Valentine's Day 2016


Jordan and I had the absolute most fabulous Valentine’s day this year, and I wanted to make sure I blogged about it so I don’t forget! It was kind of fun that Valentine’s Day (side note: I totally was going to call it VD and then thought better of it) fell on a Sunday this year because we got to see so many of our friends and wish them a happy day of love. 
I also made valentines for R’s Sunday school teachers! Please don’t be too impressed. I downloaded the card online for free and then cut them out and taped them haphazardly to a pink piece of construction paper, and it took approximately 2.3 minutes. 

After church we came home and ate leftover fajitas that we had gotten Saturday when we went out to eat with my brother and sister-in-law who were visiting us from the great state of Texas. (Side note x2: My brother accidentally took two Benadryl in the morning and slept forever that afternoon, and we’re still laughing about it.)

Then I went for a run! I did 3 miles by myself and then swung by and got R bundled up in the jogging stroller for the second half. I ended up doing 6 miles, which until this past weekend was my longest run to date since having a baby six months ago!

R ended up going to bed around 7 that night, which is slightly earlier than normal. It worked out perfectly, because Jordan and I were able to have a fantastic homemade dinner together. I made roasted maple-glazed salmon with brussels sprouts and rice. I pulled out our fancy wedding china (we have just two sets), and we sat at the table and ate and talked together. It was one of the best evenings we’ve had in a long, long time. It was nice that R was already in bed and we didn’t have to worry about entertaining her or holding her while she was being fussy.

A month or so ago I downloaded a PDF of ten conversation starters, and so when we have the chance we’ve been going through them one at a time. I know that sounds cheesy, and it totally is, but it’s actually sparked some good conversations, which I guess is the point! Jordan is always like, Are you kidding me with this? But he quickly warms up to the idea. While we were eating our Valentine’s dinner, we talked about this: “The area in your life where I’ve seen the most growth is…"

So that’s what our weekend looked like! Even though it wasn’t extravagant, and it didn’t involve gifts or cards or flowers or chocolate, I think this Valentine’s Day was one of my favorites yet.

What do you cook when you make a fancy meal at home?
Do you have wedding china?

Confession Session [vol 1]


I saw this post idea floating around the blog world last week and thought I'd join in and share some confessions of my own!

I confess...

...that I bought R two more hair bows yesterday. Shame. I was feeling strong for lasting all the way until February 20 without buying her any, but she was up for a middle-of-the-night feeding, and I ordered some in a sleep-induced haze because SHE NEEDS THEM. Send help.

...that we have been living in our house for almost eight months and still haven't replaced the chandelier in the former dining room that is now my quasi-office room with a ceiling light that is of the appropriate length. Meaning that it's hanging down and I almost hit my head on it on the daily. People who move into a house and instantly have it decorated and put together within the month are just obnoxious.

...that sometimes I browse the ridiculous forums on GOMI (Get off My Internets) because I can't believe how insane people are. There is literally a website dedicated to people who follow bloggers they hate just to get on the forum later and complain about them. Have you heard of this? It's the most absurd waste of time I've ever seen, and for some reason it's like a car crash: I can't not look at it. I saw one once where the person said they couldn't believe a certain blogger had photoshopped her infant's legs and also took her baby tanning. They included a picture copied from the blog post. The baby's legs did look orange... Except, oh wait. That's right. The baby was wearing orange tights. El oh-my-good-gracious el. People.

...that being a full-time working mom is really hard, and when people tell me how awesome I am because I look like I have it all together and have totally figured out a routine and insert comment here, I kind of want to cry and then go eat some lactation cookies.

...and that I feel jealousy toward moms who get to stay at home with their babies, and I've been praying about it. (I also confess that when I say that out loud I feel like a jerk. I've really been wanting to write about how it's going with daycare and being a working mom, but every time I start a post it's just not coming off how I want so it's sitting half finished in my drafts folder for now. Would anyone even like to hear about that anyway?)

...that I still haven't figured out how I want to document 2016. I keep taking pictures of R obviously, and I want to do something with them but haven't figured out what. I loved doing Project Life last year, but seeing as how I still haven't finished 2015, I don't think starting that up again would be a good idea if I want to finish it before she's 37. (Eventually, if I ever get finished, I want to share my final layouts for the second half of the year! See all my pages from January through July 2015 here.) Do you have any ideas for a fun and easy photo project I could do this year? Help a sister out.
...that I ran EIGHT MILES on Saturday and that's the farthest and longest I've run since having R! I pushed her in the stroller for 4.3 miles and then ran the rest on my own, and I clocked in right around 9:30 pace! Half marathon, I'm coming for you.

...that I am in the middle of reading The Royal We at the recommendation of a few blog friends, and I'm sad that I'm not enjoying it all that much. It's not terrible by any means, but it's kind of just okay and I was hoping it would be great. It could very well be the fact that I basically have time to read in ten-minute increments lately, so I haven't had a chance to really lose myself in the story.

...that making R homemade purees is really easy and actually kind of fun! After a rather difficult start (she just didn't seem to like anything we gave her), she really seems to be taking to food!

...that I will join the ranks of busy bloggers everywhere by saying that I have so many blog post ideas and so little time. Like how I have been drafting a post about Valentine's Day for a solid week and a half now. Oye.
...that when I look at this face I melt into a thousand tiny pieces and am basically a puddle. Everything and nothing they say about motherhood is true. That's the best way I can explain it. I'm just so excited for all my real life and blogger friends who are pregnant with little ones! I pray for all the growing babies and continue to pray for my friends who are still waiting for their miracle babies.

What do you want to confess today?

links + loves vol. 1


I am not the first blogger to come up with the concept of links and loves, so I'll just put that out there from the start. But, I did want to pop in and share some things I've been loving lately! I really enjoy these types of posts from my favorite bloggers because I always find fun things. And Jordan loves it when I say, "Hey I saw this awesome thing on a blog..."

*None of these are affiliate links, mostly because I can't figure out how to do that.

In case you want to dive father down the rabbit hole, there's such a thing as a hair bow subscription service. Yes, that's right. Hair bows delivered to your door every month! I subscribed for two months and then cancelled. Not because I don't love it (I did!) but because my budgeting goals for 2016 didn't include more bows and I just couldn't justify it to my wallet. BUT that doesn't mean you shouldn't indulge. I won't tell. 

p.s. I have also bought bows from here. And hereSomeone stop me. Or don't. 

For those who love talking about budgeting, I recently stumbled upon this blog. She also has a podcast. A lot of what she says is pretty common sense (for me anyway), but it's still interesting to read another person's story and see how she manages her money.

Michelle posted some hilarious political valentines that all of you need in your life.

I recently ordered R one of these Passey Clips! I love the idea of a leather clip instead of fabric. Necessary? No. But they're cute. (This didn't align with my budgeting goals either, but you win some, lose some.)

My dad has a podcast, and I like listening to it on my runs. It's inspiring, and this episode especially was really interesting.

Chelsea's "30 things to say yes to for the best year of your life" post was great. I love #24 and #30 especially.

A fellow blog friend (can't remember who now! I'm sorry!) recommended this YouTube channel for yoga, and I am totally loving it. I've never been into yoga until recently, but I've started doing some of these videos and they really help me stretch out and unwind at the end of the day. I'm trying to get Jordan to do one with me, and one day he even said yes and then he punked out at the last minute.

Rachel recently posted some blogger awards, and she named me the blogger with the "Best Grasp of the English Language." Because I is good at grammar. Amen.

I've made this twice in the last month when we had guests come from out of town. It's my go-to recipe for a group! So simple and delicious!

Some of you may have heard me talk about the Graze box before. I have been getting this box of healthy snacks delivered to my office for a couple of years now and am such a fan. I get a box every 4 weeks, but you can do every week or every other if you want! Sign up here and get your 1st and 5th boxes free using the code: 3G4Y2PFKP

I loved Caroline's post about finding true joy in Jesus no matter what our circumstances may be.

Samantha shared this recipe for homemade hot chocolate that sounds amazing!

And finally, I recently bought a few house-related items off this website and have nothing but good things to say! Good prices, fast shipping.

So there you have it! 
Lots of great things to love around the internet lately.

Have you come across anything good recently that I should know about?

Month Six


Someone had a half-birthday recently! (And I’m not talking about mine last month). Little Miss R turned six months old on the 10th, and I can barely stand it. I mean honestly. That tongue. I die.

She weighed 14.2 pounds and was 25 inches tall at her checkup, which is right around the 20% range for both. A petite baby, we have! The doctor said she looked great, but I won't lie and say I wasn't a little worried to see her drop off the curve a bit. I'm trying not to dive into that rabbit hole and I keep telling myself that she's a happy and healthy baby and is doing just fine. She is currently wearing 3-6 clothes and it looks like she'll be holding steady there for a while longer.

The big news this month is that she is officially sitting up all on her own! It happened just a few weeks ago. One day she was working on her core strength, balancing between my legs, and the next day she was like, “Don’t worry, Mom, I’ve got this."
We still put pillows behind her and to the side because she does fall over on occasion, but for the most part she just hangs out playing with her toys like it ain’t no thang. She hasn’t yet figured out how to get herself into or out of a sitting position, so when she’s done sitting up she’ll cry until we come over and lay her on her back to keep playing. 
Now that she can sit up, she’s becoming less and less of a fan of tummy time. And while she has been rolling front to back since day four, she still has yet to roll back to front. She can turn completely on her side, even cross one leg over the other, but it seems she has no desire to make the final turn. I’m pretty sure she could if she wanted to, though. She also still loves playing with her feet and toes! When we take her pants or tights off, she gets really excited and kicks her legs so hard!
Not that she lets having tights on stop her from eating her toes...

R also has become a little talker! Her favorite syllable to babble is “da da da,” so Jordan’s all, “She’s saying dada!” I’m not counting that as her first word, however, and I’m working on getting “ma ma ma” going, but so far no such luck. When she’s in a happy mood and talking it is the cutest thing ever. I almost don’t want her to ever learn to talk because the baby babbles are too much. But then again it would be weird to have a five-year-old running around saying “da da da” so I suppose it has to happen eventually.

Right at the end of her six months, she started giving "kisses." At least, that's what we think she's doing. I'll let you be the judge.

Where do I even start with eating? Okay. It’s basically this: we have no idea what we are doing.*

R ate rice cereal maybe four times total before I decided I wanted to get my puree on. So far she’s tried: bananas, avocado, peas, sweet potato, apples, and carrots. We haven’t found anything she is willing to take more than three bites of before she starts crying, so you might think well maybe she’s just not ready for food. But she totally eyes our food, tries to grab for our forks, etc., so I thought I’d give baby-led weaning a try. So far we’ve given her a cucumber wedge, yellow and green bell pepper spears, a steamed broccoli floret, and a hunk of banana.

The banana was the biggest success and was actually pretty funny. She opened her mouth wide and wanted to shove the entire banana inside and seemed to enjoy it! She was also able to suck on a bit of the cucumber. We found the bell pepper wedges worked well for distracting R enough to give Jordan and I time to eat our own dinner, but obviously she’s not going to be chomping down on a raw pepper any time soon.

The bottom line is that we seem to be unintentionally doing a hybrid of purees and baby-led weaning, and overall we haven’t found feeding R to be quite as much fun as we were expecting. She hasn’t shown a huge interest in anything in particular, and both of us feel like it’s a hassle and just ends up making her mad. I don’t know. Hopefully we can keep experimenting and find a good method that works for us and works for her! I’ll keep you posted. Other than solids, she is still breastfeeding 3-4x a day and drinking breastmilk from a bottle 2x a day, and you can read more about my experience with all of that in this post.

*I wrote this part a week ago, and since then we have had a few better days of eating just in the last two or three nights. She seems to really enjoy a puree of sweet potatoes and carrots that I mixed up and has actually sat to eat for about 5-10 minutes, which is a huge improvement, and Jordan and I are both really excited about it!


R consistently sleeps through the night! We totally bypassed the four-month sleep regression, and to that I say hallelujah. She goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until 5:30 most nights. Sometimes she will wake up around 2ish crying, but we just go in there and pop the pacifier in and she’s out again. Lord help us when we have to take that thing away.

Naps are still very hit or miss. Typically her naps last only 20-30 minutes, but on occasion she has been known to pass out for a good hour or even two! That’s when I check her obsessively to make sure she’s still breathing.

I honestly think a huge factor in her sleeping through the night is daycare. I can tell that she just gets so tired from the stimulation of being somewhere new with other babies to watch, and especially because she isn’t a great napper, by 7/7:30 she is just done for the day. After feeding, we lay her in the crib and she’s out without hardly a peep most of the time.

Other Notable Events

R had her first official trip to the doctor this month. She was coughing a lot and had a super stuffy nose, and we figured it was just a cold. But then her eyes got all red and swollen and started leaking green goo, so we thought a trip to the pediatrician would be prudent. They prescribed some eye drops and amoxicillin, and within three days she was back to normal! We are thankful it was such a simple solution. We also have had a humidifier going in her room since she was four months old, and I do think that helps the stuffy nose at night.

Her umbilical hernia has improved so much! That thing was a giant, and we were getting concerned about it (it literally had a hook on it and was a bit terrifying), but about two months ago it started noticeably going in on its own, and now it almost looks like a regular belly button! That is an answer to prayer!
^^^I took her to work with me once just for a few hours when I had to take her in to her checkup, and it was so fun.

Average Schedule at Six Months Old

4:30-6:30 [she typically wakes up time between these hours and our morning routine is adjusted accordingly for eating, diaper changes, etc.]
7:15 – drop off at daycare
7:30 – arrive at work
[usually takes a 30-min nap]
9:30 – 5 oz bottle
11:30 – visit at lunch to nurse
[hopefully takes a longer nap]
2:30 – 5 oz bottle
[usually doesn't nap but sometimes does]
4:30 – leave work/pick up from daycare
5:00 – home and nurse
6:00 – eat (solid)/bath (every few days or when needed)
7:00 – nurse
7:30 – bed

5 Things that Make Me Uncomfortable


“What things make you uncomfortable?” I posed this question on the TLO Facebook page and got some funny responses. Here are a few that came to mind for me, although I’m certain there are more. Leave a comment below with some of yours!

1. Hugs

Look. I know this will probably make me sound like a scrooge with a Grinch heart, but here’s the thing: why do we feel the need to hug everyone all the time? I just saw you yesterday! I will see you tomorrow! 

Hugs. Why.

I make exceptions for family, of course. And best friends or friends you haven’t seen in a while. Your mom, of course. And for events where a hug is appropriate such as a wedding or funeral. But on a regular day-to-day basis, I would much rather prefer that we both keep our hands and arms inside the ride at all times.

Picture this scenario: A group of friends are hanging out (probably for girls’ night because let’s be honest: this hugging thing is mostly a girl problem), and then it’s time for one person to leave. Instead of grabbing her purse and saying goodbye and leaving, that person starts walking around the room handing out individual hugs like they’re dying or shipping off to Australia or something. This kind of situation is the thing of my nightmares, and I have been known to follow said hugger around the room for the sole purpose of avoiding the hug. Because if you’re behind them at the end, they get confused and think we’ve already hugged it out. I know because I have done this many times.

In a perfect world we would all stand around nodding and grinning at each other like idiots. No fist bumps. No high fives. No hugs. Just lots of nodding.

2. People kissing on TV

Specifically, people on reality TV kissing. More specifically, kissing while in a hot tub. (Because they always end up in a hot tub! Why? Hot tubs are hot by definition, and then you’re getting up right against someone and pressing your faces together. It’s a wonder more people don’t pass out in these types of situations.)

Also more specifically, people kissing on reality TV in a hot tub using tongue.*

Ain’t nobody wanna see that.

*This pretty much rules out The Bachelor for me completely. It’s just too much uncomfortableness.

3. Wearing leggings as pants with a short shirt

I will admit that I’m totally on board with leggings as pants. So comfy! So stretchy! So like sweatpants but not! However, I’ve never seen anyone ever who looked good wearing leggings as pants and a short shirt. Look in the mirror and just say no. Please wear a shirt that’s long enough to cover your butt! I beg of you.

4. Making a joke that fails

It won’t shock you to know that I think I’m pretty funny. I know that’s not being modest or humble, but whatever. I have my dad’s quick wit and I love being sarcastic, and I am pretty good at getting some laughs. 

HOWEVER, is there anything more uncomfortable than trying to make a joke and it failing completely? I think not. I shudder just thinking about it.

Awkward silence and… then I found ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Because that’s how much I would pay to go back in time and not make that comment. Yes, it’s that uncomfortable.

5. Passing a stranger on the sidewalk

I don’t think I need to explain this one. You’re walking. She’s walking. You look at your feet and spend way too much energy trying to decide the precise moment when you should glance up. It needs to be just in time to give them a friendly and hopefully non-stalkerish head nod but not too early that you end up making awkward eye contact as you walk toward each other. 

On the bright side, at least there’s no chance of a hug.


#6: Butt cracks.

I really think that’s all I need to say about that. This whole problem would be solved with longer shirts. See also: #3

(6a: Typing "butt crack" into the online dictionary so you can see whether or not it's one or two words. It didn't show up as one, so I'm going with two, in case you're wondering.)

What things make you uncomfortable?

On Breastfeeding


I wanted to share some thoughts with you about how nursing has gone/been going for me, but please understand that these are my personal opinions about my own journey and are in no way intended to reflect or represent anyone else’s breastfeeding experience.

I always intended to breastfeed R if possible. I know that there are a lot of moms who want to nurse but can’t for various reasons: not enough milk, schedule difficulties, baby won’t latch, and a host of other unforeseen problems. I realize that I have done absolutely nothing to make it possible for me to nurse R for almost six months, and I don’t take that for granted. 

I hadn’t read much, but I had read enough and heard enough stories from friends to expect a lot of pain in the beginning. As it turns out, I swung way too far to the negative side of things (as I tend to do) and expected nursing to be much worse than it actually was. Like, I was expecting the absolute worst and ended up being pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the horror I was dreading. The one thing I heard over and over was that if you can make it until six weeks, something snaps into place and it all becomes better. I would say for me it took about a month for me to feel like I wasn’t a giant ball of stress about the whole thing.

The First Few Weeks

One thing I didn’t know was that breastfeeding helps your uterus return to a normal size in the first few days after giving birth. I was initially surprised (in a bad way because ouch) to feel a cramping sensation (like a period) during every feed for the first few days, which I was told was my uterus contracting. Even if you are not planning to breastfeed your baby, you might consider nursing at least in these very early days to assist in this process.

The first few weeks of nursing were very stressful for me, and there were many tears of pain, confusion, and frustration. First of all, it is very painful for obvious reasons, but it does (or should) get better over time. After about a month it completely stopped hurting at all, but in the beginning I just had to suck it up. For me, it wasn’t completely unbearable pain like it can be for some people, and there are creams you can buy to help. I used Lanolin, which was great. But overall, my boobs just hurt a lot, and there's not too much you can do about that.

I had heard some pretty bad stories about lactation consultants (being mean or rude, etc.), but thankfully the one who came to my room in the hospital was amazing. (Are you seeing a pattern with me hearing horrible stories and things not being as bad as I thought? You think I would learn not to freak out so much.) She was helpful those first few days, and I made an appointment to come back in a week to visit the LC. This was a game changer for me. I would highly recommend you visit an LC at your hospital during the first few weeks. I wasn’t even experiencing huge issues, but it was so nice to sit in a quiet room with an expert and have her watch me nurse R and show me different holds and what to be looking for in her positioning to help her latch better. And if it sounds awkward to have a stranger's face literally inches from your boob, I assure you that labor takes all that right out of you and you don't care two cents about it. I've flashed so many people in the last six months. It's whatever at this point.

While I was at the LC she also weighed R before and after a feeding to see exactly (by the gram) how much she was getting from me, which let me know that she was definitely getting enough milk and made me feel so much better. R didn't gain any weight during her first week half home from the hospital, and I was a wreak about it, so it was nice to know that she was getting enough milk.

I originally almost cancelled my appointment because I felt dumb for going, but it seriously was one of the best things I did in that first week. My opinion, of course.


I have a pretty good supply of milk. Until about a month ago I pumped sometimes not out of need for milk to store but because my boobs are aching from being so full. It was mostly just in the morning once R was consistently sleeping through the night, but it happened very often throughout the day in the beginning months until my body regulated my flow a little better. This was annoying because I had to carefully plan my day or else they would get too full and be uncomfortable.


I was really overwhelmed by the idea of pumping. I think just because of all the parts and keeping things sanitized and storing the milk properly. It is a lot, but it’s very simple once you get the hang of it, which really doesn’t (or didn’t for me) take long at all. Now that I'm back at work, I have noticed that I don’t pump quite enough as R needs to fill her bottles, which is super frustrating, and to be honest the last few weeks have been pretty terrible as far as pumping goes. 

She takes 5-oz bottles, and I have been pumping around 3 ounces each time. I used to pump 4-5 ounces, but lately it's been around 3. Babies are much more efficient at getting milk than the pump is, and when I'm nursing her I don't have issues with milk, but I don't think my body is taking to pumping multiple times a day very well. I have been needing to add in an additional pumping session so we have enough to fill her bottles for daycare. I do have milk that I’ve pumped and froze, but I’d like to not have to start going through that just yet.

Pumping to build up a stash is one thing, but knowing exactly how much you need to pump in each session to fill your baby's bottle is very stressful and I kind of hate it a lot. It's on the list of Reasons I Wish I Didn't Have to Work. I could go on, but I'll leave it at that.

Breastfeeding is Hard

Even though I realize that I have done nothing to “deserve” to have had the ability to breastfeed R, I have a hard time not being proud of myself for making it this long. Because you guys, the honest truth is that even with pumping aside, breastfeeding itself is hard. I expected it to be painful, yes, but I didn’t expect for it to be this hard on a daily basis. Not hard in that it’s an effort to physically breastfeed, but I mean it’s hard because it’s a constant juggling act with my schedule, and it’s exhausting.

every. single. day. for almost six months I am silently doing reverse math in the back of my mind.

R ate at xx time, so she will need to eat again at xx time.

I need to run to the store, but R will be wanting to eat in ten minutes, and it will take this long and so I need to be back by xx.

See what I mean? Every day.

Not that I’m not happy to do it, because hello I’m not going to deny my baby food (free food at that), but I didn’t realize how tiring it would be to do this much scheduling. Although I will say that at six months, it is so much better because she's on a more regular schedule finally.

I personally believe that breast milk is the best option for the baby if you can do it, but just in terms of scheduling and the time commitment, I can see why many women choose not to nurse. Sometimes I think that it would be much easier to be able to hand a bottle to someone else so they could feed R, especially in those early weeks when all I wanted to do was sleep but instead I was up every two hours nursing, and it’s not like Jordan could do it.

That said, I absolutely love that my body is producing food for my baby and she is healthy and growing. 

It really is such an amazing thing and so worth it to me at the end of the day. I do feel like I’ve developed a bond with R through feeding, and I love feeling her little body curled into mine. I love that I can tell when she’s full or when she wants to switch sides. I love the face she makes when she’s just finished nursing and how rosy her cheeks get because they’ve been pressed up against my arm. I love the way she grabs my shirt with her tiny fingers. I love that when Jordan walks in the room and says something to me, she pulls off and smiles at him. (Although I don’t love when she pulls away and a mouthful of milk runs into my bra and down my stomach.)

I honestly don’t really get all the controversy that surrounds breastfeeding. Women need to choose what the best option is for their family, and if that involves breastfeeding, awesome! Let’s support nursing moms and recognize the hard work that it is to feed a child. And if you choose to formula feed for whatever reason, let’s support each other in that too. Perhaps most of us can agree that breast milk is the best option, but please, let’s not act like formula is a death sentence. It’s hard not to hear so much negativity surrounding formula and feel the weight of, but what if I can’t nurse and have to resort to formula??? This kind of pressure adds unhelpful and unnecessary stress to a new mom who is just trying to do the best she can for her baby. (<<-- Totally preaching to the choir right now aka ME with all of this work pumping struggle.) 

Over the past six months, I’ve been blessed that my baby gets full and is happy breastfeeding and feel so grateful that it's worked out for me to nurse. It is such a wonderful thing that I can supply her food, and even though in many ways it’s much harder than I thought it would be, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I hope to be able to continue to breastfeed R until she is one year old. However, we will see how pumping goes at work and reevaluate if needed. I'll keep you posted!

Okay! I think that's all I have to say about nursing for the time being. I hope this post was interesting to you! Leave any questions in the comments or feel free to email me if you have thoughts/questions, etc.

p.s. You might like these related posts:
Claire's series of posts about wanting to breastfeed but it ultimately not working out and how she came to terms with that.