Thursday, November 6, 2014

Catch Up {Long Post Ahead!}

Well, hello! I'm playing a lot of catch-up here since I've taken a little hiatus! We've had so much going on and the more time that passed, the harder it seemed it would be to get back on track with blogging. But I want to capture some of these memories because I know this time in our life is a big, important chapter! We left Arkansas and moved to the Kansas City area the last week of June. Joe finished up his fellowship at Arkansas Children's and started his new job at Children's Mercy in early July. We had about a week to get situated. We moved in with my parents with only a few suitcases, on their farm, and decided to actively start looking for a house.. or decide to rent and build something. Well here we are more than four months later and we are still living with my parents (hah!) -- but we do have a big update in that area I'll tell you about later! :)

Emory turned six months old in June and right before we left Arkansas we had our photographer take her 6 month portraits so we had them done. I'm glad we did because we've been living in limbo for so long and I've been so unorganized with pictures of our sweet girl! Here were some of my favorite shots, which we took in Arkadelphia, AR at a pretty little lake!

Of course, Landon has loved being on the farm with his grandparents and has been a little shadow to his PaPa. I typically have to drag him in the house after hours of "helping" with farm chores. :)
I just love this picture I took of him, his sweet timid (slightly ornery!) smile and big blue eyes. This is exactly him, captured in one single frame. :)
One of the benefits to Joe being a full-fledged Attending is that he gets much more time off now! As a resident/fellow he did not have the luxury of many weekends off, but with his new job he gets six weeks of vacation a year and most weekends off too! What a huge blessing we won't take for granted!!!! We have taken several small trips to Silver Dollar City in the past few months. I love SDC - good old fashioned fun and an awesome place for little ones!! And please tell me my child is not the only one obsessed with the frog ride??
99% of the time I wear Emory in the Ergo carrier!!
One of the biggest changes in the last couple of months has been that Landon has started "official" pre-school! We've had him in great church Mother's Day Out programs the last two years but we decided to move forward with a more solid preschool. This one in particular follows a Reggio Emilia philosophy and the director has SUCH a neat story about starting the school, involving moving to Italy for a couple years to immerse herself with this schooling approach. We are strongly considering homeschooling the kids, but for now I think he's doing so great with his new school two days a week! Here he is on the first day..
The school did a cute little garden party in September. Each family brought foods/herbs to plant in the fall garden beds. We got to meet several of his friends and spend some time chatting with the teachers and staff.
Let me also share with you a few pictures of our pumpkin patch adventure this year! Landon took his first ever horseback ride and I was SO proud of him! I hope he shows more interest in riding as he gets older :)
Let me wrap up with a few sweet shots I took of Miss Emory last month. I hadn't set anyone up to take her 9-month pictures and I sort of had a panic attack one night and decided to do them myself. I know they're not perfect (and definitely not perfectly edited!), but I'm happy I captured her. We are so crazy about her. :)
Whew! I think I'm caught up now.. on the big stuff! Except the house! I'll share about our hew house next time! :))

Monday, June 16, 2014


Well our little lives have just been marching on. I wish I could keep up better here! First of all, these two. They're both getting so big. I keep telling them to stop but they don't listen. ;-)

Let's see.. what else has been going on? We are moving in less than TWO weeks. Finally, to Kansas City to be near our families! Joe had a ceremony for the completion of his fellowship this weekend. It was so nice to spend an evening honoring him. I know how hard he's worked! He is going to be a GREAT anesthesiologist for his new hospital.
Speaking of, we finally had Emory's GI specialist appointment we had anxiously been awaiting since January. I had gone off dairy for almost five months and she still had bloody stools; we were really concerned there was something major going on. But we got good news - she has a condition called Lymphoid Hyperplasia which means she has little nodes of blood in her colon that sort of burst when things pass through. The good news is she will grow out of it and it's not painful to her! Oh! And mama can go back on dairy! :) Praise The Lord! Ha!
Emory was also dedicated at our church on Mother's Day. It was a really special moment. :) (Yes, we wore matching dresses. I know she will probably be so embarrassed of this in 18 years! Ha!)
Landon wrapped up his last day of MDO a few weeks ago. He has already been asking to go back to school. I know I'm not as fun as MDO - ha! What a great year he had with some wonderfully loving teachers!! Next year he will be in preschool so I'm "mourning" the end of this little period of his life. Tear. :) But we are also doing a lot of research and praying about how we want to proceed with him in school.. whether to start him in Kindergarten as a young 5 year old, or to homeschool?
We did have some bad news in April, which is sort of why I fell off the planet here for a bit. We found out that Joe's younger brother was diagnosed with stage four cancer. I won't talk about it much here, but we pray he can be healed!
Despite all of this, we went ahead and booked our "yearly" Disney trip for the first week of December. We're going to try staying on property this time, so I'm really excited!

So that about wraps up where we're at. I hope y'all are well!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

February Favorite Things

I am loving keeping up with my "monthly favorites". February was cold here in Arkansas and we stayed inside most days. I've just stayed in my sweats or jeans and a t-shirt for the most part. Hibernation mode! I've also been working on my new.. ahem.. dairy-free diet. So that puts my favorites in context pretty well! Let me share them with you...

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1. My favorite pants of the month were these electric blue numbers from Gap. They're a little Elvis, I know. We are only two hours from Graceland. But they are so comfy and I somehow feel "put together" in them when I throw a basic tee on top. I've even worn them to church. Hah! I've been wearing them with a smoking loafer and I love the look that gives. 

2. Best snack of the month.. Stacy's Cinnamon and Sugar Pita Chips. Oh my word - grab some of these with a bowl of sliced strawberries and you can thank me later!! 

3. This is sort of a revisited favorite because I've had this perfume for probably a year now but I got out of the habit of using it for a long time. Then I discovered it again and have not looked back: Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume. It's just pretty - not too sweet, not musky, not too floral. I am so obsessed!! I rarely ever use just one perfume at a time - I usually like to layer two different perfumes (one squirt of each) to create a unique scent but with this one I never do. It's just perfect exactly as it is!

4. I don't even remember how I stumbled across the Facebook page for Household Management 101 but I have spent hours pouring over the info there! It's all about keeping your house organized and improving all areas in keeping house. She puts out a monthly calendar with a new 15-minute task each day like "organize your tupperware cabinet" -- things you NEED to do but never get around to! I'm just feeling much more on top of things by following this group.

5. This is my favorite makeup brush of all time - would take it with me on a deserted island - Sigma F80 brush. It all started way back when I saw a YouTube video of a makeup artist putting foundation on Kim Kardashian. Instead of using his fingers or a sponge to apply it, he used a kabuki brush. My head exploded everywhere at the idea and since then I've been using a kabuki or flat top brush to put on liquid makeup and it makes the makeup look absolutely flawless! I got this specific brush a couple months ago and I have now committed my undying love to it for all of time.

6. Pandora... need I say more? This month especially I've been trying to turn the tv off and get back to playing music in the house for "background noise". The station changes over the course of the day. For play time I love the Music Together channel because Landon and I used to take music classes and know many of those songs. I also love the Lullaby channel. For quiet time or rocking the baby to sleep I love my classical music channels. While we eat dinner I often put Country Love Songs on. I ended up buying the Pandora One subscription last month to eliminate the ads and have been loving it!

7. Best "Come on, Summer!" snack - Luigi's Real Italian Ice (I get a variety pack from Sam's Club). They're a nice cold and refreshing replacement for ice cream. I usually grab one in the evenings and just sort of close my eyes for a second and pretend I'm on the beach in the Bahamas. Hah!

8. I have finally found the easiest way to carry two kids, my purse, diaper bags, church bags, mail, grocery bags, coats, etc to and from the car and her name is the 31 Large Utility Tote. I put everything inside and carry it to/from the car in one load. Thank the heavens! I love that it's flat on the bottom so I can sort of organize everything inside the tote and then just simply carry it to my car and sit it in the passenger seat and I'm set to go!

Hope your February was great!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Emory's Birth Announcement

I love birth announcements - there is nothing else that brings such a smile to my face when I get one in the mail. I now have two special memories of being big and pregnant and shopping for that one special card that would allow me to introduce our new baby to our friends and family. This, above other cards for holidays or events, is the one that is most likely to be kept as a special keepsake so it's important it be thoughtfully chosen and well made! :) This time around, I had already chosen the Tiny Prints "Dazzling Arrival" style before Emory's birth. I just loved the pink with the gold metallic touch - it was very unlike anything else I had seen. And I just loved the phrase "She's Arrived" -- it seemed so lovely and celebratory to me!!

When we had our photographer come out to take pictures my MAIN goal was capturing a picture for the birth announcement. I knew the announcement would be something I'd end up framing for Emory to have as a keepsake and I wanted a special picture for it. The day our photographer was set to come to the house for the shoot, I was nursing Emory in her room and just having a quiet minute looking at her little Christmas tree. I hadn't hung any ornaments on it but a strand of pears and a golden pair of angel wings. I immediately knew I wanted a picture with the wings on her back for the picture. I think it turned out so sweet - it truly captures our little angel from Heaven. We are so blessed.

My birth announcements were furnished at no cost to me by Tiny Prints but all opinions are my own. :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Emergency Room

We had an eventful week here last week... Last Monday I just had a rough time with Emory. She woke up really fussy and then throughout the morning and afternoon it got to a point where she was inconsolable - just hysterically screaming. I spent several hours trying ALL of the tricks in my "mom repertoire" to get her to settle and I ended up just putting Landon down in his crib so he could relax, because I could tell even he was getting rattled, while I troubleshooted. I changed Emory's diaper right around this point and was alarmed to find that she had quite a bit of blood in her stool. I texted Joe and luckily his cases wrapped up within a couple hours and he came home. Our pediatrician's office was closing but Joe talked to the nurse and also the staff at the urgent care facility and everyone recommended we head to the Emergency Room with her. By this time she also hadn't nursed in about eight hours and was running a fever. I just knew something wasn't right.

We made it to the ER at the hospital Joe works at and they quickly triaged the situation and started running some tests and X-rays to rule out major problems like a bowel obstruction, a urinary tract infection or bacterial colitis. At this point I called my mom really upset and she jumped right in the car and headed from Kansas City to Arkansas! (she ended up staying a few days and helping me with Landon and I was so thankful!!!)
After several hours of tests and running through scenarios with us, we finally got her to take a feeding and then settle down. They ruled out major things and told us that the best case scenario was that we were looking at some kind of allergic reaction in her GI and decided not to admit her. I was so thankful we didn't have to stay the night at the hospital!
The next day we saw our pediatrician and she decided to set me up on an elimination diet of soy and dairy to rule out or identify an allergy problem. She also set us up with an appointment with a pediatric GI specialist. So that's the current update. Emory has been doing much better these last few days! I've been working diligently on eliminating soy and dairy from my diet which has been a struggle - I'm just being honest. It's hard to come up with meals that Joe (a meat and potatoes guy!) and Landon would eat that fits within my diet. I've also been struggling with keeping my calorie intake up enough given all the restrictions to maintain my milk supply.

I have had so much weighing on my mind this week. I have so much guilt that my diet has caused this, but also so much sympathy for the parents who have babies in the hospital for much, much worse diagnoses!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January Favorite Things

I thought it would be fun to make a little "favorite things" post for every month this year. It's fun to think about what things I'm loving at the moment.. everything from food to makeup, nothing is off limits. I'm feeling a little bit like Oprah, thinking about my favorite things -- I just wish I could give each of you all of these products! So here we go...!

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1. Skinnytees Tank. I am OBSESSED with these layering tank tops. I wear one almost every single day. They are one size fits all and super long (to the point you could almost pull them down long enough to be a dress but you can also have them at a good shirt layering length and they aren't bunchy) and just kind of hold your *cough* post baby belly in.. and they don't roll up when you sit down. And no embarrassing back or bottom showing when you bend over to get the kids out of their car seat. Winning! They are my new BFF. I discovered them right after I had Emory and I own six now. I don't want to remember my life without them.

2. Tarte Lights Camera Flashes! Mascara. I had been going steady with Covergirl Lash Blast for years. I was committed and hadn't even really tried anything else for a while. Then I got a few monthly makeup gift subscription boxes for Christmas/Birthday and this was inside. Holy lashes batman. This mascara has the perfect formula - not too wet that all your lashes stick together and I love that my lashes aren't brittle after three (five) coats.

3. Sabra Hummus. I'm not sure why but I have re-visited hummus this month and it's been awesome. It's like I'm singing "Reunited and It Feels So Good"!!! I have taken up a new hobby that involves thinking of as many different food items I can now dip in hummus while holding a newborn. Pita chips and pretzels are still my fav. Love!

4. Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. I have been reading this since December but it's definitely a January favorite because my new favorite thing to do is put Landon down for a nap and sit with Emory in my lap nursing while I read this on my iPad with one hand. It sounds horrifying but it's just the best little mid-day mental break I need! In all seriousness, I urge you to read this book. It was recommended to me by someone who used the word "life changing" and I totally get it.

5. Clean Well Foaming Soap. I can't even enumerate how much of this we've used this month. New baby and flu season don't mesh. I love that this doesn't have any nasty chemicals, it's not drying and the scents are nice and refreshing.

6. H&M Jersey Top. If I told you I owned eight of them would you judge me? Ok then. I bought one of these in early January and had to go back for every color when they marked them down to $4.95 with free shipping. They are the perfect t-shirt top with a long swooping hem and super soft jersey. They remind me a lot of my Piko tops but they are so much cheaper! I of course wear one of my skinnytees under them and bam! ready for the day.

7. Benefit Posietint. There's not much time for makeup these days but this little gem has been the holy grail in terms of looking awake-alert-alive-rested this month! I am none of those things however! It's totally foolproof too - I just glob a little product straight onto the apples of my cheeks, blend outward with my fingers. The result is an angelic dewy cheek! Yes!

8. Ugg Ansley Slippers. These were a Christmas gift from Joe and I daresay I have logged more hours with them on my feet than off this month. Which also probably gives you a sense of how much I am not sleeping. But we will move on. We are talking warm, soft and cozy but they also have a durable sole so I can wear them outside and down to the mailbox! I just love them more than any footwear I own right now.

9. Sweet Potato Stuffed BBQ. Now this is kind of random, I know. But it's my new favorite super-super easy meal. I bake a few sweet potatoes until they're soft, then I stuff them with bbq pork (pre-packaged) and drizzle Oklahoma Joe's sauce over the top. You must have the Oklahoma Joe's sauce or it doesn't work. Because it's the best. But so easy, hearty and gooooood!

Whew! There we have it! This month is wrapping up and I definitely look at this list and think it pretty much sums me up right now!

Happy January!

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Goals

Coming off the year of "transition" as I called it... :) I thought it would be nice to set up some little goals for 2014. I've never done that before! It will be interesting to re-visit this list (maybe monthly?) and see how I'm doing.


  • Blog twice per week
  • Try the "photo a day" challenge; compile into a book at the end of the year
  • Take my grandparents out for lunch (maybe weekly/bi-weekly when we move to KC)
  • Host a craft club for friends
  • Host a book club for friends
  • Take a special mommy day with each child
  • Have wedding dress cleaned (finally) and stored
  • Improve calling/texting/messaging friends (I HATE this about myself: but I hate talking on the phone)
  • Watch Star Wars and The Godfather (two movies I've never seen!)
  • Have LASIK
  • Learn Photoshop
  • Research starting piano lessons (I regret not taking them as a kid)
  • Host a family holiday
  • Start a workout routine
  • A nativity set
  • A monogrammed Bible for each child
  • Copies of grandparent's wedding picture
  • Silhouette of Emory's profile
  • Photo book of the year
  • Homemade laundry soap
  • Homemade baby food for Emory
  • Fabric scrap pennant
  • DIY new kitchen table
  • Disney World (looking at November, 2014)
  • Silver Dollar City 
  • Starlight Theater in Kansas City
  • Missouri State Fair when we move
  • Memphis before we leave Arkansas
  • Visit Wichita
  • Visit Oklahoma
  • Try a bean-free chili since I don't eat beans
  • Try green tea again (didn't like it the first time)
  • Try spaghetti squash
  • Find some recipes I love for my Vitamix 

What goals have you set for 2014??


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