Its the little things, really.

I love this time of year. With back to back holidays approaching, time with family and friends and lots of traditions to be had—it’s an exciting time!

With all the preparation and things to look forward to though, I’ve noticed lately a trend about myself. What I’m learning is that I do a really good job of “holding my breath” in a sense. Making it to the next “big event” in life. Anyone else feel like this? Just make it to vacation next month. Make it to Thanksgiving break. Focus on the wedding, that’s 9 months away. Look forward to the new job…

For me, it’s easy to pick a date and wish away the time in between so that I can get to the next goal or thrilling moment. This has become some what natural for my heart and mindset–especially being married in the medical world.

For our family, it’s interview season (not for more school or residencies but for an ACTUAL job in the summer.) The potential to move again, and the excitement of the next phase—which we’ve been waiting for since my husband started medical school is just right around the corner now.

girls

In medicine, there are lots of milestones to cross before you get to the finish line- and its easy to set your brain in the mode of “making it to that next phase.”

Go to med school. Take Step exams. Pass exams. Apply for residency. Finish med school. Move. Start residency. Take roughly 546 exams, including board certification exams. Pass all exams. Move again (if you are like us.) Interview for real jobs. Finish residency. Move again.

That’s basically been the flow of life for the last 10 years.

But thankfully, by the goodness of several friendships and some small and sometimes large nudges on my heart, I’ve been reminded that I have got to find a way to enjoy the present, the unknowns, and the savor the journey. To really show up for the small things going on in my life. To remember the small moments are just as meaningful as the big ones.

I started a study with a friend, and I feel like the timing could not be more perfect with how life feels right now. Melanie Shankle’s, Church of the Small Things. This study is such a sweet reminder about how being faithful in the small things is just as important as the big ones. 

“A life isn’t made from one thing, one big moment, or one huge success. It’s created moment by moment, often with pieces that don’t look like anything beautiful on their own but are the very fabric of who God meant for us to become as we pack lunches, raise kids, love our neighbors, and simply be who he created us to be; nothing more, nothing less.”  -Melanie Shankle, Church of the Small Things

With the holidays approaching and also a lens of valuing the small moments, this month, as a family we are writing down on a pumpkin something each day we are grateful for. And while explaining the “rules” to my girls before we started, I told them they would need to think of something different each day and also something that was specific to that day. It’s a harder exercise than expected and I’ve been challenged to think of something small and special about my day that I’m grateful for too.

pumpkin

Gratitude is a huge character trait I wish to instill in my children, and I also know that for them to see gratitude in action, it’s going to demonstrated and taught best through the thankfulness they see in me.

Gratitude is a small thing.

A small thing that I can do everyday to enjoy the present and also see the hidden beauty in serving and loving those around us. Today, I’m thankful my girls woke up (relatively) happy. That we got to school in one piece. That I could to kiss and hug everyone before they buzzed off. That my lunch packing was a notch down from panic mode. And that my dishwasher got emptied before 3pm. 

It’s the little things, really. 

I can hold my breath waiting on the big job or the graduation that is now 229 days away. I can place my thoughts on the next best thing or big event. Or I can focus on the daily things, try not to miss them– and let the Father use those small everyday pieces to build up my life. 

Love, 

Liz 


When Life Hands You Lemons…You Just Survive

Ok y’all! I’m BAAACK! Well kind of! I am slowly trying to crawl out of the rock I’ve been living under for the last few months! I swear, having a baby throws you for a loop! So I guess that’s where I will begin! We welcomed our second daughter, Nora Ann on July 25th!


IMG_2828

She was 3 days late, but actually the timing was perfect! My doctor was working in the hospital that day and my mother-in-law had come to stay with us just a couple of days earlier! So when I went into labor we were able to just leave Elaina at our house with her, and focus on Nora’s delivery. I started having contractions at 3am, and around 6am, I told Austin we should head to the hospital. I got my epidural at 9am and was ready to push by 3pm. And Nora entered the world at 3:23pm! I seriously thought she was a boy with how different the pregnancy was, but of course I was wrong! So now we have two daughters and it seriously is so sweet to see Elaina want to love her sister…most of the time haha!

IMG_2142 IMG_1917-Edit

The following days after Nora was born, life was kind of rough. I had a post-epidural headache (WHICH TOTALLY SUCKS by the way!) that would not go away and you’re basically supposed to just lay flat for your spine to heal (which I wasn’t doing because I am too type-A and can’t sit still). Finally, my husband dosed me with LOADS of caffeine as a last resort before we were going to go back to the doctor for a blood patch and the headache finally went away. In the middle of the whole headache ordeal, we found out my husband was getting deployed…supposedly 1 week later! All I can say is that I flipped a lid.

It just all hit me hard… I was hormonal, I was tired, Elaina wasn’t sleeping and of course neither was the baby, and I was scared for my husband to be shipped off halfway around the world. We kind of knew the deployment was coming. But the crazy part was the timing–the idea of him leaving a week after having our 2nd baby. I know so many of you awesome military mamas who do this deployment thing regularly, but this was our first go around and like I said, I wasn’t in the best mental state after having just given birth!

Nora1

Well, I’ve seen over and over again in my life how God works everything out, even in the midst of what seems like the end of the world. The military was able to push my husband’s deployment back a couple of weeks. This extra time allowed us to spend more time together as a family of 4 and also to travel back to Ohio, so the girls and I could stay with my parents for a couple months. 

We headed this way so we could have some help during the whole newborn stage especially with a toddler running around. And even though my parents work during the day (and sadly most weekends) I have them here for the evenings! It’s awesome to spend time with family that we don’t really get to see! We are also traveling to Texas in a couple of weeks to spend time with my in-laws until Christmas.

pumpkins

mom

Some days are good and some are bad. I have to be honest, I cry about 90% of those days, and Elaina always asks “Why you sad Mommy?” I simply tell her I miss Daddy. So now every time I cry she thinks it’s because I miss Daddy haha! We are doing our best to keep busy…maybe too busy. We’re going to bible study, Elaina is doing a Child’s Day Out here and I even got her in swim lessons every day of the week! I don’t know what I was thinking, but oh well! We are pushing through and I am really trying not to wish this time away. It’s hard because I want it to go fast and I want my husband back. I seriously miss him like crazy. But I also know I will miss this time with family and the newborn phase…even though Nora is rough (Unfortunately, I think she may be colicky).

IMG_2954

I’m trying to get used to this whole 2 kid thing which is harder than I thought and I feel like every spare moment, I’m wiping a butt, cleaning up puke, or sitting next to one of them to get them back to sleep. Like I said, I don’t want to wish it all away, but I’m feeling pretty drained. My prayer is for God to give me the strength I need for one more day…which he always does. I know he is faithful and that doesn’t mean He promises life will be easy, but He always provides. So overall I’m going to try to keep writing when I have a moment to sit, but it will probably not be very much in the next few months. Liz is my lifeline again and she is truly a treasure to me; she’s always encouraging and just there when I need it! So until next time my friends!

elainanora

Love,

Angie


Living in Love

Is anyone else a little speechless with everything that’s been going on the last few weeks? It’s hard to post about the silly or simple things when we live in a world that often times is dark and weary. 

I’m not an expert on politics or solving the world’s problems, but what I’ve been thinking of during the last few weeks is how precious life really is and how I can make my mark. Making a conscience decision about how to live my life–in this moment. Especially when its fleeting and often times unexpectedly different than we thought.

What really leaves an impact? What moves people? What truly inspires people down to their core? It’s cliche, but I’m pretty confident about the answer. An answer that is simple to say, but incredibly hard to deliver. And in my little bubble of a world currently–it can be a struggle. LOVE.

This is a struggle (living a life of love) especially when I’m parenting my sweet and often times not so sweet children. The children that we will send off into the world one day.

Has anyone else seen the ugly, defeated and not-so-lovely parts of themselves while parenting? It should be easy right? It the midst of the world’s craziness, I should be able to parent and have control over at least one important thing right? However, in my reality, this is not true.

My day is filled with moments where I can snap in an instant if I choose. Situations where I can use ugly words and unruly authority to “make things right.” Sometimes throughout the day I don’t recognize myself. 

Ugh, it is a real battle. What I want to be as a parent is often times the opposite of what I look like. 

I know that my biggest calling and responsibility in this phase of life is to love the little people in my house and show them what an unconditional love looks like. And to be honest-some days I’m really bad at it. Teaching and showing my girls the Lord and planting seeds deep in their hearts to experience love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control is my true desire. And then watching them hopefully love others that way.

1

I’m not trying to do this perfectly by any means and/or be a cookie cutter mom. And as a family we struggle–aka, my children are not angels, and as you can see-I can be a hot mess. But, I’m trying to remember the big picture (loving well) and letting that lead me through the ins and outs of my day. 

3

In a world with so many unknowns- I want my kids to be sure that they are known. Their worth, identity and hope is in something greater than this chaotic world. 

Sometimes, I think about my kids 20 years from now and wonder what parenting will be like. I know it will look different and the dynamics will most definitely have changed. (No more wiping butts-haha!) But I’m hoping that a few things will be the same with my parenting. I’m hoping my girls will see I’m not perfect. That I need grace and lots of patience each day. That my strength doesn’t come from myself. That my hope doesn’t come from this world. That I’m still working on being the best mom for them. And that love never leaves them–from me or from God. 

4
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16

And that’s what I’m focusing on as the momma of crazy-little ones at the moment, when the world seems shaky around me. Living in love. Making waves and changes in hearts by relying on the love God has for us. (Even when I’m ready to pull my hair out and have this silly girl style it, lol!)

2

Love,

Liz

 

 


Recipes To Try This Fall

recipesforfall

It’s time to bust out the crock pot and soup recipes, because it’s finally feeling like Fall around here!

I’ve been on a huge Pinterest kick the last few weeks–going back and making old recipes I love along with trying new ones that look easy and delicious. I usually try to find recipes that don’t require a crazy amount of prep time and can either cook all day in a crock pot or come together within 20 minutes in a pot. Check them out below– they are perfectly fitting for the fall weather ahead! 

Also–I’m guessing most of you know this, but ya’ll have heard of crock pot liners right?! They are a game-changer for crock pot clean-up and I personally think they make the food even tastier (less burnt, or over cooked!) Give them a try with some of these recipes below–you’ll become a fan if you aren’t already!81LGyU2aZ3L._SX522_

Easy One Pot Lasagna Soup- I love lasagna, and was worried that this recipe would be disappointing-but it wasn’t!  It was easy and totally delicious! There were way less dishes with this recipe than making a normal lasagna and also less cheese-if you are more dairy sensitive or watching your calories. You literally dump everything into one pot and let it cook for 30 minutes–it was so easy!Lasagna-soup-main1

(Photo credit: carlsbadcravings.com)

Delicious Turkey Chili Recipe- I’ve been following blogger, Sazan Hendrix since I heard her on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey- and I just think she is so fun and sweet. I came across her chili recipe and decided to try it because it used ground turkey and it also called for spices instead of using a chili packet (nothing wrong with the packets–just wanted something a little different.) Anyways, her recipe was easy and turned out great! It’s on the leaner and healthier side of chili recipes-which is awesome! We are big chili people in this house and I’ve made this multiple times in the last 2 months. 

IMG_5849-768x1024

(Photo credit: sazan.me

Easy Pulled Pork- My mom has been making this for years and its the easiest recipe around! 3 ingredients in the crock pot: onion, a can of Coke, and BBQ sauce. That’s it! The pork turns out wonderful each time. I made this last week for our family and a friend and it’s always a hit. (This is a similar recipe to one we use.) 

Slow-Cooker-Barbecue-Coke-Pulled-Pork-Recipe-from-TheFrugalGirls.com_

(Photo credit: thefrugalgirls.com

Cheesy Potato Soup- The recipe is always a winner and is the laziest (lol) version of a potato soup out there–but so good! It’s great with different toppings and is pretty low-cost! Great for taking to a party!

171e12fe7077a1b76128396450c67580

(Photo credit: worthyoftheprize.blogspot.com)


All of these recipes are awesome as leftovers and make a ton! Hoping this gives you some new and different ideas as you head into Fall! 

Love, 

Liz 


Updated! {Ready, Set, Potty Train}

Ya’ll! I think we did it! I think we have reached the end of an era! The diaper days are behind us (except for nap-time/nighttime)–and it feels like a freedom I can’t explain!

Now that this transition has happened 3 separate times with our girls, I can 100% say that I believe in the potty-training method we used to get the job done. (See my previous post below for the details!!)

With our youngest, Libbey–who if you know her, is fierce, determined and sassy–I was a little nervous walking into the potty training stage. So, I pulled out all the stops to get her excited for our fun, long weekend of “potty adventures.” Doll, undies, candy, stickers for her chart, juice boxes, etc. You name it. I bought it. (I figured, if it kept me from buying diapers in the future–I’d spend the money to make the potty the best and most exciting thing in the world for my daughter.) 

2

3

We hit the ground running with minimal accidents after the first day, and thought by far, our hardest child was the easiest to potty train. Then around day 3-4 we had some bumps in the road for a few days. Although super frustrated, we stuck with it and after almost a week with no accidents–I can say I think there is light at the end of the potty training tunnel. 

Just for fun, I have to share this adorable video of our WHOLE family, encouraging and entertaining our daughter while she was potty training. Reading books, watching movies, coloring pictures and doing puzzles was at the top of our Labor Day weekend plans while the potty training was going down, haha!

Potty training-take 3! from HometownHoneyBlog on Vimeo.

If you are planning on potty training and looking for a method, check out my post below about potty training our middle daughter. We used the same book and method with all 3 of our girls and I would recommend it to anyone!

Good luck, 

Liz


10toilettips

This weekend are are tackling the lovely hurdle of potty training our middle daughter, who is 2 1/2 years old. imgsvr

The time has come…and actually she was probably ready a few months ago, but as much as the whole potty thing is a commitment for our daughter…it is for us too. No more jumping in the car or walking around the zoo without 17,000 potty breaks.

We have carved out time with the long weekend ahead to specifically work on potty training… and with our method, we are going to stick to it!

Our oldest daughter had great success potty training! Over the course of 1 weekend (3 days roughly) she was using the big girl potty completely. I know everyone has different children with different methods, books, ideas, ways, strategies, etc…but the method we used worked well for us and we are looking forward to it working with our 2nd daughter too! Again, fingers crossed!

The book we read to prepare for potty training and where all of our success is due, comes from- Potty Training 1-2-3 by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. 1600_Potty_Training_1_2_3_Cover__53965.1415575851.304.400

(Side note–If you are into parenting books, the Ezzos wrote the Baby Wise books and Growing Kids God’s Way books. Since we are huge fans of their parenting books/strategies we naturally looked to their book on potty training!)

Without sharing the whole book on the blog…

here are my… “TOP 10 TOILET TRAINING TIPS:”

1) Make sure your toddler is developmentally ready to be potty trained. (there are indicators that show signs of readiness in your child–check out the book!)…you don’t want to start too soon. 

2) Set aside a long weekend, with no plans–where potty training is your only focus. 

3) Have all the training equipment–potty seat, undies, doll, snacks and drinks.

4) Prep your toddler by talking to them ahead of time about the upcoming potty training task-get them excited!

5) Get a doll!–to “practice” or “teach” going to the potty. (this is one of the key parts in the method of training)

6) Have treats/rewards for your training toddler–treats for “staying dry” and a bigger treat for going potty. 

7) Set a timer–on your phone or microwave to be consistent with checking for dryness and trying on the potty.

8) Position the potty in the right location–in the kitchen or close to the living room so that your toddler doesn’t have far to go and doesn’t feel excluded from everyone else. 

9) Keep the drinks coming–hydrating and the urge “to go” helps them the master the process of using the potty quicker. 

10) Put the undies on and keep them on–excluding naps and bedtime, be consistent about using undies and potty training. Don’t confuse your toddler by having them in underwear one day and then a diaper the next. 

I highly recommend this short and simple book on successful potty training, and for accomplishing it in a matter of days! 

Love, 

Liz 

 


Solo Parenting

Our school year is up and running! It’s been a busy few weeks transitioning into new routines and different school environments, but thankfully, my girls are pretty flexible and have adjusted nicely to all the “newness” of the school year.

It’s been on my mind for a while to write a little something about parenting– and in particular “single parenting.” As some of you know, our family spent most of the last school year separated. My husband took a new job about 2 hrs. away from our home and commuted back to us on most weekends. We did this for about 8 months.

2

Since May we have been under the same roof again,  and I can say looking back now, it’s all kind of a blur, lol! At least all the day to day stuff.  But as a whole, I definitely see a clearer picture of what that experience was like and how I’ve learned and grown through it.

As I write this, I have several friends in mind that are experiencing some version of parenting solo, and as much as I want to say to them “you’ll be fine!”….I truthfully know the amount of energy it takes and the emotional roller coaster of feelings it puts you through to parent little ones on your own.

5

Also, I know there is a whole, completely different level of single parenting that I cannot speak to or understand —and that is the group of parents who parent alone with no end in sight. To those parents, all I can say is you are an everyday hero…like literally a hero every single day. You have all the weight (good and bad) on your shoulders, and you parent without a lot (or probably zero) recognition. Even if some days look ugly or aren’t your best, you surpass most others with your level of patience, energy and love.

For me, I’ve learned a lot about the good & bad parts of myself through the “single parenting” stretches. Here’s a quick look:

GOOD-Challenges are a good thing. I am more independent than I realized. I’m strong-physically and emotionally. I can do more than I give myself credit for. I can “manage” most household issues. I’m not afraid to be by myself. I enjoy alone time. I can find joy in a situation, even if it is not going my way. Happiness is a choice—even when life feels hard and tricky. My daughters can see me flourish or fail—and I want to be the most successful mom I can be for them.  

BAD-My patience after 5pm with my children is basically non-existent. At some point in the day, I just start ignoring people. When I’m tired, my discipline becomes inconsistent and lazy. When I need a break and it doesn’t happen, that makes me want a nap that much more. Sometime I make dessert to hide my feelings (sad but true, lol!)

4

If are you in a stretch of parenting on your own, below are some of the things that helped me survive for 8 months:

Good friends & family-the people that called, came over, or did the smallest thing to make the day go smoother (meals, babysitting, playdates, etc!)

Time with Jesus-Usually my solo parenting was a lot more successful when I was in prayer and spent time reading God’s Word. My perspective became eternal instead of temporary and I clung to promises like this one: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are made new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’” Lamentations 3:22-23.

A good book/TV show- Especially at night after the kids went to bed. Through this phase, I rediscovered my love for reading and also caught up on some shows I wouldn’t normally watch.  

Caffeine & an adult drink- I had my mandatory coffee to get me through the day and would sometimes have a glass of wine to relax after a crazy night (keeping it real, for ya)!

3

Every parenting journey is different, and after the many months of having to do it in a solo way, I am thankful for it all. I feel like a better individual, mom and wife because of the hard moments. Its the challenging things that shape you and also help you appreciate life.

If you find yourself in a similar phase or if you’ve been at this whole single parent thing for a while now, I’m rooting for you! 

Love, 

Liz 


9 Days Before Our 9 yr Anniversary {& a short video tutorial!}


I tried a little experiment for our anniversary this year.

I decided to make a video. (Definitely nothing fancy or professional-just memorable and sweet.)

When my husband and I got married nine years ago, (before Pinterest) we didn’t have videography at our wedding. Although we have awesome pictures and some footage from the day (thanks to my aunt!), there isn’t much video of the two of us in general over the last 9 years. 

After talking to a friend about how she made a video to music on her phone, I thought I’d try it for myself. My plan was to take 9 days worth of video before our 9 year anniversary—kinda like a catchy way to get a little glimpse of our family now, 9 years later. 

The video worked pretty well–but here’s what I realized– It’s actually really hard to get video of just my husband and me. It’s a ton easier to get clips of my kids or my kids and my husband….but just the two of us–it was a struggle. 

I actually really love how the whole thing turned out. It wasn’t forced or “staged.” It was simple moments of my guy and our girls together. Moments where David and I would be standing next to each other watching our kids–and I’d think, “Hey this is our life and really what we are actually doing right now–get a video of it!”

If you know us, then you know David and I are far from perfect, so this video isn’t meant to look like a fairy tale–just a glimpse of us.

A glimpse of life 9 days before our 9 year anniversary! ❤️ from HometownHoneyBlog on Vimeo.

Watching it back, I guess the pool was a popular place for us 9 days before our anniversary– can’t beat Georgia heat, haha! And the last part of the video is us walking to our anniversary dinner together. A fun experience and our first real date night since we moved to Atlanta. 

The video was fun to do, easy to make, and a special surprise for David (even though he knew I was making some kind of video.) 

I feel inspired to make more short videos like this–mainly to document our family and the slice of time we are living in. Pictures are priceless–but make a video and add some music to it–and you’ve basically created gold, lol!

If you are a beginner like me, have an iPhone (sorry I’m not familiar with Android stuff) and are looking to make an easy video to music for whatever occasion, check out my quick tutorial below:

Easy iMovie Tutorial: 

  1. Take short video clips (usually 3-5 seconds) in landscape. (holding your phone horizontal) 
  2. Open the iMovie app on your phone. (it comes already installed on your phone–I think!)imovie
  3. Create a New Project and then select video clips and/or pictures from your camera roll. Once selected, hit “Create Movie”imovie2
  4. Crop, edit, add text, make transitions and add audio once your movie is started. 
  5. Go back and edit as many times as you want after you’ve saved your movie!imovie3

If I’m wayyyy behind the times and you all know how to do this on your phone already, than my bad, haha! But if you are like me and are wanting some special videos of you and the ones you love-give this a try! It’s fun!

Love, 

Liz


Tough Stains Gotcha Down?!

This post is for all my laundry lovers out there! That’s probably no one by choice, but all of you because for obvious reasons—we all wear clothes (and hopefully clean them periodically)

felsnapatha

I am definitely not a guru in terms of what are the best, safest or cheapest laundry products out there, but I am an expert in washing clothes with LOTS O STAINS. Just this week for example, I’ve seen frosting, mud, food coloring, cherry juice, chalk and the lovely macaroni and cheese orange sauce get on my kids clothing.

What has rocked my world and made it completely better in the laundry arena is the discovery of Fels-Naptha soap.

soap

Believe it or not, this soap has been around forever—it was created in 1893! It comes in a bar form (similar to a bar of body soap) and can be found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores. I ordered mine off of Amazon and according to my mom, I will never have to buy another bar again, because of how long it lasts.

With a little background help from my mom, who used it first on my kids’ clothing—this soap is basically the simplest version of laundry soap out there. The bar she used on my kids’ clothing was from my grandma—who has had it for more than 20 years!

Fels-Napatha was around way before Shout, or Oxy-Clean and as I watched my mom use the bar soap I was immediately so surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. It works so well! My mom said she had completely forgotten about it over the years and was glad someone mentioned it to her again.

cleaningsupplies

Fels-Napatha does a great job of taking out stains prior to placing them in the washing machine BUT requires more than a squirt of product on the clothing. As my mom says “A little bit of elbow grease is needed, but it saves your clothes.”

I cant tell you the number of times I’ve “given up” on my kids clothes because of the stains I just couldn’t get out.

I’m going to post a demo video of this magic soap, and also post some pictures, but before that: one testimonial I can give you about this bar soap happened when we were in Ohio visiting family and my middle daughter had brand new hot orange shorts on that my mom had just bought her.

As a normal 4-year-old does, my daughter went outside and played with chalk all over the whole driveway and as she was playing- scooted her butt all along the black driveway and chalk designs. The shorts were a mess. They came off that night and I told my mom that we should probably just give up on the new clothing, because this chalky butt had no hopes of getting cleaned. (We have had this happen with chalk and other shorts before.) But as you can bet—that night we used the Fels-Napatha soap on them and within minutes of scrubbing, were able to get the mess off.

shorts

I became a “believer” at that point!

Here’s a picture of my 4-yr-old’s shirt after she ate a chocolate cupcake Monday night. Now don’t judge, but I waited to take the stain off until today (Sunday), because I knew I wanted to blog about this soap and needed pics, video, time, energy, etc! So this stain was almost a week old before I got around to washing it–real life, am I right?!? 

Here’s a before pics of the shirt, a video of me taking the stain out and lastly, pics of the shirt after it went through the washer and dryer this afternoon! Check it out! 

shirtbeforeshirtbefore2

 

Fels-Napatha Laundry Stain Remover Magic from HometownHoneyBlog on Vimeo.

shirtaftershirtafter2Give this soap a try if you find yourself unhappy with your current stain remover. The cost is low and as I said before, it will last you forever.

Hope this makes your laundry experience that much more exciting and adventurous, haha!

Love,

Liz


Mom Essentials {In Honor of Angie’s Baby #2}

This is totally a mom post! Especially for “moms to be” out there!

In honor of Angie’s due date just around the corner, (eeek—so excited to meet Baby #2!!), we decided to do a little post about the essentials to pack in your hospital bag. We know each delivery, experience and baby is different—but we are hoping to give just a little insight for those momma’s out there or ladies who could be wondering!

bag

Frankly, when I was having my first baby, there wasn’t a good list I could find on the internet, or a really close friend I could ask about how labor, delivery and all the other little details went. So after having my little girl, I typed up an official “what I would do the next time” list for myself when I packed for the hospital—and actually over time, I’ve shared this list with several friends and new momma’s to be (including Angie!)

baby4

So, here is a simple (not-over-the-top) list of items I’ve learned to pack after having 3 babies and also some insight from a prego mom and what’s in her bag as she’s ready to pop any day now with her baby #2!

Things that I packed or will pack next time around for the hospital:

  • Comfy clothes, (with easy access for feeding)
  • Comfy socks/slippers (to walk the halls so you can get some fresh air & to keep your feet off the dirty hospital floors-yikes!)
  • Your Toiletries (w/your own shampoo & conditioner if you want)
  • Nursing bra (I would wear it the whole time after baby is born)
  • Nursing pads (less painful in between feeding so your chest doesn’t rub against clothing)
  • Nipple cream (use in between feedings for the first 2 -4 weeks) …they will give you samples at the hospital
  • Pacifier (this is controversial, but I used a pacifier almost after 24 hrs with all my 3 kids)
  • Boppy or other nursing pillow (for support while nursing)
  • Going home outfit for your new baby
  • Car seat
  • Parenting book, ipad, phone chargers

Other things I remember after having 3 kids…

  • Use your nurse! She helped/showed me how to get my first born to latch on for feeding after she delivered! Usually they say you have an hour or so before your baby will start to get sleepy after delivery. (Football position is usually the easiest way to breastfeed at first too)
  • I’ll say it again, use your nurse! The nurses are so helpful even for simple things…changing the first diaper (with umbilical cord) and getting the onesie on/off the first time (seems silly but it’s helpful!)
  • The “materials” they give you to help “heal below” while you are in the hospital, they will also give you extras of to take home…so ask for more before you go!

baby3

Now from Angie!

So Liz is right! I totally used her list the first time around! I will be honest and say I personally packed too much though! I had a plan for how the delivery would go and of course that’s not how it turned out! Besides the things Liz mentioned, I had packed 1) an essential oil diffuser with oils, 2) a back massager, and 3) an exercise ball. Let’s just say none of those ever made it to the delivery room because I could barely walk due to pain when we arrived at the hospital haha! Anyways, these extras would be great; maybe if I wasn’t already in active labor so we will see how this little one decides to come. 

Right now, I just have a bag with the things Liz mentioned and another bag with a few baby outfits. I grabbed a little girl outfit from when Elaina was a newborn and a gender neutral outfit in case we have a boy. We’ll be so surprised when we meet our new little one!

A new thing I’m adding to my bag this time are couple of nursing night gowns. I used the hospital robes the first time around and may do the same, but have my own in case I decide otherwise!

With the first delivery, my water broke 2 weeks early (No big gush like the movies, I actually wasn’t sure if it broke until about 12 hours later when I was in so much pain I realized we should probably go to the hospital…oops)! I’m hoping I will know better with this one!

baby1

To reiterate what Liz said, use your nurses! I actually couldn’t get Elaina to latch in the first hour and finally a nurse suggested nipple shields which were a HUGE help! Yes we ended up using them for 4 months, but they were a lifesaver, something I would have never known existed if the nurses hadn’t shown me! I also used a pacifier like Liz said and we were fine, but this is totally your call!

I’m already realizing every pregnancy and delivery is different so we will see what this baby wants to do! Either way, I think we’re as ready as we can be and it is sure to be another adventure!

baby2

Lots of love & luck to all the momma’s out there!

Love, 

Liz and Angie 

 


“Big” Girl Toddler Room

Like I said last week, I wanted to share some photos of our daughter’s new “big” girl room. We moved her out of the nursery since it’s already gender neutral and ready to go for this new little one (who will hopefully make his/her appearance any day now!!)

I definitely went to town on the girliness of this room because I didn’t get to do anything girly for her baby room–so I let myself have fun! The initial inspiration  for her room started with the floral wall decals I found on a site called Urban Walls! This was my one splurge. We really didn’t spend much on anything else and I waited for a 20% off coupon before I ordered! [Check out this company on Instagram–but be careful you will become addicted to their stuff!!]

room2

Once I found the coral and green floral wall decals I went from there! I added some Target blackout curtains and one of their Threshold rugs. I already had a dresser so no money spent there! The night stand is a little Target storage cubby box I got on sale, perfect for books and her awesome Cuddle+Kind stuffed animals (they give 10 meals to children in need for every doll purchased!) 

gallarywall1

All the other odds and ends are from Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, or Target. The gallery wall was fun and of course my husband had to add his own touches, lol!! My daughter actually really does like the Hulk and Rocket Racoon…again my husband’s doing! One of my former students/cheerleaders made the little round wooden plaque with our favorite Harry Potter quote: 

woodsign

gallarywall2

Finally, the bed was our biggest project and headache! I went back and forth between buying another crib or attempting to build a toddler bed. I wasn’t ready for a twin bed quite yet but I found a full sized head board on a garage sale site (for $20!) and decided I would go from there! My husband built the base and I came up with the sides.

bedbuild1

The bed actually could fit a regular toddler crib rail, but I wanted the slats to cover more of the bed so I built my own! I decided on a fun color (Valspar Radiance Nautical Spray Paint) because again I just figured why not!

bedbuild2

bedbuild3

And voila! It’s not perfect…you can definitely see imperfections up close but I love it and so does she! She has climbed out at night a few times and we have to tell her to get back in bed, but overall she stays in bed like she is supposed to and waits for her OK! to Wake Clock.

room1

I love Elaina’s new “big girl” room and would totally have it be my own room if my husband would let me haha! I’m sure as she gets older she will want to add her own touches-but for now it’s pretty perfect for her! 

Happy Decorating!

Angie