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    Meal Plan: Week 1

    You may have noticed that this year has brought a few new changes to our meals and way of planning. I have to say, I’ve been very happy with how it’s been working for us and I’m already feeling less angst about the whole meal planning process as a whole!

    At a request from a few of you, I’ve decided to share our weekly meal plan with you where I will include links to the corresponding recipes (if one exists). 

    But before I do that, here’s a little recap of how I’m tackling this part of our lives:

    Continue reading…

    Date Night In

    It’s been a long time since we’ve been out on a proper date away from the house, but to be honest: I don’t [really] miss it.

    I’m a homebody at heart, and while I love getting out to try new restaurants and dishes, we’re also not in the stage of life where we have complete freedom where the stress doesn’t outweigh the fun time out.  I admire those of you who can/do secure babysitters and enjoy a night on the town, but for those of you who are looking to have a night in with your significant other that is relatively stress free, and have some more intimate moments, here are my top tips:

    Continue reading…

    Our Year In Review: 2018

    It’s hard to believe that in the last 6 years, this was my first to not send out a Christmas card to family and friends. 2018 rocked my world in the worst of ways, and I don’t think I can fully put into words what this year has been like for me/us.

    We spent the early parts of this year with a newborn (basically, right?) and 2 young toddlers, adjusting to life as a tribe of 5 and trying to navigate the new chaos of our lives (insert eye roll here). We endured so many medical issues this year, between general (never-ending) illness, 1 minor in-office procedure, and 2 surgeries—one for each of our boys. Hailey even underwent additional testing to check her immunity; thankfully everything came back normal. We also lost our sweet pup of 14 years, Tyson, early in the year too which was not unexpected but still heartbreaking, nonetheless. Continue reading…

    2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Her

    We are 6 days into December, and if you haven’t started Christmas shopping I’m here to tell you: YOU’RE LATE! Just kidding!

    But seriously, Christmas will be here before we all know it and if you don’t get your Christmas shopping act together you may end up like a few people I know and making a gift run to Walgreens on Christmas Eve.

    So lets avoid that possibility, and take a look at some of my top favorite things that are worthy of being added to your wishlist or for another special lady you know! I’ve separated it into 2 guides: Casual Gal + Glam Gal. Both are no-fuss, practical items that make you feel good.

    Here we go! Continue reading…

    Today is a New Day

    I’ve spent the better part of two years in a really hard place. Things didn’t suddenly get easier, they’re just different; for the first time in 5 years I am not pregnant and I don’t have an infant. To be honest, I’ve been a little lost lately. I, in no way, am advocating for bringing another baby into our lives—no thank you! But finding my stride as a all-toddler mom for the first time ever is like being an a carousal that never stops. The round-and-round, and up-and-down, repetitive songs/music playing in the background…I haven’t been able to step off until recently. Continue reading…

    I am broken.

    I knew this year was going to be quite the transitional one, moving from a family of 4 to 5, and knowing we would finally be done growing our family. I anticipated the long, grueling nights with an infant + 2 toddlers. I anticipated the octopus arms I would need to do all the things, and the fact that I would fail at “momming” at least 75% of the time. But I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be on my marriage. I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be on my friendships. I didn’t anticipate how much I would feel torn between what and where to focus without completely forgetting myself as a whole.

    It’s like balancing 100 spinning plates and making yourself crazy trying to decide which ones to let fall to make your life easier, if only for a moment. But the funny thing about moments is that they are just that: moments. There are here and then they are gone. It’s so easy to focus on moments, obviously the bad being the easiest to recollect and dissect, but when do we just let moments be moments and move on? What is it about each moment of our lives that allow us to put energy into them, good or bad? Why is it that I can hold on to the stinging words from a “friend”, family member, or my spouse, but I’m all too engrossed in the things that enrage me to focus on the moments when things are good. When things are fine. When things are just as they are, as they should be. Continue reading…

    Paralyzed Vocal Cord: 1 Year Later

    A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with a paralyzed (left? Right? I don’t remember) vocal cord. In short, it meant that one of my vocal cords did not move as it should, during speech or other mouth functions such as swallowing. I could speak no higher than a whisper for months—before I earned an Angie Harmon raspiness to my voice—choked when swallowing liquids, aspirated on acid reflux during the night, and had to carefully eat so I didn’t choke on my food before finally getting my full voice back after about 7 months. When you’ve got three kids ages three and under, it’s like living in some extra horrible version of hell.

    My ENT told me numerous times that this could not happen from yelling, and certainly not from at my kids no less; “it’s just not possible”, she would say. Clearly she hadn’t been over to my house on any given day around 3:30pm. During that time, leading up to this so-called medical phenomenon, I had regularly been having screaming matches with my 3-year-old daughter after welcoming baby #3 to our world. It was bad. The year leading up to it was bad too, with many of the same screaming episodes taking place while being pregnant with a 2 year old AND a 1 year old. I took her word, though. I convinced myself, mostly because I was ashamed to admit that my screaming matches with my 3 year old could cause such a physical disruption to my life in so many ways, but one year later I’m here to tell you… Continue reading…

    Space + Banana Bread: Creating a “New” Home

    It’s no secret that we are in a very transitional stage of life right now. Our last baby is turning into a toddler and our oldest is going from toddler to child! It’s left us in a sate of: “what’s next?”. I have found myself (suddenly) realizing that my kids are not babies anymore, and they are in fact going to grow into bigger, more self-sufficient human beings. Sure they aren’t there yet, but with how quickly the moments are passing—faster each year—I’ve deemed it important to know now what we are going to do later. Simply put: who/what is going to go where/what room, and when, and what does this look like for each person in our family?

    We are a family of 5 living in a 3-bedroom house, but space has never really been a concern for me. Babies don’t take up much space in the grand scheme of things, but when they start growing the space requirements that are suddenly needed becomes very noticeable. And I don’t just mean storage space. When you have that many people in a smaller, square-footage home, the space that once felt open and roomy feels closed in and slightly suffocating. Where did all this stuff come from? Where can I go to have 5 minutes to myself that isn’t my bedroom? Where can I read a book that isn’t in my bed or on a couch while being climbed by toddlers? It becomes necessary to regroup and decide how to make it work! Continue reading…

    Friday Favorites | 8.24.18

    The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for us! Lets back up a bit and call it that last few months, actually. Since about May, when we had a family staycation with my dad, it’s been a spiral of birthdays and holidays that have thrown our routine way off. Things may not get much better the rest of the year with my husband’s night classes, but that’s mildly more manageable—we (the kids and I) can at least be in the comforts of our own home. I’m calling that a win. Continue reading…

    Leaving the Baby Stage

    I’ve sat here coming back to this post, over and over again, trying to decide how to start this. How do I come at this with the right tone I’m trying portray with my words–especially on such a delicate topic. Delicate for me as, although I’m very adamant of my choice,  still have mixed feelings about. No one likes to be a hypocrite but the possibility is always there, I suppose. But we made it. Our last baby has turned one.

    Our boy, sweet Dylan, has been the most lovable of the bunch, but also the most high-maintenance and demanding. Through sleepless nights and inconsolable days, to make it to this point in his life is true blessing. The last 2 years, between his pregnancy and first year of his life, have been the most challenging on my mind and body…something I could have never imagined. Making it through this first year of his life is not only a celebration of him and his day of birth, but also for ME. For my Husband. For our family of 5, who have had a whirlwind of changes thrown at them every year since each of them were born! I am proud and I am humbled. Continue reading…