By the Numbers: 2015


^^^A sunset from this year. No filter.

By some miracle, I actually hit my goal of reading 20 books this year. Admittedly, 20 is not a very large number for me, but considering the fact that I had a baby in August, I'm very okay with it. My final two reads of 2015 were rereads! I am all about rereading my favorite books, and I definitely ended the year on a high note after more than a few duds (find me on Goodreads to read my reviews).

The last two books I read were rereads, but everything else was new. 
Of the 18 books I read this year for the first time, here are my two favorites:

All the Light We Cannot See. A-mazing. I know some people who didn't like this one, and while normally I'm all about personal preference, I just don't get how anyone could read this and not love it. It's so good.

The Husband's Secret. This one is a good travel book for reading on a plane (which is exactly where I read it). It was interesting but not super intense, so it didn't need a lot of concentration.

Here were my top two duds:

The Girl on the Train. I'm sorry, but I could not handle this one. I know it was all the rage, but just no. I literally wanted the main character to get HIT BY THE TRAIN so the book would end and I could move on with my life.

Faithful Place. This is one of Tana French's murder/mystery books, and it was by far my least favorite of the four I've read. I found the story pointless and just kind of wished I hadn't wasted my time.

Last year I logged every single mile I ran in Daily Mile. This year I didn't do nearly as well logging miles, and I ran a ton without my Garmin watch, so it's hard to say exactly how far I ran this year. I logged officially over 200 miles, and then there's a bunch that weren't logged, so maybe 250 miles this year, I'm guessing. Not too bad! I ran consistently until 24 weeks pregnant (and ran 2 half marathons at 10 and 18 weeks!), and then I took a break until 6 weeks post baby. I've blogged about post-partem running here and also some here if you're interested.

In 2016, I have one race lined up so far: the 2016 Oklahoma City Half Marathon in April. This will be my 10th half marathon! I also would really like to run a few local 5ks, and there is a 10k in early April that I might do as well. I hope to find a way to fit running into my schedule but also be realistic about it, and I plan on keeping you updated on any progress!

Blog posts written: 129 
That's the lowest of any year since I started blogging in 2010.

Here are a few favorites:
Why We Tithe
An Elbow to the Face
Then the Cops Showed Up
He Saw Us
5 Things I'm Obsessed With
The Fear
R's Birth Story

Tweets: 1,867
Fun fact: that's about 1,000 tweets less than each of the previous two years!

Instagram photos posted: 300

US States visited: 3 (5 if you count layovers)
Atlanta (on a layover), California (on a layover), Illinois, Texas, Utah

Trips to Texas: 8 (same as last year!)

Stamps in my passport: 1 (Bahamas)
Jordan got 2! He went to Nicaragua on a missions trip and the Bahamas

So, I actually totally forgot about our Bahamas trip until I was putting this recap together. 
How could I forget this happening?! 
You can also see more pics and read about our Atlantis adventures here.

Spent on gas: $1,070.45
Spent on clothes (just for me): $222.63
Average monthly spent on groceries: $275
Average monthly savings: $1,113.21* 

*Our monthly savings is a bit lower than last year, but we did have a baby, so there's that. Our savings will be even lower next year now that we have to start paying for daycare, so we will see what happens!

compare to 2014

30x30 list items completed: 3

I am really excited about this! 
I didn't think I crossed anything off this year until I was looking at my list. 
Here's what I did:

-Buy a bedroom dresser
-Organize my recipes
And the big kahuna: 
-BUY A HOUSE. That happened.


I cannot forget to mention the fact that I spent the majority of this year pregnant. From announcing Baby Bum on the blog to sharing a few baby bump updates to writing out her birth story, it's been a heck of a ride. Everyone talks about it, and I've discovered for myself that it's cliche but true: you just cannot imagine the love you feel for your baby. I look at her and cry because she's so beautiful and she's for me to keep! I still can't believe it.

I'm looking forward to settling in a bit, both with our baby and in our new house and in our new routine with me back at work. I have been so incredibly blessed, and I am so thankful for all God has entrusted to me.

Thanks for sticking with me this month as I took some time off from the blog. I hope to get back to posting 2x a week in 2016. I realize that I can't expect you to keep coming here with such sporadic posting, and I definitely do not want to just pop in once a month with an R update. My plan is to try and post every Tuesday and Friday, just so you will have some idea of when to check back for new material. Of course, my time with R will become even more precious once I'm not hanging out with her all day every day, so blogging will not be my main priority. However, I do love it and want to continue to share pictures and happenings. It's fun to look back on for me, and I hope it is fun for you to read!

Here's to 2016! I hope you have a safe and fun New Year's.

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

"For unto us a child is born; 
unto us a Son is given.
And he shall be called 
wonderful counselor, 
mighty God, 
everlasting Father, 
the prince of peace."
Isaiah 9:6-7

Cheers to You


Yesterday I went in to work with R for the last time. Starting January 4, I will be back in the office full time, and R will go to daycare during the day. I've cried about it a lot, but ultimately this is the right decision for our family at this time. Lately I've seen a lot of different articles about daycare, some good and some bad. People have a lot of strong opinions about daycare one way or the other, but what it really comes down to is realizing that parents are doing the best they can for their children, whether that means quitting your job or continuing to work.

I will miss her terribly, but I also realize that I need to trust that God will watch over her when I can't during the day. I took her to meet her teachers last week, and I hung out in the room and played with R for a while, talking to the teachers and trying to show R where she will be in a few weeks. I really do think playing with other babies and having someone else take care of her will be good for her. Daycare is in no way a substitute for parenting, and when people say that or even imply it, it is extremely hurtful. Just a tip for you if you want to be sensitive to your working mom friends.

I will go see her during my lunch hour to play with her and feed her. I have a lot of anxiety about what will happen--how we will find a good schedule that works for her, how I will fit in all the things I need to do and spend time with her when I am off work. I know it will be a huge adjustment, and I am trying to remind myself that I shouldn't expect to find a groove immediately. It could take weeks or months even to really figure out what works best.

I cannot put into words what it has meant for me to be able to stay at home with her this long. I know not many people (in the United States) have that option. But I am thankful too for the ability to go to work at a place I like with people I enjoy, doing a job I am good at and that makes me feel fulfilled. I really feel blessed.

To all you working moms out there who may be reading this, I want you to know that I hear you. It's hard. But you are doing a great job. And you're a fantastic mom. Cheers to you, friend.

Latelys & Whatnot


R is my little pal these days, and I have a lot of fun hanging out with her. That either says something odd about my current IQ levels or it means my child is advanced well behind her years. Let's go with the latter for now. This little girl, you guys, is my absolute favorite. I'm sorry this blog has become a dump for all things baby, but I am smitten, and so I'm actually not sorry at all.

Blogging has been sparse this month, which I announced on my Facebook page at the beginning of December. It's been nice to spend less time on the computer in the evenings, and to be honest, I haven't really thought about blogging that much at all.

I have been thinking about other things, though, and so this post is a brain dump, if you will. Some currentlys and latelys and whatnot.

Ugh. I have such mixed feelings about going back go the office full time. One day I'm all, "Yes! I can totally go back to work in the office. Office work isn't so bad. There are a lot of great things about it. Daycare will be good for her." The next day I'm sobbing and all, "Nope. No way. I'm quitting my job and selling my valuables and my car and I'm getting a bike with a bell  and a basket and a seat in the back and I'm going to ride it places and save money and stay at home with my baby!"

I've read a few blog posts lately about people who quit their job to stay at home, and they make me feel ALL THE MOM GUILT about going back to work. The rational side of me actually does think daycare will be good for her. She will learn to play with others, and she will not become attached to me in an unhealthy way, and she will do great. The irrational side of me wants to quit my job yesterday. Adulting is hard sometimes.

BUT. I have absolutely had the most wonderful time these past three months staying at home with R and don't want to discount that. What a blessing!
^^^ So many cute outfits. So little time before she outgrows them.

This is our Christmas tree! My grandpa gave me this when I moved to Oklahoma seven years ago, and I've put it up every year since. It's an antique from 1971, and we know that because there are newspapers in the box from 1971, so it's at least that old, if not older. Next year we hope to get a regular-sized tree (I'm voting for real, Jordan for fake, so we'll see), but for now this is the best we could do. Charlie Brown would be so proud, no?

Speaking of Christmas, I think I got a few questions on my "ask anything" about whether or not Jordan and I will do Santa with R. The answer is yes, I think we are planning on it. Both of us grew up with Santa, and I don't think it's bad or anything. We will definitely teach her about Jesus and his birth and read from the Bible about the first Christmas, but I think she'll get gifts from Santa too. Although neither of us are too big on the whole "picture with Santa" idea. We aren't going to do that with her this year. I need to ask my mom if we did that as kids because I don't remember it.
Jordan cut me off from spending any more money on R for the month of December, and I lasted until yesterday, when I caved and bought more hair bows. I'm actually pretty proud of myself for waiting so long, so don't judge me. I had absolutely no idea what a rabbit hole these baby clothing shops are. You can buy an outfit from Target and see it on every other baby OR you can spend twice as much on a cuter outfit from a small business. Apparently once I had a baby, my frugal tendencies died with my free time.
Speaking of free time, I've now run twice with our jogging stroller! Before now I've only taken R on walks, but she can hold her head up and is strapped in tight, and we decided it would be fine as long as I didn't get crazy and try to go off-roading. You know, on all of the mountains we have in Oklahoma. Both times I've run two miles, and it went great! The first time, I was surprised by how much of a workout my arms got. Jordan mentioned maybe trying to run holding with one arm and swinging the other like normal, and so I tried that the second time, and it was much better. I averaged around 11-min/mile pace both times, which isn't going to win me any awards, but I'm happy with it. I figured I should take advantage of this crazy warm December weather, plus I have that half marathon coming up in April.

To be honest, it's been hard to find motivation to go running, which I'm sad about. I feel like before I got pregnant I was in a really good place fitness-wise, and now I'm struggling to find a new groove. But I know that takes time. I have been doing a DVD workout every once in a while. It's a Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown series, and it is hard. Oh my gosh. Major props to you yoga people, because I am dying by the end. It's been great to stretch more and work on toning and strength!
R has slept with a blanket over her legs since she was a newborn. We figured it wasn't like she could move at all, and up until now it hasn't been an issue. But clearly you can see why she's no longer allowed to sleep with a blanket. She is coordinated enough to grab things and pull them over her face; she's not so much coordinated enough to grab them and pull them off. The first time I saw her do this, I told Jordan no more blankets unless she's being closely supervised. But am I a bad parent that I thought it was kind of funny to look over and see her grunting and waving her arms with that thing over her face? Don't answer that.
I bought a bag of fresh cranberries at the store a month or so ago thinking I would eat them raw like you would a raspberry or an apple or something. Yeah, that was a stupid idea. Have you ever eaten a fresh cranberry? Don't. It's so tart! Rookie mistake. The cranberries sat in my fridge waiting to go bad until I stumbled across a recipe for cranberry muffins that I'd printed out long ago and stuck in my recipe binder. They were delicious! It was my first time ever cooking with cranberries, and let me tell you: I am a fan. Get the recipe here

After that, I still had over half a bag of cranberries, so I made this apple cranberry pie. YUM. Jordan was all, "I don't like apples or cranberries," and even he liked it! Definitely making both of those again. 

So... that's what I've been up to lately. Lots of baking (and eating), lots of baby snuggles and picture taking. Lots of diaper changes. A few runs. With the time I haven't spent blogging, I have finished one book and almost finished another! I reread Little Women and am currently rereading A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Both books I've read so many times I've lost track, but they have been really fun to reread! It seems like people are either against rereading books or they have books they read over and over. Me? I'm a rereader for sure. I reread the Anne of Green Gables series a few summers ago, and it was the best. It's like visiting old friends!

Okay! R is crying, so I guess I'm off. Until next time!

Do you reread books or are you one and done?
Have you ever cooked with cranberries? What is your favorite thing to make?
How do you feel about baby pictures with Santa?

Month Four


HEIGHT = 24.75 inches
WEIGHT = 13.2 pounds

Miss R is four months old today! And I know I should probably say, "It's felt so fast!" But honestly? It feels like she's been here so much longer than four months. I used to get really insulted when people said things about how you never know what you are missing in your life until you have a kid. I mean, that's kind of rude to act like someone's life is incomplete just because they don't have xyz. So I won't say that to you.

But what I will say is that I can't imagine not having our sweet girl around. Not that I didn't think I'd like being a mom, but I'm surprised by how much I really do love it. Is it weird to say that I have fun with a four-month-old? I seriously love having her around! She makes me smile so much, and I love this stage she's at where she can interact more. She's really starting to look like a person and less like a baby, which is awesome and sad all at once.
^^^We recently (as in, like five days ago) upgraded to 3-6 sizes. The 0-3 were finally looking snug, but she's swimming in some of the bigger sizes. Still, I thought it was time. These pink pjs slay me. I can't remember who got them for us, but whoever you are, thanks!


After one glorious week where she slept 10 hours a night, we had some sleeping issues this month. Typically we put her down between 7-8 pm, and she was waking up somewhere around 2-3 and then around 6-7. I was sick over Thanksgiving weekend, and after not eating for three days, my milk supply took a nosedive. I don't think she was getting enough to eat before bed, so for about a week she woke up at 11, 2, and 5, which meant ME = ZOMBIE.

Thankfully, we seem to be back to normal in the milk department. For the last few days she's gone to sleep at 7 and woken up at 4! We'll see how long that lasts. Every night it's a new adventure to see when she'll wake us up. And by us, I mean me, because Jordan sleeps with earplugs in. Truth.
R really doesn't take very long naps during the day. I don't know who these people are whose babies take 3-hour naps, but R ain't got time for that. A few times a day when she starts to get fussy, I hold her and bounce her to sleep for a 30ish-minute nap, and I totally don't care. I figure I'll be at work soon and she'll be taking naps at daycare, so I'm going to take all the bounces I can get.


I'm exclusively breastfeeding right now, although she can take a bottle of pumped milk like a champ when she needs to, like on Sundays in the nursery or at night when Jordan wants some daddy/daughter time. We still haven't quite figured out how much to put in the bottle to get her full, though. Up until a few weeks ago, she was drinking 2.5-3 ounces. We upped it to 3.5 ounces, but then a few nights ago, Jordan fed her before bed, and she downed 3.5 ounces and then was screaming her head off, so I fed her, and she ate a ton more. I think once I go back to work in January, it will be a bit of trial and error to get the right amounts for her bottles during the day because clearly we have no idea what we're doing.

I keep waiting for her to space out her feedings a bit to more like 3-4 hours, but she still likes to eat every 2-2.5 hours, so that keeps me busy.


I mentioned in her three-month update that R has started actually interacting more with us and with the things around her, and this month she has become even more aware. She gets so excited when we lay her down on her activity mat. She grabs and bats at the toys hanging above her. A few weeks ago, I started giving her a few other toys to play with, and it's been fun to watch her get excited about them and reach for them. She particularly loves to play (read: suck) on her little pink elephant! She also loves to suck on her fists, which makes for a lot of drool.
She talks a lot now, and it's super cute. One of my favorite parts of the day is listening to her talk to herself in her crib after she wakes up in the morning. When I go in her room to say good morning and get her changed, she kicks hard and gives me the biggest smile! I die.

She also had her first real laugh this month! Over Thanksgiving, we were with my family, and my brother and sister-in-law started making faces at R across the table. She giggled, and they laughed, and then she laughed! Everyone started making faces and laughing, and she belly laughed for a good two minutes. I whipped out my phone really quick and got some of it on video. It is so cute. We are excited for her to start laughing more regularly, but right now she mostly just coos and giggles.

R is also this close to rolling from back to front. I seriously thought it would happen the other day and filmed her for a good three minutes like a sucker. Soon!


She loves bath time, stroller walks, being outside, her pacifier, her activity mat, and car rides. She also loooves to stand. Girlfriend will lock her knees and stand up to look around (while we hold her, of course). She's really strong!

She hates having a dirty diaper, when the sun gets in her eye, and getting out of the bath. But honestly, she really doesn't dislike much. She loves watching people and so she fights naps because she wants to be in on the action. Silly girl. Little does she know that when she's older, she will give anything for a nap.

I can truly say that I absolutely love being a mom. Yes, I am tired and stressed out. I worry about her constantly, and I'm trying to work on not being an overprotective, crazy parent. Yes, I miss having lots of time just for me to do whatever I want. But man, I sure do love this little girl. We pray every day for her to grow up strong and love Jesus.

Today is December 10, and just an interesting fact: December 9 last year is the day I found out I was pregnant. I had just gotten home from a weekend in San Diego visiting high school friends. I peed on the stick, then I walked out to Jordan and sat down next to him on the couch and shoved it in his face and said, "I need to lie down." One for the memory books, no?

December 10 is when I called the doctor's office to go in for a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. I mentioned this way back when I announced Baby Bum on the blog, but we had been going to an infertility doctor after unofficially trying (i.e. not preventing) for two years. When that positive showed up, I remember being so shocked and overwhelmed and scared of all the unknowns. Now, looking back on everything, I am so incredibly, indescribably thankful that God answered our prayers for a baby this year.

Gosh, I love her.

Unintentional Post-Thanksgiving Detox


I'm writing this on Sunday afternoon, coming at you from the other side. Not to be dramatic, but I nearly died yesterday. Thursday night, after stuffing myself with Thanksgiving dinner, I started feeling nauseous. Not an I'm-too-full nauseous either. I felt out of sorts all day Friday, and then Saturday was terribleIt's bad enough to be sick, but it's not like I could stop feeding my baby, so every two hours I had to pull myself together enough to nurse, and it was just NOT FUN. I'll let you imagine for yourself.

On the plus side, I can count on less than two hands the number of things I've had to eat since Thursday night, so I guess I'm in the middle of an unintentional Thanksgiving sugar detox to get me ready for Christmas cookies. (In case you're wondering, I have been drinking lots of clear fluids, and shockingly my milk supply doesn't seem to have been horribly affected. R doesn't seem to be any worse of wear either, so I guess those articles you read about the miraculous antibody capabilities of breast milk are true.)

On top of that, we had an ice storm, and our power was out all day, so we were camped out at my in-laws, who live a mile from us and did have power. Nothing like being sick at someone else's house, am I right? So that's how the past few days have gone. I'm hopeful that things are on the upswing now, although the mention of food still makes me want to run to the bathroom. But I seem to be keeping things... in, and we have power again, so my freezer of breast milk lives to be thawed another day.

In other news, our fifth annual turkey trot was a success! Every year, my family puts on a local Thanksgiving turkey trot in our neighborhood. (If you're interested, I blogged about our humble beginnings here.) We've steadily increased our numbers each year, and this time we had over 950 runners for a timed 5k and untimed 1-mile fun run. 
We do everything from ordering and designing shirts to medals to getting water and bagels at the finish to organizing volunteers. It's quite an undertaking and pretty stressful, but it's always a fun time too! All the money raised goes to benefit North Texas Youth for Christ.

R was an absolute trouper the entire time, and I still can't believe it went so well with her. But then again, when am I going to stop being surprised by her? She's the best. (Later that evening it all caught up to her, and she had a very rough time going to sleep with lots of screaming involved, but we can't all be on our best behavior all the time.)

All things considered, it was a pretty memorable first Thanksgiving as a family of three! I hope yours involved less sickness and ice than mine. There's a lot to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is a working heater and the ability to keep food down.



Today I'm joining Kiki's linkup for an old-fashioned acrostic to share what I'm thankful for. I'll be taking a break next week from the blog to focus on family and soak up my rapidly depleting time with R. And also do some work stuff, I guess....

I am really excited about the upcoming advent season and hope to share more about that with you in the coming weeks. I ordered the Naptime Diaries advent calendar and plan to join in with Samantha's advent photography. Jordan and I are really wanting to be more intentional about the advent season in a way we haven't been in the past! p.s. Laura is hosting a giveaway of an Advent devotional from She Reads Truth! It closes tonight!

T- Time with R

It has been an absolute joy to spend my days working at home with R. I do not take it for granted, and even though it has been very hard and tiring, it has also been very wonderful. She makes me so happy every day! Plus, bonus! My arms are getting toned. Seriously. We weighed her when we were at my parents' last weekend, and we're pretty sure she's up to 13 pounds!

H- House

Jordan and I have been in our house for almost five full months and we LOVE it. Are there a lot of projects we still need to do? Of course. Is there furniture we still need to buy? Definitely. But it has been a huge blessing to have a house to bring R home to, and we are so thankful. FYI: I blogged our house tour here.

A- A Job

I am extremely thankful for my job! I've been there 2 years now, and I am really enjoying it. I love what I do and I enjoy my coworkers. Not everyone can say that, and even though I wish I could stay home with R, I am thankful I am not going back to a job I hate, because that would really be terrible.

Plus, it's become clear that I need a job to support my online shopping habits. 

N- Nursing

I am so thankful to have been able to exclusively nurse R for over three months! I know many people would love to nurse and aren't or weren't able to, and I am thankful that I have had a large supply that seems to keep her fed. I find myself only needing to pump out of necessity (if you know what I mean) than because I feel like I need to build up a stash. I plan on exclusively nursing at least until I go back to work in January, and ideally we would like for me to mix in solids with nursing until she is one year old.

On that note, this is not in any way a complaint, but nursing is hard work! I don't think I truly appreciated all the nursing mothers out there, but seriously. It's tough! I'm hungry and thirsty around the clock, I've had to deal with a few blocked milk ducts (super painful), and it can be hard to schedule sometimes, especially when you're on the go. Still, I am very thankful to be able to nurse. Cuddles with R and hey, it's free!

K- Kindness

The news is terrible, and every day it seems like there are more horrible stories of hatred, not forgetting of course the recent Paris attacks, which were truly awful and heartbreaking. I love seeing people come together and be kind to one another. My blog post about how to be a good friend shares a good reminder of a great way we can be kind to others and show we care about them. With the upcoming holiday season, it's easy to get caught up in a busy schedule and focus on all the things we have to do, but we should also not forget to take time to show kindness to others around us, especially those who may feel sad for one reason or another this time of year.

F- Family

R's baby dedication last weekend was a lot of fun! My parents drove up from Texas, and Jordan's parents were there too (they live in the same town as us), and after the service on Sunday, we all went out to eat! I am thankful our parents get along and that we have such great examples of godly marriages and parenting to model ourselves after.

U- Unlimited water supply

Since R has decided that milk hurts her stomach, I have been cut off from 1 of the 2 beverages I drink on the daily. I used to go through a gallon a week by myself. I heart milk. so much, but now that our love affair is over, I'm guzzling water all day long. I often think back to my time in Nicaragua last summer and how blessed we are to be able to turn on a faucet and have as much hot or cold water as we want!

L- Legs

I take my health for granted way too much, but occasionally I am reminded just how thankful I am of healthy legs that take me wherever I want to go. They've run marathons, walked circles around my house with a crying baby, and basically been the best thing ever. Yay for legs! Plus, you might not know this about me, but calf muscles are my favorite ever. They are something I always notice about people. Is that weird?
So those are just a few things I'm thankful for this year, but of course there are so many others. I'm also thankful for YOU who come and read my blog and comment and email me about my posts. Blogging is a really fun hobby for me, and I hope I've kept it interesting around here even after having a baby! Thanks for sticking around.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a great week filled with family and friends and lots of laughter and thankfulness for all that God has given to us. Is anyone braving the Black Friday madness?

What are you thankful for?

Covered Goods Nursing Cover: Review


I'm really excited to collaborate with Covered Goods to share with you about their awesome nursing covers. They offered me a nursing cover at a discounted rate for me to try and review. There are no affiliate links in this post.

I had previously heard of Covered Goods but never really investigated their covers until a friend of mine showed me hers and told me how much she loved it. I was excited to get mine in the mail and try it out. 

Here is what I love about this nursing cover: it's four products in one! The fabric is soft and stretchy, and you can use this as a nursing cover, infinity scarf, car seat cover, or shopping car cover. I have also used this as a light blanket over R's legs while in the car seat. The genius is that you can wear it as a scarf, and then boom! You're ready for nursing almost instantly. Plus you should already know how much I love scarves.
The top opening around your neck is smaller than the bottom opening, which stretches to go around the baby. I love that it covers all the way around my body so I don't have to worry about my stomach or sides showing if I'm out in public (not that I nurse in public if I don't have to, because I'm still super awkward about it). I feel like it's full coverage, but I can easily peek in and see R if I need to, which is really important to me.

I would absolutely recommend the Covered Goods nursing cover to anyone and think it would make a great gift for a baby shower or for Christmas coming up!

Click here to shop!