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So let's talk anxiety.  It presents itself in many different ways.  Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Postpartum, to name a few.  All different but similar in so many ways.

If you don't know by now, I have anxiety.  I've been diagnosed with both Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Postpartum Anxiety, twice.

By being honest and open about my anxiety, I have found I am not alone.  At all.  Women are more likely to suffer from anxiety, not surprisingly, but these days we are speaking out against the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

Today I am opening up the conversation to two amazing women from my local community that are open about their anxiety struggles.  Jessica is a mom and business owner, about to open a new DIY art boutique, AR Workshop, here in town this summer.  Subrina is a stay-at-home mom that has recently felt the call to speak out in support of so many wonderful things.  Then you have me, a stay-at-home mom that loves to network and support people in all their journeys.  Here are our thoughts on anxiety.

How does your anxiety present itself?
Jessica - "Initially, I knew something was “off” because I was tired and feeling like not leaving the house. For me, living in the country and having no neighbors, I live for the times each day where I can socialize and be amongst people. However, in January after a VERY dark and cloudy winter, I didn’t really have any desire to go anywhere, do anything or see anyone. Then, the tightness in my chest began. I felt as though I were having a heart attack several times throughout the day and found it nearly impossible to breathe. Making a decision as simple as which cheese to buy at the grocery store seemed to take 10 minutes. One day, at Dillons, I was so overwhelmed with all of the choices that I left a nearly full cart in the produce section and ran out of the store. Having a toddler doesn’t help some days either. The chorus of “mom, mama, mommy, mama, mom” that I hear 100 times a day starts to literally hurt my ears."
Subrina - "I have both general anxiety and Social Anxiety Disorder as well as OCD. I have a constant need for order and cleanliness. I get overwhelmed very quickly when disorder occurs. I also get overstimulated with loud, constant noise. I have high levels of burning anxiety around large crowds. I tend to get very reserved and quiet in large groups."
Amanda - "I had that overwhelming worry and sense of doom that constantly hung around.  The smallest issues could send me into an absolute tale spin of what ifs and exaggerated thoughts.  It became all consuming and all that I focused on.  In the height of my first round of Postpartum Anxiety, I refused to leave the house unless my husband was there with me.  These days my anxiety consists of lots of double checking and mentally making sure I notice things so that if my mind questions it later, I can return to watching the garage door hit the ground before I pulled away."

What steps did you take to find a new level of normal upon diagnosis?
J - "There was one really bad day in February where it took me an hour to physically get out of bed. I would take 10 deep breaths then sit up, 10 breaths then scoot to the edge of the bed, 10 deep breaths then swing my legs over the bed…and so on. That day I knew that my anxiety had reached a level where I needed help. I cried on Kirk’s shoulder about how everything seemed impossible. I had a to do list a mile long and so much to get done in any given day that I couldn’t even figure out where to begin. I called my doctor and she got me in immediately. I had experienced similar anxiety when we made the huge move from Denver to Kansas and I knew exactly what was happening. I began a small daily dose of anti-anxiety medication and quickly realized that if I were to miss a day of exercise I could feel the anxiety setting in. I have had to retrain my brain to not look at the whole to do list, but one thing at a time. Why I couldn’t do something that simple before is beyond me. Also, for me, talking about anxiety and making it known amongst my friends that I have it has been a tremendous help for me. Talking about and sharing my experiences has helped me to realize how many of my very own friends are suffering in silence."
S - "Quiet times with the Lord and lots of prayer because medication did not work for me. I do self help through positive encouragement talks."
A - "Identifying that there was a problem and seeking out help was the first step.  After that everything seemed to fall into place and I was able to learn how to live with anxiety through various techniques and tricks"

Did your doctor listen?
J - "Yes. Very much so. And what I wish for others who suffer from anxiety is that they realize that medical care is available to HELP you and not judge you. My doctor never once made me feel like what I was describing with the tightness in my chest or fatigue was anything but “normal” and something everyone goes through."
- "Yes I have a good doctor that listens to my gut feelings and supports me."
A - "I have seen MANY doctors about my anxiety.  When I was first diagnosed with GAD I was a military spouse living in Georgia.  A therapist diagnosed me and worked with me initially.  Then my doctor in Tennessee diagnosed and listened to me with my first round of PPA.  She was the one that gave me the phrase I have spent many years clinging to "is worrying about it going to change it?"  Finally - with my most recent round of PPA, I saw our Family Doctor here in Lawrence.  Not one person ever disregarded my feelings and made me feel less than and for that I am SO thankful.  If one doesn't listen, find another."

What advice would you give someone experiencing anxiety?
J - "TALK ABOUT IT!!!! You will be shocked how many of your own friends/family are right there with you and, often, the people who need help look a lot like people who don’t need help. Just talking about your anxiety is a completely Vulnerable move…and when you are open and vulnerable it makes others feel like they can trust you and be honest right back with you."
S - "It can be an attack of the enemy and him preying on your perceived weakness. Speak life and positive words over yourself. Let yourself cry it out though and give yourself grace."
A - "Don't be afraid to ask for help.  I spent a good chunk of time beating myself up for something completely out of my control.  It got me nowhere.  By coming forward with my issues I learned I am not alone.  So many people are suffering in silence, and they shouldn't be.  It is nothing to be ashamed of, regardless of the stigma... because you aren't alone."

In your opinion, what is the best way to overcome anxiety?
- "I’m not here to push medication for anyone, but for me, a small daily dost of an anti-anxiety medication lifted the curtain from which I was hiding behind. I wasn’t even able to so much as make a choice about cheese and now I go weeks without even thinking about anxiety or the many choices I have to make in a day. It goes without saying that EXERCISE is so important to my mental health that, without it, I am grumpy and often don’t see the point in leaving the house some days. I work out 5-7 days a week and while the outward physical benefits are great, it’s how it makes me feel INSIDE that is the true benefit."
S - "Prayer and strong positive support from good friends."
A - "For me I tried lots of things.  I tried therapy, deep breathing techniques, and yoga.  Over the years certain things have worked during different times, a hug from my husband, a nap, a good book, things that distract my mind from the worries at hand.  I still pull out my yoga mat when I start to feel overwhelmed, and it still works.  The only thing I haven't tried is the prescription tucked in the back of my medicine cabinet.  It's there, just in case.  When I am done nursing our youngest, I hope to start using CBD oil, as another all natural option."

How is your everyday life with anxiety?
J - "Honestly, I can go weeks at a time without experiencing anxiety. I think that because I haven’t held a traditional “job” since 2011, I am triggered a lot by what it takes to open a business and a franchise at that. If I am able to work alone in a quiet space with few distractions I forget that I even had a hard time accomplishing small tasks. Today, I was triggered when a friend asked me why I was starting my new business because I “have it made as a Stay At Home Mom” and “what was I thinking?” I started to feel that tightness in my chest again. Had I made a mistake? What WAS I doing? It’s when I second guess a decision or choice that I know in my heart is right that I realize it is fear talking and not my heart. After she said that to me, I went into Spin Class and my chest hurt so badly I was tempted to leave the room and hide. I shut off ALL negative thoughts and fears and pedaled my way through it. By the end of class, the only tightness I was experiencing was because of the Cardio element. Some days are hard, but less and less just by speaking about what I feel with others. As I share my story with other moms/women, I am saddened by the number of them who tell me they have debilitating anxiety too but don’t know who to talk to, are ashamed to talk about it or don’t want to tell their significant others. After the 10th friend said that to me, I realized it was my duty to “Make my Mess my Message.” Mental health is NOTHING to be ashamed of. I tend to think that being mentally UNhealthy and not talking about it for fear of how you will be perceived is the true shame in the mental health community. I’m good now. My head is in a great place and I’m back to being my “normal” (whatever that’s worth)."
S - "My everyday life is filled with planning. If I plan well then I can keep my anxieties at bay. I'm not usually spontaneous because that's a major cause of panic. I have a notebook I use as a planner and I write to-do lists, meal plans, schedules, etc. in it everyday. I clean a lot too. Its therapeutic for me. It calms me but when the kids come in and bring "messes" it sometimes sends me over the edge. "Messes" is a curse word in our home, so the kids say. Time management is huge for me daily too. If I plan my time well, I can keep the anxieties lower too."
A - "I have my good days and I have my bad days.  But everyday is filled with routine.  My anxiety is on the low side on the days that are expected and normal.  The crazy and unexpected days often throw my anxiety into a tailspin.  I am at the point now where I can easily identify when my anxiety is starting to flare up and I can take the necessary steps to help calm it and go about my day.  I'm still learning though.  I also talk about it and let people know when my anxiety is high and thankful I'm surrounded by an amazing village that understands what that means for me."

Living with anxiety is COMMON and NOTHING to be ashamed of.
Period.

If you are experiencing anxiety, ask for help.  See your doctor.  Talk to your friends.  Admitting the problem is there is the first step towards finding a solution.

To talk to someone, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).  Or you can e-mail me and I will listen.
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Did you know that maternal mental health disorders, like depression, are the number 1 complication from childbirth and one of the leading causes of maternal death?

Did you know 1 in 5 mothers will suffer from a maternal mental health disorder and that less than 15% will seek out and sustain treatment options?

Did you know that there are more new cases of mothers suffering from maternal depression each year than women diagnosed with breast cancer?

Is your mind blown yet?

April 29th to May 3rd is Maternal Mental Health Week.  Organizations like The Blue Dot Project and Postpartum Support International are working together to help break the stigma behind maternal mental health disorders.  This year I am joining in to help spread awareness and rally behind women that silently suffer, because I've been there.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Anxiety.
In 2018, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Anxiety, again.

Being honest and open with my anxiety struggles is my way of bringing light to maternal mental health disorders.  I have anxiety, it does not define me.

To read about my anxiety struggles, click here.

For more information on Maternal Mental Health Disorders - click here.
For more information on Maternal Mental Health Week - click here.

LOCAL FRIENDS - follow Build Your Village Douglas County for more local information.  They have lots of great events planned for this week to celebrate MMHW, including a Climb Out of the Darkness walk on Saturday morning.  I'll be there, will you?
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All photos courtesy of Trina Baker Photography
Back in February, I wrote about attending my first ever blog related event in Kansas City.  It was such a success and I had so much fun that I left with all these ideas about bringing the fun to Lawrence in a  special and unique way.  I had already launched my side project, LFK Lady Boss Project with the idea of getting lady bosses, of all kinds, together to network and truly enjoy time together.  But I left with a renewed sense of what I wanted to do.
All photos courtesy of Trina Baker Photography
A week and a half ago, I hosted my first LFK Lady Boss Project Networking Night Out.
All photos courtesy of Trina Baker Photography
It was a two hour networking gathering hosted downtown that had over 50 lady bosses of all kinds in attendance.  I had one of the sweetest Lawrence business owners offer up her boutique, KB & Co, with not much to go off of except my dreams.  A local wedding and event planner, Fashioned Events, stepped up to help me with the details.  And finally, a photographer, Trina Baker Photography, volunteered to fill the position of photographing the entire night.  Without these three the night would not have been near as successful.
All photos courtesy of Trina Baker Photography
Then I had some people volunteer to donate some sweets (McLain's Market, April's Sweet Treats, and BellaRoca Cakes) and over 25 other lady bosses donated amazing giveaways.  Trina set up a photo booth.  There was shopping.  There was cookies, cake pops and macaroons.  And there was so many amazing ladies gathered together under one roof.
All photos courtesy of Trina Baker Photography
It has been a few days since I showed people what I hoped to do here in Lawrence.  I have had great feedback and I have already embarked on planning the next Networking Night Out.  Going to ride this way of success and keep it going.  More than anything I want to do what I am so passionate about.  I want to give back.  Lawrence, Kansas is a one of a kind community where everyone comes together to lift each other up and do what we can for each other.  I will never stop being thankful that our life brought us here.
All photos courtesy of Trina Baker Photography
For more information about future events and to follow along with my side project, follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@lfkladybossproject).

If you have any questions about hosting your own event in your community, feel free to e-mail me!
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Easter is quickly moving up on my list of holidays.  The spring colors, the pretty dresses, and above all else - He is risen!  What better celebration could there be?

Our Easter festivities were simple and perfect in many ways.

We stood in a very long line to take pictures with real bunnies at our local indoor zoo, Pet World.  The kids were patient and mostly content during the hour wait.  Our donation to take the pictures went towards rabbit rescue and that absolutely makes it all worth it, even though Emily ended up not being a super big fan of the bunnies touching her.  My sweet baby girl.


On Good Friday, my mom came out to spend the night with us.  Rob grilled up some salmon and we dyed eggs with the girls.  This isn't a tradition I particularly look forward to but we enjoyed doing something special while Grandma was with us, which the kids really loved.


Saturday morning we went over to the club for an Easter egg hunt and to see the bunny.  It was the perfect size crowd and the girls knew what they were doing this year.  Brooke picked up every pink and purple Easter egg in her direct path, which brings me great joy.  The weather and the company made it a beautiful morning, even if we are 2 for 3 with the Easter bunny.  Brooke only agreed to sit next to him if Grace was doing it too.  Maybe next year?


Finally - the bunny visited and the Easter dresses were donned to head off to mass in celebration.  It was a beautiful gathering and we left ready to chow down on the feast my husband prepared.  My parents, my sister, Rob's uncle and his girlfriend all made the trip out to celebrate the day with us.  I don't think our girls could have enjoyed the day more.  There was an egg hunt that consisted of hidden eggs, bubbles and chalk, plus all the sweets little tummies could handle.


It was definitely a glorious Easter.
What is your go to Easter activity?
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"No matter how long the winter is...

spring is sure to follow."
-Proverb

The trees are greening up, the flowers are blooming, and the temperatures have finally climbed into the range appropriate enough to play outside in.  I live for spring, minus the whole allergy season part.  Spring + fall are totally my jam.

This year I want to take complete advantage of the weather before the humidity sets in and mama can't stand being outside for more than 10 minutes.

So I present... Our Spring Bucket List!

--Take the girls to their first Sporting Kansas City game of the season.  Rob has already been to several and I've been to one.  But the weather has not cooperated with us to take the girls along.  We ended up buying season tickets for this year because my husband LOVES SKC and soccer games.  The atmosphere is like no other.  We just need less wind, warmer temperatures and no rain so we can take the babes with us.

--Visit the Easter bunny.  This year I am skipping most of the public egg hunts and bunny visits in favor of going to a private one with a smaller crowd.  I think it will be perfect for the babes to really enjoy themselves and I don't have to worry too much about big kids overrunning the littles.

--Hunt for eggs.  Rob has been working his butt off to get our yard cleaned up and beautiful.  This year it will be so fun to watch the girls hunt for eggs in their own yard.  Start the tradition early for all of them.

--Take pictures with real bunnies.  I've talked about our local pet store that is kind of like an indoor zoo.  This year they are offering pictures with bunnies in exchange for a small donation.  I'm down, so down.  Count me in.  I have high hopes for this, but we will see.

--Attend the Climb Out of the Darkness 2019 events here in our area.  I have been very open and vocal about my postpartum anxiety and this year I are excited to put my efforts behind a very public cause.  We will be walking in the walk and I will be spreading the word near and far, because it means that much to me and YOU ARE NOT ALONE. For more information on the Climb Out of the Darkness activities, click here.

--Have a picnic by the lake.  This is one of my favorite things to do when the weather cooperates.  It may be a bit harder this year because my littlest love is mobile and doesn't sit still very long.  But I think if I give her some food, it will help keep her stationary. Maybe?

--Finally let the girls ride their bike to the park.  Grace has been wanting to do this, and I just haven't had a chance to do it really with Emily napping in the afternoon.  But we WILL make it happen.  I promise.

--Visit the baby animals at Orschelns.  Our local farm store has baby animals you can hold.  We have taken Grace in the past, but we haven't done it since Brooke was born 3 years ago.  So this spring is the season.

--Go to Deanna Rose Farmstead, again.  We LOVE this place.  I really love going to this place when the big kids are still in school.  So instead of having this on our summer bucket list, we are moving it to the spring one.  The temperatures are still nice and the crowds should still be relatively small.  That's a win, win, win for me.

--Wear hats with our Easter dresses.  I did this growing up and I'm excited to have all girls and pass this down to them too.  There is just something about a straw hat with an Easter dress, I am a sucker.

This spring is shaping up to be a busy one in our house.  But I am excited to put effort into the memories and make it extra special for all of us.
What is on your spring bucket list?
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"The great gift of Easter is hope."
-Basil C. Hume

The great resurrection is near.  To celebrate parents near and far will give their kids Easter baskets full of sweet trinkets and treats.  Some parents will take the parenting to a new level of Pinterest and outdo even themselves. Other parents (like myself) sometimes need help figuring out what to put in those highly valued Easter baskets.

My kids love them.  I love the joy it brings them. I do not love junk that nobody will ever utilize.  So here's what I am doing this year.


-Cookies.

One of the CUTEST local shops, April's Sweet Treats, releases the most beautiful cookies for every holiday. This year she is releasing a Paint-Your-Own Egg that my kids are going to LOVE.  I've already scooped up one for each of my big girls.   Anything edible is really a win in my book.  So candy, too!  I mean if you aren't eating Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs we can't even be friends.

To see more information about April's Sweet Treats and place an order, click here.

-Bubbles and chalk.

My favorite way to kick off the season is with a box of new chalk.  Even better the Dollar Spot at Target usually has small boxes of chalk and little tubes of bubbles.  The cheaper the better, especially on something that is used for one season then discarded or replaced with a new one.


-Books.

I LOVE giving books.  Especially ones that give a reason for the season in a way children will understand.   This year my girls will be getting Usborne books that are perfect in every way.  These higher quality books will easily last forever around our house too.  I got this bunny shaped one for Emily that I know will probably go with us in the diaper bag for lots of entertainment.  My girl, Heather, is my favorite book lady, and can answer any questions you may have about both Usborne and placing an order.  Extra points for the shipping being so QUICK!

To place an order, click here.

-Jewelry.

My girls are obsessed with all things sparkly and pretty.  We are always wearing dresses.  Stomping around the house in click clack shoes.  And picking out jewelry to match everything on the fanciest of days.  I don't like to drop a lot because it doesn't last forever so I love when I spot options in the Dollar Spot or on sale anywhere else.  It doesn't take much for them to be obsessed, something I love about this stage.

-Something useful.

Emily is still at that age (1) where she doesn't need a lot because everything goes in her mouth.  This year I will probably throw some food pouches or a new sippy cup in her basket.  These are things we always need, and she's too young to know the difference yet.  I may include socks or a new hairbrush for the big girls.  Something we will use but makes them feel special to receive it on a holiday instead of with the grocery order.


Of course, sometimes it is just easier to let someone else do it.  Last year my mom gifted the girls a shared basket with a Minnie Mouse theme.  It was so sweet and the girls loved it.  This year I've considered letting Ashley at Gracefully Gifting take the reins.  Her baskets are adorable and perfect for ALL ages.  (While I'm on the subject, Ashley's business is perhaps my favorite thing ever.  She creates and selects gifts for all occasions. So she's a personalized gift shopper! Maybe my dream job.)

To see your options and place an order, click here.

One of the best parts of being a parent is the joy I can bring to my kids.  Even the smallest effort can really light up their whole day.  Grace frequently says "this is the best day ever"! And now, that is my only goal in life... to give her as many "best days ever" as possible.  While it will not take a glamorous and fabulous Easter basket, I know that it will just add to the spirit of Easter as a whole.
What do you include in your Easter baskets?
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Last year when Emily came into the world 2.5 weeks early I knew that the end of March this year was going to be an interesting one to figure out.  My girls have back to back birthdays and I just couldn't see how we could ask family and friends to come out multiple weekends or days in a row to celebrate our girls.  So instead of asking everyone to do way too much, we combined the parties into one three hour long party.  And it worked out perfectly.
Please excuse the dirty door, I never got the other side cleaned.  Sorry, not sorry.

I spent most of last week spring cleaning my main floor.  This winter just felt so brutal and it was such a relief to dust all the things, clean under the furniture and wipe down every last corner.  Somehow even though I spent the entire week getting ready, I was still not ready until about 15 minutes into the party and after some special help from my friends.  Someday I swear I will be on time to my own parties.  Maybe.


We kicked off the party with snacks and playing.  Then the kids got to decorate their own wand with ribbon and stickers.  We were kind of winging it but I think they all might have actually enjoyed it.  After that Emily opened her presents and we sang her happy birthday.  Girlfriend was not into her cake, at all.  Something about the texture of the icing she really wasn't a fan of.  Once we called it quits on Emily's lack of cake enthusiasm, Brooklyn got to open her presents and then we sang to her.  The three hours ended up being just the right length and we were all wiped by the end of it.


After the party we went out for the girls birthday dinner with my parents, sister, and then a couple of my girlfriends stuck around to go out with us.  By the time we got home and cleaned up the food mess I was pretty much dead on my feet.  So that must mean the party was a success, eh?
Kind of become tradition at this point.

All I know is that three is one of my favorite years for a birthday.  It is the first year that they get into it and really enjoy the entire process.  It makes my heart swell every single time my kids get excited for their friends to come over and see them.  Also - hosting my last first birthday party is a hard notion to get over.  This is really it y'all.  The baby phase is almost past us for good.  How the heck did the last year pass that quickly?!

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My middle child is three today.

It has been three years since the sweet babe with the squished nose was safely placed in my arms just 48 hours after I fell pregnant belly first with Grace in my arms outside our home.  Of all the nurses I have had, the one that helped me labor Brooke into this world is the only one I truly remember.  Her spunk seems to have transferred to our spirited girl.  The girl that came into this world on her due date, on a military installation on the Kentucky/ Tennessee line.  How has it been three years?

To my Brooklyn,

You, my dear, are something else.  Ornery, yet sweet.  Sassy and smart.  Strong willed and determined.  You keep us on our toes and always surprise us.  The biggest cuddle bug in our family, but also the one who lets you know when space is needed.  I'd say you are a perfect mixture of your mama and your daddy.

This year was a fun one for you.  You became a big sister, while also being a little sister still.  You found your voice and use it often.  You string sentences and words together like you've been talking your whole life.  You can count to ten and sing your ABCs.  You are always singing and obsessed with Frozen.  All parts of it, but especially Anna.  You also love Moana, still.  Pink is your favorite color. Macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese pizza are your favorites.  You just moved into size 4T and are almost into size 8C shoes.  You have the most gorgeous hair that absolutely cannot be tamed.  This year you started sleeping in a toddler bed and started entertaining the idea of potty training.  You love to color and play Barbies with your sister.  Your nose is the absolute cutest thing, especially when you wrinkle it up to laugh or smile really big.  You love going to the park and have no fear of climbing or trying new things.  You love to do mommy's hair and cuddle while reading a bedtime story.  You taught yourself how to do a somersault, and will just randomly start doing them.  You are a righty.  You still have a dang good throwing arm for a toddler and fairly accurate aim.  You love to flirt with daddy and know you are wrapped around his little finger.

I am so excited to see how the next year goes.  Potty training, starting your first recreational activity, going to preschool all alone and so much more.  I know you will take it all in strides, you are very independent.  Sometimes though it is hard to believe you are already old enough for these adventures.

I can't wait to celebrate your birthday all day long with you.  I know this is the year that you start to understand the importance of the day and you are so every excited.  That makes mama excited, my love.

Happy birthday Brooklyn Monse!

Mama loves you.

To read Brooklyn's birth story, click here.
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My last baby is one.  It's like she knew this milestone was coming and the last few weeks have been full of all kinds of new activities and adventures.  I snuggled her longer yesterday and marveled at this sweet girl that fully completes our family.

Emily at ONE...

.You are wearing size 18 month clothing.  For fun, I tried on some of the new 24 month outfits hanging in your closet and we aren't there yet, not even close.  But we do have a few 24 month sleepers in the rotation.

.You love food.  You try everything we give you.  But really like crackers and veggie pouches right now.

.You have finally picked up crawling on all fours but still get around fastest by Army crawling.

.You JUST started pulling yourself up on pretty much anything and everything.

.You are daddy's girl through and through.  The squeal of excitement you let out when he walks in the door is something so special.

.You are starting to show an ornery side sometimes.  So far, it is still super cute.

.You are still sort of finicky on sleep.  Some nights, especially if teeth are working their way in, you sleep like complete and udder crap.  Up every hour to two hours.  Other nights we get one long stretch in.  Most nights you are in bed by 8.  Wake up just before midnight to nurse and then sleep through until 6.  Give or take some.

.You are an excellent napper though.  You take one long one in the afternoon that can go from two to three hours usually.  Sometimes you nap in the morning it depends on what time you got up.

.You discovered yelling and that it gets people's attention.

.You have 6 teeth at last check.  We don't check much these days because it's funny to bite down.

.You are still nursing in the morning, before nap time, before bedtime and during the night.

.You are so incredibly busy, which makes diaper changes an absolute joke.  But somehow we survive with minimal messes.

My baby - you may be one, but you will forever be mommy and daddy's baby.  This last year has flown by but now I can't imagine life without you.  While mommy may be super sleep deprived and always tired, I am so incredibly in love with you and the sweet girl you are.  I hope you forever know how loved you are by all of us.

Happy birthday Emily girl!

For fun - here is a walk down memory lane with Emily's birth story.

To read about Grace at one, click here.
To read about Brooklyn at one, click here.
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It is FINALLY Spring time in Kansas.  Y'all, we hoped and prayed for this and spent many days staring at white snow covered landscapes.  This winter was especially brutal because the temperatures stayed at or below freezing almost the entire season.  We made it to the other side though.  And here is what that last month consisted of.  In a nutshell.


Valentine's Day.  Our day was pretty low-key with a trip downtown for some girl shopping and heart shaped hair for preschool.  But I personally think my kids are super cute in their Valentine's Day outfits.  As most girl moms think.


We dined with friends. And had a blast each and every time.  When it is too cold for the park, you turn restaurants into a low-key playground, right?


I shared this on Facebook and I truly think it resonates with so many of my mom friends in this day and age.  Something I absolutely believe though it is okay to just be a great mom and a great wife.  That is a huge and lofty goal as it is.


We went to the car show.  My husband is a car person, just like his dad.  So it was a must to go see as many vehicles as possible under one roof.


We went swimming. Grace's best friend had her birthday party at the indoor aquatic center here in Lawrence.  The girls had a ton of fun (and slept like champs) swimming and celebrating their sweet friend.


I went to my first Sporting KC game of the year. This year we made the leap we've talked about doing since we moved here and bought season tickets.  Sporting KC is the one sports team Rob and I share (he's a Cowboys fan, I'm a Chiefs fan - he's a Rangers fan, I'm a Royals fan), so it's always the BEST time going together.  Something we hope our girls love just as much.


We traveled for a funeral.  My mom's aunt passed away a few weeks ago and we spent one long day road tripping out for the funeral, to see family and then turn around and drive home.  I was glad we were able to make it and the girls got to wear Christmas dresses again, so a cute picture was a must.


We spent St. Patrick's Day with our girls.  If you read my last post, you know it is also our anniversary.  So it is always a busy day.  But as with all holidays, there is an outfit for that.


We celebrated Diesel's third birthday. Three years ago, we unexpectedly lost our boxer, our first baby.    The same day we lost him, Diesel was born.  Like fate.  This dog has been a joy, a pain, another child in the chaos, a lover, a handful, and so much more.  He fits right in.  Hopefully before too long the puppy side starts to fade, but I have heard with labs, I've got years to come of that.


We checked out the new brewery in town.  On Instagram, I gave it a C+.  The atmosphere, the service and the drinks were top notch.  The food was overpriced for its quality.  The online reviews lead me to believe maybe we were just there on an off night.  So we will give it one more chance before writing it off.  But when a restaurant is across the street from a Lawerence favorite, it is hard to be anything but stellar honestly.


We traveled again to celebrate a birthday.  Somehow it has been 5 years since I had a 2 month old and my best friend was welcoming her newborn.  We hit the road Saturday afternoon and spent the day celebrating with all their friends and family.  We always enjoy our trips out there, and this was much the same.

We stopped and prayed for Nebraska and all those down stream. If you aren't from the midwest, maybe this hasn't crossed your radar.  But a HUGE chunk of the entire state of Nebraska was flooded recently.  It has been absolutely devastating.  The flood waters are now a lot closer to home and it is absolutely overwhelming.  I'm still sending so many prayers up north and to all those yet to experience this disaster.

Otherwise we are in full party planning mode for an almost 1 year old and almost 3 year old.  This weekend is going to be a FUN one.  Plus the weather is finally nice enough for us to play outside and get out of the house.
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