Easter 2020


Hello! How was your Easter? It was super weird and a super bummer to not be able to dress up and go to church and have a meal with extended family. F just turned 8 weeks old, and I'm still not on top of anything in life, so I didn't plan an Easter meal at home or buy anyone special outfits. I don't do Easter baskets (not because I'm against them but just because I didn't grow up receiving them so it's not on my radar), but I didn't want to be a total lame-o mom, so the last time I was at Walmart (also only the second time I've been to the store in a month) I picked up a paper tablecloth with eggs and flowers on it that the kids colored while we ate sausage biscuits from McDonald's for breakfast. #fancy We ate leftovers from earlier in the week for lunch, and then we tried to get Chinese takeout for dinner but they were closed, so we ate leftovers again. Our Easter food was basically a giant fail. I blame you, virus!

For the first time in my life I bought plastic eggs and filled them with candy and hid them! Usually I leave that to the grandparents, but I figured Quarantine Amanda needed to step up. We of course don't want the focus of Easter to be candy and egg hunts, but it is fun and something I enjoyed as a kid and want my kids to enjoy also! On Friday we talked about how it was Good Friday and what that meant, and then R woke up the next morning and said, "It's Great Saturday!" That gave me a good chuckle.

After our zoom call with our Sunday school class and after watching our church service live stream, we drove to my in-laws' house to hunt eggs. They live less than a mile from us and have a big backyard, so we drove over there and let the kids run around and hunt eggs. My in-laws wore masks and stayed on the porch, and it was nice to be "together" for a bit, as it were.  It's interesting to me that it's getting more normal to not really hang out with anyone. Like, it's still really weird and sad, but every day it's not quite to strange that we just don't see people. Does anyone else feel like that?

I had every intention of getting everyone dressed up and taking (or attempting to take) a nice Easter picture like I saw so many people post on social media, but in the end we stayed in our rain boots and t-shirts, and I don't hate it. Look at us with three kids. Three!

Adding a child to our family has been difficult each time for different reasons, but I still think going from 0 to 1 kid was the hardest. We knew nothing about anything, and everything was so overwhelming, plus you're just not used to getting so little sleep. I also am pretty certain I had undiagnosed postpartum anxiety. 

I feel much more relaxed as far as F goes, and I'm not dealing with huge sleep withdrawals because I'm used to the kids waking up during the night; also I slept horribly for the last few months of my pregnancy. So it's a blessing to have the perspective that comes from multiple children that it really is all a phase and that not everything is a Huge Deal that I need to freak out about. 

That said, having three kids has been insane, and having a newborn during this pandemic has been incredibly difficult. I am not a stay-at-home mom. I've always had a full-time job, and I'm not used to spending all day every day at home with any amount of kids, no less a newborn and two very high-energy toddlers. (One of whom is insisting on potty training! He peed inside a Lego the other day. What is life.) 

I'm grateful to have this time with them, and I've learned a lot about them from being around them so much. (Maybe a post for another time!) But it's also been lonely to not be able to get together with friends or go to the zoo or even the playground. This is just not how I pictured my maternity leave going. But! We are all healthy and together, and that's what matters. And we are thankful that construction hasn't been shut down and that Jordan still has a job he can go to every day. 

Easter was (as always) a wonderful reminder of the hope we have in Christ and how thankful we are for his peace in these anxious times. I hope you had a good one, whatever that looked like for you!

Link Love!


Who is tired of being told to live your best quarantine life? Social media is annoying me right now. I do not have the brain space or energy to TEACH MY KIDS ALL THE THINGS or LEARN A NEW HOBBY. I truly have zero goals except to survive each day with everyone alive. Not because I worry about The Virus as much as I worry about one of my children accidentally on purpose stabbing the other one with a colored pencil. Oh wait, that happened yesterday. It's fine.

I assure you that I will not come out of this having learned a new skill, unless Circus Lion Tamer is a new skill... the circus being my living room and the lions being my children. That was probably obvious.

To say I'm feeling panicky about the fact that my maternity leave is ending in two weeks, and I will have to work from home full time with a 4yo, 2yo and 8-week-old is an enormous understatement. I cry daily, but we will never know how much of that is pandemic related and how much is postpartum hormones. All I know is that I have feeeeelings that change by the hour, and I'm hiding pints of ice cream in my freezer underneath bags of frozen peas. That's a true story.

I've started dreaming insane scenarios about all of this. Last night I dreamt that Jordan and I took a European vacation and then flew home on our international flight and DID NOT WASH OUR HANDS and then came home and touched everything. Two nights ago I dreamt that there was a tornado, and I was with my kids and a bunch of strangers in a glass house. Once the tornado passed we came out and there were spiders everywhere. It's possible I'm a tad stressed out!

So let's move on to happier thoughts. I've been keeping a running list of things I've been loving lately, and since it's 4 in the morning and I am pumping and have nothing better to do like sleep, I decided to share them! What have you been loving lately? Please share! I need more positive things to think about.

As always, there are some affiliate links. I get a few cents, which is a fun surprise when it finally adds up to $25 after a year and I can deposit it into our account and buy a box of diapers ;)


Home Chef - If you've never tried a meal service, now is the perfect time! It's food delivered to your door, contact free! ;) Jordan and I got one box a month from Hello Fresh for a year before they annoyed me with a customer service issue and we switched to Home Chef. It's SO much better. The meals actually take the amount of time to cook that the recipe says and it always look just like the picture on the card. You can get $35 off using this link

Daily Harvest - Similar to a meal delivery, this is a smoothie delivery! They also have overnight oats and protein bowls. Everything comes frozen, so you keep it all in the freezer and cook or blend as needed. I learned about it from a podcast and have gotten one box so far, but I want to get more. My tip would be to pour the cup into the blender and then add liquid. They say you can add liquid to the cup first, but in my experience it turns into an ice block and isn't as easy to blend. I love the fruit flavors, but they have a variety to choose from. Use this code for $25 off your first box. Cancel any time!

Fruit Leather Snacks - I bought these for our snack bin as a healthy alternative to fruit snacks. The kids and I both like them!

Mini Fruit Bars - Another recent addition to our snack bin. Nothing at all wrong with Goldfish, but I'm just trying to branch out ;)

Mini Larabar - Same as above! R in particular loves these.

Pinch of Yum 3-Ingredient Pancakes - I made these recently and actually liked them! The kids ate theirs also and said it was good. Super easy to make and truly used only three ingredients. 


Baby Bum Silicone Brush - If you don't have one of these you need to rethink life. Diaper rash cream is impossible to wash off your hands, and this is a genius invention. We used it with J and now with F. They even make travel size.

Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump (amazon) / (target) - The best thing to happen to nursing mothers. I use this multiple times a day and have filled three gallon-sized freezer bags with milk so far!

LuLu + Roo Clothing - This is one of my favorite small shops. The clothes are so adorable, and they have great resale value if you're into that kind of thing. Just sharing because I know some people are wanting to support small businesses right now! Yes, it's insane to spend that much money on a sweatshirt for a newborn. And yes, no one sees him but me. It brings me joy! Let me live my life. You can also find this brand for cheaper secondhand from places like Kidizen and Mercari (links below). That's honestly where I buy most of the kids' clothes... there or the thrift store. It evens out!

Baby Book - This is the baby book I'm using for F, and I love it. It's super cute with a minimalistic design, which for me just means there isn't a lot of weird fluff. Just stats and open pages for journaling or photos. I looked at a lot of different books, and this is exactly what I was wanting. There is a girl version and a unisex version.

Kidizen - Most stores are closed right now, but kids are still growing! If you need clothes, shoes, or toys for you or your kids, consider shopping on Kidizen! You can find new or used items for cheaper than a retail store, and you're supporting the mamas who are selling them. Get $5 off your first purchase.

Mercari - This is another buying and selling platform I use. I've found great deals on pajamas, rain boots, holiday outfits, and R's twirly dresses. I recently bought the kids a brand-new Magnatiles set for cheaper than was listed on Amazon. Plus you have the added bonus of fast shipping! Get a $10 coupon for signing up.

Giant Foam Swords - It's rude that Amazon is not considering these an essential item. Someone is going to lose an eye with a colored pencil if we don't get these ASAP.

iSpy Books (amazon) / (target) - R loves iSpy books! I bought her a new one before F came because I knew she would need something to do while I was spending more time with the baby.

Puracy Baby Shampoo/Body Wash - I don't consider myself super intense about "clean" household products, but I do try to keep it in mind when I'm shopping. I think all the information out there can be overwhelming, but I like the idea of working on one area at a time and seeing where we can make healthier choices. I recently learned about Puracy cleaning products, and we've been using their dishwasher pods (linked below), but I also got their baby shampoo/wash and wanted to share in case anyone was looking for a clean option for sensitive baby skin. That link is for Amazon, but you can also see if it's available on their website, though note that it takes at least a week or more to ship right now.

Yummy Toddler Food Instagram Account - This is one of my favorite IG accounts right now. She offers suggestions for feeding hungry toddlers, and they actually seem like things I could do in real life!

Swaddle - We aren't huge swaddle people... R and J were never swaddled at home. But F seems to enjoy being swaddled, and he really loves this type of swaddle where he can still have his hands up near his face. In his ultrasound photo his sweet hands are up near his head, and I think that's how he feels most comfortable sleeping, so this swaddle has been great!

Kinetic Sand - My sister got the kids this for Christmas, and I put in the garage unopened to save for a rainy day. If being quarantined for 800 days is not a rainy day, I don't know what is. I pulled it out last week, and I am absolutely not lying when I say that both my kids played quietly with this for over an hour. That has happened with a toy approximately zero times. F was napping, the kids were playing nicely, and I didn't even know what to do with myself. They play with it during quiet time every day and I'm convinced this is the greatest invention known to toddlerhood.


Puracy Dishwasher Pods - Another cleaner option I've tried lately. We are almost finished with our first bag of 50 pods, and I just ordered a second bag. Our dishes come out clean, and there is no smell. We still have a bag with some Cascade pods, and when I opened it recently I could barely handle the strong chemical smell of it.

Maxi Dress - This is not a maternity dress, but it's what I wore for my sister's bridal shower. It could work for maternity or not! It's stretchy and soft with pockets. There are a variety of colors, and for the price I was very pleased. If we ever escape from quarantine I'll be wearing this again!

Fresh 48 Outfit - I looked all over for ideas for what to wear during our Fresh 48 photos at the hospital. I looked at robes and pj sets and tunics, and at the last minute I ended up buying this pajama set from Target. It was super comfy, especially considering I was very newly postpartum, and I felt like it photographed well. I'm extremely thankful we are able to take photos after F was born! I'm so sad for people delivering babies right now who are not able to have any visitors. 

Rotating Extension Cord - Okay this is random, but did you know there's such a thing as an extension cord with a rotating base???? I had a weird situation where I needed something in one spot, but the cord wasn't long enough to reach, and this rotating cord saved the day. I didn't even know this was a thing.


Smallwoods Wooden Frames - I see ads for Smallwoods all over the place, and I finally ordered a few several months ago. I LOVE them. I have one for R and J and need to order another for baby F. I also got one of our maternity photos for the nursery. Definitely check them out!

Persnickety Prints - I highly recommend this online print shop! Great quality, fast shipping, and I love the quality. Support a small shop during this time and order prints here! They have a variety of sizes, books, and even some special quarantine journaling cards and books.

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles - I am loving this book so much. It's not super practical, but it's given me much needed perspective about parenting my kids in light of the gospel, offering grace, and dealing with heart issues instead of just discipline. 

So those are just a few things I've been loving lately! What new food, toys, or other items do you recommend? Let me know!