For Days You Don't Feel like Working Out

Monday, March 4, 2019

Yay for the first Monday of the month! Welcoming March with open arms after the month we've had lol

But seriously, Mondays have gotten a bad name. Truly, there is nothing quite like a Monday to snap us back to reality & jolt us onto a path to our goals.⁣

Just in case you need a little “motivation rocket fuel” I’ve compiled a list of my favorite workouts (via Beachbody OnDemand} to do when I “don’t feel like working out” ⁣

Sometimes you just need to GET STARTED to keep going.

Here's my totally friendly workout list.

You can email me if you need help registering for a workout & meal plan subscription.


Miscarriage: Our Angel Baby

Friday, February 15, 2019

 I’ve been debating if I wanted to talk about what happened last week.

Yesterday was THE day. We were going to share our BIG news with an epically adorable picture of our Reesey girl.

Unfortunately, all of that excitement turned into a painful experience...

For a brief moment, we were a family of four. 🧔🏻👩🏼👧👶🏼(+🐶🐶)

It was our little secret. It wasn't for long and sometimes I wonder if it was all in my head.

But we saw you. The two pink lines. The first line SO bold that I thought it was the control.

The doctor saw you. You were here. A little flicker- you existed.

We were shocked, you caught us completely off guard. We sat & absorbed the news. And spent an evening shaking our heads and laughing. 👫

A mother of TWO! One holding my hand, both holding my heart. 💞Amidst nausea and desperately needed naps, I started to daydream about what life would be like...
OHHHH the photoshoot opportunities! My two loves sharing a birthday month...and me doing the one thing I SWORE I would never do again...be 9 months pregnant in the hottest month of Florida! ☀️😅

The planning. The celebrating. The sharing ❤ Our family has so much love to give- How could there be a future without you?

And then, just like that.. you were gone.

We were going to have a baby, but we had an angel instead.

It hurts not having you here. But I'm glad we knew.

Meeting you wasn’t denied...it’s simply been delayed
❤ ❤ ❤



There is bonding in our brokeness. 👯‍♀️

The not-so-pretty moments in life link us together with so much meaning and authenticity. It makes you realize community is everything. 👩‍❤️‍👩

It meant a great deal to me that I can openly share one of the biggest challenges I've gone through...emotionally...physically...

It hit me harder than I expected. Miscarriage isn't something I've seen talked about very much. But it should be. It's a tough loss and you don't realize how tough until you're holding on to this huge, sad secret.
As someone who shares much of my life on social, I felt especially stifled. Going through the motions was suffocating me and I wasn't sure if the words would find me.

I trust in God's plan. And from the moment we knew there was a potential issue at the ultrasound, I had been bracing myself for either outcome.

🚫🚫GRAPHIC DETAILS🚫🚫
It's one thing to think you've prepared yourself, but it's another to wake up in pain...to so much blood.
I was not AT ALL prepared for what a miscarriage meant physically. I couldn't help but to think I should be sifting through the giant blood clots.... looking for ...SOMETHING... Some sort of closure. An answer. Was I really supposed to flush the toilet knowing what was supposed to be my baby was in there? That part broke my heart. 💔
I kept thinking...Am I crazy? Am I overreacting? Is this normal? Is this really what is supposed to happen? Should I even share this?

One of the most bittersweet aspects...Reese & baby #2 would have shared a birthday month. Which means, Facebook keeps reminding me about how far along I would be right now with pics when I was pregnant with Reese.

Kind of hard to explain but the whole experience has humbled me. It's made me feel more grateful for the little things. And while I've always said a little prayer of gratitude over Reese, I've squeezed her even tighter...and given her just ONE more kiss every night.

It's often when we lose what we want, we start to appreciate it. When we have a cold, we appreciate our health and being able to breathe out of our nose. 🤧When we are away from friends and family, we appreciate their presence.

Friends, whether I responded...your messages me, calls, comments, love + prayers have meant so much. They've helped me heal. They kept me going & really made me feel a greater sense of connection.

And to the mamas who have lost their baby too...

You are not alone.
I stand with you.👭

Traveling a Baby: Tips & Advice

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

When Reese was 4 DAYS old (yes 96 hours out of the womb), we had to pack up our dogs/house/baby gear and evacuate Florida for Hurricane Irma.  It was quite the trek lol I wouldn't recommend traveling with a brand new- newborn unless absolutely necessary but we made it work.

It's one thing to take a baby on a road trip...you have the freedom to pull over/change plans/get out and stretch...only the parents are subjected to loud shrieks and dirty diapers haha

But it's an entirely different ballgame when you decide to fly the friendly skies!

About a month before our trip, I started to panic. I had visions of diaper blowouts at 30,000 feet.

Not to mention the social pressure of keeping your baby perfectly still and quiet. There always seems to be ONE stick-in-the-mud who doesn't have an ounce of empathy.

About 2 months before our trip I started reading up on tips and researching.  All of that research paid off because I feel like we had the most seamless travel experience possible (lots of credit going to our sweet baby girl!)
But I did feel very prepared - and that went a long way in calming my stress levels and boosting my mama confidence.  So because so many Pinterest mamas helped me with their articles, I wanted to pay it forward and share some of the most helpful tips and baby gear that worked for us. Depending on your baby's age, you might find these helpful too. Reese was 9 months at the time of travel!

#1 BOOKING YOUR TRIP

If possible, work with your baby's schedule.  Our flight options were 7am, 11am and 5pm.

7am would mean waking Reese up super early... 5pm would mean we would land close to bedtime...and still have to make it to the hotel/unpack and somehow help to sleep in a brand new environment.  11am was perfect- early in the day, she was in a great mood and it would cause the least amount of upset to her regular sched.
We were lucky enough to have a direct flight which was a huge win!

If at all possible, avoid the back of the plane. On a subsequent flight, we somehow ended up in the last row. Lines for the bathroom, flight attendants shutting cabinets (which sounded like slamming) all prevented Reese from being able to sleep. Eek!

If at all possible, opt for a AirBnB, Homeaway, VRBO instead of a hotel room. You're more likely to have the convenience of a kitchen! And possibly an additional room where baby can sleep undisturbed.
On this particular trip, it was a Beachbody conference so it was more convenient for us to stay in a hotel connected to the Convention Center (even though that meant washing bottles in the bathroom sink.)
#2 PACK EARLY, MAKE LISTS

Mom brain is real so don't mess around by trying to pack everything the night before or *GASP* the day of. That's a sure way to forget some or all of the things haha

For Reese we packed,

1) One Small Suitcase
2) One carry-one diaper bag (Backpack style)
3) Stroller/Car Sear Combo (Doona!) which we gate-checked. ((Side note: we DID purchase the travel bag to protect it and keep it clean. Well worth!

WHAT TO PACK
Suitcase:
  • Outfits (more than needed)
  • PJs, sleep sack
  • Headbands & accessories 
  • Baby Tylenol (ya never know) 
  • Crib Sheet
  • Bottle Drying Rack & Brush, Travel size dish soap
  • Plastic Tupperware Bin to store bottles (and use to wash them in your hotel room)
  • Formula
  • Inflatable Baby Bathtub (We weren't sure if our hotel had tubs or showers so you can easily omit this)
  • Baby Towel, wash cloths
  • Baby Body Wash - Our fave!
  • Bottle Warmer
  • White Noise Machine
  • Owlet (This is optional but the peace of mind for me is everything)
  • Baby Monitor - THE BEST!
  • Diapers (Don't go too crazy, you can buy more once you arrive)
  • Chip Clips (to keep curtains closed)
  • A couple of trash bags
  • We packed our Inglesina chair with is GREAT but a bit heavy. On the next trip, we opted for this one 
Carry-on:
  • Extra Outfit
  • Overnight diaper + 3 diapers
  • Changing pad
  • Puppy pee pads
  • Plastic Bags (doogy poo bags for diapers)
  • Wipes
  • Hand Sani
  • Lysol Wipes (wipe down seats & tray table)
  • Snacks
  • Teething Tincture 
  • Toys, books
  • Monkey Mat 
  • Bibs and Burp Cloths 
  • Toys, book
  • 3 bottles (with formula measured out)
  • Formula Travel Dispenser 
  • Small Blanket
  • Downloaded Baby Einstein Videos on our phones just in case (didn't really end up needing that but good to have in case!)
  • Super comfy memory foam neck pillow (helped be more comfy while holding her)
Also packed/wore our Lillebaby Carrier and her Doona stroller/carseat.

#3 AIRPORT 

Getting Through Security:
I was stressed about this but it honestly was a breeze. Keys to success...I wore Reesey in her baby carrier, slip-on shoes, we only had 1 bottle of formula made (all of the others just had powder and we bought water at the gate).  We used the stroller to carry all of the gear and then folded it up and sent it on the belt. Used it again to transport all of our carry-on bags to the gate.

My best advice is- arrive early so you don't stress. And don't be afraid to ask for help.

Before Boarding:
Make sure everything you need is easily accessible in the bag you'll have at your feet. We made a mini Diaper Changing kit so it was grab-n-go.

MINI DIAPER KIT
  • Changing pad
  • travel pack of wipes
  • Diaper
  • Hand Sani
  • Small poop bag
  • Travel size diaper cream (we somehow ended up with samples of things which are perfect for travel)

    We just threw that all in a gallon ziplock and it was SO easy to just grab from the top of her diaper bag. 
Before we boarded, I put Reese in an overnight diaper so she was wearing something more absorbent.

In Flight
A lot of people will tell you to have the baby eat at takeoff and landing. I wish I could say we had some brilliant plan to make that happen, but truthfully... I think we just got lucky! Reese just happen to be hungry at those times and was happy to have her bottle.
She fell asleep pretty quickly and slept for about an hour. I usually can't stand the white noise of the plane, but in the case, it was super helpful.
There was an excited 5-year-old sitting behind us who woke Reese up (whomp whomp), but she was easily distracted with toys and games of airplane/tickle monster/peek-a-boo.

One of the best things Rich did was give Reese an "aerial view" to see other people. He lifted her up to see above the seats and people-watching was an easy distraction. Several people engaged in games of peek-a-boo, smiled at her, waved, etc...

#4 HOTEL HACKS

We simply requested a pack-n-play from the hotel. And asked for a room with a fridge. Hotels will provide a fridge for medical reasons- so if you need one for breastmilk or formula, that usually qualifies.

We did bring our Newton mattress cover. I tend to be a bit of a worry wort so you can totally bring a regular crib sheet to bring some smells and comforts of home. At 9 months, the risk of suffocation is greatly reduced but I like having as much peace of mind as I can! This mattress cover us breathable! So even if they smoosh their face into it, they will still get air.

We do have the Newton Crib Mattress in her crib, but if you already have a crib...you can simply add the mattress cover to what you already own.

Use chip clips to close the gaps in the curtain. This made a big difference for us! And having her noise machine is a must so we can still move around without waking her.

We had a good size room that was divided by a desk and a tall partition. We were able to put her on one side so she couldn't quite see us. If the bathroom is large enough and well ventilated, that might be another good option.

Depending on how close you are to the elevator, you might hear a lot of noise in your room. Roll up a SLIGHTLY damp towel and stuff it up against the bottom of the door.

We didn't bring painters tape but I wished that we had. So many little things with lights from the phone, tv, thermostat....etc... I've heard of people covering them with a bit of tape.
We had to improvise with washcloths which helped reduce the light.

If your baby is crawling, grab a hotel sheet and lay it on the floor for a nice clean area to play. I know some people are okay with their little one crawling around... but the thought sends shivers up my spine hah So many shoes walk on those floors!

Luckily our hotel water got EXTREMELY hot very quickly. We used a tupperware tote filled with hot water and dish soap to wash bottles. I get a little weirded out by washing bottles in the bathroom but it worked.

Our hotel did NOT have a tub...and no rooms with one were available. So I'm glad I packed the inflatable tub. Reese really loves her bathtime and it helps her wind down before bed. For you, this might not be necessary at all. This is the TUB we have...$12 and it was great!

Random Travel Hack- Depending on where you are staying, do a quick search for the local dollar store. We randomly had one nearby and it was AMAZING. Paper towels, trash bags, handsoap,  washclothes... lots of little things that you may need!



IF YOU FORGET ANYTHING....
Do a google search for Baby Equipment Rentals in the area. There are TONS of sites now that rent strollers, highchairs, car seats, cribs, bottle warmers, beach items, bath toys, swings, etc...

It's kinda amazing. Thankfully we had everything, but I did a search prior to our trip JUST IN CASE




$5 Windup Doll Costume DIY

Monday, October 29, 2018

This year, we decide to keep things simple! I wanted a cute, easy costume and came across this idea for a Wind-Up Doll.









Total Cost- around $5

I simply made a key to add to a cute dress we already had. If you're looking for a quick and easy costume, this is it!

You'll need

-- Foam Board or Cardboard
-- Cardboard roll from Paper towels or toilet paper (Paper towel roll is thicker)
-- Pencil
-- Exacto knife
-- Hot Glue & Hot glue gun
-- Ribbon or Elastic
-- Gold or Silver paint


To start, I googled some vintage key images on Google and found one that I liked. I used that for inspiration and estimated how large I wanted it. I guessed 8" wide would be best for my one-year-old.

I created a template on a regular poster because I knew I would want to cut two pieces out of foamboard to create a sturdy "key" because toddlers are not the most graceful lol

I traced my design onto foam board and cut out with an Exacto knife. Your design can be much more simply OR way more elaborate! I like frilly, girly things so I tend to err on the side of more detail haha

Once I cut my two key shapes out, I cut a paper towel roll about 3.5" high.  Then cut out a circle of foam board and cut slits for my key to fit through.

Cut a simple rectangle base to attach everything to. I made mine tall (not wide) so the key would stay upright on her back. (No saggy key for us!)

I used foam sticky squares to put my key pieces together. And then hot glued everything together.

Paint!

And then you are ready to hot glue your elastic arm bands on!



Hospital Bag Checklist for Induced Mamas

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Keeping this simple but I'm asked all of the time what I took to the hospital with me.

So here's what I packed in my hospital bag.  I listed it in order of importance for what I used or appreciated having the most.  Keep in mind, I was induced so I was in the hospital for a total of 5 days.

Follow this list if you LIKE to have YOUR things, you're being induced or you're a planner. I read tons of blogs from nurses who simply recommend chapstick, an outfit...thats it. That is just not me. The ONLY thing I packed that I didn't use was my curling iron so I left it off my list. But I used/enjoyed everything I brought- probably because I was there longer than the typical mama.




☐ Lip Balm/Chapstick☐ Phone & Camera with chargers
☐ Birth Plan

☐ Insurance Cards/ID
☐ Comfy PJs
☐ hair ties
☐ Pillow
☐ Favorite Blanket
☐ SNACKS (I am GF for this is a must always)
☐ Sleep Headphones or Noise Cancelling Headphones
☐ Music/Hypnobirthing Playlist
☐ Toiletries
☐ Boyshort Undies (Black)
☐ Robe
☐ Gifts for Nurses
☐ Mints
☐ Slippers
☐ Towel
☐ Flipflops
☐ Bath Towel
☐ Nursing Pillow
☐ Nursing Tank
☐ Going Home Outfit

☐ Breast Pump (I WISH I would have brought this so the nurses and lactation consultants could have helped me navigate how to use mine) 


For Baby
☐ Carseat
☐ Take home outfit

☐ Onesies
☐ Swaddle
☐ Beanie
☐ Baby book for handprints

For Dad
☐ SNACKS
☐ Pillow, Blanket
☐ Laptop/Ipad
☐ Change of Clothes


Things you don't need to bring... 

Medication
Water

Books/Magazines



Monthly Baby Photos with Flowers

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Watch little Reese Willow grow! 






Reese Willow 7 Months Old!

I cannot believe it. My baby is now 7 months old. SEVEN.

How on earth did that happen?!

I've been using an amazing app to help document her life. Some of the BEST advice I got when I was pregnant was to make sure I took VIDEO of her. Photos are wonderful but nothing compares to hearing her little noises and giggles.

Seven months in and I haven't missed a day yet!

Draw the Circle: 40 Day Prayer Challenge

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to a beautiful friend of mine for sharing her heart and guiding me in uncharted territory.

[[It feels like a YEAR ago]] but TWO WEEKS ago,Lindsay Stay shared a book that transformed her prayer life.

"..... my relationship with Jesus has changed, opportunities have opened, epiphanies have been had and mostly, I feel like raising my arms in worship at the mere thought of Jesus' name."

When you hear someone with that much EXCITEMENT and conviction, I immediately thought "I gotta have that!"
To be totally honest, a big reason why I ordered it was because I was awake with Reesey girl at 1am- my MOST VULNERABLE online shopping window!

I usually have a rule that I CANNOT BUY ANYTHING after 10pm lol
Especially Amazon!! With a clickety-click you can get just about anything, so I've been known to go a little wild with that "Add to Cart" Button.

But this is one random Amazon purchase I will be forever grateful for! 

Since getting these books, I don't even feel like the same person. Something has finally CLICKED for me. Not just in my brain...but in my heart. You can read about my experience here

Ideas keep popping into my head and I've had this continual thought that I need to host a GROUP for anyone who wants to join me for a 40 Day Prayer Challenge. I'm ready to listen, learn, share, and soak it all in with whoever wants to pop in.

---- GROUP STARTS MONDAY JAN 22nd----

So if that sounds intriguing to you, grab a copy of "Draw the Circle - 40 Day Prayer Challenge" and tag a friend

📚📚📚
I have my link bookmarked in case anyone wants to PRIME it: http://amzn.to/2Dpb7ym

Or I believe you can get it from your local library?

I also got the prayer journal (http://amzn.to/2DCi3FT) so I can write everything down. Totally optional but it's a great way to track your prayers so you can give God the Glory as Mark B. says!
.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DrawtheCirclePrayerChallenge/

Being a "Good Person" Isn't Enough: Why I'm no Longer a Lukewarm Christian

For me, there is life before January 12, 2018...and life after....

If you've followed me for awhile you might be just as surprised to be reading this as I am to be writing it! 
A bit nervous to share this, but I always end up sharing everything because as scary as it is...I know ultimately my story will find the right people and inspire change.

I want to preface this by saying three things:
  1. I am SO glad I immediately typed it out after it happened because as time goes on, I know would have forgotten details. 
  2. It was the strangest thing and I’m fairly certain most people will think I’m CRAZY haha 
  3. I am no expert...I am just now learning and growing in my own personal journey
I grew up with religion but have pushed away from it basically my whole life- and while I believe in God, I just never considered having a real relationship. I would just think, "Oh that church stuff isn't for me."
Looking back, God has been calling my name. There have been SOO many invitations to get to know Him better.
I've seen other people or friends who LOVE Jesus and will unabashedly raise their arms in praise. That was never me. I could never understand it...and I wasn't even sure I would believe in it. I would always say... "It just doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand"

Instead of learning more, I've just gone about my day...trying to be a good person and believing in the power of the “universe”. In conversations, I would give the "Law of attraction" all of the credit. I would tell people to make goals and put them out there for the universe to fulfill. I might even say "I believe in God, but I just call him/it the universe"
Which I now realize is such a cop-out to giving God the glory

I was raised Catholic, which for a lot of people that represents old oppressive views, lots of guilt, fire and brimstone, and long boring church services.
So when people have asked if I go to church, I say “wellllll I was raised CATHOLIC....” and we’d have a good chuckle. As if that was my “get out of church-free card”

I've also seen a lot of hypocrites go to church and I basically decided that "The only people who go to church are the ones who REALLY NEED it." I'm made a lot of negative assumptions about religion, church & seeking God.

THEN something happened...

I watched a video from my best friend. At first, I watched it to support her. Then I continued watching it out of curiosity... then I continued watching it because I was intrigued.


That video has changed me. For me reason, it just clicked

It prompted me to look up video from people who have had Near-death experiences & gone to heaven (or HELL!)   For some reason, it has LITERALLY NEVER occurred me to that someone could have gone to Hell and come back to talk about it.

In fact, there are so many TVs...books....Movies...that make light of Hell. Everything from cartoon devils, portrayals that it's the "party place" and that Heaven is uptight and boring.

As I am watching people pour their heart out and tell their stories and experiences of Hell, the gravity of the situation quickly hit me.

Suddenly I felt this RESOLVE to build a relationship and truly accept Jesus into my heart. It was such a new revelation like WOW!! Why haven’t I ever done this before?!
I felt as if I had been living in the dark (literally?)

Now here is where things get a little crazy....

But once I felt that strong resolve, I started feeling extreme fear, doubt, confusion...under attack...as if demons are lurking. Literally, like scared that if I turned around I would see one. It was scary!!

I started to pray and it felt like a battle within my body. Chest pain, weird pain, sensations, heat, chest tightening, shaky hands. Pretty much scared the sh** out of me

I’ve NEVER felt such crazy sensations and it was like I was getting a TINY glimpse into the torment that one might feel if they were cut off from God

Needless to say, I could not sleep all night

I was scared to fall asleep and kept praying that I would NOT see anything in my dreams

Then around 6am, I was laying with Reese, feeding her, and I dozed off. Had THE most disturbing dream/vision whatever you want to call it.

Basically, I’ll spare you the deets....but two tall male figures boxed me in. I was thinking- “No! Get away” but it seemed they wanted to sway me. I had the realization that they could be not as they appear...they could be in disguise...trying to trick me. As soon as I had that thought, they morphed! And slinked away

Then I was back in my bed - a small black bull ran across the headboard and the words “Read the good book” appeared in gold script. 

I could have sworn I woke up- I was confused. And a voice literally GROWLED “read the f*cking Good book”

I ACTUALLY woke up. SCARED
Heart pounding and shaking. I could feel that growl vibrate my body- it was NOT JUST A DREAM.
But this wasn’t like a ...”I watched scary things and can’t sleep”

It felt like a battle for my soul. Again, crazy sounding but it was very real to me

VERY REAL

I theorize that the “reading the effin book” was an attempt to scare me off. To say, oh yea I DARE YOU to read it and challenge me.  I felt very vulnarable and almost as though I opened a can of worms and was tryiong to be scared off of learning more

I’ve realized something VERY IMPORTANT. Being a “lukewarm” Christian is perfect for the devil. You’re lured into a false sense of security. And slowly over time he digs his claws in. You go about your day...your life...not really thinking about it... and I cringe to think what would happen to {my} soul if I kept on that path.

Being a good person is NOT enough.

It's about faith, love and obedience
Repenting (daily) for our sins
Accepting God into our hearts and Jesus who died for our sins so that we can be forgiven.

My friends who have inspired this journey! 

A week ago, if I would have heard this story I would have said
... you’re crazy
...you’re just anxious
...you’re imagining things

But I’m choosing to believe God has finally found a way to WAKE ME THE HECK up. Honestly, I hate even sharing it and remember those feelings...but I know there is a greater purpose here. And I now know that I MUST pursue this.

Trust me, I know this is shocking to be coming from me. But I sincerely hope that I've said something to encourage you to research it more ad grow closer to God.
I finally understand so much of what I could not grasp before. And if nothing else, I would much rather err on the side of being a "crazy Jesus person" than be a fair-weather Christian.

I know this is crazy and out of the blue...but I could not go another day without sharing. I've had my "Come to Jesus Moment" and I hope you have yours xo

So yea... if anyone still wants to be friends...love ya! Hah

If you want to watch my friend's video, here it is


Draw the Circle: 40 Day Prayer Challenge
- THEME BY ECLAIR DESIGNS -