. . . for Lauren and Lauren: March 2014

March 31, 2014

10 things

tee, shirt, and shoes: old navy     jeans: target    necklace: groopdealz 

The other week my sister told me she wanted me to write a post with ten things I like about myself.  She had read a few other bloggers who wrote similar posts and then I searched and found quite a few who had done the same.  I think it's super easy to think of tons of things you don't like about yourself.  Physical traits or personality traits you feel like you fail at.  It feels weird to make a list (and weider to share it) claiming things I like about myself.  But turns out it was a really good idea.  I actually came up with about seven pretty easily, and had to search a little more for three more.  

My legs.  While there are things I find myself complaining about when it comes to my legs, I love that they are strong.  They ran many races, including three marathons.  They've played many games of soccer and make me feel strong.  

Stubbornness.  I love that when I set my mind to do something, I will do it.  I hate giving up and will keep doing something until I finish.  My stubbornness helped me finish marathons, do well in school and push for over 3 1/2 hours during childbirth.

My handwriting.  I remember loving my sister's handwriting in middle school and practicing to make it look nicer.  I actually used to like taking notes in high school and college because I liked my handwriting and like practicing.  (Hello nerd?  Oh wait. We're focusing on the positives here)

Loyalty.  I struggled a lot with friendships during middle school and high school.  I was often disappointed with friends and felt let down or left out.  I don't know if it's because of that , but I think I am a really loyal friend.  

Creativeness.  I love being creative as a teacher.  I loved making a lesson more exciting, making a bulletin board or coming up with a new project.  At home I love making a craft I see online, decorating our house or making something for Addilyn. 

My hands.  I like them. 
Compassion and Empathy.  I am so aware that every pain and trial are different.  And that our struggles with infertility are much less than so many people deal with.  But through it I think God softened and opened my heart to being more compassionate and understanding of others.  I think about others way more often, pray for them and try to think of ways I can show I'm thinking about them.  

Disciplined.  Ironically I just posted about my lack of discipline spiritually, but overall being disciplined is one of my strengths.  In working out, teaching, being organized . . . in most things I like to get things done.  If there is something I need to do I don't like putting it off and want to finish it.  

My ability to find good deals.  I just wish I could make some money of my ability to find things so cheaply.  

Motherhood. There are countless times I have felt overwhelmed with my role as a mom the last eight months.  Plenty of things that I don't second guess and wonder if I'm doing the right thing, and know that will happen over and over.  But I know that I love Addilyn more than anything, that her most important needs will always be met and I'm confident in knowing that God picked me to be the best mom for Addilyn. 

Thank you Lauren.  Thanks for the reminder to focus on strengths and things I like about myself.  I think you should do the same!


March 30, 2014


I'm disappointed in that fact that it's taken me awhile but I am finally working on being disciplined in having consistent quiet times.  As one of my new years resolutions, I've failed the last few months.  My intentions were there but putting into practice was a struggle.  I've been praying for a stronger desire to be in the Word and grow in my relationship with God, and the last few weeks I am making it a priority throughout the week. 

Sometimes I think it takes going through the motions even if the desire isn't there.  It's like asking for God to give you wisdom without reading His word, which is filled with wisdom.  Asking God for a desire to know Him, without doing anything about it.  But I'm ready to do something about it.  

I've tried to spent the first part of Addi's morning nap reading my Bible, and journaling.  Something I used to do often but haven't for way too long.  I love writing out a verse and meditating on the words and meaning, while I draw it out. Praying how God can use that truth in my life.  

I think one of the biggest areas God is teaching me is to work on my role as a wife, while I'm consumed with my role as a mom.  I've been trying to be more intentional about getting together with friends from church and having more meaningful discussions (as much as possible with little babies around).  We decided to start reading this devotional and do our best to hold each other accountable.  I'm excited about this study and something to help me stay consistent in reading.  

I think God is also working on my issues with worry and anxiety.  (Old news, I know).  Whether it's anxiety over sleep (mine or Addilyn's), over traveling with Addilyn, Chris being gone, worry about the future when it comes to my teaching or the stability over Chris' job, or relationships and friendships. I know I will probably always struggle with anxiety but I don't want to give it to that and want to work on it.  

I like resolutions because it's a time to examine goals and desires for the new year, but I'm guilty of forgetting about them shortly after.  But I'm ready to reevaluate and work harder.  Have you stuck to any resolutions? Ready to reevaluate some of your goals?  Tell me!


March 27, 2014

Future bribery

For every one picture I post of Addilyn on instagram or on my blog I take approximately fifteen others. Addilyn does smile quite a bit, but does not sit still and is not a fan of looking at the camera anymore.  Which makes for some not so cute ones.  

I used to delete all of the less flattering pictures until I realized that they are really quite funny.  And I'm kind of disappointed that I deleted so many of them.  But I've learned and am now keeping a stash of them, which may just come in handy some day.

Dear Addilyn.  Some day you'll get older and get to look back on all the posts I wrote about you.  Overall I think you'll be thrilled.  To read how much we love you and all the pictures of your cute, adorable baby self. This post may not be your favorite.

Hope you have a great weekend friends!


March 26, 2014

You might not want to be my friend if you knew . . .

tunic:  groopdealz   leggings: jcpenney  boots: dsw

the amount of times I've worn these boots this winter.  I buy winter I mean Fall, Winter and "Spring" or whatever season we are really in right now. 

how little I wash my sheets. 

or for that matter dust. 

that I've not only stopped telling Molly to "leave it" when Addilyn spits up on the floor, but I now call her over to clean up.

that I don't care for beer or chocolate cake. 

that I don't love talking on the phone. Unless you are my mom or sister.  

that I'm convinced I am going to look tired for the rest of my life.  


March 25, 2014

Monogram that

sweatshirt: crystal faye    jeans: kohls   flats: target

I'm pretty sure my decorating and crafting motto could be "When in doubt, put an initial on it."  I don't even want to count how many things I have around my house that have a V on it.  

Or how many pieces of jewelry that I have that have a K or an A (for Addilyn) on it.  Perhaps a little overboard.  

But I have yet to have a piece of clothing with my initials on it.  I debated buying one of these sweatshirts for far too long.  With the nudge of my sister, who was probably sick of hearing me or reading texts from me asking if it was worth it to buy one, I finally did it and I love it. 

They also have the cutest Mommy and Me matching monogram sweatshirts, which I want to get one for Addilyn when she can fit in one.  That is if monogramming is still cool by then.  Which stylish or not, I'm pretty sure I'll still be wearing this sweatshirt. 


March 24, 2014

Current baby favorites

Remember how I did a monthly baby favorites post?  One time?  Oops.  Jennifer and I had all intentions of keeping that up but clearly failed miserably.  And honestly the thing is that every baby and every mom is SO different that I'm not sure if those posts are even helpful.  

But to completely contradict what I just said here are some of our recent baby favorites from the last few months: 
(1) exersaucer:  Now this isn't the exact one we have but close enough.  This is how I shower, get dressed, go to the bathroom, fold laundry, do anything with both hands.  She loves it and it keeps her entertained for little amounts of time here and there.  The only downside it is takes up so much space and is a pain to move from room to room.  

(2) sleep sacks: I honestly thought Addilyn would never be unswaddled, but thankfully we survived.  She sleeps in these sleep sacks for naps and bedtime.  It's nice since it's cold here so it's like a blanket.  Plus I think it's a good single for her that it's time to sleep. 

(3) ergo: I have a baby b'journ and a few slings, but this is my favorite.  I honestly haven't used it a ton because it's freezing outside, but I know we'll use it a lot when we go on walks.  It's been great for grocery shopping, since Addilyn still isn't great at sitting in the cart. 

(4) baby piano: This is probably Addilyn's favorite toy.  We spend a good amount of time sitting in front of this.  She can pull herself up now and is so happy just standing, listening to the music and eating all of the fun things that are sticking out of the top.  Only downfall is that she has banged her head on the keys in her over excitement quite a few times. 

(5) lamb: When we were trying to get Addilyn to sleep unswaddled and get herself to sleep on her own we wanted her to have some kind of blanket or stuffed animal.  I love this one because it's soft, small, and mostly flat so she often ends up sleeping with her head on it.  We got this one as a gift but actually ordered another one just in case we ever lose this one!

(6) sound machine: I love this sound machine.  We use it for all of Addi's naps and overnight. It's nice because it's not that big or heavy so the few times we haven't been at home we've been easily able to bring it with. 

These have been our favorites for that last few months and I think we'll keep using these for the next few too. Moms what is or what was your babies favorites at this time or in the months to come? 


March 23, 2014

Hello hello

flannel: old navy   tank top: hello apparel  jeggings: walmart  boots: zulily 

Hello tank top.  I never would've thought to wear this tank top under a flannel shirt if I didn't see it on pinterest.  Thank you social media.  

Hello song. Addi and I go to a music class together every Monday and she loves it.  There is this hello song we sing at the beginning and it is stuck in my head about 70% of the time.  

Hello cute baby tutu. I don't know why I waited so long to put this on Addilyn. 

Hello online shopping. I think I resort to online shopping when Addilyn isn't sleeping well.  It's a great coping mechanism. This week I bought two shirts on zulily, and two things on groopdealz.  I can't even remember what the second one was.  That is a problem.  
gold band
Hello gold jewelry. I used to only like silver jewelry but the last year or so I am liking gold more and more.  I have a few gold pieces of jewelry but someday (hint, hint Chris. Anniversary present?) I'd like a diamond gold band like this one from fresh trends.  

Hello Lindsay from the The Newlywed Notebook.  Lindsay blogs about being a homeowner, dog mom to Stella and life as a newlywed.  She spends most of her weekends renovating their new home and are self-proclaimed movie enthusiasts.  Lindsay is a DIY addict, food lover and organizational queen.  (Please come help me at my house!).  She also shares wedding planning tips, funny newlywed anecdotes and tips for living life to the fullest on a budget.  My kind of girl.  Go check her out!

Hello to a new week!


March 20, 2014

My post baby image

There are circumstances in life where pretty quickly I wonder what God is trying to tell me through it. Then there are others where it takes me way too long to realize that maybe He is using this struggle to grow me and teach me something.  

I've mentioned before that I have some lingering postpartum issues that continue to stick around.  I have been trying to workout more and I feel like there are lots of things working against me.  One of the biggest being energy and motivation.  Getting back into a workout routine is not coming easily to me.  

I don't think I realized until now the value that I placed on working out and getting dressed and my overall appearance before I had a baby.  While I was never super confident or always loved the way I looked, I felt strong, healthy and more put together regularly. 

By no means was I this all star athlete, but I could pretty easily do a hard intense workout, or run many miles.  Despite a busy schedule I worked out for 45 minutes to an hour just about every day for a few years.  I felt like I was disciplined and would do whatever it took to get a workout in, but when I think about it I realize that it was a little obsessive. Or maybe a lot.  I think in general I have a more obsessive personality.  I tend to think about things and if I decide to do something, I'm going to follow through, and in this case meant making working out a huge priority.  Which isn't bad, unless it starts to define you. 

Which again, I didn't realize that it did until that was taken away.  When I was pregnant and on bedrest I was really scared to work out and took it pretty easy most of my pregnancy.  I'd walk a lot, but that was about it.  But it didn't bother me as much because I feel like I wasn't expected to be in shape.  I mean hello baby bump.  Completely acceptable and necessary to take it easy when you're pregnant.  I was still getting dressed up and felt put together most of the time when I was pregnant. 

These days there isn't much use for cute shoes and dressy looks.  While I still get dressed in something other than sweats a few days a week, it definitely isn't the same.  I don't have the same time to pick out an outfit or blow dry my hair every day.  I miss getting ready for work and having that feeling of being put together.  I've started working out regularly and find myself getting frustrated.  It's been uncomfortable and hard to run.  I feel slow and weak and tired.  

I didn't think about the value and self worth I put on my appearance and the confidence that working out regularly gave me.  Those things made me feel good about myself, and while I think they are still important they shouldn't define me.  

I think I have a hard time finding balance in life.  Since starting to work out I find myself feeling like I should try to fit it in every day (which has yet to happen and probably won't and that is completely okay.  And healthy.)  I don't want to obsess over working out. I don't want to feel like I need to dress cute to feel good about myself.  

I've felt a lot of pressure lately, feeling like I need to be in better shape.  That I need to be watching what I eat and making healthier choices.  That I should be making cute outfits out of all the clothes hanging in my closet.  But I am ready to find a healthier balance.  To work out because I need some "me" time and want to be healthy.  To find a balance between healthy foods and enjoy things that taste to me too.  To get dressed to make me feel like I'm ready for the day.  But to not put my self worth in any of those things.  

I know that God is using this transition in my life to show me that my value doesn't come from the outfits I wear, or what shape my body is in.  

Going through pregnancy and motherhood is humbling.  So much of your freedom and time and self esteem feels non existent at times.  But that is not what defines me.  I need to find my worth in being a good wife, a mom, a friend and most importantly a child of God.  


March 19, 2014

5 Ways I have it all together

After writing this post last week, I figured I'd think about the things that have gone well this last week. 

cardigan: target   tee: american eagle (tjmaxx)  leggings: jcpenney  boots: dsw

1.  I got dressed again.  In something other than my workout pants. 

2.  I worked out four times last week.  I should get to say five because I attempted to workout at the Y one day, but Addilyn didn't make it even ten minutes in the childcare so an eight minute workout was all for that day.  

3. Despite our fail at the Y that day, I still tried again later during the week and thankfully she did great! We also finally put Addilyn in the nursery at church and she did pretty good too.  Unfortunately both services are during her nap times so she was a little fussy and we went and got her early, but she still did well for her first time! 

4.  I had a few friends from church over and made these donut muffins (but in a mini muffin pan) and they were delicious.  I proceeded to eat all the leftovers in the next few days, which should not belong on this list. 

5. I've done better at watching less tv and spending more quiet time during Addilyn's nap this last week.  A few days I read my Bible and am still reading the book Seven, which is making me do quite a lot of thinking.  

P.S.  Why do pictures look so much better when they involve a cup of coffee?


March 18, 2014

Hello 8 Months

Dear Addilyn, 

I know I say this every month but this month I really mean it! You have grown and changed so much and I can't believe how fast time is going.  I love the new things you are doing, but I miss those snuggly newborn days and want time to slow down a little.   Your personality is really coming out this month.  You are silly, active and love being around others.  You are constantly wanting to move and play and interact with whoever is around.  

You rarely cry and are happy most of the time, as long as you are being entertained and played with. You'll be content in your highchair or exersaucer for short periods of time, but usually like to be played with on the floor or on the couch.  You love being tossed in the air, playing peek-a-boo and running around the house.  You laugh a lot more these days and your sweet little giggles are so cute.  You don't make your manly grunting sounds as often, which surprisingly I miss.  You've started making "la la la" and "ba ba ba" sounds.  And have discovered that you can scream, yell and make all kinds of noises!

This month you ate puffs for the first time and you love them! Whenever I take out the bottle and shake it you start flailing your hands and laughing.  No matter how many I put on your try, you try to grab them altogether and put them all in your mouth.  They've worked well for bribing you to sit still for pictures too!

 Besides loving puffs you like just about any food we've given you.  Sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, apples, pears, peaches, and bananas to name a few.  Your favorite food is probably yogurt.  I'm pretty sure you could eat tons of it if I let you!

You love being in the water.  You love the pool at the Y and love taking baths at home.  You've started splashing more and kicking your feet.  It's taken you awhile but you can finally sit up for an extended period of time on your own.  You aren't crawling yet, but can get up on your hands and knees and rock back and forth.  You can scoot backwards and turn in circles, you just can't move forward yet!

 Minus this last week, you've been doing such a great job sleeping.  You go to bed between 7 and 8 and wake up between 4 and 5 to eat and then sleep until about 6:30.  This last week you've been crying when we put you to bed and waking up earlier in the night.  I think you are dealing with a little separation anxiety and hopefully will be back on track soon!  You still take three naps a day and the length of the first two are a little unpredictable and the last one is just about always 30 minutes.

Our days look pretty much the same as last month.  We're always home in the morning until after your first nap.  We both stay in our pajamas, make coffee, eat breakfast, unload the dishwasher and hang out in the living room.  After your morning nap we try to get out of the house.  We often go visit my friends at school during their lunch time and recently started going to the Y twice a week.  You've done pretty good in the childcare there, except for once.  I hope we can keep going as it's good for me to workout and good for you to be around other kids and adults without me.  We go to music class or have playdates with friends, and we see your grandparents often during the week too which is great for both of us!  I am so excited for warmer weather so we can go on walks and play outside.

I love your big eyes, long eyelashes, scrunched up nose, big cheeks and perfect smile.  You make my heart happy every day and I am so lucky to be your mom.  This month has been so fun to watch your little (or big) personality come out.  There are some moments where I get a little nervous about mothering your active, wild self in the future.  But I'm so thankful that God gave us a spunky, funny, full of life baby girl and I can't wait to watch you grow into a little girl (although not too fast!).  I hope some day you know how much your daddy and I love you!


your mom


March 17, 2014

It will come

sweater: kohls   jeans: old navy  flats: target  necklace: groopdealz

If I start dressing in springy colors and stop wearing boots, Spring will come sooner right? 

I realize, like always, I'm behind on the trends but I finally have something neon.  I bought this sweater for $6 the other week at Kohls.  I was really hoping it would work with leggings but no such luck.  I'm not sure why I thought it'd cover my butt at home since it didn't in the dressing room.  Blame it on trying on clothes with a squirming 8 months old on the dressing room floor.  

Thankfully I'm happy wearing it with my new jeans.  Wish I failed to mention in my last post what kind they were and many of you commented asking.  I tried to respond to your comments but may have missed some.  Sorry!  They are the rock star skinny mid rise jeans and are still only $19.  

And I never know how to end these posts and have been staring at my screen for over ten minutes.  So I'm wasting not a minute more . . . . .