one in North Carolina and I've seen her post about it many times and was so excited when one near us opened up two weeks ago.  I've gone many times and am loving it.  I am not positive I can make it work with our schedule but I so badly want to and will try!  It feels so fun to do something new that is challenging and just for me.  

Adventures in Odyssey.  I don't know why it took me so long but I finally bought these CDs and a CD player for Addilyn's room.  She hasn't napped in many months I've failed at working on set quiet time in her room and not defaulting to letting her watch a show for an hour.  These are awesome. She'll listen to it for at least 20 minutes, coloring or playing quietly in her room.  I'm hoping that time will get longer, but I'll take it for now! 

World Market.  I hadn't been there in forever but ran in really quick after a solo Target trip (woohoo!) last weekend and they had so much cute clearance stuff.  I got a table runner for $3 and the cutest tassel/fringe purse for $10.  I love their stuff! 

Jen Hatmaker's new podcast.  I'm a big Jen Hatmaker fan and she just started a new podcast called, For the Love, and it is great.  Lots of good conversations and fun to listen to.  

What is something you're loving lately? 

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September 4, 2017


pants: c/o shein

ONE.  We've had a few cooler days this last week and it has made me so happy.  I can't even wait for Fall weather.  And for sweatpants.  I just got these in the mail and they are so soft and comfy.  The other week I found a similar pair online at Old Navy but had just ordered things that day and was so bummed I missed them.  Then I found these and I love them!  

TWO.  Last week we had a full week of preschool and Addilyn did great each day. I almost don't want to write it because I'm afraid to jinx it or something.  But clearly it doesn't work like that. ;) I'm so proud of her. 

THREE.  While Addi is at school, I'm enjoying my time with just Isaac.  I'm excited to get into a routine together and want to find some kind of story time or class for us and looking forward to lots of time together!

FOUR.  Our friends little guy turned one and we went to his party this weekend.  His sister and Addi play so well together and are the cutest together.  We're going away with them this weekend and staying at a house in Wisconsin and I know they will have so much fun! 

FIVE.  I shared just a little on Instagram and will hopefully have a happy update at the end of next week, but we had quite the scary week with Molly.  After a few days of vet appointments and emergency vet visits for some awful symptoms, they found a huge mass in Molly's colon and were pretty sure it was cancerous.  Thankfully after a procedure, removing a large part of it, the vet thinks there is a good chance it isn't but we won't know until Thursday.  I was a total mess those few days and can't even think about our life without Molly.  I'm praying we have a few years at the least with her, and that we have good news soon.  We'd love any prayers for our Molly girl!

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August 28, 2017

Addi says what

You know that cost per wear idea for outfits?  We'd be in the negative number with Addi and this dress.  She would pick this everyday if it were always clean. 

"When you were in a kid, what did you do in the olden days?"

"I love Mario day".  (She meant Memorial day.)

She saw a picture of Donald Trump on the news and in a very despairing way . . 
"Oh Donald.  Donald Trump."
I asked who Donald Trump is . . .  
"He's a big, tough man.  He's the prisoner."

"Now I know how to properly count without the wrong numbers."

Before someone came over to our house, "I should probably put my clothes on because it's a little embarrassing to be naked when you're a big kid around other kids."

"That was a colossal party."

After taking something from Isaac, "Isaac there is no need to panic"
"Daddy is naughty sometimes.  Like he'll give me treats when you've said I've had enough sugar. And I'll say 'No daddy! I've had enough' and then he'll force me to eat it. 

I was trying to get a splinter or something out from Addi's hand, "No I'll just wait for daddy. He's really good at picking zits and stuff." 

"Give this to Isaac.  I really don't want him to panic on me."

"I bet God has really big blue goggles and big ears so he can see whatever say. And I bet he can sing and dance and do ballet."

"I'm a secret Asian. I'm so sneaky." 

After we had done our whole bedtime routine, Addi was quiet and I was about out of her room. She said to me so seriously and excitedly, "Mom! Do you know that Aaliyah can use grown up scissors without even asking her mom?" 

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August 24, 2017

Four year old preschool here we come!

Wednesday Addilyn had her first day of preschool!  Last year she went two days a week for the three year old class, and this year she'll be going Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the four year old class. If you read my blog in the past you know we've had our share of separation issues, and the beginning of the year last year was rough.  Lots of tears from her the first few months and it was hard for me! I have big hopes of this year going more smoothly, as she's done it before. We love the teachers there and she has lots of familiar faces in her class.

She was excited and happy most of the time we talked about it (of course with the "I'm never going to school ever" thrown in there once in awhile), and as expected shy and nervous when we got there. But she walked right in and came running out at the end.  I am proud of her and know this is going to be so good for her!  Four year old preschool here she comes!

And really? Could she be in a cuter? Or could her backpack look any bigger on her tiny self? I could not love her more!

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August 21, 2017

Jesus & Coffee

shirt: c/o rosalynne love

I recently got this tee from Rosalynne Love and I love it.  I know there should be a very extreme gap between my need for Jesus and my need for coffee, but many mornings coffee creeps up awfully close.  So this tee is perfect!  I've been following Rosalynn Love for quite some time.  I have this Gilmore Girls tumbler and I love it.  I got it during one of her sales (follow her on instagram @rosalynnelove so you don't miss any of them).  She has adorable Gilmore Girls tees that I want too! This one is on sale for only $15 along with some other cute tees too.  She has the mug version of this tee and it's on sale for $9! (Mom, if you read this get it for me for Christmas.)

I dream of mornings where I can sit on my porch and drink a cup of coffee, reading my Bible. Someday that will happen right? For now I'll have to fit both of them in, between chasing Addilyn and Isaac around.  Which I wouldn't have any other way!

Also, I'm clearly sticking to my new prairie days style.  This skirt was on clearance at Target for $10 and I love it.   And I did not realize how terribly wrinkled this skirt was until I added these pictures. I mean they didn't have irons in prairie days anyway, right??

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August 20, 2017

Feeling lately . . . .

I am so late in sharing vacation pictures.  Someday.  But this is the view from the house we stayed with my family.  Isn't it gorgeous? 

This time of year is always a little hard for me.  I see tons of back to school pictures, have teacher friends setting up their classroom and getting ready for the year. I can not imagine going back to work and am so lucky I get to stay home and that is definitely what I want! But I miss teaching, and especially miss setting up my classroom and getting ready for a new year.  Some days motherhood feels so mundane and lonely and long, and I miss having the purpose and fulfillment I felt teaching. 

I've listened to a few podcasts on friendship, and have been reading the book Never Unfriended, and thinking a lot about my friendships.  I've always struggled with feeling confident in relationships and think I've always been overly sensitive.  I'm working on letting things go, focusing on relationships that are fulfilling and being a good friend regardless and continuing to initiate and be vulnerable even if not always returned.  

I am struggling with the stage Isaac is in.  I either forgot how hard it was, or he is much harder than Addilyn was at this age.  He is up so early and is so crabby, it's hard for me to start the day without also feeling tired and crabby.  He won't sit in his highchair for any length of time, some meals not at all without crying.  And he cries so hard whenever I leave him somewhere like church nursery. I could not love him more, but am anxious for this stage to pass.  I hate to wish away time and try to remind myself constantly that time goes so quickly.  

I was in a really good pattern with working out and running at the beginning of the summer.  But it's been so hot and humid and SO many mosquitoes and horseflies by our house that the idea of pushing the double jogging stroller with all that feels just about impossible.  I'd love to join a gym, but Isaac struggles so much with childcare that I don't feel like it would be worth it.  I miss feeling strong and need to figure out a new plan.

Addi starts preschool this week and I feel anxious about it.  Not nearly as much as I did last year, but anxious still. The last week or so she's said she doesn't want to go whenever it comes up.  She'll go three days a week and I just can't picture our routine and what that will look like.  What Isaac and I will do, how Addi will do and not quite ready for that transition.  

Chris and I went on a date last Saturday night and it was so good.  It's been a rough two weeks for us and we've had little time to really connect and got to talk about a lot of things.  It was such a good reminder that even when we're tired, stressed and just want space and quiet, how important it is to talk and check in with how we're doing. 

The last two weeks we visited a new church.  Kind of funny to say new because my sister, brother, in-laws, and many of our friends go there.  So a new church to us, but with lots of familiar faces. We've been at our current church for 12 years, so the idea of switching churches is a big deal.  I've honestly felt like I've struggled spiritually the last year and a half.  Finding a community, accountability and my personal relationship with the Lord.  I am ready for and praying for God to work in me and want to pursue Him deeper.

I've haven't nursed Isaac for the last few days.  I was only nursing him in the morning most days, and I've tried very hard to distract him in the morning and bring him right downstairs instead of back to bed with me.  I feel like since we've made it three days I should keep sticking it out.  I'm ready to be done nursing but it still comes with a lot of emotions to me.  I have wished with both my kids that they would've weaned on their own because it feels hard to take that away, but I'm reminding myself with Addi how in the moment it felt really hard but we got through it and were both completely fine. I go back and forth from being excited for this transition to be over to really sad that this phase is over.  Motherhood is so strange.

I had an appointment at my ob last week and walking in would've said I was 99% sure I don't want more babies.  But something about that office (which is also connected to the hospital where both my kids were born) makes me want to do it again.  Be pregnant, deliver a baby, have that newborn phase again. It just feels so final to say we're done having kids, and I'm just not 100% there yet.

Phew.  That was a lot of random things.  Sometimes these post make me wonder why I'm writing them.  I guess it feels therapeutic to put these feelings and thoughts to words.  And I always appreciate when I hear someone is feeling the same or going through something similar.  Which is the biggest reason I loved blogging in the first place!

Okay, enough rambling ;)   Thanks for reading,

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August 17, 2017

Weekend sweatshirt

sweatshirt: shein

This sweatshirt is so soft and comfy.  I'm sure there are many that disagree but I am ready for Fall weather.  Comfy sweatshirts, windows open, a new season.  This sweatshirt will be on repeat. (I'm wearing a medium for reference, as you never know with sizing and it fits perfect.)  Addi starts preschool next week and I feel all kinds of nervous thinking about starting preschool again. I'm praying it'll be an easier transition than last year, and know it is so good for her.  And I'm looking forward to some solo time with Isaac.  But for now enjoying the weekend and not thinking about Monday!  Happy Friday friends! 
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August 15, 2017

I could be wrong

skirt: c/o shein

I feel like these days any length of skirt, dress or pants is acceptable, and while in the past I would never buy a mid length skirt because I thought it was unflattering on my short self, I love them now. Although I do feel like this could pass for a day in the prairie.  When I taught third grade we did a unit on pioneers and at the end visited a little town set up like pioneer days, with a one room school house.  Pretty sure minus the knotted tee, this would be an appropriate costume.   So perhaps I should reconsider it has my new favorite piece of clothing.  

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August 14, 2017

Mint Standard - the best dress made by one of my favorites

dress: mint standard clothing  sandals: target

I'm so excited about this post! You all need to know about the most comfortable, versatile dress that you're going to want to wear every single day.  Kelley is the creator behind Mint Standard Clothing and if you don't know her already you will love her and her ideas and designs.  I first became friends with Kelley from blogging years ago when our girls were babies.  She also has another daughter Isaac's age, so it's extra fun to follow each other as we're in the same life stage. (Her daughter Olivia is hilarious and her and Emma are just the cutest.)  She is sweet, funny, gorgeous and I wish we were neighbors.  I fully plan on meeting her in person someday! 

Kelley wanted to create a dress that could be worn for work, for playdates, to lounge around in, run errands in and everything in between.  She wanted it to be as comfortable as yoga pants, hide sweat, and still looking put together.  It took her awhile to find a fabric that could do all that, but she finally did.  The dress seriously feels like my yoga pants.  The material is so soft, but not thin.  I am in love with the sleeve length and how it fits, and the length is perfect.

I almost forgot about the pockets!  Any dress with pockets is automatically better, and these are so big, you can hold your phone, your keys, whatever you need when you're at the park with your kids or running into a store.

My only problem with dresses in this stage of life where I'm chasing two little kids or sitting on the floor is that if I did all that I'd surely flash everyone.  Which is why Kelley also designed these shorties.  They are the same fabric, so they're super comfortable and they even come with a pocket that holds your phone perfectly.  So if you're stuck with a dress without pockets and wear these underneath, you can stick your phone and keys in there.  I've worn these under multiple dresses and love them.  They don't ride up and they are high waisted and smooth and suck you it.  It makes it so much more comfortable to wear dresses these days.

Also Kelley won me over even more when she lifted up her dress to show these shorts when she was interviewed on tv.  She also pulled a baby doll out of the pocket.  She seriously could not be cuter and did such a great job.  (You should watch her interview here and will love her.)

I got the original in black.  I think I can wear it year round.  Sandles in the summer, boots and booties in the Fall.  I think it'd look cute with a statement necklace or a scarf, with tights or tennis shoes. She also created another style called the cinch and both come in a few different colors.  (I want the striped one too!)  Kelley is also coming out with Fall styles soon and I can't wait to see them.   Her dresses could be worn so many different ways and for any thing you do during your week.  I have no doubts this dress will be worn again and again.  

Kelley I think you are a total rockstar.  Full time job, amazing mama and now designing and running a clothing line.   I am so so proud of you and am cheering you on big time!  

Make sure to follow Mint Standard on instagram (@mint_standard) and facebook (mintstandardclothing) to keep up to date with new looks and news!  

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August 9, 2017


ONE.  I went to Old Navy last week and they had SO many good clearance things!  I don't even know what I was thinking not buying this orange dress because it was only $10.  I did buy this cute tank top for $12 and these jeans for $10.  Plus some super cute workout tank tops for $5, a swimsuit bottom for $1.50 and some summer clothes for my kids next year for $2 each.  I want to go back!

TWO.  I have SO many pictures from our family vacation.  A good 300 pictures that I need to go through them.  My blog has been a good motivator to keep up with editing and organizing our pictures!  I can't even handle Isaac's face in this one: 

THREE.  My nephew spent the afternoon and then night with us on Tuesday.  I never want to take for granted how lucky we are to live so close to my siblings.  Our kids are so lucky to grow up together and I love spending time with them! 

FOUR.  A few things I want to own . . . 

 one  //  two 
I want both of these for Fall!  With booties and a sweater? 
three  //  four
I've seen this first dress many places and think it's so cute! And it's less than $20! 

FIVE.   It's been a weird two weeks since we got home from vacation, and I've felt a little overwhelmed and emotional lately.  I am praying for a relaxing weekend and hopefully better week ahead!  
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