HI

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it has been almost three months since my last blog post. I have always admitted to being an inconsistent blogger but this is bad, even for me. So what’s been up lately? A lot and not so much all at the same time.

We have been living our life pretty normally. We have been tackling small home projects and living the day to day normal that we have always wanted. It’s fun and exciting and slow all at the same time. Toddler life has really been throwing me for a loop lately. The new world that is discipline and consistency is tough, but of course well worth it. Our biggest news in the life department is that we are expecting baby #2 in April! This baby is already behind in bumpdate posts and all of the chronicling that I made sure to do with it’s older sibling. Poor second child! Hopefully we can catch up on some of that soon enough. IMG_5723In the pregnancy department I’ve actually been feeling relatively good as of late. My first pregnancy I was lucky enough that between anti-nausea medication and good luck I didn’t suffer from morning sickness too much. This time I was not so lucky. But in the past couple of weeks I have seemed to turn a long awaited corner in this pregnancy and am not so dependent on my anti-nausea meds to make it through the day. I am currently 15-16ish weeks – and there isn’t much of a bump to show yet (sorry!). At my first sonogram the baby was on the smaller side and so my OB said that I was probably on the later side of things in terms of due date. But next month we will get a better measurement at our anatomy scan, where we will definitely (little person permitting) find out the gender! (Gender reveal party decision still up in the air.)

Since I last posted I also started a new school year. I don’t think I ever formally posted about my decision to work part time last year (I wasn’t sure it would be something that would stick with our new lifestyle). But I was able to start working one day a week at a preschool that my mom has been working at for years. It really helped fill the void I was feeling after leaving my elementary school when I decided to be a stay at home mom. Last year I was primarily in the nursery and this year I am working with 2-2.5 year old’s which is a whole new can of worms! It’s been a fun and much desired change. I feel like I get to put my degree to use a bit more this year and challenge myself. With this change has also come  a new teaching partner and some new expectations. Which has left me planning/prepping more and working creatively on my own (aka: blogging) less.

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I also decided to co-lead the relatively new moms group at our parish this year! Which I have to admit has been my most exciting and fulfilling venture as of late. It has been a lot of work and honestly if I were not supported by both my co-leader (who is incredible) and my husband (also incredible) I would be losing my mind right about now. We have had such a successful year in membership and have reached out to so many new mamas in our parish. We’ve been complimented multiple times over about how needed this group is in our parish and I really couldn’t agree more. We are hosting our first (hopefully annual) moms retreat in early December and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

Along with teaching, pregnancy, moms group, and regular social life commitments – I was also leading a book study the past six weeks (for our parish moms group) and have joined up with some other friends from college to start another book club! Needless to say, things have been a bit B U S Y. But very, very fulfilling.

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So I suppose that I could blame my blogging break on the fact that life has been happening and it’s been great and leaving me with little time to pursue any other creative efforts. But I feel like that would only be giving you half the story. I have also been lacking in creative inspiration. While I definitely think that life has been contributing to that (like I said, b u s y) I was feeling this drain in ideas far before I took my break. I just felt like I needed to be living a bit more, and stressing out about blogging pursuits less. I read so many blogs and gather so many amazing ideas from other people it can be a bit intimidating when I look at my own “work” and think I’m not really producing much here.

Another thing that has been holding me back from writing lately is safety. I have been seeing more and more bloggers leave their spaces on the internet due to safety reasons and this is something that has always been on my mind – especially since having a child. I want to share and be a part of a creative community, but at what cost? I know that so many mothers and families post their lives so confidently on the internet and I guess I have just always had a hard time finding the balance of  1) how much information is too much? and 2) how to authentically share my life without putting my safety or the safety of my family at risk? I know this might sound overly dramatic but if I want this to be an honest life updating post – I feel that those things need to be included.

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Whew! So that’s a lot. Anyways, I have been thinking about my little corner of the internet a lot lately and I have a few things that I would like to share in upcoming posts. Thanks to those of you who actually read my words and care about what is posted here. I know that I may not post every day or inspire millions but I do hope that in someway this blog might bring a smile to your face or a new yummy recipe to your belly. (:

Happy Wednesday!

 

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Podcasts…not just for nerds anymore!

I have been meaning to gather and share a list of my current favorite podcasts for a WHILE! But alas, life with a toddler is busy busy and time seems to slip away each and every day. By the time I sit down at night to have a moment to myself I usually end up falling asleep within 10 minutes (unless we are watching Parks and Rec – our current Netflix binge #marriage). Also, in reference to the title of this post – in no way do I think I am not a nerdy person/think there is anything wrong with being a nerd…I have a blog.

But anyway, podcasts! They sure seem to be all the rage right now, huh? I honestly feel like for once in my life I was ahead of the curve and into something trendy before it was trendy! How cool am I!? (As for pleather pants and jellies, I wore those two trends far past their trendy phase. Can’t win ’em all.) But if I am being completely honest, my husband was the first person to introduce me to podcasts. A little tangent to appease your curiosity: we started listening to podcasts almost three years ago. Like I said, Eric was into them far before I was and he would find really interesting science/history podcasts for us to listen to when we would make the 8 hour drive down to New Orleans when visiting family. I really thought that, that was what podcasts were – little interesting lessons to listen to while trying to stay awake in the car and I never really pursued them beyond our Texas-Louisiana jaunts. Well fast forward a year (two years ago) and Eric started telling me about a few newer podcasts that he was listening to, some comedy, some informational, but a bit different than what I was used to; so we added these shows into our road trip mix. Then we started taking our birthing classes and found ourselves in the car for about 20-30 minutes each week, driving back and forth to the hospital – we decided to listen to one of my now favorite podcasts (Sawbones – medical history podcast, listed below) in the car to spark our conversation and take our minds off of life’s current stresses, while always making a stop to get ice cream on the way home.

Now here we are today, while I still listen to some of my husband’s podcast recommendations I have been venturing out more on my own and discovering this new beautiful world of people who are wanting to share a little bit of themselves for all to hear in the hopes that it will bring someone some help in someway, or at least a good laugh.

Here is my current favorite list of podcasts – I separated them by a general category in case you are looking for something in particular to listen too! I’m always finding new podcasts to listen to as well and if I find anything I’ll be sure to share!

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Personal Journal

  • The Girl Next Door Podcast – two next door neighbors sit down and chat about a particular topic pertaining to their lives every other week. They also enjoy a good cocktail and share the recipe as well as their local neighborhood news. I always love listening to these girls, it always feels like a coffee date between friends and leaves me feeling refreshed, inspired, and positive!
  • Real Simple Podcasts – My favorite magazine meets my favorite form of listening media. It really couldn’t get much better.

Kids & Family

  • Edit Your Life Show – a podcast about simplification and editing what is unnecessary from your life
  • One Bad Mother – this is technically categorized under Comedy – but it is a parenting podcast done by two hilarious ladies. They always have great topics + fantastic guests (there is profanity used in this podcast just a warning:)
  • Mom and Dad are Fighting – the editors of Slate magazine discuss the latest parenting topics
  • Messy Parenting – Catholic marriage and parenting podcast hosted by a wonderfully funny and entertaining married couple with an abundance of parenting wealth and knowledge to share

Marriage

  • Totally Married – a very real couple discusses the ups and downs of their marriage as well as answer relationship advice questions
  • Matrimoney – one of the girls from The Girl Nextdoor Podcast has a show with her husband in which they talk about their marriage/relationship as well as discuss their personal finances very openly. I honestly hate talking about money, and they both are so positive and upbeat about finances that I can’t help but keep listening!
  • Sexy Marriage Radio – sex and marriage, etc (pretty self explanatory from the title;)

Popculture

  • NPR Popculture Happy Hour – a weekly roundup from NPR about books, movies, music, television, comics and culture. For a mom who feels out of the loop pretty much all of the time – this podcast helps me stay somewhat relevant
  • The Nerdist – really solid interviews
  • The Gilmore Guys – two hilarious guys talking about Gilmore Girls. One of the guys is a die hard fan and is introducing the show to his friend for the first time. They have also had some of the former cast on so the fangirl in me has just been dying.
  • My Brother, My Brother and Me – comedy/advice show put on by three brothers
  • Bachelor(ette) Reality TV RHAP Ups – because I have no shame and am addicted to the Bachelor and it’s plethora of reality tv goodness. Two girls chat about the weekly episodes and say everything you were thinking while you watched on Monday night.

Science

  • Sawbones – a medical history/comedy podcast put on by a husband and wife (who is a doctor) – the husband is actually one of the brothers from the above podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me
  • RadioLab – interesting popculture and science investigations (if you were a fan of Serial I feel like you would be a fan of this podcast)
  • InterBrews – craft beer/brewing podcast (brewing is a science which is why I put it under this category;)

Religious/Inspirational

  • Caritas – a new podcast being produced by two blogger friends! They are discussing living life and loving in the every day. I just recently had the privilege of being interviewed for their show! Check them out!
  • Fountains of Carrots – two of my favorite Catholic bloggers have joined forces to create a show in which they discuss faith, books, culture, etc. This is another show that always leaves me feeling inspired and positive and like I just had a good, long, inspirational chat with a friend!
  • Building Bridges – podcast about staying connected and inspired in every day life.
  • This Inspired Life – Catholic motherhood/parenting show
  • The Lively Show – podcast about finding and creating an intentional life. This show covers a lot of ground – from personal habits to parenting to relationships and careers.

Happy Listening! What podcasts are you currently listening to? I would love to hear any and all recommendations!

3 years

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This summer we have been fortunate enough to celebrate weddings and new marriages of family and close friends. I don’t think I am alone in loving a good wedding celebration. It reminds me of our wedding and fills me with all of the warm, fuzzy, butterfly feelings that I tend to have when thinking back on the day that started our journey down this exciting, unpredictable road called marriage.

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I remember before we were married, before we were engaged – seeing married couples at weddings and wondering what they could be thinking about. Watching them sway back and forth on the dance floor and stare lovingly into each others eyes. It always filled my heart to the brim with emotion. I wanted to be married one day and I wanted to be one of those couples on the dance floor, so in love with each other. While I am still practically a newlywed and my wealth of marital wisdom is relatively low – I think I am starting to realize that the looks those couples were giving each other were more so out of appreciation, admiration, and respect that any lovey-dovey-emotionally-fueled-feelings that I was probably experiencing as an onlooker.

Honestly, this third year of marriage has been by far the most challenging. New jobs, new roles, new home, parenting, growing, moving… so needless to say the past 365 days weren’t without stress or moments of anxiety. Something else the past year wasn’t lacking was a partner to weather the storm. Solid, unwavering, supportive, true. Sometimes I just can’t believe that my husband has continued to love me through it all.

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So much life has happened since August 4, 2012 and I hate to sound cliche but I really didn’t realize just how fast the years would fly. I wonder if I will feel the same way when we hit twenty or thirty years of marriage. I secretly hope that the feeling of “it was just yesterday that we were dancing at our wedding reception!” will permeate through those years. I never really want that newness, or shocking realization that we hit another anniversary to go away – I always want to be surprised that even though our wedding may have been a while ago…it still feels like it has been a relatively short amount of time.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I just can’t believe that I’m living this vocation. That God has provided for us in so many ways and continues to work through our marriage. I can’t believe that we are making it, that we are really living this good life and I’m just so grateful to be in this sacrament with such a truly fantastic person.

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I think C.S. Lewis does a much better job at constructing the thoughts I am trying to convey here in this post so I will end with this, it is one of my favorite quotes about love and marriage:

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. it is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

I love you, Eric Martin. Thank you for choosing to love me. Happy Anniversary!

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2nd anniversary post

Right after we got married! 

FOOD | back pocket banana bread [muffins]

Oh this week. How full and crazy and unpredictable you were.

At the beginning of every week – usually Sunday or Monday – I sit down with my beloved planner and think about how we are going to fill our days. Usually with most of the same old routine, but with a few small adventures here and there to keep things exciting. I was really ready to get back to our normal grind after taking last week to volunteer for our parish VBS + tend to a sick babe later on in the week. On the agenda for the coming 7-day spread were bootcamp classes, swim lessons, and a couple of cousin play dates. Busy, but simple…or at least I thought it would be. Little did I know that our bout with Roseola would leave me with an overtired and irritable toddler (even though we were way past our feverish days and the rash was starting to disappear), a surprise (slow) leak from our air conditioning unit that resulted in a long night on Tuesday and floors being ripped up in the morning on Wednesday, and our toddler having to sleep in the office for the time being. Top all of that off with the regularly scheduled stresses of daily life and this week was more than a doozy. This week was by far an exception when it comes to crazy in our home but it’s weeks like this that make me fall back on my most trusted recipes. The ones that I can replicate without missing a beat. The recipes that always bring a smile to the faces of my husband and my sweet girl no matter how exhausted we may all be at the end of the day.

One of my favorite treats to make during an unexpectedly crazy, hectic week is my banana bread. I found a pretty solid recipe a couple of years ago while browsing through Pinterest and combined it with a recipe I had been using from a hand-me-down cookbook. I’ve honestly gone to the store to get bananas only so they could sit on our kitchen counter a few days and I can make this bread. Lately I have been making muffins because they are the perfect size for our little miss to eat for breakfast and an easy afternoon snack for the both of us. They freeze well and will last us for a solid two weeks and we never really tire of them. This recipe is also easy to tweak to your hearts content. I’ve added (more often than not) mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and dried blueberries. I have also tried different flavors of greek yogurt in the mix like banana, vanilla, and honey but our favorite is still plain.

I hope you are as bananas for these muffins/bread as we are at our house! (Sorry I just really couldn’t help myself #parentjokes.)
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Recipe: Back Pocket Banana Bread

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 c flour (I use all purpose white but have used whole wheat and they are just as good)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c steel cut oats/rolled oats (I usually use whatever oatmeal we have on hand)
  • 1/2 c mix-ins of your choosing (chocolate chips are our go to)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg white lightly beaten
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2 medium bananas)
  • 1 container of plain greek yogurt (I prefer 2% Fage, but I have also used Honey flavored Chobani and Vanilla bean Siggis)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

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Instructions: 

  1. Mash bananas using a fork or a potato masher – you want to make sure that there are as few chunks as possible and that it is relatively smooth.
  2. Add in your liquid ingredients: coconut oil, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and whisk together with bananas.
  3. Once all liquid ingredients are completely combined whisk in sugar.
  4. Once sugar is completely combined whisk in salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  5. Once the previous dry ingredients are completely combined whisk in flour 1/4 of a cup at a time. I find that by adding in smaller amounts of the flour at a time I end up having a more consistent batter.
  6. Fold in oats + chocolate chips into batter with a spatula.
  7. Spoon batter into a lined muffin tin or loaf pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    1. Muffin cook time: 30 minutes
    2. Bread loaf cook time: 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes

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Like I said before, this recipe is so simple and never lets me down in the wake of craziness! I hope you enjoy.

Happy eating!

004 | inventory

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Making: lots of banana bread muffins lately (recipe coming soon!) + easy dinners that go along with our busy schedule right now. Last weekend we made personal pizzas for a bachelorette party/sleepover and it was fun, fresh, and so yummy. They were so good I think we are going to put them in our weekly rotation as a family. We usually make Friday nights our pizza night so it would be easy enough to tuck them into our meal plan.
IMG_4259Drinking: iced coffee in the morning, la croix in the afternoons, not nearly enough water throughout the day, and gin & tonics when my husband is kind enough to whip one up for me. They are by far my favorite summer indulgence and taste even better if I happen to find myself sitting on a patio enjoying a warm breeze and the company of good friends.
 
Reading: Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler, my beloved Real Simple magazine, and because I am volunteering at our parish VBS this week I have also been reading the daily devotionals for that. We have been frequenting our local library weekly this summer to make the most of story time (read: free entertainment, indoor activity, keeping a toddler busy during the heat of the day) and have picked up a few cute reads for the littlest member of our family. Currently we are digging: Llama Llama Red Pajama, Dig Dig Digging, and Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes.

Wanting: more time (especially to blog!) and energy during the day. This summer has been seriously full + busy. I don’t really mind the busy part of it so much but I just feel like every.day.is.jam.packed. It’s a lot and I am always wishing + wanting for things to slow down. After looking at my calendar for the rest of the month I don’t really see that happening anytime soon. At least not for the rest of the summer…so I suppose I should scratch the ‘wanting more time’ part out and just focus on the more energy part!

Listening: to The Gilmore Guys Podcast (o b s e s s e d) + Fountains of Carrots. I mentioned to a few people in Instagram that I would do a round up of my current favorite podcasts soon in the form of a blog post – I promise, it’s coming! I have also been listening to our V BS soundtrack on r e p e a t this week. Nothing like a good ol’ vacation bible school jam + coordinating hand motions to motivate you throughout the day. *wink*

Eating: lots of raspberries lately and some other fresh fruit when I think to pick up more produce at the store. As I mentioned earlier, we have been so stinking busy lately my meal planning has been kind of off and lacking in whole foods. That is something that should be remedied no matter the fullness of our days. But when I haven’t been able to eat like I would typically want to I have been enjoying the guilt-free feeling of our NatureBox snacks. I am pretty obsessed with the Dutch Cocoa Sun Crunch.

Smelling: the sunscreen + chlorine smell that seems to permeate the air every summer. Also, looooots + lots of bug spray lately.

Enjoying: pool days + the local splash pad with my girl, in-home date nights with my husband, reading before bed (a habit I always had growing up but fell by the wayside in college, something I’m happy to be getting back to).

Loving: the language development happening with Miss M right now. She is communicating SO much and it is incredible to experience and watch. I have been having a lot of those flashback-to-last-summer moments and it really is just insane how much a child can change in such a short amount of time. Lately she has been making all sorts of animal sounds (favorites include: rooster, horse, and cat.) She has also been telling me when her diaper is dirty which is always appreciated.

Hoping: for good things this coming year with our mom’s ministry at church. A friend and I have taken over the leadership of the group and we are excited and daunted by all of the things that need to be done. We are really hoping to grow our membership and help more mom’s in our parish.

Feeling: tired. VBS has been exhausting for me + my girl this week. Combine that with watching my nephew twice this week and just the regular hub bub of life and early bed times have been on everyone’s agenda this week!

Wearing: anything and everything that is Texas-summer-heat-friendly these days. While it has only his triple digits a handful of times (so far) this summer it has still gotten to that point where getting in and out of the car is preeeeetty much the worst and I feel like I am constantly coated in a layer of sweat (you are so welcome for that visual;).

Noticing: just how grown up our little girl is starting to seem. I hate to be all emotional-mommy-cliche but…where the heck did my baby go?? The weekend of the fourth we had a little pre-birthday celebration for my nephew and chasing her around the Dallas Children’s Aquarium I realized we have a full blown K I D.

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Bookmarking: any and all gardening tips. We just recently finished revamping our backyard garden (left behind by the previous owners) and are so excited to start planing and growing herbs and veggies!

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A very merry unbirthday to you!

I only entitle this post as such because I’m a day late on wishing my dear husband a happy birthday on this here blog! Yesterday we were not only able to celebrate this great man’s birth but also celebrate all he has done in his journey of fatherhood thus far.

This guy. He’s a good one.

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This is probably my favorite picture of my Mr. Martin on our wedding day. He isn’t the biggest fan of having his picture taken but I like to think that he was so happy that day that he didn’t mind all that much.

Yesterday was filled with a lot of normal and low expectations. I was pretty up front with my sweet husband about that facts that our house is still a mess from our recent travels and his presents were ordered only days in advance (and his father’s day card may have been made the day of…). But because he is one of the greatest and most patient people alive he was also upfront in telling me that it was all fine and that the day was exactly what he wanted.

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I forget how lucky I am so often. I have a person in my life that has stood by me consistently since we first met in college. He has been a true friend to me in every sense of the word and has shown me what commitment really means. He is patient, loving, funny, and just the right amount of stubborn to challenge me on a daily basis. To top it all off, he is a really, really fantastic father. I remember when we first started dating and sharing our dreams and future hopes with each other. Being a dad was something he was always so sure of and something he wanted in life so badly. It is apparent that it wasn’t just his will to be a dad in the way he interacts with our daughter and talks about parenthood.

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I really don’t think I could gush (or probably embarrass;) anymore.

Eric Martin, I hope you had the best day yesterday (coated in all of its lackluster glory) because as cliche as it sounds – you are the best, and you deserve it more than you know.

HI BLOG!

Helloooooooooooooo!

Oh goodness it’s been a while. Blogging has been on the back burner for a few weeks now as we have been powering through the first chunk of wedding festivities for this summer. My sister got married in Mexico last weekend and a few weeks before that we had a bridal shower + bachelorette combo weekend. So needless to say, we have been B U S Y ’round these parts. But now we are home and almost recovered from the marathon that was traveling to New Orleans with a toddler >> flights/connections to Mexico >> flight/connections/tropical storm delays BACK to New Orleans >> a flight smack dab during the middle of dinnertime back to Dallas. Throw in a couple of stomach bugs, leaving my baby for a trip for the first time, and maid of honor duties and I kind of feel like I need a week long sleep to recover from our vacation!

Anyways, I’ve been brainstorming quite a bit about some things lately and can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. I am giving myself the rest of this week to demolish the laundry mountain that is taking up residence in our bedroom right now and get back to our normal grind here and then I’m hoping to be back more frequently on the blog if not more consistently!

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite snaps from our little Mexican fiesta. It was such a blissful week.

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FAMILY | weekend update: planes, trains, + graduations (oh, and a wedding too!)

This past weekend was FULL. Fully of family, fun, and fond memories (I had to keep going, alliteration is the most addictive of literary elements, agreed?). My in-laws flew in from NOLA on Wednesday night to attend my brother-in-law’s graduation from my alma mater! It’s crazy to think that he is already finished with his undergraduate career. I distinctly remember helping him move into his freshman dorm room and getting used to him being in Dallas. Now he’s living here and has two bachelor’s degrees to boot! Between Miss M and my nephew the graduation ceremony was definitely entertaining. Thankfully it was before dinner, and not during dinner, so snacks and sippy cups were our go to entertainment and when those ran out there was infinite amounts of people watching to keep the littles occupied.

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We spent the rest of the weekend just hanging out and spending time together as a family. We picnic-ed at our local park on Friday night and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset accompanied by cool breezes and baby giggles. Saturday we lunched on pizza in downtown Plano and visited the train museum that my dad has been working at for ages.

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Saturday evening, we had the wedding some old college friends to attend! The bride was a freshman when I was a senior and we have been able to witness the relationship with her now husband grow over the past few years. They are the epitome of adorable and their wedding ceremony + reception were a blast. We also haven’t been out without a little one in tow in quite sometime so THAT was extra nice.

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Happy Tuesday, y’all!

links + clicks, clicks + links

I may or may not be typing thing post one handed with a toddler on my lap. It’s been an errand-filled, rainy, cleaning type day. We are getting ready for my in-laws to come in town for my brother-in-laws graduation and we are pretty darn excited! Here are some links + clicks that I’ve gathered over the past few weeks and that I have been drawing inspiration from lately. Enjoy + Happy Wednesday!

CHEERS | I loved Joanna’s post about making a great cocktail on a plane. I’m thinking these tips + tricks might come in handy come June when Eric and I venture down to Mexico for a little vacation + my sister’s WEDDING! (:

NFP | Katrina hit another one out of the park this week with her post on NFP and her family. It really hit home with me and how NFP has worked for us in our marriage. It is a topic that I wish I had more confidence talking about because while NFP has been a big blessing in our marriage, it is tough and can be frustrating to practice but it is also tough + somewhat frustrating to discuss with others at times. I so appreciated her honesty and candidness on the subject. She’s just great.

HATCH | I’m just fangirling over here… but have you seen Katrina’s new etsy shop, Hatch Prints? If not, you NEED to check it out. I’m still debating on what print to order for our home!

RECIPE | I’ll definitely be adding Kelsey’s lentil soup recipe to my ‘recipes to try’ list. It seems so solid + delicious and would make lunches around here a bit more fulfilling (lately my lunches have consisted of Naked Smoothies + handfuls of Goldfish crackers…).

DIY | I have YET to bust out my sewing machine post-moving and I think that Ana’s super simple summer skirt (

SWIM | Janie & Jack is one of my favorite kids shops and I usually make an effort to pop in whenever we are at a mall with one. Lately they have been killing it with their ADORABLE swim suits. While we aren’t taking Miss M with us on our adventure down to Mexico (thank you in-laws!!) I would love seeing her sweet bum toddling along the beach in either this or this.

FAMILY | mother’s day 2015

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Happy Monday y’all + a happy belated mother’s day to those who were celebrating the holiday yesterday. I have always loved this special day and a few years ago I even wrote a post about my feelings on this special day as an unmarried, childless person (if you want to take a peek click here). I vaguely remember writing a post last year about my first mother’s day but I think it was lost somewhere in the shuffle between sleep deprivation, hormonal mood swings that rivaled that of a 13 year old girl and always having a newborn attached to my person.

This year’s celebration was absolutely wonderful. I felt pretty celebrated the whole weekend and the best part was that we didn’t really do anything extravagant. For the most part it was a relatively normal weekend. We even had mother’s day brunch at our house instead of out because my brother-in-law and his family were coming over and two little ones were easier to entertain among the masses of baby toys at our house. I was able to sneak away for a couple of hours and enjoy some time with one of my best friends while getting my nails done and enjoying an iced green tea and then my husband + sweet girl surprised me with my own kindle for mother’s day! (Now I won’t be keeping my husband awake at night while reading on the iPad.;) The best gift though really was just feeling appreciated in the day to day this weekend. I have been in a bit of a funk lately and the past two days really rejuvenated my soul in so many ways.

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Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram from the night Madeline was born. It was our first family picture and far by my favorite from the night. After so many hours of labor, so much pushing, so many scary new-mom-never-having-gone-through-labor moments I was so relieved to have my girl with us when I honestly didn’t think I was strong enough to get her here. I remember crying so hard with my husband after that final push because I did it! I actually did it! And I don’t think either one of us could really believe it. It reminded me of when I found out I was pregnant and I really couldn’t believe that there was a tiny little person starting to form right inside me and I had so many doubts that I would really be able to handle pregnancy and becoming a mom. Along with that picture I posted I found a quote that really encapsulated my unbelief of this whole motherhood gig, “The biggest surprise, which is also the best, is that I didn’t know I would love motherhood as much as I do.” – Deborah Norville

I need to have that quote printed in big bold letters on days that are tough and trying and down right exhausting.

Being completely and totally cliche here: I just never realized how life changing being a mom would be. I remember being so self conscious last year about my ever expanding belly and whether or not I was going to go back to work. When I decided to stay home (and eventually choose to work part time) I didn’t really know how to identify myself anymore. I wasn’t a teacher, I wasn’t working towards anything in that field, I was just a mom…but what did that mean? And I found out that along with the surprise that was being pregnant, and the surprise that was labor and delivery, it meant that I would need to surprise myself and challenge myself in ways that I never thought I would. It meant that I would lose a part of myself to gain a kind of love that only the grace of God could supply in my heart. It meant that I would sacrifice things that I worked hard for on my own so that another little person could thrive in our home. It meant surrendering all to His will and not my own. 10347082_2270901622236_7616151671525193603_n (1)

His will and not my own.

Words I have prayed over and over again, but not until now have I really realized that I am doing that thing.

Doing that thing, that motherhood thing, and really truly loving it.

Motherhood really has been the best surprise and I thank God for that blessing in my life, but really the best blessing of all was how much I love being a mom and caring for someone more than myself to give her the best life.

I hope you all had a lovely day filled with sloppy baby kisses, phone calls to your own mom, or just a celebration of life in general.