2017 in 10 photos.

I know we’re over halfway through the first month of the new year, but let’s revisit 2017 in photos, m’kay?  Idea credit for this post due to Amanda!

Find a photo from the year’s greatest adventure – big or small.

Becoming a family of four!  Definitely an adventure.  That spica cast was an adventure as well.

 

Find a photo of a significant moment.

Ava’s first time in the chair-chair!  AKA the moment Kevin and I realized that we would in fact survive the experience with our sanity.

 

What photo makes you feel most alive?

We took morning walks together as a family all summer and fall.  Those walks were a highlight of the day for each of us.  Being outside, breathing in the fresh air, and chatting with Kevin and Ava as Owen kicked and punched in the womb made me feel alive and healthy and so blessed.

 

Pick your favorite photo of you and the people you love.

On Kevin’s birthday.  Ava said something that made us laugh.  I love these people.

 

Search for a photo of a morning you want to remember.

Taken at 6:06 AM on the morning of October 3, so Owen was seven hours old to the minute.  We were settled into our mom-and-baby room and Kevin got to do a little skin-to-skin.  Love that husband and that baby boy.

 

Find a photo that represents joy.

Zooming down the slide!  This little girl lives her best life and brings so much joy to our lives.

 

Locate a photo of the people that shaped your year.

Probably my favorite picture from 2017!

 

Find a photo of you trying something new.

Home alone with two of them!

 

Identify an image of something you are proud of.

These two!  So proud of how strong and smart they are and that, just by existing, they make me want to be a better person each day.

 

What is a photo that you’ll want to pass down for generations to come?

Father and son.  I mean, come on.  This one is a framer.  My guys.

 

You should do a post using these prompts!  Be sure to link to it in the comments so I can check it out. 

 

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Stitch Fix bliss part XI.

Doesn’t it feel like just last month that I posted about Stitch Fix? It’s highly unusual for me to get two boxes in such a short span of time, but my sister gave me a gift card for Christmas and Stitch Fix reeled me in with their “be entered to win $2500 in Stitch Fix credit if you get a Fix before January 16” offer. And here we are.

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This maxi dress was cute and nursing friendly but I own one that is pretty similar so decided to send it back. Oh, I also recently had my hair cut and I suppose this picture debuts that. So there it is.

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This faux wrap dress was also nursing friendly (my stylist was really excellent at including options for that) and I like the cut. Most wrap dresses – even faux wrap – don’t work for me because I am so flat chested, but this one did work. However I am not really a polka dot person and didn’t like the pattern, so I sent this back as well.

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I tried these Lila Ryan Liza jeggings in my ninth (I think) Stitch Fix box, but I was a few months pregnant st the time and it didn’t seem wise to keep them. I hadn’t forgotten them though and decided to request another pair, and ultimately, I decided to keep these this time.

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I will say this tunic was more flattering in person than it is in this photo, but I decided against keeping it. As I age I’m becoming less interested in a boho style.

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I really considered keeping this button up plaid shirt because I wear a lot of button ups these days, but I decided against it because I own a similar red plaid shirt.

Interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself? They are waiving the $20 styling fee for the first box. Here’s my referral code!

Stitch Fix bliss part X.

My tenth Stitch Fix box! I feel like they should take me to dinner to celebrate. But alas – I’ll settle for sharing the contents here instead.

The embroidery on shoes trend is…trending, and it’s fine but I don’t LOVE it. Also, these were too big (obviously Stitch Fix would have sent me a pair in the right size if I’d so requested) and not my style so I sent them back.

 

These jeggings were cute and fit well, but I ultimately sent them back because the wash and fit was just too similar to a pair of Treasure & Bond jeans I own.

 

This black sweater with pearl buttons on the sleeves was really cute and cozy and I was thisclose to keeping it. But I didn’t. I probably would have if it were charcoal or a lighter grey, but I have plenty of black shirts.

 

I liked this red and black flannel with brown elbow patches fine, but I’d just ordered a red plaid shirt from Gap (60% off, thank you Black Friday/Cyber Monday) and the way the buttons are positioned on this one makes it less breastfeeding friendly than a button down shirt, so I decided to return it. (Longest sentence in the post award – right there.)

 

I did keep this grey and floral shirt. I needed to keep something to not lose out on my styling fee and this shirt is comfy with a nice pop of color. It can be dressed up or down and I am quite fond of it. Wearing it as I type this as a matter of fact.

Interested in Stitch Fix? Here’s my referral code. I think they’re waiving the styling fee for your first box, so if you want to try it out, now is a good time!

That’s a wrap {November}.

Links to Love:

  1. Kevin showed me this and it’s hilarious – farting in public with attitude.
  2. The other day I feel down the rabbit hole that is subscription boxes.  The mother load can be found on Cratejoy.  I found one for basically everyone I need to buy Christmas gifts for and a few I want for myself.
  3. The cheapest and most expensive states in terms of real estate.  New Mexico is somewhere in the middle.
  4. Did you find any awesome deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday?  (Which are both basically a week long now.  Consumerism.  No joke.)  I may have indulged in a little shopping on the Gap and Nordstrom websites.

 

Making Memories:

  1. We hosted Thanksgiving!  It was a lot of fun to have my extended family and Kevin’s parents and their close friend over for the day.  Ava was like, “Whoa – what’s going on here?” because we usually lead a very quiet life and there were 30 adults and 15 kids in her space, but she did great and we appreciated not having to travel!  The food was great – (we do potluck so it’s not like I have to cook for all those people when it’s at my house) and the weather was fantastic.  We have a pretty big space and a good layout in our house for entertaining, but it still would have been crowded indoors if the weather was bad.  We were thankful for a clear day in the 60’s!
  2. Kevin went to a 30/80 party for a judge he formerly clerked for. The Judge was celebrating 30 years on the bench and his 80th birthday. He’s an exemplary man and Kevin loved working with him and learning from him.
  3. Owen and I went to a friend’s baby shower and I had the chance to catch up with some friends from my elementary school days. I really enjoyed it.
  4. Owen started melting our hearts with social smiles this month and Ava continues to make us so proud as she learns to pull up and stand and balance in the brace. We sure do love these kids of ours.

Bookish:

  1. In November I finished Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (5 stars – really recommend this one.  I listened to it, but think it would read really well too.), Chestnut Street by one of my favorites – Maeve Binchy (4 stars), and I listened to The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennell (3 stars).
  2. I just downloaded Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bumni Laditan but haven’t started listening to it yet. I am a few pages into Do You Come Here Often? by Alexandra Potter. I started Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly last month but it was due back to the library and had holds on it so I couldn’t extend it. Maybe I’ll pick it back up someday. I have A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett going on my phone/iPad but haven’t made much progress.  I also am working on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Lots of book irons in the fire.
  3. Kevin finished listening to Vengeance by Newt Gingrich and gave it 4 stars. The series is set up for a fourth book and he said it’s starting to get a little ridiculous.
  4. Kevin is currently reading Naked by David Sedaris and HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership.  
  5. Ava has been loving The Little Blue Truck and That’s Not My Owl. 

Challenges:

  1. We had our pediatrician refer us for an ultrasound to get Owen’s hips checked out and it did show that a slight issue with his left hip.  We got him in to see Ava’s pediatric orthopedist two days after the first ultrasound and he ordered a second one to review himself. He agreed that there was an issue and put Owen in a Pavlik harness, which he’ll be in until the hip normalizes.  Because they grow so rapidly at this young age, hopefully it’ll normalize quickly and we are sooooo grateful that it is being addressed now rather than when he’s 18 months old, like Ava was when we found out about her hip dysplasia.  But it was still a blow and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely overwhelmed by the thought of having a toddler in a brace and an infant in a harness.  We’re making it though!

Sustenance:

1. I think the only new recipe I tried in November was this spaghetti bolognese. It was fine but not something that blew me away.

How was your November?

That’s a wrap {October}.

 

Links to Love:

  1. Nine literary heroines we should try to try to be more like.
  2. And speaking of literary heroines, Jenny’s Etsy shop has two new ones!  Mary Poppins & Sara Crewe – they’ve joined the other ladies on Ava’s literary heroine banner.
  3. A trip down memory lane with Ava’s first year video compilation from last year.  I love this.  I started one for year two but it got away from me.  Maybe I’ll finish it someday.

 

Making Memories:

  1. Hey hey hey hey…we had a baby!  Owen’s birth story is here.  He is such a little dreamboat and we’re all crazy about him.  He’s growing on Ava too.  She was too busy at first to care much about this new little human in the house, but I think she’s figured out that he’s here to stay and she’s starting to take more of an interest.  It’s sweet to see her lean in slowly and kiss his head.  I hope they’ll be great friends someday.
  2. Ava’s spica cast came off!  Four days post baby, we took our first baby to have the cast removed and a brace put on.  Ava has learned to sit, scoot, and crawl in the brace and she’s loving her newfound freedom and independence.  It’s fun to have little messes around the house to show where she has been playing.  Don’t take for granted the path of destruction a toddler can leave in their wake – it’s far more upsetting when they aren’t able to move around on their own.
  3. Ava’s birthday was in late October and we had a great day.  I want to write more about it in another post, but as a quick recap, she got to decorate her own birthday cake, eat stroganoff and ice cream – her favorites, and received so many awesome toys, including a little doll playhouse that she has been coveting.  We loved celebrating with her.  She is such a blessing.
  4. We went to a Halloween party organized by the “cul de sac crew” neighborhood friends.  Ava was a black cat and she was the cutest little human black cat I’ve ever seen.

Bookish:

  1. In October I finished Persuasion by Jane Austen (4 stars) and The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan (3 stars).
  2. I’m currently listening to Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool and reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I also just started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I need to get with it if I want to finish re-reading the Harry Potter series this year.
  3. Kevin finished American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road and gave it 5 stars.
  4. Kevin is currently reading Naked by David Sedaris and HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership.  He just downloaded Vengeance by Newt Gingrich and will start listening to it soon.
  5. Ava has been loving Llama Llama and her Nelly Gnu book.

Challenges:

  1. The month was full of happiness but also had some challenges.  Postpartum emotions were running wild, we had to adjust to sleeping in three hour (at most) chunks of time, and the brace was something new and different after our comfort zone of the cast.  There were a lot of tears – and they weren’t just from the newborn and the toddler.  Fortunately Kevin has managed to keep his eyes dry or we’d probably all float away from the amount of crying around here!

Sustenance:

  1. We made these honey garlic chicken thighs and it was FAR TOO SALTY for my taste.  Kevin said he liked them and he does like things saltier than I do, but I think he was just being polite because see above (lots of crying).
  2. This slow cooker chili was really, really good.  We’ll definitely be making it again.  I used one can of kidney beans and one can of black beans rather than two cans of kidney beans and I’d do that again.  I also used some tomatoes grown by my aunt and freshly canned by my aunt, mom, and great aunt.  They were super good – so fresh!
  3. This paprika chicken and rice meal was delicious!!  I’ll broil the chicken thighs for a few minutes next time to crisp up the skins (they recommend it in the recipe but I didn’t take the time to do so), but other than that, we both really loved the dish.  Served it with roasted zucchini, yellow squash, and brussels sprouts.  Hearty and pretty healthy!
  4. Another slow cooker winner – this Poor Man’s Stew was tasty. I added whole mushrooms and they were a great addition.

How was your October?

A day in the life – October 2017.

 

Keeping up the day-in-the-life every-six-months post tradition with this detailed account of what a day (and a night because, well, there is a newborn in the house) looks like over here.

Where do I start? Midnight? Or the typical morning start-time? Decisions, decisions.

We’ll go with morning.

Ava has been waking up around 7:00 or 7:15. She usually wakes up cheerful and plays with her stuffed animals in her crib. We’ll hear her telling them to sit and rearranging them. Kevin (who has been downstairs since 4:30 am – more on that later) goes in to get Ava and she’ll enlist his help in further arranging her stuffed friends. Sometimes she’ll want to stay in her nest (crib – she’s been calling it a nest and she’ll lean back on her bed wedge and say, “Nest. Soooooo cozy.”) and sometimes she’ll want to get out and play on the floor or go “find mama”.

Mama (that’s me) will have gotten out of bed at 7:15 when the sound machine switched from white noise to ocean waves. {Back when Ava could walk she toddled over to our sound machine – which Kevin has owned since he was in high school – and somehow programmed the sound of the ocean to come on every morning at 7:15. We have no idea how to un-program this.} I go downstairs and start feeding Owen. Ava and Kevin come to find me and she usually sits on the floor in the living room and starts playing. She’ll often request Cat (Daniel Tiger) so we’ll turn that on if she does. Otherwise we’ll keep it on Mike & Mike (she says Mike and Mike, which is adorable) – soon to be Golic and Wingo, but that’s off topic.

Anyway, Ava has a yogurt pouch and Kevin and I have breakfast of some kind. Owen alternates between eating and dozing and staring up at the ceiling.

Kevin gets ready to be to work at 9:00 and three mornings a week, his mom comes over to hang out with us from 9:00 to 1:30. She’ll hold Owen while Ava and I go for a walk around the neighborhood at 10:00 or so. And she’ll play with Ava while I’m feeding Owen. Her help has been a great way to transition into attending to the needs of two little humans. And Ava loves her time with Grandma.

I start getting Ava’s lunch ready around 11:50. She eats and we’ll eat with her. Kevin is able to come home for lunch most days which is great. Ava heads upstairs with me around 12:35 and we change a diaper, read three books, and then I walk around holding her and singing until she falls asleep. We’d love to just be able to put her in the crib and have her fall asleep on her own, but that is a rare occurrence so I jump through hoops to try to get a nap. {Today I was not successful, despite my acrobatic hoop jumping. Eventually I just left her to play in her crib for an hour.} If she naps, I try to get Owen to nap at the same time and I try to sleep myself or at least lay on the couch and relax.

When she wakes up we resume playing. She’ll have a snack at some point. Kevin comes home around 5:15 and we’ll get dinner started. We eat around 6:00/6:15 and then clean up the kitchen. We’ll usually head upstairs around 7:00 to start the bedtime routine. It’s really nice to spend time together in Ava’s room, her on a beanbag, one of us on the floor reading books, and the other sitting in the glider, holding Owen. I tell Ava good night and that I love her. Then she and Kevin start walking around. They sing five songs. She has really been good at putting herself to sleep at night.

Kevin joins Owen and me downstairs and we finish picking up the house, getting the coffee pot programmed for the morning, giving Kiki her medicine and wet food (which she has been underfoot requesting for hours), and then we settle down on the couch to watch football or read or catch up on a show (currently enjoying the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Big Bang Theory). Owen will eat and finish up around 8:30. I’ll swaddle him and put him in the Rock and Play. Then I’ll go upstairs to get ready for bed and get some sleep in the bed from about 9:00 to 11:30. Then I go back downstairs and Kevin will go upstairs to grab some shut eye in bed from 11:30ish to 4:30. Meanwhile downstairs I’ll feed Owen from about 11:30 to 12:15 or whenever he’s done. Then I’ll sleep on the couch until 3:30 (getting up sooner to feed him again if he wakes up) when I feed him again until about 4:15. Kevin comes back downstairs and sleeps on the couch for a bit before turning on Mike & Mike, pouring some coffee, and starting his morning time. I sleep upstairs until the sound of those ocean waves wakes me up at 7:15.

Someday soon we hope to sleep in the same room but this setup has really been working well for us. We each get some solid sleep in the bed without the little baby noises coming from the Rock and Play and we both feel well rested for the upcoming day. We’ll see when we brave bringing the baby upstairs for the night!

And that’s a typical 24 hour stretch in our house right now. Not mentioned are… Lots of diaper changes. Occasional meltdowns from the infant, the toddler, and the mama ;-). And the other little things that make family life what it is. I love ours.

What’s a typical day like for you? 

Pregnancy style – LuLaRoe edition.

Okay, so this post has been a work in progress for months. I’m no longer pregnant, but decided that I should still finish the post and let it see the light beyond the draft folder. 

I have postponed my quarterly Stitch Fix boxes for the time being because I would need maternity clothes in order to really use them for the next month, and I’ve tried to not buy many maternity-only clothes during this pregnancy.  I’m fortunate that many of my regular clothes continue to fit late into pregnancy and I have plenty to get by, even when the majority of my closet gradually becomes unavailable.  However, I have purchased a few things recently that work for my pregnant and non-pregnant self so I decided to share a bit about those pieces in lieu of my quarterly Stitch Fix post.

Most people know about the clothing company LuLaRoe, but in case you don’t, here is the website.  A guy I went to school with is married to a lady who, until recently, was a LuLaRoe consultant and my aunt and cousin have both hosted Facebook parties through this woman in the past.  Just for fun and to support them, I bought a few items at each of those parties.  Then the lady had a super big clearance event to make room in her stock and then later because she decided to phase out of consulting, so I took advantage of those discounted prices for each of those sales as well.  And I have since found a new “dealer” – my aunt introduced me to Christine and Jenna’s Facebook page and if you are in the slightest bit interested in LuLaRoe, I recommend following along with them.  They seem really fun and are super engaging on Facebook.

Here are the majority of the LuLaRoe items I’ve accumulated over the past year and a half or so and how they’re serving me during pregnancy…. {This post has been a work in progress for months now, so I’ll put descriptions below the pictures for how pregnant I was when I wore the outfit and conned Kevin into taking a photo for me.  :) }

DRESSES

This is the Amelia dress, worn in the traditional manner.  It has pockets, which makes it a winner.  In terms of sizing, this is an XS and I was 31 weeks pregnant when these pictures were taken.  It was pretty tight in the chest area even then so I don’t think I could wear it now.

 

And this is that same Amelia worn with the zipper in the front.  Pockets are still functional (yay).  The dress is breastfeeding friendly when worn this way.

 

This is the Nicole dress.  I am wearing an XS, and like the Amelia, I don’t think I could wear this one much past the 31 week mark, like I am here.  It’s a great first and second trimester option though!

 

This is the Carly and I’m wearing an XXS.  It is definitely an every-trimester kind of dress!  These pics were taken when I was at 31 weeks, but I know I can fit into the dress now (37 weeks) too.

 

This is the Julia dress and I’m wearing an XS.  I love this one and, as I tend to prefer more fitted pieces for pregnancy, it’s probably my favorite in terms of pregnancy style.  This picture was taken when I was 31 weeks, but I could squeeze into the dress fine now too.  I’d just probably wear a loose cardigan or something that covers the wide-load bum a bit.  :)

 

Speaking of Julia and long cardigans….  I wore this to a baby shower brunch some friends hosted for me when I was 36 weeks pregnant and the beautiful blue was perfect.  This is also an XS.

 

SHIRTS AND LEGGINGS 

LuLaRoe is famous for their “butter soft” leggings and here is a one size pair in mustard. They’re paired with an Irma – this is an XXS. I get so many compliments when I wear this shirt. Irma is probably my favorite style of LLR shirt.

 

This is a Classic Tee in XXS and a pair of patterned one size leggings.

 

This is a Randy shirt (obviously a baseball style) in XS. I’ve had this one a long time and have worn it a lot, but will probably retire it soon because it is starting to pill.

 

This is a Gigi shirt in XS and I love it. I like fitted styles in general, especially when pregnant. The Gigi is basically the top half of the Julia dress.

 

It’s hard to see in this picture but this patterned Classic in XXS is one of my most worn shirts.

 

This is a Lynnae shirt in XXS. I think it is a lot like the Classic but has long sleeves. Perfect for fall!

I have a few more pieces that aren’t shown here – some grey leggings, green leggings, and a Classic in XS which is super drapey on my frame (and started to pill after just one or two wears, so not my favorite piece and will probably be donated during my next closet clean out).

Have you ever worn LuLaRoe? What are your favorite pieces?