Recent Reads: December 2017


I last posted a book review roundup in May. J was born in June, and I pretty much didn't read a full book until December, when I went back to the office and had time on my hands during pumping sessions. I discovered last time that reading a book feels a lot more rewarding and fun than scrolling social media on my phone, and I was able to blaze through some in the last month of the year and hit my 2017 reading goal! Here are the last books I finished in 2017:

Balancing it All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose
by Candace Cameron Bure
2.5 Stars

This was a super quick, easy read about the life of Candace Cameron Bure, the actress we all know and love from her role as DJ Tanner on Full/Fuller House. It was interesting to learn about her background and growing up as a child star and then how she came to have faith in Jesus. There are some great nuggets in here about life and finding balance and such, but there were also a few chapters I skimmed through because they weren't super relevant and/or interesting to me. It wasn't a terrible book as far as content, but ultimately my lower rating is because the book itself was dull, a result of the fact that it's clearly written by a ghostwriter and thus has very little original voice.

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder
edited by William Anderson
3 Stars / *Did not finish

I actually only made it halfway through this collection of letters, even after renewing it once from the library. I LOVE  the Little House on the Prairie series, and I really enjoyed reading these letters from Laura and learning more about her life after the LH days and also more about her relationship with her daughter, Rose, and Rose's influence on Laura's writing. I loved the letters where they were communicating about plot lines and things for the books! However, I ended up returning it before I finished. I was in my final few weeks of pregnancy and too tired and distracted to read anything. I would like to pick this up again at some point.

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
3.25 Stars

This was a difficult book to rate. I'm not sad I read it and don't feel like it was a waste of time, but I wouldn't want to read it again. I found the story interesting and felt it moved quickly, but the narrator and writing style started annoying me after a while. The book is set in New York City in the 1920s and follows Rose Baker, a quiet girl who works as a typist for the NYC Police Department. A new typist, Odalie, joins the precinct, and she and Rose quickly become friends. Rose is an unreliable narrator, which is the cool thing right now, but it doesn't bother me like it does some people. However, what does annoy me is that she kept foreshadowing ("I didn't know at the time but...."). I mean just get to it already. 

The ending was definitely a twist, but the problem is that I have no idea what actually happened. I can't land on one explanation that makes everything make sense. I read a bunch of other Goodreads reviews, and everyone seems to be confused about the ending. That is unfortunate because I liked the book more while reading it, but finishing it and feeling so confused about the conclusion lowered my opinion about the book as a whole. If you do end up reading it, let me know what you think happened!

God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics by CS Lewis
4.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book of essays from CS Lewis. Of course, like any book of essays, I didn't love every single one, but overall this volume was fun to read. Lewis's humor comes across in many of the essays and had me actually chuckling out loud. There were some essays I skimmed, some essays I did not understand, but then there were essays that were so true and insightful (as Lewis tends to be), and I have underlined many portions of this book. The book is broken up by essay and in sections, so there are lots of stopping points, since each essay stand alone and you can jump around to whatever topic you find interesting at the moment. I, however, preferred to read it front to back. This is good book to own and come back to again; I wouldn't think this would be the type of book you would want to get from a library unless you wanted to just read a few specific essays. I actually started this book in January and finally finished in December.

Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of Early Olympic Women
by Roseanne Montillo
5 Stars

This nonfiction book follows the lives of Betty Robinson and a handful of other women who were the first to run in the Olympics in the sport of track and field. Men's track and field was an established and honored sport, but women really had to fight to be included in the games and fight to be valued and encouraged. For so long, people thought running was bad for women's health and made them too "masculine" looking. I found this book extremely interesting and well written. If you wanted a book that was only about running, I don't know if you would like this quite as much because the author does go into the historical accounts of that time period and the biographical lives of the runners and their families. There are a lot of different people to keep track of (no pun intended!), and some reviews I've read said they found that frustrating, but it didn't bother me. There were a lot of section and paragraph breaks, so it felt easy to read, and the author did a great job getting us into the minds of the runners. This was a quick read for me, and I enjoyed looking at the section of photographs also.

*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch
5 Stars

This was an excellent book. I read the author's blog, so I was familiar with her writing style already (which I like obviously). I actually got this for my sister-in-law for Christmas and decided to read it really quick before I wrapped it up since I had been wanting to read it for some time. This book has some very practical, useful advice for raising children in today's world, and even if you don't agree completely with everything she does, the principles are solid. It might sound strange, but while reading this book, it hit me for the first time just how HARD parenting is and is going to be through all the different stages. Part of it made me feel a bit stressed out, but that's not the author's fault. I have a feeling I will come back to this book later on. There's also a good list of recommended reading in the back! Highly recommend.

Coffee Date: December 2017


Hello! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families. It seemed like a lot of people started their festivities early, but we didn't do anything with family Friday or Saturday, and it was nice to have some down time just the four of us.

Tuesday was the seven-year anniversary of the day Jordan asked me to marry him! December 26, 2010, we were downtown Chicago with my family, and Jordan got down on his knee in the snow and proposed and shocked the daylights out of me. You can read our engagement story here, our love story in 10 questions here, and Jordan's side of the story as he planned the proposal part 1 & part 2.

The last time I wrote a coffee date post was back in August when J was 6 weeks old. Now that he's 6 months old, I thought it was a good time to take you all out for coffee, or maybe a peppermint mocha as a fun, wintery treat. If we were out for coffee, I'd tell you...

...that I've been writing more sponsored posts lately, and I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I'm actually finding them kind of fun. Now, I realize that purist bloggers would never say such a thing, and I know that as a blog reader sponsored posts can be obnoxious. The ratio of sponsored posts to lifestyle posts on The Lady Okie is always always always going to be majorly favored to the latter, but I've been able to try out some products I never would have tried before, and having certain writing requirements for posts depending on what the brand is looking for grows me as a writer, which I consider a useful skill and has been interesting. Plus, I don't hate free stuff and I don't hate money ;) I'd really like to start saving up for a camera upgrade this year! Most recently I wrote a post about these potatoes, which both Jordan and I thought were delicious, and I will definitely be buying them again! (For more of my thoughts on sponsorships and working with brands as a small blogger, read this post.)

...that I've added some really fun things to my wardrobe lately. I don't regularly buy clothes, especially clothes that cost more than $10 or $15, but as I mentioned in a previous post, after having J, I just feel kind of blah about everything I own and have been wanting to add some fashionable, cute pieces to my closet that I can feel good in that aren't t-shirts I'm still wearing from college. I recently got my first Stitch Fix box, which was fun. I'd been wanting to try it forever and was very impressed by it. A blog reader (Hi, Amie!) used my referral code to get a box for free, and she emailed me to say that she loved her entire box and kept everything in it! It's always nice to hear from you guys who read this blog, especially when I recommend something I liked and you like it too.

...that speaking of clothes, I have gotten some really fun and cute things lately from this website. They had a giant Cyber Monday sale, and I snagged a double hooded sweatshirt I'd been eyeing. I also love love love this hoodie, which is super soft and has a full half-zip, which makes it perfect for nursing!

...that I've started reading again. I basically stopped reading after J was born and only just recently picked it up again this month, thanks to being back in the office and having twice-a-day pump sessions. I've read four books just this month and will have a reviews post up for you soon. I hope this reading trend continues into 2018! If you have a favorite book from this past year, let me know about it so I can add it to my list. There are a couple of books that Carolann listed in her 2017 book survey post that I haven't heard of and want to check out! Michelle always has great book review posts, and Kristen just posted her 2017 book review recap.

...that I am joining a gym in 2018. I've never in my life had a gym membership, but this year I am going to be like every other person in America and make fitness a goal for the new year. J is six months old and only just very recently (like, two weeks ago) started sleeping longer than 2-3 hours at a time. I've been working full time since he was 8 weeks old, and I've been trying to take naps and go to bed early, but that's no substitute for night sleep. I've honestly been too tired to make a solid attempt to work out, but I will be honest and tell you that I feel like a giant blob. It's never been about the scale for me, and in fact we don't even own a scale so I couldn't tell you how much I weigh, but it's about how I feel, and I feel gross and out of shape. I am already signed up for the OKC half marathon in April, which will be half #11 for me, and I hope to get to the gym at least 2x a week in the evenings for a run and workout.

Finally, I would tell you that I am working on a post about my return to the office this second time around. Some blog posts are really easy for me to write, and some feel so difficult to put my thoughts into words. This post topic is turning out to be the latter, but I hope to finish and post it soon. I've shared so much about working motherhood on this blog over the past two years and I feel like I can't not say something about how it's been going having both kids in daycare full time and me back at the office.

I always write a year in numbers, so keep an eye out for that one coming next year. I didn't do my annual reader survey that I've done for the past couple of falls, but if you do have a specific topic you'd like me to write a post about next year, please do let me know!

Thank you so much for reading and following along with The Lady Okie in 2017. I appreciate all the love on my posts and I enjoy interacting with all of you. Hope you have a great rest of the week. Jordan and I have been off work all week and are loving having some extra family time during this holiday season!

*Some affiliate links are used in this post. It takes a lot of work to maintain a blog, and I appreciate you supporting the brands that support my writing!

Merry Christmas!


J: 6 Months


J is six months old! Half of an entire year has gone by with this sweet boy in our lives. I haven't been doing monthly updates on the blog, but I felt like I wanted to spend some time writing out what J is up to these days in honor of his half birthday. I read through R's six-month update, and it was fun to see what she was doing at this stage in comparison. Some of it is similar, and some is very different!

Stats: 26 inches tall | 17lbs 4oz | 17.32 inch head
Wearing: Size 3 diapers and 6-9 month clothes


We finally started purees with J at the beginning of this past month, and he has been chowing down. We really should have started earlier, because he was definitely ready to start eating! I had completely forgotten about how much people on the internet like to debate about baby-led weaning and purees and of course the horror of rice cereal. lolz is all I have to say about that. Everyone needs to calm down. I love feeling so much less stressed out about the whole eating thing that I was with R. I remember feeling so anxious about all of it, and I'm really not so much this time. I'm growing! haha.

I'm making my own purees again like I did with R. Call me crazy, but I actually think it's kind of fun. So far J has eaten banana, sweet potato, blueberry, avocado, pear, and peas. I think pear and sweet potato are tied for favorites. He hates blueberries, which is fine by me because he likes to blow bubbles while spitting it out, and it gets everywhere. (See this post for some tips/products I use for making purees.)

He's still breastfeeding, and I'm pumping 2x a day at work, which is going well so far! I've been back for 2 weeks, and each week I've had 50 ounces of milk to freeze. It took about a week for him to get used to taking bottles at daycare. We had given him bottles at home before, but for whatever reason he refused his daycare bottles and then would eventually drink just 1 ounce or so out of the 4oz that I put in his bottle. But by the end of the week he was doing better, and the second week, he was drinking the whole bottle.

Speaking of eating, after spilling buckets of drool for what feels like 8 years and waking up crying in the night for no discernible reason, I can definitively state that to show for his trouble  J has exactly zero teeth. No nubs, no white bumps. nothing. WHERE ARE THE TEETH? I need to go back and see when R got her first tooth, because I can honestly tell you that I have no idea how old she was when she got her first or any other tooth. (I looked it up, and she got her first tooth at 6.5 months, so his is hopefully coming soon!)


On this point J is much different than big sister. She was sleeping 7:30-5:30 every night according to her six-month blog post. J.... not so much. Up until a week ago, he was still waking up 3-4 times a night and I was not having a good attitude about it. MAMA TIRED. He has, however, always been a pretty good napper, so that was nice. But still. During the night, he would wake up every 3 hours almost on the nose.

At his 6-month checkup, the doctor was like, so he's sleeping through the night, right? Like it was this casual thing.

HA. no. He's never done that. But thanks for asking, I think? Rude.

He has been sleeping in the bassinet next to my side of the bed since he came home from the hospital, and we've been wondering when or how we should make the jump to him sleeping in his crib in the nursery, which he and R are going to share. 

I went to a women's event at church last week and got talking to a friend of mine whose daughters have shared a room since the youngest was a few months old. I told her that we wanted J and R to share but were nervous about it, and I asked her how we were supposed to go about it. She told me something profound: just go for it. We had been waiting for something to happen, I think, or something to tell us that it was time, but after she said that, I realized that we really just needed to do it. I came home inspired and told Jordan and we were doing it the next night.

Long story short, it went really well! I set low expectations and thought it was going to be a disaster, but it wasn't. R did wake up crying once and woke J up, but when he woke up later crying, she stayed asleep. AND he slept from about 8:30pm to 1:30am, which is by far the longest stretch he's ever had! The next few nights he slept well also and only woke up 2 times (and I only fed him one of those times). So we are really excited about that, and I guess they are officially sharing a room now! Jordan is giddy with excitement that J is out of our room, and I have to say that it is nice to be able to talk in a normal voice and turn the light on in our room again. But I miss being able to just look over and see J. I didn't get emotional about it and cry or anything, though. Probably because I was too focused on the fact that he and R were finally sharing a room after all this time.


J started sitting up this month! It's been so nice because he has been a lot happier being able to see more and look around. It's also been super cute, because R has been interacting with him more and actually attempting to "play." He loves loves loves to watch her, and he's very content to sit up and play with toys that we put on the floor in front of him.

He can roll from front to back but can't roll from back to front (same as R at this age), so he still stays in the same place we put him on the floor, which is wonderful. He does okay with tummy time but largely prefers to be sitting up, although I still try to make sure he gets floor time so he can practice rolling and such. When he's lying on his back, he loves to grab his toes, which is the cutest thing. He loves taking baths and will sit in the bath seat just looking around and smiling.

Everyone who sees J always comments on the same two things: 1. His bright blue eyes and 2. His smile and how happy he is. Truly, he is such a happy, smiley baby and a joy to be around. He's super ticklish on the inside of his thighs and the side of his neck and will giggle so much that he gets overwhelmed and starts crying.

He thinks it's hilarious when we bounce balls on the floor. He also loves "chasing" R around. She will say, "Come git me, Baby J," and I'll hold him out and run toward her and she runs away laughing. When I reach her, I hold J out so he can "tickle" her, and they both crack up.

J is content to be passed around to nearly anyone, although he clearly loves his mama the best, and even Jordan will tell you it's true. When I visit him at daycare during the day or pick him up at the end of the day, he gets so happy to see me. He kicks his legs and gives me the biggest smile. If he's facing away from me and hears my voice, he turns all the way around to look at me. He's getting to where he can fall asleep on his own, but I still love to hold him whenever I can. It's true what everyone told me: little boys love to cuddle.

I just love him so stinking much and am so thankful he's part of our family!

Freezer-Friendly, On-the-Go Green Chili Breakfast Burritos


Let's talk about breakfast, shall we? 

I love breakfast and think it's a very important meal, but it's hard to find the time to make and eat breakfast. Especially since having kids and going back to work, my mornings are an absolute rush. Breakfast burritos are the perfect solution! My friend introduced me to the concept of freezer-friendly breakfast burritos years ago, so I realize it's not a new thing. It used to take me a solid two hours or more to make a batch, and over time I've gotten quicker and the burritos have gotten more and more delicious. Adding a small can of green chilis really adds an extra layer of delicious flavor that Jordan and I both love. I can now make an entire batch of about 20 burritos in 1 hour start to finish.

Jordan strongly believes that no breakfast burrito is complete without potatoes and meat, but the last time I made burritos, he said they tasted fine but the texture was (I quote) "mushy." I used frozen potatoes, and I agree with him that they did turn slightly to mush. Cut and cooking whole potatoes is better, but it takes a long time! Simply potatoes® are the perfect addition to my breakfast burrito and I'll tell you why. (And make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!)

They are made from fresh potatoes with real ingredients and require no peeling, shredding, or dicing. They are never frozen, so you will find them at the store in the refrigerated section, not the frozen section. At our Walmart, they were located on the top shelf above the eggs. If I were you, I'd go here and make sure you know what the different packaging looks like so you can easily find it!

You can make a batch of breakfast burritos and eat them that day, but they also freeze very well for later! Then, just grab one out of the freezer and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Freezer-Friendly Green Chili Breakfast Burritos
(Yields 15-20 burritos depending on the size of your tortilla and how full you stuff them)

1 bag Simply Potatoes® Diced Potatoes with Onions
1 dozen eggs
1 lb. breakfast sausage
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can green chilis
1/4 cup of milk
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Get the potatoes cooking in one pan with vegetable oil while you cook the rest of the ingredients. They will be done at the same time, so all you need to do is assemble the burritos and either eat now or freezer and enjoy later.
2. Brown the sausage in a large skillet.
3. While the sausage is browning, prepare the eggs. Whisk together 1 dozen eggs with the milk and some salt and pepper.
4. When the sausage is brown, pour the eggs into the same pan. This step is key to efficiency. You are going to make scrambled eggs that mix with the sausage so you don't have to worry about cleaning another pan. Occasionally stir the eggs until they are fully scrambled.
5. Add the green chilis.
6. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. You can use pre-shredded cheese, but it tastes the best when you use a block of cheese and shred that fresh over the skillet mixture.
7. Assemble your burrito! 

*If you are eating right away, just put some potatoes and the egg/sausage mixture in a tortilla and eat. If you are freezing for later, assemble the burrito like normal, then wrap in a paper towel and wrap again in a piece of aluminum foil. Place as many burritos as can fit in a large freezer bag. Repeat until everything is gone!

Simply Potatoes really did make our breakfast burrito process so much easier and so tasty! I had never heard of them before and am excited to continue using them when I want simple, easy, fresh potatoes. Check out their website for recipes and more products.

Now for a giveaway! Head to Simply Potatoes and check out their products. Then leave a comment and let me know what potato dish you would make and what type of potato you would use. I will choose one winner to receive three coupons for free product!

My 1st Stitch Fix Box!

Heyyyyyy. Guess what? I got a Stitch Fix box! Yes, I am now the ultimate blogger cliche except that I wasn't holding a Starbucks drink, which would have really put me over the edge. I've secretly wanted to try SF forever, and for the strangest reason I always love seeing other bloggers post pictures of the clothes they got in their boxes. It's really so odd to me that I like it so much, since I'm not that much of a fashion person. Anyway, I used a referral code that waived the styling fee, so it was free to try my first box and I figured this was my chance! Use my code and get one for free also. (Click here.)

In case you don't know what Stitch Fix is, long story short, it's a box of clothes delivered to your house. You choose what you want to keep (and pay for, of course) and send the rest back in the prepaid envelope. Usually there is a $25 "styling fee" you pay to get the box, but again, the fee was waived this time so it was free.

I was pretty skeptical about what clothes they would send me, but actually I really loved all the items in my box! So that was fun but also kind of sucked because they weren't cheap. Ouch. But, as I've mentioned a few times before, I am trying to overhaul my wardrobe right now and trying to find quality items I love and feel good in post baby #2, so I did keep one thing from this box. Let's check it out and you can tell me what you think.

1. Toms Jutti Suede Flat (wearing in all photos below)
These were adorable, but they were going back no matter how much I loved them because $$$. Thankfully, they were also a half size too large (they were a 9, and I needed an 8.5), so I can't feel too bad about it.

2. Liverpool Kay 4-Way Stretch Skinny Jean (wearing in all photos below)
I've heard of people getting pants in their Stitch Fix boxes and fitting perfectly, and I didn't believe it, but I am here to tell you it's true. These fit amazingly and were so cute. And I returned them. I am already regretting it as I type, but I just wasn't in the mood to spend a ton of money on a pair of pants. Maybe next time. Hashtag I'm cheap.

3. 41 Hawthorn Dark Green Blouse
I did like this blouse, but the material was strange (too thick), and I wasn't sure if I loved the open design on down both arms. Also the sleeve length felt awkward. Are you full-length? Three-quarter? Half? No one knows.

4. RD Style Light Grey Cardigan
I loved this immediately. When I showed it to Jordan, he said, "That looks like something you would wear." YES. I loved the long sleeves and how long it is in the back. I do wear leggings as pants (no shame, my friends) but only if my shirt covers my butt <-- very important. I have a similar type of cardigan in a darker color that I wear throughout the winter. I kept it and am wearing it right now and it's perfect. No regrets.

5. Renee C Purple Blouse
Gah. This one. I debated forever and almost kept it. It was comfortable and purple is a good color on me. Also this type of shirt is the perfect kind of dressy/casual for work in the fall and early spring. I realized that I really need a long-sleeved blouse in my life. I don't have one! However, my mom always asks me when I'm debating about clothes: "Do you LOVE it?" And while I did like it a lot, for the price I wasn't completely in love, and I feel like I can find something similar at the outlet mall or somewhere like ThredUp. I am going to keep an eye out!

Getting a Stitch Fix was actually really fun. What was not fun was not being able to keep everything because my money tree out back died a few years ago and I have had many unsuccessful revival attempts. 

But I am super happy with my cardigan and think maybe I'll do it again sometime! Just not every month or even every other month (how do people do it??????). But a few times a year perhaps! Again, use my referral code to get your first box for free.

What did you think of my choices? What would you have kept?

Currently December


Hello, friends! Guess what? Big news over here.... I started work in the office on Monday. Yes, the time has come. I cried a lot and it was hard to leave J. I was holding it together pretty well until the director asked me how I was doing as I handed her J's "baby's first day" paper, and I burst into tears and basically ran out the door.

Everyone has been so incredibly sweet texting me to ask how I'm doing and sending prayers and love my way. Yesterday after work I walked in and Jordan had Christmas music playing, a fresh cup of hot chocolate waiting for me, and he was cooking dinner! That guy. He made sure to tell me not to expect that kind of entrance every day, but I will take it when I can get it.

We are trying to figure out a new normal over here. Our routines have changed a lot, and I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. The good news is that I absolutely love our daycare and am so thankful for the fact that I know I'm leaving both of my babies somewhere they will be well cared for. 

I wanted to stop in and share a currently post while I have a minute!

lighting: Other than the Christmas tree, I'm lighting a mint candle in my office. One of the things I decided upon returning to work was that my office needed some sprucing up. I brought some new stuff from home to hang up, and I have been lighting a candle, which makes it feel cozy.

Also, related to lights, I'm mostly including this so I can remember it later, but R has been loving all the lights on the houses. Yesterday on my way home from work, we spent 10 minutes just driving around our neighborhood looking at all the lights and she was so happy. It's really true what they say: children make the holidays even more fun!

spending: You don't want to know what sorts of damage I did to our credit card in November. At least with our Double Cash card we are getting double the points! But the Instagram rabbit hole is real, and it has sucked me in with all the cute things. My most recent obsession are these pacifier  clips, which I love because they are shorter than average and so much easier to deal with (in my opinion) than the regular long ones. Jordan and I are both big fans.

choosing: What gift to get for the person whose name I drew in our family Christmas draw. I have three siblings, two of whom are married, and ain't nobody got the money to buy each person a gift, so each year we all draw names, my parents included! Then on Christmas Eve we sit around and open the presents we got one another, and it's such a fun and special time.

sending: A box of baby goodies to one of my best friends, who is due with a baby next year. I won't be able to attend her baby shower because she's out of state, so I put together a box of some of my favorite things and mailed it off! Isn't mailing packages just one of the most fun things ever?

singing: Christmas songs, obviously. There's a radio station here in OKC that plays 24/7 Christmas music starting the day after Thanksgiving, and that's about all I have on for the entire month of December. R somehow knows which is the Charlie Brown song, and when it comes on she shouts CHARLIE BROWN and gets really excited.

linking up with anne. also linking up with kristen.

Confession Session vol. 9


You know the drill. This is all in good fun, so don't get your yoga pants in a bind. That is, unless we disagree, in which case you're dead to me. (Look! I'm a poet and...)

Does anyone watch the show Scandal? I don't think I've ever had a guilty pleasure that really was quite so guilty. I'm not caught up on the current season, but I've been watching on Netflix sometimes in the evenings while folding laundry or nursing J, and I really just can't even with that show. I have a serious love/hate relationship with it. It's totally ridiculous and so unbelievable, and all the characters are just too much sometimes with their highly questionable moral ethics. But on the other hand, it's totally ridiculous and unbelievable and that makes it kind of fun. I don't know.

Speaking of shows. Game of Thrones. Jordan and I are both really grouchy about this. OKAY. You people act like you've discovered something. Game of Thrones! It's the new hit happening show of the year. Except did you know the books have been around forever? Like, seriously Jordan read them in middle school so we are talking decades of waiting around for good ole Georgie to publish the next book in the series so we can find out what happens. And here you TV people come and swoop in with your advanced plot lines and your acting like you run the place and ruin everything.

I can count on one hand the number of times I go to Starbucks in a single year. I do like their chai tea lattes, and in the winter I enjoy the occasional peppermint mocha, but I think their drinks are outrageously expensive (nearly $5 for a tall that it takes me less than six minutes to drink!) and the line is always super long and they are always so slow good grief. I also think the online world is has an obsession with Starbucks that I will just never understand. If I had a dollar for every blogger who posts about their daily Venti-sized Starbucks, I would be able to quit my job and sit at home drinking chai while waiting for my groceries to be delivered.

Speaking of getting groceries delivered.... okay, I will just say this. Unless you have had some type of procedure wherein you are physically unable to move from your bed and/or you are blind and your caretaker has gone on vacation for a month and your bread is starting to mold, paying to have your groceries delivered is ridiculous. And I get that loading kids to and from the car and carting (pun intended) everyone through the aisles is an odious task for most, but still. Ridiculous. And I don't care if it's "really not that much extra." Ridiculous.

I said it last year, and I don't think I've changed my mind on the subject: pictures of babies screaming their heads off while being held by Santa are not funny. Raise your hand if you are shocked that a tiny baby is scared when suddenly handed over to a large man with a hat and white beard. And hi, who wants to put up a picture in their house of a complete stranger??? I mean, if they're at Disney World and you take a picture with the Easter Bunny who is wearing a fake head so you can't see the person's actual face that's one thing. Otherwise no.

Speaking of Christmas things I will not be taking part in this year. Elf on the Shelf. Is that even still a thing? No.

I successfully didn't eat any dessert in the month of November except for Thanksgiving (duh), and I gave myself one other cheat because Friendsgiving (obviously). But before you get too impressed, I should tell you that yesterday I had four cookies for lunch.

Speaking of cookies, I ate some for dinner too. Just making up for lost time over here.

p.s. More confessions here.

Potato Feet: Our Favorite Baby Shoes


I received a pair of shoes for J in exchange for this post. However, I purchased a pair myself  before he was born that he has been wearing for the last four months. I loved them so much that I reached out to see if I could collaborate to share about them with you! All opinions are mine.

Before J was born, I came across Potato Feet booties during one of my trips down the Instagram rabbit hole (raise your hand if you know what I'm talking about). He was born over the summer, but once it started being cold outside consistently, they were the only thing I ever wanted to put on his feet, and five months later, that's still true! (You can see him wearing them in this post.)

Every time I go out with J, I get compliments on his shoes and people ask me where I got them. I tell them to check out Potato Feet. If they look warm and cozy, that's because they absolutely are. AND I am here to tell you that these shoes actually stay on his feet. All the praise hands.

I had the hardest time with R because she always kicked her socks off, and I couldn't find anything to keep on her feet that would be warm enough in the winter. I would have loved to have a pair of these two years ago!

J is a little over five months old and about to need a size up from the 0-6 size he has been wearing (these), but that just tells you that these run true to size! I am excited about the two-tone 6-12 booties that Potato Feet was kind enough to send me. If I had a girl, I really love this minted lace bootie or just the baby pink.
Perfect for a baby shower gift or maybe a Christmas present for your little, you guys need to check out Potato Feet. They have loafers, moccasins, and accessories too! J hopes you love them as much as he has! 

p.s. If you check them out on Instagram, they are often having sales, so be sure to follow!

So Much to Give Thanks For


We had such a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, and there is so much to give thanks for! I know that so many people have a hard time over the holidays because being with their family is stressful and not very fun, and I won't pretend like my family doesn't have our share of fights and stressful times, but overall I truly love when all of us are together, and I don't take it for granted. Jordan and I are both so blessed to have parents who have been married for 30+ years and grandparents who were married for 50+! God has been good to our family.
This year we hosted the 7th annual turkey trot in my parents' neighborhood! Seven years ago we held the first race with less than 200 runners, and this year we had just under 1,000 people register and another sellout! We have a 1-mile fun run/walk and a 5k run/walk. We get shirts, medals, timing chips, and it's crazy that this is the 7th year in a row to do it. All the proceeds benefit a local nonprofit, Dare to Serve

We all get up extra early on Thanksgiving morning (like 5:30) to get everything ready, and it's all over by 9:30. After that we head back to the house to start preparing for our Thanksgiving meal! My aunt and uncle live just up the street from my parents, and my aunt is the best hostess and always has everything decorated so cute!

It used to be really stressful for my mom and aunt to make an entire Thanksgiving meal for 20+ people, but a few years ago we started delegating items to each person/couple, so now everyone brings something and it's the most delicious potluck.
My grandparents, aunt, and cousin drove down from Illinois, and we had a mini birthday celebration for those who have November birthdays. My mom got these cute turkey cakeballs!
J wore a onesie that said "Gobble til you wobble," and that's exactly what we did. On Friday, Jordan and I drove with R and J to Babe's Chicken House (SO YUMMY IF YOU ARE EVER IN TEXAS EAT THERE) to meet up with a friend of mine who lives in California but was in Dallas visiting family for Thanksgiving. We have been friends since middle school, and it was so fun to see her.

R and J slept pretty much atrociously at my parents' house, and I might have had a bit of a meltdown at one point because I. was. so. tired. I know it's just a phase, but that is of little comfort to me right now. Sleep, where are you? The Risen Motherhood girls were doing an Instagram live video and answering some questions a week or so ago, and one of the questions I saw was someone asking: How do I keep being a nice person when I'm so tired? That made me LOL because YES. Sometimes I feel like I am killing it at life, and sometimes I am definitely not. But I suppose that's what it feels like to be normal! ha.

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. There is really so much to be thankful for, and even though of course we should be thankful all year round, it is nice to have a small break and a chance to really focus on it. 

This time last year, J was just a tiny bean inside me, and we were only just announcing my pregnancy to people. We didn't know who he was, and now he's here and the best addition to our family!

p.s. Read last year's Thanksgiving post here. At the end I link to a video I made from behind the scenes at the turkey trot if you're interested! Also, in that first photo at the top of this post, J is wearing the same hat that R wore last year

Happy & Healthy Baby with Evivo Probiotic


I am so thankful that I have been able to breastfeed J without any issues for five whole months now. Believe me, friends, I definitely don't take it for granted. I'm starting back in the office at the beginning of December, and although I will try pumping at work, I have no idea how that's going to go for me. As you know, it didn't work out so well for me the first time. But I am thrilled to have made it this far exclusively nursing, and I have almost 300 ounces in my freezer! Such a great head start for going back to the office full time.

Even though I know J is getting solid nutrition from my milk, I am always interested in anything I can do to help him grow strong and healthy. That's why I was excited to have the chance to learn about EvivoJ is coming off of two rounds of antibiotics for an ear infection, so this couldn't be more timely. I can just tell he's not the same happy and, um... regular baby because of the medicine taking a toll on his insides. I actually remember looking for a probiotic to offer R when she was an infant, and I wish I had known about Evivo! It is a powder that you combine with pumped or expressed breastmilk and feed to the baby every day that helps develop their metabolism and immune system.

Most American babies appear healthy, but many end up with metabolic and autoimmune issues later in life. Research confirms a specific type of good gut bacteria called B. infantis has gone missing in many present-day U.S. babies, causing an imbalance in the gut that isn’t always visible from looking at someone from the outside.
The presence of B. infantis (the good bacteria) reduces potentially harmful bacteria linked to eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity. Evivo is the only probiotic that’s clinically proven to restore baby’s gut to its natural state. It transforms special carbohydrates found in breastmilk to promote the growth of the B. infantis bacteria.

If you click this link, you can learn more about Evivo, and you can use the following coupon codes for a discount! It isn't even that expensive at all. Just a couple dollars a day, which seems well worth it to get your baby started off toward a healthy life!

Get $10 off an Evivo starter kit of 4 weeks or more with the code BLOG4041
Get $20 off a 12-, 20-, or 24-week starter kit with the code BLOG4042

*Each code is valid for the first 50 uses. They expire on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, or after 50 redemptions.

Book Review: The Gospel-Centered Mom


Hey, guess what? I finished a book! 

It only took me three months, but that's not the point here. 

A few months after J was born, I picked up The Gospel-Centered Mom from Blogging for Books. As I've mentioned before, I've started listening to the Risen Motherhood podcast and been so encouraged and challenged to think about motherhood in light of the Gospel. This book was the perfect companion to what I've already been learning lately. If you are a mom who desires to explore how the Gospel impacts and connects with our parenting, I think you would enjoy this book.

It didn't feel particularly dense as far as difficulty of getting through it. Even though it took me a while, that is only because I'm having a hard time finding concentrated time to read (and not fall right asleep). The author's tone is pretty conversational, and I would consider it an easy read. Sometimes I found the author's tone a bit too conversational and it annoyed me, and some of her personal stories were either hard to relate to or just kind of odd. But her overall message about how the Gospel applies to motherhood was great and gave me some things to think about. 

I just wish they had included a hyphen to make the cover grammatically correct. 


My favorite part of the book was the chapter where she talks about a few lessons she learned from reading George Muller's autobiography and the connection she makes to motherhood. I definitely want to go check out Muller's book now! I also loved the last chapter, where she recaps the book in a short paragraph form, because she shares the basic truths of each chapter. There is also a discussion section with questions that a leader could use for a book club or group study.

I marked a couple of places and wanted to share one of my favorite takeaways with you, which kind of sums up the book's subtitle: The freeing truth about what your kids really need. 

"Enough will always be out of reach. We never arrive or quit needing Jesus. What's more, the effort of living up to what the world calls enough is exhausting, impossible, constantly changing. It sets us up for failure over and over again. We cannot be enough for our kids. Instead, we must rely on God to meet our needs 'according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus' (Phil. 4:19). When we do this, we're living as an accurate representation of the glorious God who created us and highlighting His glory and power to a watching world." (pg. 197)

As I've done in the past with some of my Blogging for Books books, I would like to mail my copy of The Gospel-Centered Mom to someone who is interested reading it. If you would like to check it out, leave a comment on this post, and I will randomly choose a winner in a couple of days!

I received this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are mine.