. . . for Lauren and Lauren: July 2017

July 31, 2017

On saying yes

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I know there are a ton of people that write or talk about how they can't say no, or need to work on saying no more often.  I actually am pretty good at saying no.  Sometimes I think it's really healthy and that I know my boundaries and what works for my family.  And other times I think I'm making my family ridgid and I probably miss out on some fun things.  So I'm learning where that line is and am trying to say yes more often. 

Fourth of July weekend was a great example.  We had few plans for the four days before they came and then ended up doing so many things.  We said yes to a boat ride, a neighbor's party, BBQ at a friends and fireworks at another friends.  We were home very little and off our normal schedules.  

And about 80% of it went well.  Which I'm going to say is pretty good odds.  Isaac did great at the fireworks until the last ten minutes.  We then proceeded to sit in the car and not move AN INCH for over an hour.  At 10:00 at night.  I was about to lose my mind. We didn't get the kids to bed until after 11:00.  Isaac then woke up at his normal 5:30 and cried for a straight hour and a half and was so so crabby the next few days. Like he was paying me back for the four hours of sleep he missed that night.  BUT Addi had a total blast and it was one of my favorite things watching her.  It was a rough morning after and even maybe a few days of crabbiness for Isaac, but looking back a few weeks later it feels totally worth and was a great family memory for us.

The other Saturday we decided last minute to join my family at the zoo.  To someone else that may seem like no big deal and a completely normal, fun thing to do.  To me if felt out of character and a big deal.  I don't really like the zoo, it's far, a full day trip and just not my thing.  But Chris loves it and I knew Addi would too, and I wanted to spend time with my parents and nieces and nephew. We had 15 minutes to pack up our bags and drive over an hour to the zoo.  Skip nap times, plans to get things done that day, and do something fun as a family for the whole day.  Just about every part of the day went well.  And I'm so glad we said yes.

I am a full advocate of schedules and routines and predictability.  It makes me happy, sane and feels important to my family.  And I want most of my days to be full of those things.  But I'm slowly learning the importance of saying yes in those circumstances. In knowing that it'll be tiring and more work, but often come with fun memories.  And remembering that sometimes saying yes may still mean a disaster trip, or sitting in your car not moving an inch at 10:30 at night with both kids.  But in the long run the yeses will be worth it.

July 24, 2017

The last

 top: c/o shein

New piece of clothing I gotthis top.  It's one size which it's always a little risky, but I love it.  Really comfy and I think it'll look super cute with a cardigan and jeans in the fall. 

Thing I ate: a handful of M&M's.  

Show I watched: the Bachelorette.  I will be sad when it's over, especially since Bachelor in Paradise won't be on after.  We have very few shows to watch these days. 

Podcast I listened to: Jen Hatmaker has a new podcast and I love her and loved listening to her first episode.  

Book I read: I'm not a huge reader, but do enjoy it once it awhile.  It's taking me awhile (because of shows like the Bachelor) but I'm ready Lisa Jo Baker's book Never Unfriended and am really liking it. I'm hoping to read the rest of it on our vacation.  (Is it called a vacation if it's with two little kids??) 

Thing I searched for to buy online: I really want a rug for our living room but haven't bought one because I'm afraid our kids will ruin it and keep thinking I'll wait till they are older.  Yet I look online all the time.  

Thing I did with the kids: I took them both to the beach by myself and was really proud of myself. It actually went really well and we all had fun!  I'm make sure to remember that when our next solo outing doesn't go as well! 


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July 23, 2017

Favorite summer dress for $18

dress: c/o shein

I LOVE this dress.  I love that it's smoked at the top so the arms stay in place.  It's so comfy and I want to wear it somewhere immediately!   It has two little slits in the front that I thought may be weird looking, but they aren't at all.  (For reference I got this dress in a large.  I always look at the measurements for each item because sometimes their sizes run different.  Reading the reviews help too!)  Hope you're having a great start to your week! 

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July 20, 2017


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ONE.  I wore this pants to my in-laws for dinner the other day and my father in law asked me if I was wearing pajamas.  I shouldn't be offended as they look and do feel just like pajamas, but hopefully an acceptable outfit.  I bought them at Target when Addi was a baby and still love them four years later. 

TWO.  We've been talking about upgrading our kitchen with new countertops since we moved, as the counters and backsplash are this heavy green tile.  Which is a total pain and gross in terms of cleanliness and I don't like how it looks either.  Our cabinets are a lighter brown and I want a grey/white quartz countertop with white subway tile backsplash but am nervous how it'll look. Anyone have brown cabinets and white backsplash? Send me a picture if you do!

THREE.  I am loving these relaxed peplum tops.  I have a few like them (and own the yellow one below) and love them.  They are comfy and I feel like they look great with shorts now and will look cute with a sweater and jeans in the Fall.  Plus they are all under $13! 

one  // two // three
one  // two  // three

FOUR.   I got this sunscreen as part of an Influenster box to review and I love it.  I put it on Addi the first time and she said on her own "This is so smooth and smells good."  I usually use the generic spray sunscreen and still do as it's so easy to put on, but I've seen a bunch of those sunscreen articles about safe best sunscreen and do care about what I put on my kids!  This stuff goes a long way and really does go on smoother and easier.  I love it! 

Image result for La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids Sunscreen SPF 60
(I received this product free for testing, but all opinions are my own.)

FIVE.  We leave for vacation tomorrow!  We're heading to Wisconsin with my whole family for a week. I am so excited about spending a whole week together.  We'll be renting a house on the lake and I can not wait!  

July 19, 2017

Birthday Interveiw

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Toddlers are crazy and bipolar, so I honestly don't trust any answers.  And I asked a few the next day and they were already different.  So perhaps this interview is pointless, but still fun to do.  Read her answers from last year here. 

What is your favorite thing to do?  eat ice cream 
Do you have any nicknames?  Rob, Addi, Addi Vale  (Literally said Rob.  I said "Addi, no one calls you Rob." and she said "Yes they do.  They said 'Want to play Rob" all the time.) 
What do you want to be when you grow up? fire fighter and help people get better
What is your favorite thing to do with the family?  eat ice cream with all of us, kiss and hug and sing and dance
Who are your best friends?  Aaliyah, Ellie, Lena and all my cousins 
What makes you happy?  playing with my friends
What do you like to learn about?  firefighters, preschool
What makes you sad? When I don't have any friends to visit me
What do you do really well?  loving mama
If you had a million dollars what would you buy?  a million toys
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  play tag
If you could go anywhere, where would it be?  to Target and buy lots of toys 
If you could have one wish, what would it be? another Addi or another one of mama 
What is your favorite birthday present?  scooter and my note pad 
Favorite things:
food: oatmeal  (so not true.  I'd say waffles or cereal) 
holiday: 4th of July
book: Jack & Annie books
toy: coloring books
treat: chocolate 
song: You are my sunshine, Shout it Out He is Risen 
animal: bunny
movie: Trolls  
color: pink

July 18, 2017

Our day with the birthday girl

Last Friday Addilyn turned four and we had such a fun day celebrating her!  I love that she looked forward to her birthday, help make plans and was just so excited the whole day.  

I decorated her door and she was so excited when I got her in the morning.  We had Lucky Charms for breakfast, and headed off to donuts at the park later than morning.  The last two years we've invited some friends and family to the park for donuts. It's been such a fun, easy way to celebrate Addi and I think we'll do it every year! 

Waiting for her friends to arrive!
 We are so thankful for friends who love our sweet girl.

After Isaac's nap we went to my in-laws house.  My mother-in-law made Addi the cutest flower cake and then we took a walk around the neighborhood and down to the lake by their house.  We had wanted to swim but it was too cool.  Which is crazy because last year on her birthday it was in the 90's!

I took the kids to Culver's for dinner and then we came home.  Chris had been out of town all week and thankfully got home about a half hour before bedtime so he got to see Addi on her birthday. She had such a great day and I am so thankful we live by family and friends that can help celebrate her! 

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July 13, 2017


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Dear Addilyn - 

FOUR.  I can't believe you are a four year old.  

You are still this tiny little thing.  You weigh 30 pounds and are mostly in 3T clothing.  We'll find out at your next dr. appointment how tall you are, but you're definitely a short little thing.  Your big brown eyes are still my favorite and you are becoming less and less this little toddler and turning into a beautiful girl.  

You are so smart.  You have the best memory.  You do not forget random words you learn, things people say and memories we've had.  Which can be good and bad for me! You are so sassy and feisty with your words.  And with your facial expressions.  You know so many random things like the streets everyone lives on, doctor's names, birthdays, and tons of weird words like "emancipate and cream of tartar." You are such a little character and say the funniest things.  Like most toddlers you are also incredibly dramatic.  

You've gotten much more affectionate.  You've always been affectionate to me, but now you always hug your cousins, grandparents and many others!  I know it makes them all so happy! 

You've become so much more independent.  I'm sure some of that is just because you're getting older, but I think a lot is because Isaac is here and you've had to learn how to do things on your own and how to let others help you.  You went to preschool this year, which was really hard at first, but has helped with this a lot too.  Dropping you off places used to be such a struggle and I am so thankful that you do well when I leave.  You still have times when you cry when I leave you with daddy or a few rough school dropoffs, but they are much more few and farther between.  

You have the best, cutest little imagination.  You love playing with your little dolls, animals, trains, whatever is out.  You make them talk to each other, and can entertain yourself for quite awhile. You love doing crafts and projects.  You love coloring pictures, writing your name and playing with playdough.  You have gotten so good at doing things on your own which has been so nice for me!

You had a rough experience at the dentist and had to get your tooth pulled, which meant you couldn't use your pacifier for three days.  We were going to wait until you were four to take it away, but stuck with it then.  It was NOT easy at all, and made for a rough two weeks but now it's not even a thing anymore.  One day you said "I decided life can be good without my paci and someday when I'm old I'll say 'back in the day I used to use a paci."  We also said goodbye to naps when we got rid of your paci, which was also tough!  I am so glad we held onto those naps for so long, but I miss them! We're working on quiet time in your room when Isaac naps, and you usually end up just watching a show or playing on the ipad.  Your favorite shows are Kate and Mim-mim and Daniel Tiger.  

You love your cousins so much.  We're so lucky we see them so often!  We spend a lot of time at Aunt Lauren's and at Grandma and Grandpa's with your cousins.  You just had your first sleepover at both of their houses and had so much fun!  You also love playing with Kensie and Braydon, and always talk about Aaliyah.  

You and Isaac have started to play together more.  Which also comes fighting over things more too! But you are such a good big sister.  You make sure to kiss him everyday before his naps and bedtime. Give him lots of hugs and share your things with him.  He loves you so much and it makes my heart so happy knowing you two will be friends forever (hopefully, right?)

You get so excited about doing things.  You loved the fireworks, love going to the beach or swimming, and it's been so much fun doing things with you this summer.  I am loving this age and can't wait for age four.  Becoming your mom was something I dreamed about for years and years, and I couldn't be more thankful that God chose you for me.  You make my heart so full and happy and I could not love you more.  

Happy fourth birthday Addilyn Jane! 

July 10, 2017


dress: c/o tobi

Last week I shared about this cute dress (here).  Tobi also sent me two other dresses and I love them all!  This maxi dress is currently on sale for only $11.  It is super flowy and I feel like it could be dressy enough for a summer wedding or shower, but you could also wear it on a date night.  

Also I don't even know how I survived summer or dresses before wearing bralettes.  They are all I want to wear and can't remember the last time I wore a real bra.  It makes maxi dresses or dresses where the armpit section is lower, so much easier and more comfortable.  Forget real strapless bras!  The back of this dress has a tricky back for a "real" bra, but this one is perfect for it.  I think I have five different bralettes and have gotten them all from Aerie online, when they've been $10 or less.  They seem to always have a good amount of them on sale!

They also sent me this t-shirt shift dress. I love how soft it is and it's wider, so not at all clingy. It's a really pretty navy color, which I think will be really cute in the Fall and Winter with boots and a scarf.  (Not like I am ready to think about colder weather yet!).

dress: c/o tobi   sandals: target    cuff: nickel and suede 
Tobi has a ton of other super cute dresses, rompers, tops and everything else!  Plus right now you can use code ST50 and get 50% off their entire site!  Check them out here!  Thank you Tobi for the cute dresses - I can't wait to wear them all!  
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July 9, 2017

Fourth of July

We had such a wonderful fourth of July weekend.  I loved that it fell on a Tuesday because Chris got Monday and Tuesday off, which I of course loved!  The weekend was maybe one of our busiest yet, and I may have been completely peopled out by the end, but it was so fun. 

Saturday we went to my niece's birthday party at the lake by their house.  Addi tried her paddleboard and was so cute.  She loves anything to do with water and could play there for hours! 

Sunday we played at a beach and ate lunch at a restaurant right on the lake, and then went on a friend's boat for a little bit.  The kids loved it.  Addi thought going fast was the best and Isaac loved how windy it got.  I even tried tubing, which I didn't really love it and felt old but we had so much fun! That night we went to a friends for a BBQ and all the kids played outside. That friends group doesn't get together with all our families too often and it made me really happy to have all the kids playing together.

Monday afternoon we swam in our neighbors pool, went to Culver's for dinner and then to a friends for the fireworks.  We debated a bunch about whether or not to bring Isaac but ended up all going.  Addi was so excited about seeing them, and was so fun to watch.  She couldn't stop jumping up and down and hugging her friend and it was adorable.  Isaac did pretty well until the last ten minutes.  I won't mention how we sat in the car without moving for a full hour when it was over.  I am still working on blocking that out of my memory.

Our town as the cutest little parade on the fourth.  Perhaps the smallest parade ever.  Even the tow truck and garage truck are included to make it a decent length, but it is perfect.  The kids get a ton of candy and it isn't crowded or lasting forever!  We saw both of Addi's preschool teachers in the parade and they ran right over to her and gave her a hug and it made my day. We go to my sisters house for donuts beforehand and walk to the parade.  Such a fun tradition!

Tuesday afternoon we went to my sister's for a BBQ with our families.  The kids played in the pool and we sat outside.  The weather was just about perfect all weekend long.  It was busy and super exhausting and we definitely paid for it with Isaac's lack of sleep the next few days.  But I'm so happy we said yes to all those things and had a whole lot of great memories.  What a great summer weekend! 

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