Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lovebug's Christmas Craft!

I saw THIS adorable, simple ornament on Pinterest a while back, and I thought is was so sweet! How hard can that be? Well, it turns out that crafting with a 5 month old isn't exactly as easy as I previously thought.... it was  pretty hilarious actually. I bought a four pack of ornaments with intentions on using one as a "practice" run and boy was I glad I did! She squished up her hand and got ink everywhere. So, with a little help from my hubby and a sleeping baby... we made this sweet ornament (and one for each set of Grandparents too.)

Here's what ya need...

White or clear ink (non-toxic, acid free, and washable!)
Glass ball ornaments
Embossing powder (I used the blue glittery kind)
A paint pen (I used white)

We rubbed ink on baby girl's hand while she slept and then carefully pressed it to the ornament. Then cover the print in embossing powder and blow off the excess (outside!) I used an embossing heat tool to set the ink and powder, but a hair dryer on high will work too! Just make sure you get it nice and hot so that the glitter will stick! When it was dry and cool, I wrote her name and the year under her print. Attach some ribbon, and you've got a sweet little gift and a special memory for your tree!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Simple Christmas: decor & gifting...

Hey y'all! Are you enjoying the holiday season as much as I am? Well, a certain adorable baby is making it a whole lot more fun around here. Even though she's still tiny, somehow the holiday has so much more meaning to me... I can't wait to make memories and start new traditions with our little family! I'm also super excited to be back in the Midwest this time of year! It was so very odd to be celebrating the holidays in flip-flops the last two years.

I'm not sure if it's an "I have a 5mo old" thing or not, but time is flyyyyying by! I can't even believe that Christmas is only 10 days away! I finally got a few bits of decor up around here. Since most of our stuff is in storage in my parent's basement since the move back from Cali, we're keeping it low-key this year. I also got a few gifts wrapped last night and a craft or two done... whew.

The biggest thing on my mind as I plan our new little family's Christmas this year, is the meaning we really want to give it for Lovebug and for our future children. I don't want it to be this big materialistic, comercialized holiday, void of the REAL reasons we celebrate. I also don't want to ignore the fun that can be had with 'ol St. Nick and what goes along with that. So, finding a balance early on in our traditions is really important to me. Bri and I have decided that since baby Jesus recieved 3 gifts, that's a good place to start for our kiddos too. There's plenty of Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles to spoil our kids, and in this house we really want it to be simple and special.

In keeping with that theme, I strived to do mostly homemade gifts for our family this year too. They were either made by me, a small shop owner, or had significant meaning to the person receiving the gift. We even ordered our Christmas card from a Mom-blogger's shop, who sent the proceeds to a family adopting a sweet little boy. It feels good to keep it simple, and I'm praying that it will continue this way.

Take some time and enjoy the season y'all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Photo Project Weeks 17-20

This Child is hilarious. She's a whole FIVE months old and is up on all fours wanting to crawl across the room! She reaches for my Starbucks cups and trys to text while I'm holding my phone. I try to lay her down and she tries to sit back up! I'm seriously floored by how fast time is flyin'! It seems like she does something new everyday! She had her four month check-up and the Dr. gave her the go ahead for cereal... she loved it, and started gobbling it up each time we offered it after that. She's easily distracted while eating though, and likes to look all around the room.... trying to get the food in her mouth after that is ridiculous. She's such a tiny, tiny little girl. Only 12lbs! She laughs all the time... especially when her Daddy tickles her! Her auntie bought her a jumpy and she loves to spin and talk to her toys in it. We just LOVE our little daredevil Lovebug.... her favorite thing is when she's tossed in the air, or swinging really fast. She even dove off the bed a few weeks ago... she was perfectly fine (although her Mama was a total basket case... calling the hospital, crying, feeling like a horrible parent) The nurse basically told me to chill out, and that it happens to EVERY child. So our little girl is keeping us on our toes and we're enjoying new adventures each and every day! Here's the latest pics...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Babies Don't Keep...

Each night as I get in the shower, I start to pray... I thank God for my precious baby girl, my wonderful Husband, and our truly blessed life, and yet somehow each night, my mind wanders to the lists of things that I "need" to accomplish the next day, or didn't accomplish today, who I need to call, who I've failed to see lately, what I haven't finished, or started or done well enough...

I need to work on Hannah's baby book, her photo book, call, visit or have lunch with several people since it's been months, work on all the unfinished crafting and sewing projects, start the Christmas gifts, Christmas cards, blog about recipes, or blog in general, keep up with the house work, cooking, baking, my bible study, my emails, thank you notes, weekly dinner menus, bills, errands... It goes on and on, and then it starts to feel so very overwhelming.

While I was driving home from an impromtu few hours of "Mommy Time" that involved a trip to Starbucks and Anthropologie, (LOVE my dear Husband) I started to realize how big and out of control this self-imposed fear of not getting it all done really is! Why do I feel like I need to get all the things that I, myself, put on the "to-do" list in the first place. Talk about pressure. It's pretty darn exhausting y'all.... and it needs to stop.

I was reading THIS post from Ashley Ann, and it really reaffirmed for me that my most important item on my "to-do" list is to be a GOOD MOM. To hold my sweet baby girl and love on her and enjoy her while she's still tiny. I've been loving this poem for a while now, and I thought I'd share it...

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
                                       -Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

So I'm going to work really hard in the next few weeks, with God's help of course, to put down all the things I need to do and just enjoy my sweet girl. Life's just too short to make myself miserable trying to do it all, and missing the good stuff in the mean time. Can I get an "Amen" from all you Mamas out there?

Of course, I can't leave without showing y'all some photos of my "Chickie" on her first Halloween!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Picture Project Weeks 13-16 and an Update!

My Lovebug is growing up so very fast! You never really believe people when they tell you that the first year will fly by, until you look over at your baby and she's rolled off her play mat and is inching across the carpet. Crazy! She is just the sweetest little thing! Still rockin' her 0-3 month clothes at 18 Weeks (over 4 months) She's teething all the time and will put anything and everything into her mouth to chew on. She sleeps soo much better now that she rolls all around her crib and can get all comfy. She'll pull herself into a sitting position when she's at a bit of an incline, and I swear this child wants to get up and walk across the room! She definitely jumped out of her bumbo today... seriously. She yells at her toys when they don't do what she wants them to do, and she keeps Bri and I laughing all the time... especially when she giggles at something. I'm so very very in love with my baby girl... I love to hold her during her afternoon nap and cuddle. I just don't want to miss a second of this sweet, sweet time! Here's the latest pics...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin-y Deliciousness!

I don't know about y'all, but I am just so stinkin' excited about fall this year! Probably because I'm back home home in the midwest and the leaves are turning gorgeous colors, the weather's cooling off, and we're headed to the Pumpkin Patch this weekend and then to a small town to celebrate Halloween the weekend after that! Have I mentioned I LOVE Fall? Well I do. Last Sunday, Bri was cuddling with my sweet baby on the couch and I had a hankerin' for baking something pumpkin-y and delicous! While perusing the web, I came accross a recipe for Pumpkin Bread with Streusel Topping and Maple Glaze over at Tasty Kitchen. My mouth was watering. I decided to simplify the recipe by using my Great-Grandma's pumpkin bread recipe, found HERE, modifying it by adding Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of cinnamon, and then adding a Pecan Streusel Recipe by modifying a few I found online. Thus, this doosy of a recipe was born...

Here's what you'll need...

Pumpkin Spice Bread with Pecan Streusel Topping                                                                                                                           Your's Truly

4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 Tsp baking soda
3/4 cup canola oil
2 Tsp cinnamon (This time I used Pumpkin Pie Spice)
15oz pumpkin
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/3 Tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp cold butter
Pinch of salt

Grab a small bowl and beat your eggs. Then add sugar and oil and mix well.
Mix the dry ingredients and add to previous mixture. Add pumpkin, mixing well.
Pour batter into greased and floured aluminum pans. (I used 2 medium non-stick pans)
Bake the batter at 375 for about 30 minutes...

Meanwhile beat together all the ingredients for the streusel until pea-sized crumbs appear.
Add over the bread after the 30 minutes and then bake for an additional 15 min or so until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Now grab a hot cup of coffee, or a Pumpkin Spice Latte (YUM!) and enjoy!

Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Picture Project: weeks 9-12!

Our Sweet Lovebug is doing great! She talks all the time now... in her own little language. She loves to grab her toys and puts everything in her mouth now! She's still such a tiny little thing. At 15 Weeks, we tried to switch her up to size 1 diapers from the newborn ones.... yeah, she's swimming in them. When I'm out in public with her, people often mistake her for a baby whos a few weeks old, not over 3 months. She has great neck control, and we got her a Bumbo to sit in now! She's working on rolling over and likes to sleep on her side now (of her own free will.) She's been eating every three hours for the past 2 months, and nurses like a champ! It's so nice that she'll take a bottle if need be, but she definitely prefers the other... making life so much easier for Mommy! She's a very cuddly baby and doesn't like to be left alone. She giggles when you kiss her feet, and smiles all the time! We love her so very much and are enjoying every minute of this precious time with our little girl!

Here are her 9-12 week pictures!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting this SAHM organized!

A while back, (Sorry about the total lack of blogging from this lady!) I posted a bit of encouragement HERE. Even with a pretty easy baby, there are days where I feel like I get NOTHING done. Between changing my clothes that have been spit-up on, trying to keep up with laundry, cleaning, cooking, feeding lovebug, and having somewhat of a social life, it was starting to feel overwhelming. Now, I totally understand that I am VERY blessed to stay home with my beautiful little girl everyday... so this in no way negates the fact that I am one HAPPY Mama! I just need a little help getting back on track and having some order in this house.

I had seen a few ideas on Pinterest for Household Management Binders... even though I am a total orgainization freak, I wasn't sure I wanted to go that far.  So instead of a whole binder, I thought I'd start with a daily/weekly schedule to keep me on task and to break up the menial tasks that can pile up and feel like TOO much. I found a template online and personalized it according to what works around here. I've already tweaked it according to what worked the first few weeks.

The template is from

It may seem like some of the things I put on there are very menial, but with a newborn, sometimes if I don't remind myself to do things, they just don't happen. It also feels so much less overwhelming to break it all up. There are a lot more daily outings that I haven't added to the daily schedule, but I feel like that leaves room for flexibility. Money-saving Mom is a wonderful resource as well as THIS one.

So how are y'all staying organized? How to you keep your household running smoothly? Until I can get a few more hours of blog-post writing, I'll be doing this...

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Picture Project: Weeks 4-8!

Our little lovebug just loves to wiggle... making her weekly picture a bit difficult to get without a very blurry hand or foot! We just love her sweet little face and those cheeks are finally filling out! She had her 2 month appointment yesterday... she's 9 weeks and weighs 9lbs! She smiles and laughs and talks to us now! If she gets any cuter... I may never get anything done (which is fine by me for a little while.) Here's her most recent pictures...

Have a great weekend y'all! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Finding Encouragement...

Just stopping in to tell y'all that we're doing okay! Lovebug is 9 weeks old.... boy time flies! We're getting plenty of rest... up to 8 hours most nights! She's really a dream baby. So sweet and happy. Her little smiles melt my heart! I was really encouraged by two blog posts recently and thought I'd share. They definitely brightened my day and helped me to realize that soon, very soon I'll be feeling a little more like myself and that things will start to come together. Maybe I'll even have a few weekly posts on the ol' blog! For now, I'm rereading THIS post from AllisonO and reminding myself of this...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Best Cookie EVER.

Well folks, there is certainly no dieting going on around here yet. In between cuddling my sweet Lovebug, cooking, cleaning and shopping for teeny tiny clothes, I've found time to keep the baked goodies coming out of the oven!

I don't know about y'all, but Pinterest is definitely where any freetime I find is spent, and if you aren't following me yet... there's a button on my sidebar. I have an entire board devoted to baked goodies... oh goodness is it causing trouble! I'd seen this little doosy floating around the web for a while and I finally decided to whip it up... dun dun duuuuhhh...

Double Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies                                                                                                             By Picky Palate

2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
10 oz bag of chocolate chips
about 24 Double Stuf Oreos (eat the rest while you bake)

First you'll grab your mixer and cream the sugars and butter. Add the eggs one at a time and then mix in the vanilla.

Then grab a bowl and whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients in your mixer. Add the bag of chocolate chips and give it a good stir. The dough will be nice and thick!

Now grab your cookie scooper (tiny ice cream scoop) and grab two balls of dough. Sandwich your oreo in between and then gently seal it up inside and give it a little roll... they will be the largest dough balls on a cookie sheet you've EVER seen.

I like to use parchment paper on my cookie sheet... my cookies come out so much better that way! Bake them for about 9 minutes or so and then let them cool completely before diving into that deliciousness!

Grab a large glass of milk and a cookie and then die of happiness. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our Picture Project!

I'm sure many of ya'll have seen the amazing weekly picture project that Young House Love has done? Well if not, HERE ya go. There are a whole lot of copied versions all over the blogosphere, and weekly number stickers you can buy to stick on onesies too. I wanted ours to look a little different, and since I get to dress my little girl up (total dream come true!) I thought I'd put her in different outfits and use something handmade by Mommy. (Notice how I seem to speak in 3rd person lately? It's a lovely new habit) We've decided to take a picture of our sweet Lovebug on her quilt each Saturday, and then put the pictures all together in a beautiful coffee table book for us to treasure forever!

Here's Lovebug's first FOUR weeks!

I'm so in LOVE!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to the hospital... an emergency trip.

Sorry about the looong time between posts y'all... little Miss Lovebug is just too stinkin' cute to ignore while I blog. I'm sure once she gets on a more of a schedule we'll figure out some time for Mommy's morning coffee & blogging.  But for now... I'll be cuddling my baby and spending oodles of time adoring her.

So about that lovely little trip to Children's Mercy Hospital...

We had only been home for about a day and a half, and although our sweet girl had only been in our lives for four days, we just knew that something was wrong. She had been such a happy, chill baby... didn't even cry when she came out! We had to wake her to eat, and then she was content. But that night, after we'd fed, changed, rocked, rocked some more, paced the house, put her in the swing, and generally were exhausted, she was STILL upset. Bri finally went to kiss her little forehead and noticed that it seemed a little warm. We quickly grabbed the thermometer and found out that her temperature was 101. Thinking that we were just being paranoid parents, we called the pediatrician, who sent us to Children's Mercy at 6am. The whole way there, I kept thinking that she was fine... I just knew nothing could be wrong with my precious baby.

When we got there, however, things got a whole lot more serious and traumatic for Bri & I. They quickly told us that protocol for a newborn with a temp that high was to take blood, urine, and a SPINAL TAP. I immediately burst into tears. I was sleep deprived, still in pain from giving birth, and now being told that my sweet girl was going to be poked and prodded, and admitted for 48 hours to a hospital. NOT what I wanted to hear. Brian stayed with Lovebug while I stepped outside the room to try and regain some composure (I do NOT usually cry in public.) When they were done with the IV, blood and catheter, I stepped back in to kiss my baby and see the strong, rock of a man I married... which of course would give me peace and calm me down. WRONG. I walked in to see Brian not only crying (I've only seen that once), but tears were dripping onto my sweet baby as he held her. I totally lost it. We were TOLD to go get something to eat and leave our sweet girl while she was given the spinal tap. Hardest thing EVER to walk away from my baby. I think I asked the nurse twelve times if she'd hold her tiny hand while she got the spinal tap. Bri and I ate something at the cafeteria in silence, trying not to choke-up and hurried back up to Lovebug.

Her Crib at the Hospital

I was so happy to hold her, and yet so traumatized already. I tried to nurse her, and she wouldn't, and then we were being wisked away to be admitted and shown our room. It seemed like there were nurses EVERYWHERE all asking me questions and talking to me. I felt like a total zombie. I just held my baby, and pushed her IV cart wherever they told me to go.

This picture breaks Mommy's heart.

Her 101 temp was back down to normal, and the doctor said that any virus was probably gone quickly, due in part to the colostrum that she was recieving from Mommy. We soon found out that Lovebug was pretty dehydrated, which caused a multitude of other symptoms. She had also dropped to far below her already small birth weight of 5lbs 15 oz to 5lb 5oz. The main issue became her eating... I REALLY didn't want to bottle feed, so we tried everything... even syringe feeding her pumped milk... nothing was working. I was forced to start pumping bottles so we could see exactly how many ounces she was getting and making sure that she received a certain amount. We were watched by a feeding specialist, lactation specialist, nurses and doctors, all who had their own opinions on what she was doing wrong, and why she wasn't eating correctly or enough... it was VERY overwhelming. We were told we had to stay another day to observe her eating, extending our stay to over three days.

Meanwhile, Bri and I were getting ZERO sleep, I was in a lot of pain, and my feet and legs swelled bigger than I've ever seen them. During all the drama, our family and friends were absolutely amazing. They came bringing clothes, food, snacks, magazines, and so much love and support. I'm not sure that we would have survived without their love and prayers.

Finally, after all the test results returned, and Lovebug had been pumped full of fluid by IV and forced to eat far too many ounces for her tiny tummy, we were allowed to go HOME! What sweet relief it was. I immediately felt so much more at peace... our little family started the recovery process all over again and began bonding and resting together.

Now we're home and Lovebug is healthy and happy... and we're loving every minute of it!

Lovebug's One Month Birthday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Birth Story...

Well folks, our little Lovebug has officially stolen our hearts forever. Her Daddy has already offered to buy her not one, but TWO cars, and she is the Princess of our household. We fall asleep each night thanking God for the miracle that she is.

I suppose now ya'll wanna hear how she made her grand entrance into this world? (If not, you should definitely skip this post) Well it didn't go as I thought it would... but I'm really thankful that I had a healthy outlook before labor, and knew that things don't always go as "planned." Bri & I woke up on Friday, July 1st at 3:40am because I had started to have contractions. We got out of bed, packed our bags, made PB and Honey sandwiches and thought we might be able to go back to sleep. By 4am, the contractions were too strong to sleep through and were now 6 min apart. Our plan was to labor at home until the contractions were 3-4 min apart or my water broke. Since I didn't want an epideral, I wanted to avoid the hospital as long as possible.

Cuddling with Mommy!

ALL DAY LONG the contractions stayed a steady 5-6 min apart and grew stronger and stronger. I had breakfast thinking surely this is my last meal, then lunch, then dinner and FINALLY by 8pm they were 3 min apart and we headed to the hospital. I got checked in by 9pm, was dialated to only a 3. We called the family to tell them to come on up, even though it could be a while.

I labored naturally and quietly, "blowing the contractions away" with Bri in our private room. The lights were off, we used Bradley positions to ease the pain, and Bri fed me popsicles. Our family popped in to see how things were going every once in a while.

Tummy Time!

By 10:30 I was dialated to 6cm and by 12:30 I was at 7cm! I thought that my water would break any moment and we'd get this party started!

No such luck... by 3:00am I was stalled at 7cm and the Dr decided to manually break my water. I thought this would surely get things started!

Cuddling with Daddy's Hand!

At 4:30am, 24hours after I'd started laboring, I was EXHAUSTED. My body was worn out, shakey, and I was pretty out of it. I was ready to get my sweet baby out! The nurse came in, checked me, and with a very sad face told me there was no change... I was still stalled at 7cm. The contractions were very painful and right on top of eachother with no break in between. Brian and I began to get a little worried. There was an increasing chance that if I kept going with no medication, I'd be too exhausted to push when the time came and the possibility of C-section would be hanging over us. So... I asked for the epidural. I just needed a bit of rest so that I could have the energy to finish. Little did I know that the decision to do so would be pretty important in a bit.

I slept for an hour after the epidural kicked in. I could still feel the contractions but they were much more tolerable, and I could feel my legs and move them normally which surprised me! When I woke up, I was at 8cm... finally some progress! By 8am I was at 9cm and at 8:30 I was ready to push!

She Loves her Wubba Nub!

Here's where that epidural and rest became very important... just as the Nurse & Doctor were getting me ready to bring our little girl into the world, her heart rate suddenly started to drop. They told me we needed to get her out quick, and so with the restored energy, I was able to push her out in 15 minutes after only 4 sets of pushing! I felt immediate joy and started to cry when they laid my tiny little baby on my stomach! The doctor was surprised at how tiny she was, since she had estimated Lovebug to be about 7 1/2 lbs! She cried only for a second, and then just looked around with her big beautiful eyes, and started rooting right away! They checked her over and cleaned her up before giving us our blessed bonding time as a little family of 3!

We got all packed up after 2 wonderful days in the hospital recovering... headed home... and spent only 1 1/2 days there before an emergency trip to Children's Mercy Hospital... I'll tell you all about that suprising turn of events in my next post!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lovebug is Here!

After 28 hours of labor, our precious tiny girl is here! Hannah Renee Edwards was born on Saturday, July 2nd at 8:47am! She was 5lbs 15oz and 18 3/4 in long! We love her soo much it almost hurts! I'll post more about her Birth Story and the eventful days following after we get all settled in at home. Here are some pictures of our Lovebug... although we can't seem to capture just how beautiful she is in person!

Came out bright eyed and beautiful!

Mommy loves her so very much!

She's a Daddy's girl... looks like him too!

Heading home! Our little family of three.