. . . for Lauren and Lauren: April 2015

April 29, 2015

I Couldn't Live without . . . . Wish Lists

Chris isn't too hard to please in terms of holidays and birthdays, as we rarely make a big deal of those days and both are happy with a dinner together and maybe a smaller gift.  But when I do decide to buy Chris a present I rarely know what to get him.  I'm super thankful for wishlists, especially those on Amazon where Chris looks on often.  His birthday is in two weeks, so I made a list of a few things I think he'd love: 

Flashlight: This some fancy flashlight that is sitting in Chris' wishlist on Amazon.  I like because it's only $20 and I would think last longer and better than the cheap flashlights we have now. 

Proverbs Journal: Chris got this Proverbs journal a few months ago.  On one side of the page it has the verses for one chapter and on the write it has space for you two write them out your own.  I am a huge fan of writing out Bible verses, both for meditation and memorization and I love that Chris started doing this.  I would love to get him the Psalms journal next. 

Hammer Drill: I know nothing about tools, so again I'm thankful for this (Dewalt one) being in his wishlist already!

Kanken Backpack: Chris loves hiking and usually goes away a few times a year with a friend or his dad and this would be perfect for him.  There's a removable seat cover you can take off, and plenty of room to put whatever he may need, and it looks like it'd be really durable.  

Black and Decker drill tool set:  Again, thankful for this being in his wishlist.  However, I can testify to many times asking for his help in drilling something or putting something together and him not being able to find the right thing he needs.  So this would benefit me too!

Any other good ideas for the men in your life? Our ten year anniversary and Father's day are all within five weeks of each other so I should come up with at least one really good gift! 

What can't you live without this week? Link up below!

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April 28, 2015

Good Vibes Only

good vibes only tee
good vibes only tee
tees: c/o LavenderAndLace  jeans: old navy  sandals: target  
(Addilyn's pants: target  moccasins: freshly picked)

I was so excited to get these tees in the mail!  I've bought Addilyn a few graphic tees, but have yet to buy any for myself (minus my Hello sweatshirt).  There are SO many cute etsy shops and websites with tees I love, but I have a hard time paying a lot of money for a t-shirt.  Which is why Lindsey's shop is so great.  These tees are only $11!  

good vibes only toddler tee
good vibes only toddler tee

My new favorite face for Addilyn.  Covering her mouth because she thinks something is so funny. Addilyn is in a size 2T and it's a little big on her, but I wanted it to last awhile.  I got a size small and it fits fine but I think I'll get a medium for my next shirt (I love this one!) so it's a little looser.  It's soft, cute and it makes me happy.   Maybe I should wear this shirt every Monday to improve my mood.  

mommy and baby good vibes only tee

I loved working with Lindsey and she is so sweet to offer readers a 10% discount using code YAY900. She's also giving away one adult tee from her shop.  Here are two of my favorites: 

Don't you think Addilyn and I need the best friends tee? At least while I can still control what she wears?  Enter below to win a tee of your choice:  And make her to check out my instagram post Wednesday for extra ways to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And one more because Addilyn's laughing face is just the cutest.

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April 26, 2015

New hair, a $20 outfit and other recent deals

top: loft    jeans: gap   flats: kohls

During our girls day last weekend I found this top on final clearance at the Loft for only $4.88.  I love it!  And I got these pants at the Gap for $15.  They feel just like leggings, are super stretchy and comfy, but look just like jeans.  Hence the name jeggings, right?

I got my hair done last week and I was a little nervous because I was going to go darker, and last time when I was pregnant and had darker hair I didn't love it.  I'd love to always have blonde hair but despite expensive shampoo, a shower filter and water softener by hair keeps turning orangy/coopery in the back and I am giving up for now!  But I ended up loving this new color.

Also this top is a recent purchase from Jane.com and I love it.  It's really soft and with shipping was under $15.  I wish I could remember what boutique this necklace was from but it was on clearance for $7 and had free shipping which is always appealing to me! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  We're still fighting some sickness over here and are ready to be healthy.  Especially because our friends Liz and Emma will be here tomorrow!!

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April 23, 2015

National Infertility Week

This week is National Infertility week.  I've written plenty of posts about our journey with infertility, but have never officially brought attention to this week in particular.  I've seen many bloggers share their stories this week and I feel proud of each one of them for sharing something so intimate.  I think it allows others to not feel so alone, and lets those feelings feel a little more "normal" when the whole process feels so not normal. There are so many emotions when it comes to such a personal thing.  

Last week I shared about our thoughts on trying for baby number two, and I think I've gotten over the fear of sharing those personal details, and have felt freedom and healing by having an outlet to process my thoughts.  And a huge blessing that I've received prayers and encouragement.  I don't think I've ever felt more loved and prayed for then when we were going through all of our treatments and waiting.  

In honor of National Infertility week I figured I'd share one of my older posts.  I can't read this or look at these pictures without getting teary.  Part of me feels so far removed from this experience and part of me still feels how hard and painful it was.  I think God allows that so we can heal from it, but also so we can remember what He's brought us through.  I know there are so many women who have been or are in this place.  And so many who have it been battling it far longer than Chris and I did.  So to those woman I think you're amazing.  I think you're strong and doing such a hard thing.  Fighting for your baby and daily longing to hold him or her in your arms.  And to know that you are not alone.  

Here's some words I wrote awhile ago about our story . . . 

The fact that I am writing this story, reflecting on our journey through infertility, seems surreal to me.  There are many days that I still can't believe that I have a baby growing inside of me, which is something that I truly feared would never happen.

There is a part of me that wants to count the amount of doctor's appointments, shots, patches, medicine, tears, phone calls, ultrasounds, and tests I've had to get me to this point.

There is another part of me that wants to forget that all happened, as it was so hard and painful. 

But I don't think that it is one or the other. 

The journey we went on to get to this point has shaped me into a different person.  A person with more sympathy and wisdom, a person with a closer relationship with God and a better understanding of giving up our own plans.  But it has also made me more broken, cautious and guarded than I was before. 

All these things though, I know will make me a better mother, wife, and friend and I am thankful for that. 

Sometimes it's hard for me to think about what we had to go through to get pregnant.  There were so many times where it felt so scientific and medical.  Going to a hospital, being surrounded by doctors, monitored as if I was undergoing some abnormal procedure, when so many get to just "make a baby."  For me it involved weeks and weeks of preparation and monitoring, then laying on a hospital bed, surrounded by five men.  Far from anything romantic or personal. 

Sometimes it's hard to not feel like so much of a normal pregnancy was taken from me.  A normal way to get pregnant, to find out your pregnant, to tell your family and friends.  The journey it took to get here seemed long, hard, draining and painful.  Two years of waiting, months of hormone pills, two failed IUI's, and three rounds of IVF.  It took a huge toll on my body psychically and emotionally.

I recently found a blogger who shares about her infertility struggles and recently wrote about going into the journey of IVF with a mindset to enjoy the process.  As well as how thankful she was for medicine and doctors that would allow her to get pregnant.  I can honestly say that I am thankful for medicine and IVF and doctors, but truthfully the only thing I enjoyed about the actual process was that it eventually worked.  While thankful, there isn't anything I enjoyed about the shots, appointments, emotions and process. I am however thankful for the lessons that God taught me and the ways it strengthened my relationship with God and with my husband. 

I imagine it being compared to the training and running I did for the marathon.  As I was running it, I'd say over and over how hard it was, time consuming and draining.  And how I can't imagine doing it again.  The second I crossed the finish line, just about everything hard and painful left my mind, and I was left with this amazing feeling of accomplishment and signed up to do it again.  It all was worth it.

I certainly know that a baby is far more of an accomplishment, as well as the journey far more painful and draining to get there.  But I imagine that when I hold my baby in July, or even the times now when I hear the heartbeat or see his/her precious self on an ultrasound, the pain and hardships immediately seem every minute worth it

I think that our journey through infertility will always be a part of me, a part of our story and a part of our baby's story.  I can imagine how much each mother loves their child when they're pregnant, and I can't even image the love that will come when I met my baby.  But I feel as though I have loved this baby for two years before I knew it was here.  I prayed daily for this baby, sacrificed for this baby and thought about this baby for such a long time.

The bottom line is that God was going to give us a baby in His perfect timing.  Past our own doings, or what our doctor, medicine and science could control.

I think about my baby by the minute and couldn't be more thankful that my time is here.  However it may be that brought us to this point.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” -1 Samuel 1:27

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April 22, 2015

I couldn't live without . . . . online shopping

I never used to be an online shopper, and there are still things that I wouldn't buy online like jeans, unless I had the exact pair already and knew how they'd fit.  But in the last two years I find myself often buying things online, whether through deal a day sites or cheaper clothing sites, like Sheinside.  I've been given a good amount of clothes from them and I have loved each one.  Here are some of my favorites: 

These two pieces are on their way to me and I can't wait to wear them.  I've wanted an embroidered dress for awhile and think this tunic will be cute with jeans or leggings (and it's under $20).  I think this floral kimono will be super cute with the striped dress above or a striped tank top.

What are your favorite online sites? Please share! And link up what you can't live without this week! 

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April 20, 2015

Girls' Day

This last Saturday my sister, my friend Meredith and I spent the day together.  We went to a town about an hour away, left in the morning and came home after dinner (and bedtime).  It was absolutely wonderful.  We drank coffee, went shopping, walked around cute shops, drank wine, sat around, ate Mexican food, and had lots of uninterrupted conversations.  

(I found this $5 sweatshirt from the Loft and I love it!)

I'm so thankful that my sister lives here so we can do things like this, and am lucky to have these two girls as my close friends.  And am thankful for a sweet husband that's happy to spend all day with Addilyn.  What a refreshing day! 

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April 19, 2015

Looking forward to . . .

tee: kohls    pants: gap   shoes: target

Wearing these shoes often this Spring and Summer.  I realize it's probably ridiculously impractical to wear white shoes while playing outside with a toddler, so maybe I'll have to find some way to clean them well! 

My friend Liz coming a week from today!  I can't believe she's really coming to visit and can't wait to spent four days with her and Emma.  

Sharing all about this book.  I think I mentioned before that I get to be on a launch team for Jen Hatmaker's new book, For the Love.  I just finished reading it and it is so good.  I can't wait to share more about it and what I've taken away from it. 

Making this salad over and over this Summer.  I made it a week or so ago and ate it almost everyday for lunch.  I've never cooked with quinoa before but need to find more recipes for it because I loved it. 

A new week.  The last two weeks have been a little rough, with a sick or super crabby toddler, really early mornings and not the best attitude from us both.  I'm determined to make this week a better one!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a great start to the week!

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April 16, 2015

If you thought booties were bad

floral shift dress
floral shift dress
dress: c/o sheinside   boots: target

I've tried to avoid typing or writing the word bootie too often.  It just doesn't feel right to say, and I feel like unless I'm referring to baby shoes, I shouldn't be using it.  But somehow it's slowly slipped into my vocabulary as my love for them has increased over the year.  These trusty $8 booties from Target have certainly gotten their share of wear this last year.  

A few weeks ago a friend used the word shooties instead and I had to ask her twice what she was saying.  I had never heard that one before, but my sister than tagged me in someone's instagram post using it too.  I think I'll stick with booties if I have to pick one. 

Side note.  I tried for at least 10 minutes to use photoshop to get rid of the splashed mud on my garage door.  That is ten minutes I'll never get back and could have probably cleaned at least half of it during that time.  Lesson learned.  

(I love this new dress from sheinside and have had a few people ask me about their sizing.  I always check the measurements in the description as each item seems to vary in what size I get.)

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April 15, 2015

I Couldn't live without . . . . Aunt Lo

top & shoes: target    pants: jcpenney

Last week Chris and I got to go out on a date thanks to my wonderful sister in law.  We met some friends at Portillos for a quick dinner, then Chris and I headed to a movie.  We never ever go to movies, which was clear when we arrived right on time and the show was sold out.  As was every other movie but Cinderella.  No thank you.  I had no idea that movie theatres sold out.  We ended up meeting back up with our friends and went to a winery, had wine, cheese and delicious dessert.  Way more fun than a movie.  And we didn't get home till 10:30.  Yes, we should be embarrassed but instead we felt incredibly wild and cool.  

Because Addilyn has two Aunt Laurens, my sister in law is Aunt Lo and for the longest time Addi said it as one word and it was the cutest thing ever.  Lauren is our go to babysitter and I don't know what we would do without her.  She is the best and we love her.  We're so grateful she lives so close and is such a wonderful aunt! 

Now if only she would clean the bottom of our garage because I am well aware that looks terrible in these pictures.  

What can you not live without this week? Link up below!

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April 13, 2015

Waiting for baby number 2

As we get closer to Addilyn turning two, I'm struggling more with the want for another baby, which brings on a whole realm of emotions.  For the most part I've been able to push them aside and feel completely content with where we are now, but as we get closer to Addilyn turning two I find myself thinking about it more often.  We've said for a long time that once she's two we'll talk seriously about a plan, whether that be fertility treatments or adoption and to be honest both scare me.  

There's been a handful of times this last month that I've thought of our lost babies through our fertility treatments.  I know there are so many women who have miscarriages and this is a common thing, but it is still hard and sad.  I know we have four babies in heaven that we never got to meet.  The idea of going through fertility treatments, knowing there are high possibilities to endure more losses is really hard.  There is so much that is not black and white when it comes to what I feel like are the best choices regarding fertility treatments and I struggle with this a lot.  I know without a doubt that God gave us Addilyn through IVF and it was His perfect plan.  But there are times I think about the fact that we had to lose four embryos in order to get Addilyn and I don't want to do that again.  We agonized over decisions, like how many eggs to fertilize because we didn't want a lot left over but didn't want to end up without any quality ones to use.  I know that ultimately God was in control of every decision we made along the way, but they were decisions that took up a lot of time, energy and prayer.  This unappealing part of the fertility treatments is almost as big as the physical and financial toll, which are both huge reasons I'm afraid to do it again.  

I think there was a part of me that thought I was going to be one of those women that go through fertility treatments and then gets pregnant easily on their own after having a baby.  Chris and I have never done anything to prevent getting pregnant since Addilyn has been born, and while I shouldn't be surprised, I'm disappointed I haven't been one of those woman.  I still have hope that it could happen, but the longer it goes the less I feel like that's a possibility.  

Today I saw two different pregnancy announcements (for baby number two) and I cried.  The day before I got my period and thought there was a chance, although so small, that I may be pregnant this month.  I felt sad and disappointed.  I think I've felt that since we already have a baby, I shouldn't be sad about not having another one.  Like it's greedy and unappreciative of what we do have.  But I think that there is a line between acknowledge your desires, letting yourself be sad, and to be content where you are.  

For a long time I felt like infertility defined who I was.  It was something that was on my mind all the time and I had to work hard to not let it take over my life.  I know that it is so different now that we have Addilyn, but it's a desire to have a baby nonetheless and I'm afraid to go through all those feelings again.  The jealousy of other pregnancies, disappointment of another month not being pregnant, and then more so the unknown and uncertainty of infertility or adoption.  

I remind myself that God taught me so much through our infertility until we got pregnant with Addilyn.  I would be a completely different person had I not gone through those struggles.  And I know whatever our journey looks like to expanding our family, God is going to do the same.  That it's okay to be sad and okay to acknowledge the desire for another baby.  But to continue to pursue contentment and be thankful for this exact place where God has us.  

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April 12, 2015

Spring Tunic and Tornados

tunic: jane,com    leggings & shoes: target

This tunic is my favorite clothing item I've purchased from Jane.  It's always a gamble ordering clothes online from those sites, as I feel like the sizes can be so off, usually running extra small for me.  But this one is perfect for Spring, which the weather is finally starting to warm up.  This week every day says at least 60 degrees, which makes me happy!  

We had huge storms on Thursday, and while I love the rain and thunder, I could do without the tornado warnings.  Twenty minutes after a struggle to get Addilyn to sleep, tornado sirens went off and we had to wake her up to bring her downstairs.  She was quite confused and kept saying "no want under the stairs."  Thankfully we only sat under the basement stairs for less than five minutes, until the sirens turned off.  Only an hour or so away from us a tornado hit and caused some pretty serious damage.  So thankful they missed us, and I hope we don't have much of that again this Spring!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

April 9, 2015

High Five for Friday

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dove. I received a product sample and promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

1.  It's been far too long since a High Five for Friday post.  Sometimes I forget that I own pants that aren't skinny jeans.  Also I apparently lied when I said I was posting my last snow on the ground picture.  Seriously, spring??

2. We had a rough few days over here and Tuesday morning my best friend and her daughter dropped by early morning with coffee and donuts.  I felt loved and thankful for these girls.  

3.  I've spent way too long looking for cute boyfriend jeans online.  I want a pair that's distressed, but not completely destroyed like a lot of ones I've seen.  I like the look of these two pairs from Simons. Now if only I could try them on without buying them first! 

4.  I'm two weeks into the 21 Day Fix Extreme and am really enjoying it.  All but Saturday, I've done the workout videos during Addilyn's nap, which means I don't get to shower until many hours later or the next morning.  Next week, I get to try out Dove Advanced Care Deodorant and I'm excited because I find myself putting on deodorant many times a day, and would love to do it once and not worry about how I smell!  So a deodorant that provides 48 hour odor protection sounds great.  (Does that mean it gives me permission to not shower for at least two days?)  Lucky you, I get to share my experience in the next two weeks.  

5.  I'm excited for a weekend with warmer weather, a date night and hopefully all three of us staying healthy! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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