Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll! As I sit here typing I am overcome with extreme gratitude. What a better way to celebrate the holiday than by thinking of the oh so many things to be thankful for? These are just a few of the things as there is so much to be thankful for, even in the challenging times, there is just so much.
I am thankful for my Lord and savior Jesus Christ without whom any of these blessings wouldn’t be possible.
I am thankful for my husband- the hardworking, loving, genuine, passionate, compassionate man that he is. He leads our home and brings us closer to Christ and I can’t express enough in words how much he means to us.
I am thankful for our energetic, humorous, loving little man Matthew. To be his mama has been one of life’s greatest joys.
I am thankful for our little dog Oski who brings such fun to our family (and she cleans the floors!!).
I am thankful for our big, beautiful, crazy family.
I am thankful for our incredible friends both old and new. I am thankful for the opportunity to do life with them.
I am thankful for my church home and my job as a Children’s Director there. OCF has helped me grow in my faith, knowledge of the Bible and of Christ, and to get outside my comfort zone in community building.
I am thankful for our home. For the memories that we’ve shared and for the memories to come.
I am thankful for the food that we have and the resources that we have to buy food, water, gas, etcetera.
I am thankful for the care that Matthew has on the days I work.
I am thankful for the ability to run and for the joy that comes with running.
I am thankful for World Vision for giving me a better reason to run than myself.
I am thankful for coffee, hot sauce, peppermint Jojos, champagne, and cheese.
I am thankful for the holidays, the decorations, the time with family and friends, the food.
I am thankful for books.
I am thankful for my glasses and my contacts that help me see the world around me.
I am thankful to live in America and to have the freedom that I do.
I am thankful to the men and women who serve our country daily be it military, police, firefighters, etcetera. Thank you all for your service and sacrifices.
I am certain there’s much more that could go on this list…it would take me hours. Friends I want to encourage you to just take a moment and think about the things you’re grateful for. Just pause and take it all in. It’s often that we just overlook all that we have and what a beautiful chance to just be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving friends <3
This post is sponsored by JORD, but all opinions are my own.
Being the mom of a one year old is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given. It comes with a lot of responsibility though! Recently we’ve been really trying to be intentional about not having our phones out as much around Littleman. We want him to see the world around him and be able to have conversations with people verbally. I know he’s only one but the time to start setting examples is now. I’m so used to checking my phone all the time for the time though. So being more intentional about not having it out all the time has been a little challenging. I’ve never been a huge jewelry person and to me, watches always kind of seemed manly. I’d started wearing my grandma’s old watch but realized that the more “traditional” looking watches didn’t really fit my style. So I’ve been on the hunt for something feminine, but also functional. Needless to say, when JORD reached out to me about their women’s line I was over the moon. I’ve been eyeing these beauties for a while and was so excited to be able to have a beautiful piece that would help me keep track of the time and complete my outfit!
Seriously though, I mean, even the packaging is pretty!
After receiving my watch, I thought to myself, with the holidays coming up (only about 9 more weeks until Christmas…what?!) , what a wonderful gift idea am I right?! Handcrafted and made out of such beautiful wood makes it such a unique and special piece to gift that special someone in your life. And don’t worry ladies-if you’re shopping for your man they’ve got a gorgeous men’s line too!
I’m super excited to let you guys in on a secret! I have partnered with JORD to give YOU 25% off of your order (Click HERE)! Why not start some Christmas shopping a little early and get a good bargain?! Ya’ll know I love a good deal. If you click the links below you can view the selection of women’s watches (including the one I’m wearing now!) and their men’s collection!
Men’s shop : https://www.woodwatches.com/shop/men/#shelovesalatte
Women’s shop : https://www.woodwatches.com/shop/women/#shelovesalatte
I’d love to know, what are some gifts that you’re super excited about giving this year? Or even hoping to receive?
Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see how I wear my JORD!
Have an absolutely wonderful day!
Recently we had family photos taken by the amazing Jenny & Ellis Photography. Our experience was so good and I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you all! If you’re in Southern California I’d definitely recommend them. I’ve put their link below. We even got the chance to do a smash cake…I know I know it’s such a millenial thing to do but I couldn’t help it. I just love these photos every time I see them online. #yolo right? 😉
Happy Fall Y’all! I hope this Fall season finds you well. Fall in general has always held a special place in my heart. It kind of kicks off the holiday season, which my little heart just loves so very much. Families coming together, celebrations, yummy food, creative decorations…there’s just a change in the way things are. This year is our second October with our little. In just a few days he’ll be 1! I can’t believe how fast time is flying. It’s such a joy to watch this little man grow!
As Fall kicks into high gear hubs and I were talking about all the things we’d love to do, a Fall “Bucket List” shall we say. We don’t have any traditions ourselves yet so we are excited to create some as the time goes with our little family. I thought it would be fun to share our list and for you to add your own traditions and to-dos in the comments below!
- Apple Picking! Not sure if Matt would really get it yet but I think it’d still be fun!
- Pie making! I’m talking real homemade goodness. Apple? Pecan? Pumpkin Cheesecake? What would YOU choose?
- A corn maze! Again, this might be something that comes in a few years when Matt can really enjoy the idea of it and actually walk around himself.
- Pumpkin carving! Obvi we’ll carve the pumpkin for him but I can’t wait for him to get his hands on some pumpkin guts and explore the texture!
- Speaking of pumpkins…we’ll be roasting those seeds and munching on homemade pumpkin seeds. Anyone have a good recipe they’d like to share?
- Going on a “nature walk”. There’s a huge tree a few blocks away that sheds these gorgeous giant leaves. I’d love to take Matt there to gather a few (with our neighbors permission of course) and have him do some art or just explore the leaf itself.
- Enjoying delicious cider from a local place
- Having bonfires out in the backyard and roasting marshmallows.
- Wearing a coat and boots! Come on California get on track with the Fall weather lol.
So tell me what do YOU want to do this Fall? Do you have any traditions?
(Image courtesy of GoDaddy)
Even as a little girl my biggest dream was to be a mommy. I’d tossed around career ideas like a veterinarian, a singer, a lawyer. I think my parents even had high hopes I’d become a doctor…my loathing of math pretty much took that one off of the table lol. I dreamed of becoming a wife to a loving husband. I dreamed of lots of things. I had high ambitions growing up.
I am incredibly blessed to be able to be living out my dream of being a mommy to my sweet boy and a wife to my amazing husband. Nowadays my goals and dreams have seemed to shift focus on being more internal. It’s odd how seemingly, without me even realizing it, my dreams and goals in life have changed.
I have a goal to be a compassionate, kind woman who brings glory to Jesus.
I strive to be a loving and supportive wife, mommy, friend, daughter, sister.
I dream to raise Matthew to be an honest man who loves Jesus, works hard and has integrity.
I dream of fun things like having a minimalistic home that’s calm and refreshing. I dream of making it to Paris one day.
I dream to be better at my job as a Children’s Ministry director.
Another huge focus right now is to create new meaningful friendships and to really invest in the ones I am so fortunate to already have.
I dream to continue to use running for a cause other than myself.
I’d really love to know what are some of your goals and dreams?
I realized last week after a rousing #ThursdayCoffeeChat on Instagram that I’d never really shared my birth story. A story where my world was drastically changed for the better and the story that shares my journey of entering into motherhood. What an exciting few days it was. Does anyone else seem to block out the “traumatic” moments from that day or is it just me? I mean I remember them, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t seem quite so bad now. The pain isn’t there and I came home with one of the best little dudes God could’ve blessed us with. So in advance, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy 🙂
Thursday afternoon I went in for a weekly check up. I was one day past due and had had issues with pregnancy induced hypertension for a few months leading up to my due date. They hooked me up to do a stress test that Matthew didn’t pass so they quickly sent me to the hospital to do some routine check ups. I called Tim frantic but he talked me off of my ledge and headed to the hospital from work. When we were admitted my blood pressure was 200/100 -needless to say not good and not safe for Matthew or I. They got us into a labor and delivery room and I think it finally hit me then that when we left this place we were leaving with a baby! Fun fact: We didn’t know what we were going to name Matthew when we were admitted. We’d gone back and forth on so many names and much to my protest pretty much decided to not really decide until we had to. When they admit you they fill out the whiteboard in your room with the birth plan, parents names and baby’s name. Then came the moment. The moment they asked for the baby’s name. Tim said Matthew. MATTHEW! I for that moment forgot all of my fears and worries and just celebrated in the joy that we were going to have a Matthew ❤
The first step was to give me an IV and start me on magnesium which would prevent seizures and blood poisoning. Shortly after they started me on pitocin. That stuff is NO joke. 😶 My OBGYN came in on Friday morning and broke my water- she was pretty certain he was coming that evening. C-section kept getting tossed around but by the grace of God we were able to have him naturally. After my water was broken and the pitocin dosage upped, the contractions really started. Tim and I made a pact that I’d go as long as possible without an epidural but with my blood pressure rising and no baby in sight we got an epidural later Friday afternoon (probably a little sooner than I’d hoped for). Y’all this was a live saver and I wholeheartedly believe it provided me with the resting I needed to be able to push.
Saturday morning at midnight it was finally time to push. At 3:11 AM our beautiful boy entered the world at 7lbs 7.6oz and 19 inches long.
This is literally our first photo of him. He’s clearly not stoked to be out lol. We’ve also been told he looked like the Pokemon Machop.
Above is Auntie Carly ^
Below is Auntie Kathleen
Below this is Auntie Ellis and Unkie Johnny:
Here he is all nice and clean 🙂
I remember just crying and saying thank you over and over again. God was so good- we made it out alive and we were so blessed to have our boy in our arms.
After a few hours and some lab results later, Matt had to be transferred to the NICU for monitoring and to start antibiotics for what was a possible infection due to him being in broken water for too long. While I needed the rest, I longed to be up with my boy. I was still on bed rest due to the magnesium but my husband (who so quickly became such an amazing father) spent hours with Matt: running pumped milk, snuggling him, talking to nurses, staying so involved in his care.
Form a short time we had to feed Matt formula in addition to the breast milk so we could keep his weight up.
For a bit he was also under the UV light for a mild case of jaundice. It looks like a mini baby rave.
Here’s daddy having some fun :p
Ya’ll we shared a twin bed for almost a week. I don’t even know how.
Here was our first hearing test! He failed the first round. We had to go back three months later for a retest which he passed. Praise Jesus!
How was he ever this tiny?! Look at that little hand <3
After a week long stay in the NICU & pediatrics we were given the clear to go HOME! Another fun fact: our families pretty much camped out in the family waiting area from Thursday to Saturday (and even made up a song that we still sing) and during our stay in pediatrics blessed us immensely with food, coffee, and so much love and support.
So after a long week, we packed up Littleman in his car seat and our tiny family of three drove ever so slowly to our home 🚗
I’m back! It’s been such a crazy season. I realized today I haven’t been on since March…maybe some of it is business maybe some of it “writer’s block” but regardless I’m happy to be posting again.
This past week I went on quite the day adventure with my sweet friend Angelica. Angelica’s a flight attendant and a really good one at that. Her go with the flow attitude and ability to adapt to her surroundings has always amazed me. I’d mentioned to her a while ago that if we ever got the chance I’d love to adventure with her in Portland. It’s always been on my travel bucket list and they’ve got the best donuts I’ve ever had. No guys I’m not exaggerating they’re literally the best donuts I’ve ever had. And I want to fly back for more. Or just move in right next door. That could work too. Although… maybe a block or two away would be better for my waistline…
ANYWAYS, we decided we’d make a day trip of it. On Monday morning at 4:30 AM we went to LAX to head off on our adventure. We flew standby which is something I’d never had the fun of doing before. It’s kind of an adrenaline rush! You just wait and stare at the screen and wait some more. And pray that someone slept through their alarm lol. We lucked out and got seats. When they called our names I almost squealed with excitement. Angelica and her son each got their own seat a few rows back. Because Littleman is a lap child my seat possibilities are pretty so somehow I lucked out and got premium seating! WHOOP! I walked to my seat and I think the poor man in the isle and woman at the window winced when they noticed a baby coming towards them. However, they were extremely gracious and I probably should’ve bought them shots because sitting by a kid is no joke.
Overall I want to say Little did pretty darn good. The only crying he did was when we were descending. I think his ears were plugged or popping…how do you even try to help a baby with that? I tried nursing but he refused so we bounce and crinkled paper for 30 minutes…we made it. But speaking of nursing, do ya’ll know how hard it is to do that in the middle seat? I learned that next time, to be prepared I’ll either have a bottle or enough snacks to make up for him skipping a feeding. I think I was a little overconfident in my public feeding skills.
When we landed I let him wiggle for a bit by the windows while he watched the airplanes come and go. A few minutes later I packed him into the Lillebaby and we were off! We took their version of the Metro so I wore little and just sat on the edge of a seat. I really honestly could’ve sat and people watched all day on their Metro. People are fascinating.
Our first stop was my dream donut stop, Voodoo Donuts. Ya’ll this place did not disappoint. I’d say it’s easily my favorite spot so far but Sidecar is still a VERY close second. Angelica doesn’t like donuts but being the lovely giving selfless friend she is she made the trek with me and even tried a vegan donut. Her consensus was good but a little too sweet. I got a maple bacon bar that was AMAZING. I also got their little voodoo doll one that was amazing until you got to the filling…I don’t like fruit filling it just doesn’t belong in a donut. I got Tim a plain glazed that he ate that night when we got home and he said it was “good but thicker in a good way”. We got Angelica’s husband this chocolatey peanut buttery one that looked and smelled pretty darn good so hopefully he liked it… I really should follow up. I also probably should’ve gotten more…I guess this is just my excuse to go back.
Our next stop was Stumptown Coffee. They’ve got one in LA that I’ve ventured too but it was still fun to stop at this one. Their coffee is REALLY good. I wish they had one closer to my actual home. Actually…I don’t. I’d be broke if they were closer.
After donuts and coffee we traveled to Powell’s Bookstore and wandered around the floors of books. This is another place I could’ve easily spent all day in. It was just incredible how many books were under one roof. When you first walk in they’ve got a fun little Oregon section with a lot of novelty items and souvenirs. So many stories and so little time. I’d highly recommend checking it out if you’re in Portland.
Next we went to their local Whole Foods, grabbed some food for lunch, and headed to Washington Park to see the Rose Garden. It was BEAUTIFUL. So many different colors of roses EVERYWHERE! There was also this really cool fountain structure that was near the entry of the main rose level that caught Jojo’s eye so we spent some time walking on it every way we could. One of the coolest parts to me about this place was their playground a little further into the park. It was surrounded by big lush trees and had an amazing structure for the kids to play on and get out some energy. Jojo loved it and Littleman LOVED watching Jojo and swinging on the swings. If you’re in Portland with kids definitely make a stop here. It’s also right by the zoo so you can hit that up too if you have the time.
We ended our day by heading back onto the Metro and heading back to the airport. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and waited to see if enough seats were cleared on this evening flight that we could hop on and head home. Man were we lucky this day! Not only did we get seats but a nice man switched spots with me so Angelica, Jojo, Little and I could all sit together. Little slept a majority of the flight so it was pretty easy for us on the way home.
I think the one thing I really learned is that I should’ve packed more. I know people usually want to pack less so having this in mind when I prepped our diaper bag I left a lot of toys and extra snacks home thinking we wouldn’t really need them. I wish I’d have packed more quiet toys like his rubber ducky, a book or two, his rubber teething balls, etcetera. I probably could’ve packed extra applesauce packets and teething biscuits too. But now I know for the next time we fly. It was one of the most amazing adventures and I am so grateful we got to experience Portland. A huge thank you to my sweet friend Angelica for taking us with her and for having such an adventurous spirit!!
I’ll see you again Portland, you were weird and wonderful and I love ya <3
So tell me friends, what are some things YOU have learned from flying with baby?
I don’t like posting about the messy moments. It makes me feel vulnerable and it makes me feel like I’m whining. I realize though that most often that I am blessed by someone being completely raw and real. I hope that through sharing this you’ll realize you’re not alone and possibly even be willing to share your advice and stories.
We just finished night two of sleep training. This photo about sums it up.
Can I just give a quick shout out to my main squeeze, Trader Joe’s Dark? Let’s be honest…I wouldn’t be functioning right now without it.
So let’s go to the beginning, when he was first born up until about 3 months it looked like we were gunna score with a good sleeper. And then about 3 ½ months he started rolling over forcing us to stop swaddling. This is when nights became no bueno. The swaddle has a magic power I’m telling you. Anywho, since then it’d been pretty consistent that he’d go to bed around 9 pm and then wake up and eat at 2 am and 4 am. After the 4 am wake up and feeding our day was ready to begin according to Littleman. 4 AM PEOPLE! He became quite daring and figured out how to launch himself out of his bassinet. Luckily I was always there to not let the final push happen but we came waaaay too close to let him sleep in it anymore. We had to consider our other options.
For a week we tried co-sleeping thinking that would help but no luck. This lead to us being up at least every two hours. In this time, he somehow learned to worm crawl over to me to pinch my face to let me know that it was time to eat. This did not lead to a very awake and pleasant mommy. It did give us a few good laughs though.
Then one Sunday we decided that it was time for the crib…in his own room. Man that was hard. According to the AAP they recommend that your baby share your room with you for the first 6 months to a year. We couldn’t fit the crib in the bedroom so that was out of the question. It’s one of those moments I’ll hold close to my heart because it’s really one of the moments I had to give Little up to Christ. I did everything on my part to ensure his breathing and safety were assured but really I didn’t have much more control other than what crib liner I chose.
Since then it’s been about a month and fairly consistently he’s slept in his own room. He’s pretty regular in going to sleep about 7-7:30 and then waking up at the times I’d mentioned.
I was tired ya’ll. I am tired as I write this. I may or may not be consuming my third cup of coffee as I type. I started asking around and it seemed that kids around his age were either sleeping through the night or only waking up once. I just couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I know every kid’s different but there seemed to be some consistency in what I was hearing. I knew we needed to regroup and figure something out that worked better for us.
This Wednesday I kind of hit a wall. Emotionally I was drained. I am a part of a Bible study called Beautiful Mess that meets Wednesday mornings. I don’t know about beautiful but I sure did come in a mess. I shared our sleep struggle and how it had broken me down. I was blessed as the moms in our group poured into my mess of a self with loving encouragement, advice, tricks and tips. I felt hopeful as I walked away with some things I hoped to try out. I sat down with Tim that night and we decided we’d try to sleep train and use the cry it out method. Here we go!
Night one: I put him down at 8 pm. I went in and did a “dream feeding” at 11 pm. He went right back down. At 2:30 he woke up and cried it out for 10 minutes. He fell asleep but in the worst possible position! He must have fallen asleep sitting up because he was head down in between his legs almost like he was stretching. I got a good chuckle in but went to re-position him. He of course woke up screaming so I fed him and put him back down. After that he slept until 6 am! That’s the latest he’d slept in in weeks. I’d happily take it. I woke up feeling pretty good. Besides the 2am deal we did pretty well.
Night two: Little went down about 7:30. He woke up about 10:40 and I went ahead and did the dream feed early. Why not? I was still trying to figure this whole schedule out. He went back down as soon as he was done eating. About 1 am he woke up crying. Tim was up working and came in to see if I wanted him to take this shift. I don’t know about you but I can’t sleep when baby’s crying so I told him I’d take it since I’d be up anyways. About 5 minutes into it he sat up and grabbed the top bar of the crib. All of the sudden he began to vigorously try to launch himself out of the crib. I ran from our room to his as fast as I could and in enough time to catch him before he flung himself out. Tim was close behind me. My heart was racing. We both decided he couldn’t safely sleep in the crib so in the bed with us he went. I’m telling you you guys he’s gotta like smell me or something. As soon as he was in our bed he was waking up pretty much every hour and pinching me awake. He’s got these little lobster pincers. Little and I woke up at 4:30 and just laid there trying to be quiet while we let Tim sleep.
Night three starts after I post this. Prayers are much appreciated for a successful night. Crib lowered. A fresh set of pajamas set out. And a pot of coffee ready for the morning. Although that pot of coffee may be brewed at 2 am, who knows. I’ll keep you posted.
In telling you this lengthy novel about our fight with sleep I hope it’s brought you a little bit of comfort that at 2am you’re not alone. During a sip from your 3rd or 4th cup of coffee I’m right there with you. When you’re crying because you’re just so stinkin tired, I feel you.
You totally got this though. Find a friend, a good cup of coffee, and a positive attitude because this too shall pass. And that little that you’re staying awake for is oh so worth it. <3
If you’ve been through sleep training or are going through it share your tips, tricks, advice, stories. I want to hear them!
One of my favorite things is watching Jojo watch the airplanes. Seriously, genuine joy and excitement just ooze from this kid every time he sees an airplane.
Today was my last Jojo Thursday so we took a special picnic to one of his favorite spots. We made some peanut butter sandwiches, cut up some strawberries and went on our way! But first, we made a quick pit stop at my favorite little coffee shop to grab an iced almond milk latte. Yum!
When we got to Clutter’s Park there were plenty of open tables but we opted for a bench so that Jojo would have more space to stand and walk on.
For about two hours we sat and watched. Every plane that landed was greeted with a very excited “OH!” The other park goers were really getting a kick out of his enthusiasm. Littleman was there too but he was a silent onlooker during our picnic time. I’d like to think that he was taking it all in 😉
I absolutely love this little spot. There are people taking photos, people just simply watching, people playing chess on the chess tables. It’s small and quaint and tucked away in the beautiful city of El Segundo. People there are just so darn friendly. It’s perfect for a little picnic or a quiet moment to yourself. My only draw back is that if your kid isn’t super into planes you might lose their interest quickly. There isn’t a play structure or much roaming room. But Rec Park is nearby so you could easily pack it up and head there.
Overall I would totally recommend checking out this little park! Let me know what places you love to take your littles and why in the comments below!