. . . for Lauren and Lauren: January 2013

January 31, 2013

A Surreal Moment

I'm not quite sure what happened, since I look way more pregnant in week 14.  I'm guessing it's a combination of how I'm standing, plus the fact that both of these were in the morning and I look at least twice as pregnant by the evening.

I had a very surreal moment in church this last week.  

There were so many times over the last two years when I would stand during worship and see pregnant woman and couples with babies and just long for that to be me.  There was this one woman who I remember seeing every week, and I just watched her belly grow and then her baby grow.  I would dream of the day when that would be Chris and I in church. 

I remember clearly a few weeks after our early miscarriage in August, we sang the song "Blessed be your name" which is one of my favorites.  But one that I hadn't truly taken to heart until that point.  One of the lines is: 

"You give and take away, You give and take away. 
My heart will choose to say.  Lord blessed be your name."  

I was pregnant with a baby I thought I would have and then I wasn't.  But I was working on, with everything in my heart, to still say "Blessed be your name."  I couldn't sing much of that song, as I was fighting the tears from streaming down.  

On Sunday we sang that same song.  And I fought back tears again.  But not out of pain, but of joy. 
"Blessed be your name. When the suns shining down on me.  
When the world's all as it should be. Blessed be your name."  

I looked down at my little belly, with my baby growing.  Our baby.  Here I was standing in church praising God and blessing his name for this miracle and time of joy in our life.  

And the fact that I get to sign that sweet letter your mom?

God is so good. 
Blessed be His name.  


January 30, 2013

Is it only Wednesday?

lace shirt: forever 21   blazer: maurices   pants & shoes: target

I'm having a hard time believing that it is only Wednesday night.  This week is moving by SO slowly.  It could be because it's been days of indoor recess, which makes for some super squirrely and loud kids.  Or because I've been excitedly and a little anxiously awaiting our 16 week dr. appointment this week.  After going to the doctor weekly from week 5 to 10, this whole waiting 4 weeks in between appointments has been rough!

But thankfully, in case you're having a long week too, I have something exciting to help you make it to Friday.  I'm excited to introduce you to a sweet blogger named Fannie, who blogs at Living Life in Pink.  One of my favorite things about her is that she is a ballet teacher for 3 - 5 year olds.  That pretty much tops the list of cutest and sweetest jobs ever.  Plus she's giving away a $25 giftcard to Sephora to one of you lucky ladies!

hello lovely readers of for lauren and lauren!! i'm so excited to be guest posting with you all today (and thanks so much katie for this amazing opportunity--you're the best girlie!). 

well, my name is fannie and i blog over at my little pinkalicious corner called living life in pink. i'm a student and ballet dancer living in baton rouge, louisiana, and i teach 3,4, and 5 year old kiddies at the baton rouge ballet theatre. my blog is a lifestyle blog, where i live my life in..."pink". 

for me, pink isn't simply a beautiful color....it's a beautiful way of living life....living it happily, lovingly, elegantly, honestly, sassy and silly, open-minded, and with passion; and on my blog i hope to share these simple ways of living with all of my fellow readers! 

along with living life in my definition of "pink", you will also find lots and lots of funny stories, fun and silly pictures, romance, and some yummy recipes (lots of sweets!). so i hope you stop by sometime, i would so love getting to know you and your blog!! 

one more little thing: i LOVE bright colored lipsticks, especially sephora brand types. so...i'm giving away a $25 sephora giftcard!! i hope you enjoy it!!:)

Thanks for a great give away Fannie!  Make sure to go tell her hi!


January 29, 2013

DIY Elbow Patches

sweater: rue 21   tank top: old navy   pants: target   boots: gojane.com

After seeing many pins on pinterest of sweaters with elbow patches I knew I wanted to make my own.  Honestly the hardest part was finding and deciding on what kind of sweater I wanted.  I originally was looking for a casual grey, baggy sweater but couldn't find a cheap one and figured with my growing belly a cardigan would be a better choice.  And I found this one for only $6 at Rue 21.  Which means I made this sweater for less than $10. 

Here are the incredibly easy steps: 

1. Supplies:  sweater/sweatshirt, piece of leather, sharp needle, heavy thread.

2. Use a piece of paper to draw whatever size/shape patch you'd like.  Hold it up to your sweater to make sure it's the size you want.  Trace two onto your leather and cut them out. 

3. Put your sweater on and put a pin where you'd like your patch to go.  

4. Pin your leather onto your shirt and sew your patch on.  I used a double thread to make sure it was sturdy. 

5. Do it on the other sleeve and that is it! 

I still want to make one with hearts on it, like the one I pinned, but figured I would get more use out of a more simple looking shape and color.  

Linking up to Saw It Pinned it with Stephanie and Katie.

January 28, 2013

Happy Face

boots: dsw   skirt:  old navy   sweater: diy (tutorial here)

I'm pretty confident that I could dedicate at least a post a week about how Chris and I are different.  In so many ways we are complete opposites.

Here's yet another.

In high school there was this "joke."  I say that in quotes because while true, it didn't make me laugh.  Which maybe it should've and it would have helped me with my problem.

The joke was that I looked angry all the time.  I'd walk around the halls and my friends thought I was mad or sad or some negative emotion, because my relaxed, normal face apparently looked unhappy.

While I doubt I have a picture of me in high school, as I'm sure it was unattractive and I wouldn't keep it around, I imagine looking something like this.  Which actually just looks a little more annoyed than anything.  Apparently my mom only kept smiling pictures of us.

Chris on the other hand, walks around looking like something straight out of a cartoon, because his face was and is always smiling.  Which is why when I saw this shirt on pinterest I immediately thought of him.

I believe Chris should wear this shirt daily.

I actually used to have to remind him in pictures to have a normal smile, because his was hugely wide open, extreme smile, and just looked silly.

(I realize he isn't actually trying to smile in this picture.  But I looked for one for about 30 minutes and gave up and really wanted to include a picture.  This was the best I could do.)

I even tried it.  Walking around with this big smile.  Well it looked fake and was awkward and didn't last long.

And I'm even outnumbered in my house because I have a dog that constantly smiles too:

Yet another thing I admire about my husband.  He really his happy about 98% of the time.


January 27, 2013

If you knew me

If you knew me, you would know . . . 

dress, vest, leggings: old navy    boots: dsw 

. . . that boots, leggings and a cotton dress are the most comfortable outfit and I wear it at least half the time in the winter. 

. . . that Chris is the only boy I've dated, held hands with or kissed. 

. . . that I think about all the friends I've met through blogging that are still painfully waiting for a baby, and pray for them often that they will get their miracle soon. 

. . . that I will always buy the same Asic brand of shoes to work out/run in.

. . . that I set three alarms every morning because I'm worried I won't wake up, even though I've never overslept and been late to work.  

. . . that I have a tattoo of a "Jesus fish" (ichthys) on my back, which means Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior. I have no desire to take a picture of it right now, so trust me that it looks just like this: 

. . . that I recently got a brand new phone and love it!!  I love the big screen, the clear camera and that I get to give one away to one of my readers!  

Good luck! 

Hope you had a great weekend!


Content and/or other value provided by our partner, HTC.

January 24, 2013

high five for friday

shirt: rue 21  pants: jcpenny  boots: dsw 

1. I got this polka dot shirt last weekend and love it. Someday I'll remember to take off my hair tie on my wrist before I take a picture.  

2.  This weekend I thought it would be a good idea to check out Goodwill to see if they had any maternity clothes.  But no such luck.  This was the kind of clothing I found. 

Maternity short overalls.  Just to make sure there isn't any confusion I didn't buy them. 
One of you thrifting masters needs to take me with you. 

3. I made my first craft for my baby last weekend.  A chevron stuffed animal elephant. And I love it. 

(I followed this tutorial.)

4. I made these chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars last night and they were SO good.  I told myself I wouldn't eat any sweets today but I don't know what I was thinking with these sitting in my fridge. 

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

5.  I have some sponsor spots open for February and would love to help grow your blog or shop! You can take 20% of any ad size for the next week!  Check out more details here and email me at katiejvale@yahoo.com

Hope you have a great weekend!


January 23, 2013

A Target Steal and a Shopping Spree for you!

It's no secret that I love Target.  And that I could spend quite a lot of time (and money) there too. But I know that I am definitely not alone in that.  

To add to my love of Target, I found this coat for $18 last week.  They also had a lot of shoes and other winter clothes on super clearance.  Which comes at a great time for you, because one of you could win a lot of money to Target, as well as some other great prizes.  

Julep nail polish set & large ad space from Penniless Socialite

$15 Gift card to Target from Because Shanna Said So

Ad space from Read Eat Create

Lauren Conrad Earrings from Keeping up with the Cyperts

$10 Gift card to Target from Back East Blonde

Beaded necklace from Life as I Know it

Happy Heart Triple Heart Pink, Blue, and Yellow on Tan Fabric Pillow
$15 Shop Credit to Sara Montanas

$15 Target Gift Card from My Life, Laughs and Love

Winner will be contacted after the 29th!  Thanks for entering!

Want to be part of next month's giveaway?  Check out my sponsorship options here!


January 22, 2013

Doubling Posting

sweater: kohls   jeans: gap   scarf: giveaway from    shoes: target

I don't know what I was thinking sharing two outfits yesterday in one post because I'm now left with nothing new to share with you today. So I am here, sharing the same outfits.  But that post really had nothing to do with my outfit, so I'm going to count it as acceptable. 

And I can't imagine letting a good outfit go to waste these days, as it is getting harder in the morning to find something that I am (a) comfortable in and (b) doesn't look awkward. 

Don't be fooled by these pictures.  My pants aren't buttoned in either one. 

blazer: tjmaxx    pants: kohls   boots: dsw

I am anxiously awaiting the cute pregnancy stage and not this awkward middle stage.  It took me an embarrassing amount of time to get dressed today and sadly my outfit was far from cute or impressive. 

I don't plan on sharing one of these every week, as I am thinking there may not be big differences each week, and while it does consume my hourly thoughts I don't want this blog to be overload on pregnancy updates.  But I will share one every few weeks.  Here's last weeks: 

Hope you are having a good week so far!


Linking up to: Random Wednesday & Pleated Poppy

January 21, 2013

A New Attitude

A part of me was hesitant to share this post, as I don't want to appear at ALL ungrateful or not thankful for this miracle that I have been given.  But I want to be truthful with how I've been feeling, and hope that sharing this will help me follow through.

There is still part of me that is scared.  Scared that something will go wrong.  
Scared that I won't be holding my baby in July.

The truth is that I have been continuing to give into my fears, failing to surrender and failing to embrace and enjoy this pregnancy.

I think a part of me felt that if I didn't take weekly belly pictures at the beginning, talk to my baby, buy maternity clothes, or didn't spend all day thinking about how excited I am to be a mom, then I wouldn't be as devastated if something went wrong.

But I know that no matter what I did or didn't do, I would be devastated if something happened to our baby.

A few people gave me the advice to not wish away the beginning of pregnancy or have it be consumed with fear and worries.  And I believed that advice and tried to live it, but failed quite miserably the first three months. Failed to live in constant excitement for our soon to be family of three.  And failed to dream of our future and our baby.

So many days, especially a day when I have cramps or some other pain that makes me nervous, I just wish I could see into the future and see myself holding my baby.  I wish I could know for sure what our life would look like and how healthy my baby will be.

But I know that if I could do that, then I wouldn't have the need to daily ask God for protection over my baby, and for comfort for my fears.  I wouldn't be putting things in his hands.

So today I am embracing everything about this baby.  Belly updates.  Nursery dreams.  Baby crafts.  
and embracing everything about this pregnancy.  

And this miracle that I've been given.