Thursday, May 21, 2015

Minted Art Prints {Sponsored}

Hi friends!

I finally got around to ordering Rhett's birth announcement! I'm giving myself a high five
that it was only 8-9 weeks late and not more. Life has a been a little hectic over to say the least. We are moving next week and doing that with a toddler and newborn has been really interesting and quite chaotic. I feel like I'm juggling a lot of moving parts and just trying to stay afloat.

Anyways, when I was looking at birth announcements, I wanted a design that was unique and just for Rhett, so the first place I looked was Minted. Minted is the place I go when we send out our Christmas cards each year- here's 2014 and 2011- and a place that has beautiful art prints too.

Here are a couple of prints that I loved and think would be the perfect for our new home:


(Calculation Wall)
This would be really fun to add to the boys' room:

(Scribbles in blue)
And this would be great for the kitchen or guest bathroom:

(Meander Wall Print)
Also, for all my friends who are getting married this year, Minted's new wedding invitations are worth a look as well. I think this one is my favorite. Wouldn't it be perfect for a summer time wedding?

(Garden Lights)
I hope you all are having a wonderful week! On top of everything we have going on, I'm so grateful for the warmer weather this week. It's made afternoons at the park and morning walks a great way to break up the packing and stress.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Things I'm Loving.

Happy Friday! Today, I'm headed up to New York for my cousin's graduation, but before I go I wanted to pop in to share some things that have either made me really happy or made my life easier in the last few weeks.  

First is this baby book from Anthropologie. I ordered it online and love it so much more in person. There are so many things that I like about this book. First, is the thick paper they use and the adorable cover. Another is that its 96 pages long, so each special moment is given its own page and space. Finally, I love how each page offers you a lot of room for journaling. Each detail and milestone can be captured and written about in detail, which is a huge bonus for me. This book is seriously my favorite and I so wish I had found it when Sawyer was a babe. 

New favorite blog: Coffee and Crumbs. I found this blog through Tulips and Flightsuits and love it. Its a blog that features collaborative essays on "motherhood, love and truth." Even if you aren't a mother, I recommend this blog. The writing is incredibly beautiful and spot on. Some of my favorite essays have been: What You Really Need and 5 o'clock hero

New bedding. I needed a change for the summer and loved this paisley print. Plus, I really don't think there is anything better than clean crisp sheets. Am I right?

Finally, I love Lifefactory  bottles. With Sawyer, we did the regular Avent bottles, but I love these so much more. To me, the glass is easier to clean and the fun cover is BPA/BPS free and made from medical grade silicone. I also love that they are made in the US.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

World's Toughest Job's Moments {Sponsored}

These two pictures make me laugh. The first is me trying to get a sweet picture of Rhett and of course, he uses the opportunity to spit up. The second was taken at church. I have to feed Rhett after the service and Sawyer uses that opportunity to roll on the floor and act a fool. God bless that boy and his energy levels these days.

Seeing these pictures and looking back on the last six weeks-actually just looking around the room I'm in right now with toys, clothes and crumbs all over the place--I've realized just how messy these last few weeks have been.

In the last month, I've had to:

Say "Stop picking your nose!" about once every hour.

Pick up dried noodles off the floor.

Wipe poop off my hand and pick up dirty wipes.

Reheat coffee maybe once or twice a day.

Do and re-do laundry.

Send text messages back to friends at 2 am.

Try to handle a tantrum at the park while holding a crying baby and not getting judged.

Life and motherhood are messy. But among those messy moments there things like these:

"Mama, come have a sleepover with me because I love you."

"The baby's so cute!"

Running to find and say, "Good morning" to the baby when he first wakes up.

First smiles from Rhett that seriously melt my heart. (I actually think I've become obsessive with trying to get him to smile and smile again.)

Snuggles from both boys.

"I love you more more too too!"'s before bedtime

And little moments like these that make my heart explode.

Cardstore knows these moments can be messy and tough and make you want to shake your head. But these moments are what make life beautiful and funny and memorable. That's why they have created the World's Toughest Job's Moments contest. If you've captured a funny and messy moment-which I'm sure we all have-then share it on their site. Whichever picture gets the most votes will win. The winner will receive a $1,000 visa gift card, which they can share with their aunt, mother, wife, or friend. Sounds like a good contest to me!

Good luck and can't wait to see your pictures!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Brenton Rhett-1 Month

Its hard to believe that this little guy is one month old today. In a lot of ways this month has seemed to drag on as I heal, adjust to life as a mother of two, and figure out how to function on very little sleep. 

The things I've learned this last month is that community is everything. This last year, I've really committed to community. I've joined Moms groups and tried to love those in them by bringing over meals and getting together with friends for playdates. Looking back on this last month, I'm so glad that I invested in these relationships because they have helped me so much these last few weeks. A lot of this month, I've felt lost, frustrated, and overwhelmed and its been so encouraging to receive sweet texts from others that have done this before me. These girls have also brought over meals and sent emails asking if they can watch Sawyer sometime, so I can take a nap or get things done around the house. These little acts of kindness have meant so much to me and have helped me tremendously as I navigate these new waters and try to establish a new normal. 

I've also learned that I don't have it all figured out and I don't know when I will. I went to my Bible Study for the first time in a month and had to leave the big group early to feed Rhett and then leave 45 minutes early to make sure that Sawyer got a nap in before his preschool. I've also tried to have some girlfriend time because I've been craving it. But an hour and a half in, I had to ask everyone if it was okay if we wrapped things up because I knew that I'd have to be up in a few hours with Rhett and sleep is more precious than gold right now. Its a juggling act for sure, but I'm trying. I might be failing, but at least I'm trying and I'm thankful my friends are gracious enough to give me grace as I figure it all out. 

In terms of Rhett, he's perfect. Don't get me wrong, he's definitely opinionated and really loves his meals more than any baby I know, but he's also incredibly sweet. He's a cuddler and loves to just scrunch up in a ball on your shoulder. He is also more vocal about his likes and dislikes-way more than Sawyer ever was-like he thinks stoplights and stop signs are for the birds and will start to whimper whenever we have to stop for just a moment. Because of this, I'm excited to watch him grow and learn more about this particular little guy as the months go on. 

One thing I'm really grateful for this month is Sawyer. He's been such a love bug when it comes to Rhett. He wakes up every morning asking to see the baby and whenever we meet someone he says, "Look at the baby! Look at the baby!" I also love that he wants to include the baby in everything we do. I'll tell him that we are going to the park and he says, "Baby wants to come too" and I assure him that the baby will come wherever we go. 

So that's our month! It's been hard, challenging, rewarding, beautiful, amazing, and difficult, but it's mainly just been full of love as we welcome this little one into our chaos. We love you, Brenton Rhett and thank you again for being so sweet and patient as we figure this all out. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Brenton Rhett's Birth Story.

For my pregnancy, I decided to go with a midwifery group at a nearby hospital. I had heard great things about them and being someone who wanted to try to have a VBAC, I was impressed with their success rate of over 90%.

From the get-go, this pregnancy experience was completely different. The midwives put me on a diet and exercise regiment because they believed that some women don't know what to eat during their pregnancies, so that sometimes makes them have babies that are too big for their bodies. Being someone whose married to a guy over 6 ft., I decided to take their advice to heart and stuck to the program as religiously as I could.

The day before I went into labor-my birthday actually-I did everything I could to kick-start this thing. I got a massage, went on a walk with Sawyer, played with him on the swings, had a primrose vitamin, and drank a glass of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. That night, I woke up at 2:30 and just couldn't get back to sleep. At 4:30 am, my water broke and I immediately woke up Z.

He jumped out of bed and was in action mode. He grabbed our bags, put them in the car, called the midwives on duty, called my doula, Tara and texted our friend who was back-up care for Sawyer. The midwife on duty calmed his fear by saying, "Just go back to sleep and rest and call when your contractions are about 10 minutes apart." At that point, nothing had started, so I tried to go back to sleep. 10 minutes later, my contractions started and hit every 30 minutes. It was painful, but bearable, so we tried to play with Sawyer until my friend came to get him around 7:30 am.

At around 8 am, my contractions started coming on every 20 minutes and were strong! I was in so much pain. Z called our doula and she suggested that I walk as much as I could, so Z took my hand and we walked around the house until another contraction would hit. She also suggested doing squats, so I would try to do them as well, but even as Z cheered me on, I was only able to do 2 or 3 before it just got to be too painful.

I found a lot of relieve finally by laying on my exercise ball and having Z press down on my back where our doula had showed us weeks earlier. Having him do that, relieved so much pain and pressure and was the only way I could get through the contractions that were now at 12 pm coming in at 15 minutes apart.

Finally, around 2 pm, my Mom came and I broke down saying that I needed to get to the hospital. The pain was unbearable at that point and my contractions were coming every 10-12 minutes. Z and my Mom got me in the car and we were at the hospital about 15 minutes later.

Once we checked into the room, I was back on the exercise ball and the nurse and Z were pressing on the pressure points on my back. My doula came in about 20 minutes later and that's when I started throwing up. It was awful, but I was just in so much pain. Finally, my doula and the midwife suggested I get in the shower for a bit.

The shower was great. I just sat there for an hour and the pain considerably lessened. But, at that point, I was also getting really tired and after getting checked, I was only at 2 cm, so I opted to get an epidural. The midwives, my doula, and Z were great. They told me to trust my gut when it came to pain medication and to not worry about it, so I did. Once the epidural took at 5 pm, I was a completely different person. I was able to talk and carry on conversations and actually enjoy the labor experience.

The rest was just a waiting game. We watched TV, talked, and the hours passed. At about 10 pm, I was 6 cm and then at 5 am, I was 7. My body was taking its time, but I was getting anxious. I just wanted to meet this little guy!

I labored through the rest of the day, but consistently stayed at 8 cm. Around 2 pm and since my labor was so long, my midwife suggested that we try pitocin. Once I got that, my contractions were regular and 3-4 minutes apart.

At 5 pm, the midwives came in and said I was ready to push. They gave me a squatting bar for above the bed and handles that would allow me to push harder. I don't think I could've done it without those tools. They were awesome. Every time I felt a contraction come on, I pulled up on the bar.

After an hour of cheering and coaching from both midwives, my doula, and Z-the little guy was out. It was sudden relief and an enormous sense of pride. I did it. I set out to have a VBAC and I could now say that I did and it was exactly the way I wanted it to be.

One of the best things about this whole experience-I mean it all was incredible now that I reflect back on it-was that my doula caught all of it on camera. She captured Z's tears as Brenton arrived, she has the baby's first breath, and all those special little moments that came right after his birth. I couldn't have asked for better and it's so nice to be able to see all our emotions that I missed because I was so caught up in that moment.

And although, I was the one that delivered, I really couldn't have done it without the support and encouragement of Z. For the last 9 months, he's been my biggest cheerleader, fan, and supporter. He's kept me accountable and given me time to workout whenever he's home. He's rubbed my back throughout the nights and has gone out of his way to fulfill my cravings. He's the best coach and friend I could've asked or prayed for and I'm so glad that he's mine. Plus, who else would be screaming the loudest and jumping up and down in the delivery room? No one but him.

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days and I was so ready to go home when it was all done. I wanted to get back to my own comfy bed and to start our life as a family of four. I'm also so thankful for my Mom who stayed this whole week with us. She's fixed our meals, done our laundry, and hung out with Sawyer. I credit her with Sawyer's transition to big brother being so seamless.

Life is really sweet right now, so I'm off for more cuddles with my boys. xo

*These are some pictures from the last two weeks. The pictures my doula took are really special to me, so I'm keeping them to myself and our little family. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015--Keepin' It Real

Just keeping it real, but this Easter I didn't go to church and we ended the night ordering pizza and eating leftover candy for dinner because we were too tired to think of anything else. We then watched 5 minutes of Mad Men before we decided sleep was more important. We also didn't get a family picture, BUT Z and Sawyer DID make it to church and I was able to make lunch and hide his Easter basket, so I consider that a win.  

Anyways, this was our Easter in pictures.

Saturday, we decorated eggs and dressed for the occasion. 
The Easter Bunny came and left some footprints that led to his easter basket. Sawyer was super surprised when he got home from church. 
Finding his basket!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Link Love.

Happy Friday, everyone! This week has been a whirlwind full of baby cuddles, doctor appointments, Easter egg hunts, and multiple cups of coffee.  Even though its been fast and furious, I am trying to eat up these last few moments before Z has to go back to work on Monday. It's been so nice to have him here and it makes me sad that soon he'll be back at it and not so readily available. I'm really going to miss all this necessary and wonderful family time.

Anyways, before I sign off for the weekend, there are a few things that I've seen during my late night nursing feedings that I found and wanted to share.

First, I loved these tips from female entrepreneurs. In my house, we follow this one pretty religiously: Not working on the weekend, but I love the other ones that these women mention as well.

Obsessed with this article and this blog post. They are speaking my language this week.

Also, bought these linen shorts from Old Navy the other day-hello elastic waistband- and I'm really loving them. They remind me of the J.Crew ones, but cheaper. I think I might have to invest in another pair.

I also got these black pixie pants  and were pleasantly surprised. I think they will be great for work or church.

Finally, after a week of bad eating, I'm going to try to get my body and health back on track. I won't be working out until after 6 weeks postpartum, but I am going to try to incorporate some healthier foods like this smoothie I found on Caitlin's blog.

I hope everyone has a good weekend! I'm really hoping that ours is full of sleep. Little man is sleeping at 3 hour stretches, so we are praying to the sleep gods that he tries to go for a little longer this weekend. Anyways, here's hoping!
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