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Christmas Card 2013

 (linking up on Faith's blog today)

I have already talked about how far behind I am this Christmas season. And I think we can all agree that it's not my fault but the fact that Thanksgiving was a whole week later than  usual.

I mean, whose terrible idea was that?

I'm not alone in the fact that I'm behind and that makes me happy. Yes I'm taking satisfaction in the fact that other people are struggling to keep up this holiday season.

Anyways, the other night I sat down to address all my Christmas cards and realized I was missing an entire stack of envelopes.

I thought at first that the printing company jipped me and didn't send me all the envelopes and then the more I thought about it I remembered taking them with me somewhere to address.

But I didn't know where I took them or what happened to them after that point.

Pregnancy brain is real and alive.

So now I have a huge stack of cards with no envelopes. And yes I could go buy more 5x7 envelopes but let's be honest, the chances of me doing that before Christmas are slim to none.

I've resorted to more economical means and have started handing out Christmas cards left and right. Chances are if you make contact with me in the next 24 hours I will just hand you a card. Acquaintance or not.

I was able to get some cards out before I lost the envelopes but a lot of people I sent cards to last year won't get one this year and for that apologize. I hope you can carry on with your year.

Now, after the longest intro into a Christmas Card is our 2013 Christmas card:



I love it SO much! It is probably my most favorite card ever, although I'm sure I say that every single year.

I knew I wasnted something with gold in it, and a bit of sparkly stuff is always fun. Sarah designed them for me and I know she says she isn't a mind reader but I'm pretty sure she is because she always captures exactly what I have in mind.

On a whim I decided to share baby girl's name on the card, and it wasn't until I had already ordered them that I really took a second to think about it and realized that putting it on the Chrsitmas card meant it was pretty much SET IN STONE (slightly joking there). So basically I knocked out two bird's with one stone. Naming my child and ordering Christmas cards. Priorities.

So there is our 2013 card in all it's glory. And if I see you in Target I will hand you a card. Merry Christmas!


Behind at Christmas

I am struggling this December.

I feel like in past years I have done a really good job of being intentional with our December. I usually get my Christmas cards out early, I have our calendar for the month set and make sure to not let it get overloaded.

Most years I have all my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving and all Christmas decorations up for us to enjoy before we even take our first bite of turkey.

This year however, I'm struggling. Big time.

The night of Thanksgiving I sat at the kitchen table at my in-laws house and just looked at my December calendar. I don't know how it happened, or why I let it happen this year but our December was (and still is) packed with "things" to do.

I never want December to become something that is so rushed and stressed that I don't get to enjoy it but I feel like maybe I've let that happen this year.

I just sent out Christmas cards today, I haven't even started Christmas shopping and I let a couple of events fall through the cracks that I love doing every year.

More than anything I'm just upset with myself for letting a season pass by and not truly enjoying all of it. I could blame it on the fact that we just moved and blah blah but really I should have been more intentional about this season.

This past Sunday we had our Christmas program at church. It was Eli's first year to be able to stand on stage and sing. He only sang one song and it was "happy birthday" to Jesus but he rocked it like any Jingle Bell singing two year old would.

I had the privilege of being the virgin Mary in the play, some might call it a privilege, others might say I'm married to the music pastor and am asked a week before the event if I could be Mary. My acting skills required sitting in a rocking chair and staring at a baby doll. I also rocked my performance.

I wasn't able to get a pic of Eli on stage because I was standing back about to make my debut as Mary but I took this picture before the service. The kids were dressed 

He got a little stage fright prior to his performance but then did well once he got up there.

Just about a week till Christmas and I'm going to do my best to not get stressed about how behind I am and just truly enjoy it. And I should probably start shopping for gifts at some point.


Jingle Bells and a banquet


The other day I mentioned that Eli sings Jingle Bells about 400 times a day. I wasn't joking. Here was his first 100 performances this morning. He added the train whistle which adds a bit of flare to the song.

And this is the top of the toy box, he hops up there and just sings his little heart out. Motherhood is a funny thing, because sometimes, when we are singing Jingle Bells for ten straight minutes I will think to myself of all the "things" I need to be doing or cleaning or figuring out.

But then later in the day, perhaps after he has gone to bed I will find myself watching the videos of him singing, just to hear his sweet voice. There are times when the moments seem long and redundant but oh how I never want to take any of those moments for-granted.

Eli and I spent the day inside. I cleaned and he played and sang and played. The streets aren't icy anymore, we could have left, but today seemed like a good day to just hang at home.

My sister came over to our house around 4:00 while I got ready to leave. We had our annual church banquet tonight and I was so excited about it.

It's a little funny that I was so excited about it - don't get me wrong it's a fun event, but I was just excited to get dressed and hang out with my husband and eat a free meal with friends.

As expected it was a great night and lots of fun. It was nice to be with a large group of people from our church away from the church setting and just eat and goof off together. We had a photo booth at the event which always provides endless silly entertainment.


There has been an outbreak of pregnant ladies at our church. There are so many of us who are pregnant and almost all of us are having girls. I can't wait till we have all our babies together and get a pic of them all lined up.

Luke and I didn't want to pass up a chance to take a picture with this Santa and elf to show Eli. Not sure why? Just seemed like a good idea in the moment.

I love all the holiday events this time of the year! 


Silver Frost

I had a holiday event tonight. I love going to shows where various vendors are setup with all their goodies just waiting for me to buy. But it's a problem when I work one, because I end up spending a lot of money, and making deals with the other vendors...."I'll trade you a warmer and bar for that scarf and fudge".

It can be a problem. Especially when I should be making money, not just spending it.

So I was busy with that most of the day, and then I came home and snacked on the homemade salsa and fudge I picked up there. Delicious.

Which left me little to talk about tonight and then I remembered I never showed this month's Warmer of the Month and it's gorgeous so that's what I'm going to do now:

This warmer is called Silver Frost and is 10% off all months and is so pretty!

This is a picture a fellow consultant posted, I love seeing the warmers in their "element" and this picture does a good job of showing how pretty it is: 

And I love that it can be used all winter long - not just at Christmas!

The scent of the month is Spiced Berries:

Honestly...I've never smelled this scent so I can't give a review of it. But if you happen to buy it let me know if you like it! :-)

As always you can visit my Scentsy website HERE and check out all the other warmers and scents!


Visiting Santa

When I was working Monday was not my most favorite day. Now that I'm staying at home with Eli Monday has become a day I look forward to.

I wouldn't go as far to say that it's my favorite day of the week, but I enjoy our Mondays. It's a good day to get ready for the week, get the house cleaned up from the weekend and prepared for the week.

Today was no exception, Eli and I spent the morning in our PJ's while he played and entertained me with singing Jingle Bells approximately 500 times. It's such a sweet sound, and I try not to get annoyed with the 400th round of it and remember that one day I will wish for that sweet voice to sing to me, which makes me sound like a crazy mom. What's new?

I got Eli down for an early nap because later in the day we were going to the university where I worked (and graduated from) so Eli could join a group of other kids to film a scene for a holiday video.

As any mom of a toddler boy might understand I was a tad nervous about Eli's video debut. Sitting still for 2 seconds isn't exactly a common thing for him, and his "scene" called for him to sit on the floor and listen to a book - which I'm sure he does at school, but as we all know everything changes once mama is around.

However I am proud to say he did well for the most part. It helped that there were older kids there for him to watch, and that there was a reward of a cookie at the end of good behavior. There was only one incident of him rolling around on the floor while all the other kids sat cross cross applesauce like perfect little children.

Eli looked so cute for his onscreen debut. When I put him in this button up shirt he said "oh my shirt looks like dad's shirt, I look so awesome". Clearly Luke wears a lot of button up shirts.

After dinner, because Eli and I were already dressed for the day I decided to take advantage of no PJ's and head to the mall to visit Santa. Plus after waiting in line over an hour last year Luke and I vowed to go during the week to avoid the Santa crazies.

We wanted to move quick because we didn't want to be gone all night and wanted to get home in time for a decent bed time, so we loaded up in Luke's truck and headed towards the mall.

Luke dropped me and Eli off at the door, because if I have to walk very far in anything less than 50 degrees I get grumpy. I got Eli out of his car seat and went in the mall to wait on Luke. This was when I realized that Eli was wearing one shoe. Not two. ONE.

This was just another reminder that motherhood is a humbling experience. How did I forget to make sure my child had on TWO SHOES? Seems like a pretty simple task.

Luke got in the mall and we both laughed a lot at the fact that our child had on one shoe. Then we went and bought the first pair of shoes I found in his size.

THEN we headed to see Santa. I had told Eli earlier that we were going to see Santa and he said "nooooo I don't like that guy" so I was a tad nervous about how he might react when he saw the bearded fellow, but as soon as he saw him sitting there in his NON SANTA COSTUME his face lit up.

By the way, the whole non-santa costume thing is a whole other post which I'm sure I've blogged at some point, but I love this Santa so I stay loyal despite the fact that he's rockin a "workshop outfit" is that even a real thing?

I'm proud to say we waited in line about 5 minutes which was just enough time and much better than last year. And then we got a perfect picture, it was great!

 Visiting Santa is one of those Christmas traditions I look forward to every year. I have Eli's past Santa pics framed, it's so fun (and tear inducing) to watch him grow on Santa's lap through the years.


Snow and Earthquakes

We've been snowed in most of the weekend and it has been wonderful.

I'm one of those weird people that doesn't really get cabin fever. Life is so busy most of the time it's nice to have a few unexpected days of just nothing but spending time with your family, watching cheesy Christmas movies and eating too much food.

Our area wasn't hit as bad as other areas were (from what I've seen Dallas and parts of Arkansas are pretty bad) but it was enough to keep us off the roads. And schools are still canceled tomorrow.

We got out a few times in Luke's truck that is 4-wheel drive and that was nice, but it was also FREEZING outside. It hasn't gotten above 32 degrees in several days....we aren't used to that around here!

I've been using the days inside to get tasks marked off of my "to do" list. I'm still working on getting this house put together.....just don't look in our garage. I can't even think of how long it will take to get that place cleaned out. I think our boxes are multiplying the longer they sit out there. At this point I'm about to just take it all to the dump, if we haven't needed it yet we probably don't need it at all, right?

Anyways, back to the snow, Eli kept asking and asking to go out and play in the snow on Friday and due to the fact that Luke had to work on Friday there was only one lone person to take the boy out in the FREEZING SNOW.

And that would be me.

I bundled Eli up in about 18 layers of clothes and got him ready to go outside when I realized we had no kid gloves for him. In fact I couldn't find any of our gloves they were all packed up somewhere in the garage. I hated to take him outside without any gloves but at this point he was so excited about going I knew we just needed to get out there. Plus I figured without gloves he wouldn't last long.

Which was the case. We were out there for about five minutes before Eli said "I don't like the snow" to which I said "AMEN" and then we headed back inside

And that's our playing in the snow story.

Along with snow and ice we've had our fair share of earthquakes. We've been feeling small earthquakes for several weeks now, but this weekend we had two pretty big ones (the biggest was 4.5). They don't last very long but they are sure scary when they are happening!

Eli is usually asleep when they happen (for some reason they happen at night) but he was awake for these two and felt them just like we did. So now he is very interested in earthquakes and spent a good portion of our Saturday night "looking for earthquakes".  I'm really hoping we have felt the biggest quake that we are going to feel.

So that is how we spent our weekend. Hanging out inside, trying to stay warm, enjoying our time together!


Becoming a Mom of Two

A few weeks ago I got an email from the website asking me if I would be interested in writing a guest post for their Word of Mom section on their website.

I was honored that they would even stumble upon my blog, let alone ask me if I would share my words.

One thing I've always tried to do with pregnancy and motherhood, and well pretty much life in general is be an open book. I love to share my life with others and writing has given me an avenue to do that. Sharing the good and bad, and lessons I've learned and ways I've grown. All the while learning from others and hoping maybe I'm helping others with what I've learned.

I was asked to write about my thoughts of becoming a mom of two. Which honestly makes me NERVOUS. I think that's normal. With any change there are feelings of excitement yet anxiousness. Feelings of joy but also apprehension. I've been told it's all normal. At least I know it's my normal.

So head on over to What to Expect and read all my emotions spilled out on a page on the Internet. You can read the post HERE.


21 Weeks -

Well my pregnancy updates this time around have sort of turned into a joke. I think I've done just three or four? This is merely an attitude I have towards blogging in general and has nothing to do with me not wanting to record this pregnancy.

Although, when reading my recaps of my pregnancy with Eli my recaps of this pregnancy with baby girl (who finally has a name yay) are pretty much identical.

In fact, I stated this last blog post but it's worth mentioning again, I started both pregnancies the SAME exact weight and to this point I have gained the SAME exact weight.

It blows my mind.

I thought I was doing so much better this time around, not eating everything I wanted, still jogging, carrying a THIRTY POUND TODDLER EVERYWHERE.

But yeah not so much, I'm still well on my way to gaining 40+ pounds over here. Which is fine. I will just revisit my ole friend Weight Watchers when all is said and done.

Thanks for comments and couple of messages about my placenta previa, no matter what you are going through, big or small it's always nice to hear of others who can relate to the situation.

I talked to my doctor a little more about it last week and feel better about it. I still wish I could jog, that is probably the thing I miss the most.

One of my best friends from college came over yesterday and she has an 8 month old baby girl. SO crazy to think that this time next year we will have an 8 month old baby girl. How exciting! Eli was good with the baby most of the time but didn't like share his toys all the time.

My 21 week comparison pic. Eli on the left, baby girl on the right.

I'm getting a little nervous about adding a baby to the mix. I'm so excited, but man, it's a little nervewracking to think of doing all the baby stuff again. I wrote a post about all my thoughts. It should be up soon. 

Happy Thanksgiving week! I can't wait to get my hands on those potatoes! 



Random Thoughts

I haven't done a random post in awhile, and beacause I've only blogged ONCE during the month of November I figured a random post is the best way to sum up some of my thoughts.

1. Pregnancy with baby girl Tree is going well. I thought I was doing all good and not gaining as much weight as I did with Eli and yesterday at the doctor's office I found out I have gained the same amount of weight that I did last time so far. It seems my body has a set weight and just goes with it. Well ok then.

2. I have a partial placenta previa (basically means I have a low placenta) so I've been up on several restrictions, no jogging, heavy lifting, moving objects, etc. While it's been a little frustrating at times (especially while moving and trying to get a house put together) I understand the restrictions are for both my and baby girl Tree's protection so I am following the rules.

3. It is 29 degrees here today. I hope I don't have to leave the house, or get dressed. I already have stuff to make chicken enchiladas for dinner. I'm excited about a day in with no plans!

4. We are getting new furniture today, I am SO excited! I have wanted new furniture for awhile, but as life happens money goes elsewhere and we weren't able to get furniture. Well the time has finally come when we were able to make the purchase. I originally started out wanted fabric furniture but eventually decided that leather is probably the best choice for our family with small children.

5. I am so excited about Thanksgiving next week!

6. This is the first time in several years that I don't have my Christmas stuff up yet. I usually like to get it up the week before Thanksgiving so that after Turkey Day all our stuff is up and we can fully enjoy it. Well having my restrictions has put a slow -down to that, I can't lift the tree to put it up and Luke and I just haven't had time to work on it together. Thankfully Luke's mom is going to come one day and help me get it all up. Yay!

7. Scentsy is having some awesome sales for the next couple of days. Like CRAZY good sales. Check it out for Christmas gifts, or if you've ever wanted to try Scentsy but didn't want to spend the money this would be a good time to get some stuff for cheap and see if you like it! THIS LINK should hopefully take you directly to the sale!

8. If you shop at Target do you use the Cartwheel app? I absolutely love it! I'm not an extreme couponer or anything (I honestly wish I was) but with that app I'm able save some money, yesterday I saved $20, woo hoo!

9. I'm going to a cookie exchange party tomorrow and need to find a good cookie recipe. I want to win!

10. Happy weekend! Stay warm!


It's a girl!

Well we are having a girl!!!

I really can't believe it, but at the same time I can.

Prior to this pregnancy I always thought I would be an all boy mom. I really had no reason for thinking that and considering I can't see into the future it was kind of a dumb thing to think, but really I just assumed Luke and I would have all boys.

However, from the beginning of this pregnancy I had a feeling it was a girl. When I was pregnant with Eli I knew without a doubt it was a boy, no question.

This time I just had a feeling it was a girl. I wasn't certain but I was about 90% sure it was a girl. Which sort of scared me.

And then at 16 weeks I found out that it was indeed a girl. And I was still scared, but also really excited.

I've never pictured myself as a girl mom. I'm not big into frilly type things, and bows and tutus just don't seem like my cup of tea, but obviously having a daughter goes way above frilly things. And even though I feel like I just got this boy thing down and now I'm going to learn all the girl ways I'm really excited!

I am excited for Eli to have a little sister, and when I think about girl days and shopping trips and having a daughter, it just seems so fun! I've started looking at girl clothes and bedding and I get a little bit more excited everyday! I have started feeling her move which is always the most miraculous yet creepy feeling.

We have a name picked out, I will share it soon.

Also, we are now officially moved into our new house! It was a long process but we found a great house and after some negotiating we were able to make it our new home. Yay!

We closed on Halloween and spent the weekend moving in. I will say moving while pregnant and with a toddler is not the easiest thing. I feel tired all the time and I have a feeling it might be a year before this house is decorated BUT we are in and we are so thankful! What a journey it was from the time we listed our house to the day we closed on our new house. But we learned so much during that time and as cliche as it sounds it brought us closer together. 

So lots of big things going on around here! Now off to attempt to unpack a little bit more. Our goal is to actually get our cars in the garage this week. Big plans!


17 Weeks and another Pumpkin Patch

How Far Along: 17 weeks
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I think around 5 lbs.....(give or take 10 lbs)
Maternity Clothes: Wearing maternity pants most of the time....I ordered several pants from Old Navy but I don't really care for them, sending most of them back. I really want to splurge on an expensive pair but can't pull the plug just yet.....
Gender: I set my anatomy scan appointment for November 8th and decided to wait and share the gender after my appointment. Or maybe I will tell before then, I don't know I can't decide.
Name: I still love the first name that just came to me, but I've had some recent additions, and Luke likes them all. We've narrowed it down to the top 3 and we are trying to decide. I'm still leaning towards the first name.
Movement: I think maybe, MAYBE I have felt the baby move. I'm pretty sure I have but it's been very light "bubble popping" feelings. Nothing big and huge. It's still so early
Sleep: It's going well, still want to get a big pillow though.
What I miss: Nothing this week.
Cravings: Candy. I feel like I do a good job of avoiding foods with gross man made ingredients in them and then I get pregnant and it's pretty much all I eat. I know that doesn't make sense but I just want candy all the time while pregnant. I have also been craving little grape tomato. I sit and eat a whole pack of those.
Best Moment this week: Hearing Eli call my belly his baby ______ (insert gender there) and also calling it by it's current name......which still could be changed, hopefully he doesn't get confused.
With Eli and Now with Baby Tree #2:
I think this week I'm bigger with the 2nd baby,  however my hair was much more voluptuous the first time.

Luke's parents came this weekend and we went a different pumpkin patch than the one we went to last week. It was so much fun, this one is more "country" and has a more laid back feeling. Eli of course loved spending time with his maw and papa and loved running around the farm. We even roasted hot dogs and marshmallows in a fire pit they had there. It was a fun time!


Simple Reminders

Since the day Eli was born I have received lesson after lesson while parenting him.

Lessons about humility when he is screaming in the middle of a store.

Lessons about patience when I'm waiting on the slowest toddler ever to walk from the front door to the car.

And lots of lessons in my relationship with God, and how he views me as His child.

Actually I think having Eli has only given me a teeny tiny glimpse of how God feels about me. It was hard to fathom before I was a parent, and now that I have Eli I feel like I kind of understand it, but only a human level.

Sometimes I will experience a situation with Eli or be in the middle of disciplining him, and the realization of how similar this is to my walk with God will hit me hard. Or sometimes it's just a small whisper. Either way, the similarities are there and are sometimes eerie.

This morning when I woke up I looked at the weather and saw it was going to be a beautiful day so I decided to take Eli to the zoo.

We have a zoo pass which is so great for quick trips to the zoo. I don't feel like we have to stay all day to "get our money's worth" we can go visit the zoo for a couple of hours and leave in time for our afternoon nap.

Eli was so excited to go to the zoo and couldn't wait to see the monkeys. which was our first stop once arriving at the zoo.

Then we made our way throughout the zoo going through Eli's "wish list" of animals. He would say "ok now let's go see elephants", so off to the elephants we went.

I must clarify I don't always let Eli bark orders at me like some kind of toddler dictator, but I had no agenda and we are rarely at the zoo just the two of us with no time limit so bark I let him.

We made our way to the elephants, he looked at the elephants for about 2. 5 seconds and said ok now tigers.

So off I went to the tigers. I know I'm like a minute pregnant (more like 17 weeks) but I couldn't believe how much it was already taking a toll on my body. I can normally zip around the zoo pushing Eli's stroller (with 30 pounds of toddler seated inside) with no problem.

Today was a different story, I was huffing and puffing at some points, and even thought about asking the single dad with his daughter who was trying to flirt with me if he would give me a back massage. I was that desperate.

But we were on an animal-seeing mission so I kept on huffing and puffing like I was at some workout boot camp instead of just a leisurely day at the zoo. Eli kept declaring his interest to see the giraffes and I was there to serve him (for only a couple of hours then once we left the zoo our normal mother-toddler son relationship resumed)

He sang of his love for the giraffes the whole way to the OTHER side of the zoo. I knew we would spend at least 3 minutes staring at the giraffes and maybe mama could get some rest because that baby the size of an apple inside her was WEARING HER OUT.

We made it to the giraffes. I pulled the stroller into a spot for spectacular giraffe viewing. It was around the time that the wheels on the stroller stopped moving that Eli said "oh now go see zebras".

I'm sorry. COME AGAIN? Didn't I just trek across the zoo with you singing of the giraffes praises the entire way, thinking you would relish in the beauty of the long neck, long legged animal only for you to give it a MERE GLANCE.

And this is when one of those life lessons grazed across my mind. Or heart? Or maybe both.

So many times in life I ask God for something. I SING MY PRAISES of Him and how I need this particular thing or situation in life to change. I wait for whatever it is to come and when God delivers......I immediately say ok now help me get "this" (fill in the blank with whatever it is in life that I think I need at that moment).

I'm not even talking material things. There have been times I have struggled with something, longed to be free of something, and just as soon as I experience a blessing from God no sooner than I can say "thank you" am I already asking for the next thing.

Not even taking time to praise Him for what He has done. For who He is.

Obviously the zoo story and my relationship with God are on two completely different levels in life, but yet I love how God uses these times with my son to teach me, to help me better understand my relationship with Him. I love simple reminders.

I'm thankful for these times, thankful for the lessons. Some lessons are more lighthearted and some are deep convictions that God uses to work on me, but either way I'm thankful that God never gives up on me and continues to teach me. And uses simple zoo trips to bring clear messages to me.

Our zoo day together! 

 Day I have no idea because I'm so behind in 31 days of thankfulness


Pumpkin Patch

I love fall.

I know it seems almost like a cliche statement at this point but it truly is just such an amazing season. Those hot  must-stay-inside-all-day-so-we-don't-die-from-a-heat-stroke days are past us and the cooler weather allows for more outdoor activities. I love fall food and fall wardrobes; sweaters and boots. It truly is one of the best times of the year.

I still think Christmas IS the best time of the year, but Fall is a close second.

This past Saturday we did one of my favorite Fall activities, going to the pumpkin patch. I loved doing this before we even had Eli, and now that Eli is old enough to truly understand and enjoy it, well it makes it even more fun.

However I am learning that Eli is at the age that I cannot tell him we are doing something until the SECOND before we leave to do whatever the activity is that we are doing that day.

Friday night before he went to bed I told him that the next day we were going to go get pumpkins with Manny. Obviously thinking he was two and would fall asleep and forget I ever mentioned pumpkins and best friends.

On Saturday  morning Eli woke up and did his usual " DADAAAAA COME GET ME".  I did my usual staying in bed while Luke went to get Eli. I could hear Luke open Eli's door and then I heard Eli say "Hi dada I'm ready to go get pumpkins and see Manny and eat ice cream".

For the record nobody ever mentioned ice cream. Toddlers have some mad skills.

And so it began. We didn't leave for the pumpkin till 4:00 that afternoon and from the moment Eli woke up at 7am to the time we walked out the door to get in the car he asked when we were leaving nonstop.

Lesson learned.

We eventually did make it to the pumpkin patch and I can only hope it lived up to Eli's expectations.

We met Sarah and her family and had a lot of fun. We went to the pumpkin patch this exact weekend last year (total coincidence). It's crazy to see how our boys changed in that short year.

This particular pumpkin patch was so fun and more than just a "patch" there were so many activities for the kids to do, we ended up spending all afternoon there. 

Eli and Luke rode the carousel and this picture cracks me up because they both look miserable. Luke said it was because I was the crazy mom standing right in the sun yelling "LOOK AT ME AND SMILE". I really think it was because they were sitting on a thing that was spinning which will cause any sane person to go crazy and want to vomit. Or maybe just me.

We also went to the petting zoo and rode a train around the farm. Eli had so much fun and was of course thrilled to spend time with Manny.


Each kid was able to leave with their very own pumpkin, I told Eli we would paint his at home, and believe me the kid has not forgotten I said that. Hopefully we get to it soon.

Today I'm thankful for friends to do life with. I have realized that finding good friends is harder than dating, or maybe I just had an easy dating experience.

Regardless friends are fun and important in life. Especially when you need someone to go to the pumpkin patch with. And if they have a kid your kid likes then they get bonus points.

 Day I have no idea because I'm so behind in 31 days of thankfulness


16 Weeks - Baby Tree Two

How Far Along: 16 weeks - My last update I did just last week was 14 weeks - well this week I had an unexpected ultrasound (more on that below) and I'm actually measuring at 16 weeks. So I'm just going to adjust it on here and 15 weeks just disappeared into thin air.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I think around 5 lbs.....(give or take 10 lbs)
Maternity Clothes: Still can't find my maternity jeans and I looked in just about every box this week. So I pulled the plug and bought some more. I ordered them online so I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival.
Gender: Ok get ready this is long..........

On Friday afternoon I had some bleeding. It wasn't a ton of bleeding but enough that I was definitely alarmed. My doctor's office is closed Friday so I called the on call number and my doctor called me back immediately. She wanted me to go in for an ultrasound ASAP and made me an appointment. My appointment was about 30 minutes after I talked to the doctor and Eli was asleep. I didn't want to wake him up so I called Luke and asked if he could come work from home while I went to the appointment. I really felt like nothing was wrong with the baby and I would be ok going by myself to the ultrasound. Luke asked me 8 million times if I was really ok going alone but for me it was more important for Eli to nap. If you've ever mothered a 2 year old you understand where I'm coming from in this. 

When I got to the radiology place they told me that their machine was broken and it could take a couple of minutes to fix. An hour and 15 minutes later they called me back. I hadn't had anymore bleeding and was still pretty calm at this point. And I was so glad I was alone. No way Eli could have sat with me in the waiting room that whole time. 

The ultrasound tech got me all set up and started looking around in my belly (so crazy). He immediately got the heartbeat and said everything looked great with the baby. It was doing great. So this is when I took my chance....I said "welllllllll can you see the gender?"

And he said he very clearly could see it....and then told me what it was.

Considering we are in a day and age of huge gender reveal parties, colored cakes and balloons popping out of boxes it was the most anti-climatic "gender reveal' ever. Just me and the sweet ole ultrasound tech who watched me wipe away tears with my belly exposed and told me I was going to be a great mom....clearly trying to cut the awkwardness I am so great at creating.

I waited till I got home from the office to tell Luke, I didn't want to tell him on the phone. I was also able to show him a ton of pics the ultrasound tech took and put on a disc for us.

So we now know the gender. I think I'm going to wait till our "official" visit with my own doctor when they do the anatomy scan and check the gender before we announce. But I may change my mind. We'll see.

Name: We are 90% sure we have decided on a name. It's just so hard to commit to a name, it's kind of a big deal, but I love it and as soon as I saw that baby on the ultrasound this name came to me. I told Luke about it immediately and he loved it. Pretty sure it's the one.

Movement: Still haven't felt the baby yet. When I saw the ultrasound it was moving around all in there, just not big enough for me to feel yet!

Sleep: It's going pretty good so far. I sort of want one of those Bump Nest body pillows. Has anybody used one? They truly look magical.

What I miss: I sort of miss Chick Fila. But not really.

Cravings: Still craving all things sour. ALL THINGS SOUR. It's weird. And my tongue is raw. 

Best Moment this week: Finding out the gender! Woo hoo!

With Eli and Now with Baby Tree #2:


Random Thankfuls

What am I thankful for today?

Well really so much, I'm thankful for this cooler weather as it allows me to get out all my boots, scarves and jackets that I love so much. I told Luke that my wardrobe really kicks it up a notch when Fall rolls around. And he rolled his eyes.

I'm thankful for friends who invite us over for dinner. Friends who open their house, share their meal with us and just allow us to interrupt a night of their normal so we can spend time together.

I'm thankful for coffee and coke. Not together of course, one serves a purpose in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both are delicious and hit the spot at just the right time.

I'm thankful for other bloggers and the way they open my mind, make me see things differently, think differently and entertain me. I am loving the 31 days series and particularly love reading these 31 posts:

I have loved reading these three blogs during this series for various reasons. They each have a different voice behind them, a different purpose for writing and different writing styles but all have struck a chord with me.

I'm thankful for friends I've made through blogging and opportunities that have come about because of this blog. It's a fun little "hobby" that I hope to continue for awhile.

Those are just a few things I'm thankful for today.

Day 17 in 31 days of thankfulness


Slow Cooking Yumminess

From God's timing to crock pots.....just a few things I'm thankful for.

I discovered the wonder of the crock pot during our first year of marriage and it was a beautiful realtionship after that.

I have shared several recipes on the blog of my favorite crock pot recipes throughout the years. I love this crock pot coney recipe and any crock pot recipe from Skinny Taste never fails!

Recently I started coming off of my "no cooking rut". The time has come for me to  start cooking again. It seems that the majority of my pregnancy sickness is gone (another thing I'm thankful for) and I can actually handle cooking a meal.

However there is one small problem, 98% of our kitchen utensils, dishes, pots, pans etc are packed up.

So today I ventured out to Target and bought a new crock pot. I figured it won't hurt to have two of those (our other crock pot is in storage).

All of that to say I love my crock pot because I can prepare an entire meal in a short amount of time, let it cook all day and then come back to my precious silver pot and find a fully cooked meal. It's almost like magic.

Tonight my crock pot magically cooked Cornbread Chicken Enchiladas. YUM. If you have been looking for a new recipe you need to try this one!

Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe to share? Considering its one of our only tools in our kitchen currently I will take all the suggestions I can get!

Day 14 in 31 days of thankfulness


God's Timing

Today I am thankful for God's timing.

Now I have to be honest, that almost felt like swallowing vinegar to type that out. Because God's timing isn't always easy, nor does it always align with what I feel is the best timing, but it's crazy how well he knows me before I know myself. And how I'm constantly reminded that His timing is best and therefore I am thankful for it.

When we got pregnant with Eli we were not planning on getting pregnant anytime soon. As soon as I saw that positive pregnancy test I was scared, scared, scared. This did NOT fit into my plan and what I had written down as to how life was supposed to go. We weren't ready in any way, shape or form, but that didn't matter. God knew. Now I always say Eli was the best gift I didn't even realize I wanted.

After Eli was born I wanted nothing more than to be home with him full time, but it wasn't an option. So I went back to work, thankfully I was able to work part-time, and then about a year and a half later I made the transition to a full time stay at home mom.

It was hard going back to work when I didn't want to go but I am so thankful for that time. I was blessed with a great job and fun but professional workplace.  Going back to work helped me to truly appreciate staying home with Eli. I now see it as a gift that I never want to take for-granted. God knew I needed that time. His timing.

I had a plan when I wanted to get pregnant with baby #2 and then my plan took a little longer than expected. Not much, but enough to get off track from what I thought would be the perfect time. Now I realize how inconvenient my plan would have been. Yes it would have been ok, but perhaps not the best. I really only want God's best even if it means sometimes I have to wait or not get my way.

When we sold our house in six days we considered it a miracle. It seemed to good to be true. And then since then there have been many days I have questioned God. Why did our house sell so fast if it was only going to be a pain of circumstances to follow? I have to admit, it's been a bit frustrating, but there have been several factors that have confirmed we are doing what we're supposed to be doing at this moment.

I get frustrated, angry, and experience moments of doubt and confusion many times in life through various circumstances but I'm reminded that His ways are higher than mine. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.

So right now during a time that I'm dealing with all those emotions I'm still going to be thankful for God's timing. In the moment I may not see it or even want it, but I know that His timing is better than anything I could imagine. And I will continue to remind myself or numerous situations in life that have proved that His timing is much better than mine.

Day 13 in 31 days of thankfulness


Week 14 - Baby Tree Two

I'm still here and I'm still thankful. Just haven't really been writing about it much.

It started on Thursday when I was in a pretty foul mood all day long for various reasons but we'll just blame pregnancy hormones because that's the best solution. So I didn't blog that night.

And then Friday came and we were just so "busy" hanging out doing nothing as a family that I didn't even think about blogging.

So I'm here today, but instead of doing a designated "thankful" post for my 31 days series I'm going to do a baby update. I love going back and reading these with Eli and I realized I hadn't even started them for this baby yet.

Sorry baby #2, it seems you are already getting the shaft.  Let me remedy that.

Without further ado, the beginning of my week update fun which I'm sure insanely boring to others.

Week 14:

How Far Along: 14 weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I think around 5 lbs.....

Maternity Clothes: Well..... I can't find ANY of my jeans from when I was pregnant with Eli. I found all my shirts and sweaters but no pants. Ahhh the joys of temporary living. I have been wearing the same pair of rockstar non-maternity jeans from old navy every single day because they are stretchy and sit right under my belly and are the only jeans that fit right now. I *think* I know what box my pants are in in our storage unit so I'm going to look tomorrow. Mama needs her maternity pants. If I don't find them I will be going shopping this week.

Gender: Won't know until the end of November.

Movement: I haven't felt the baby yet, and I've heard that generally you feel your 2nd baby sooner than you did the first. I am very ready. I love that feeling!

Sleep: I went through a weird spurt where I was getting up at 5am on the dot ready to go for the day, but I passed that and sleep has been pretty good. As long as I have a fan blowing in my face and a pillow underneath my belly. It's not even that big yet but for some reason the pillow helps me sleep better.

What I miss: Eh. Not really anything. Yet. Maybe I miss being able to be hit or kicked by Eli and not worrying if it is hurting the baby. Please note all hits and kicks are in fun. Most of the time.

Cravings: Oh man, ALL things sour. I just sit and think about sour things, which is obviously healthy. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night yearning for a scoop of bubble gum ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Weird. I haven't been there in YEARS. I still can't eat chicken. Sick. I can handle beef most days.

Best Moment this week: Nothing really stands out. It was a great week. Eli and I went to the park a lot and just had a lot of fun days together. 

Now here is my 14 weeks pic with Eli and now Baby #2. I thought I was SO much bigger this time until I saw this pic. I think I'm the same exact size.



I was so excited about this 31 days series. I thought it would help me with my writing and would get the writing "juices flowing" if you will.

I feel like I was once an OK writer and now I've turned into a person who can't formulate a sentence and if she does formulate a sentence it goes nowhere, has no point. Comparable to gibberish.

I'm not really sure what is to blame for this. I know something is to blame, not myself. I'll continue to ponder it.

So anyways, I thought by being forced to write 31 days in a row I would start getting that writing bug again and before I knew it I would be a phenomenal author of words.


Not happening.

If anything I think I've gotten worse.

Just some random thoughts swirling around in my head. I just think it's funny how I put expectations on things and think they will go one way and they go the COMPLETE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

I didn't think much today about my blog and I have no pre-written thankful posts in a queue ready to go (although that would have been a good idea).

So tonight I'm just gonna say I'm thankful for sleep because I'm REALLY tried. I love getting in my bed, next to my bestest friend (Luke, just in case you're wondering) and drifting to sleep.

It's glorious.



Forgiveness and Grace

Grace. It's what I'm thankful for today. And really nothing has even prompted this. Other than the constant reminder that I am horrible when it comes to grace.

I hate to admit that I'm not the best at grace. I feel like I'm not the best at giving it out which means I'm not the best at accepting it. But I'm working on that.

But thankfully God's grace covers us all. It has no limits, no rules or regulations. No one is ever too far from God and nobody has done too much that God's grace cannot cover their past.

I love when I hear stories that are such a testament to how good God is and how He is always with us no matter what.

I recently got stuck in a rabbit hole watching I am Second videos on youtube. If you haven't heard of I am Second you should visit their website.

Taken from their website: "I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others".

I think a lot of times we get an idea in our head of what a Christ follower looks like. Perfect life, without mistakes or blemishes or any problems. Which is so not the case. I am evidence of that!

These are two I am Second videos that I watched recently. Two completely different stories with one common theme, forgiveness and grace. Love them!

So today I am thankful for God's forgiveness and grace. It is there even when I don't accept it or don't recognize it.


A Special Bond

There are many things about Luke that I am thankful for, but one of his most amazing traits is how good of a dad he is to Eli.

I married Luke for lots of reasons, many reasons that went beyond how cute I thought he was and how much love I felt for him.

But out of all those traits that I loved about him, I never knew just how good of a dad he would make one day.

I've heard women say that watching their husband with their kids made them fall in love with their man all over again and it is so true.

I love watching Luke with Eli and I love watching Eli with Luke. They have this bond that is so special. Eli ADORES his dad.

Luke and Eli have a nightly routine that involves bath time, reading a specific book and then a story from his bible. I've tried to take over a couple of nights and Eli always tells me "NO DADA DO IT". Well ok then. I'll just go read a book or something.

Recently I tried to use a tape measure and Eli was screaming for it, I thought he wanted to play with it so I gave it to him and he immediately ran it to Luke and said "here dada mama had it" like he was doing Luke a favor by taking it from me.

I love this above picture because Eli does this when Luke holds him, he plays with the back of his hair. He never does this with me, just something he does when his dada holds him.

Watching the way Eli gets excited when Luke gets home from work, or hearing him scream "DADA" every morning when he wakes up just melts my heart

I'm so thankful for the way Luke fathers Eli. He leads our family spiritually and just does such a good job of being a day and husband.

And I must say I'm not purposely choosing topics for talk about just to use our new pics, but hey if the SHOE FITS.