First Baby Bump Update!



I thought I'd finally get around to posting about this pregnancy. I'm actually 13 weeks now, but this picture was taken at 11 weeks. The one thing that stands out about this pregnancy is that in a lot of my symptoms are very similiar. My nausea happened at night like with my first pregnancy and it lasted about an hour or so. Weeks 4-8 were the worst. The only thing that helped reduce the nausea was lemon water! And I craved lemons my entire pregancy with Evie. ;)

I think the tougher part of this pregnancy is that I gained a few pounds right at first. I think most of this was the fact I didn't do much of anything...the exhaustion really took the wind out of me! That has been the main difference. I don't remember being tired during my first pregnancy at all.

Thanks to my hormones, I am very, very bloated. I pulled out the maternity pants at 10 weeks. I tried the rubber band trick, but I thought it made my pants look funny. Most of my non maternity shirts & skirts still work so that makes me feel better. Haha!

We already picked out names. One night Josh and I sat down with a baby name book and they just clicked. We both loved them right away and decided we were good to go!

I'll have my next ultrasound in about a week. I can't wait to see that little chicken nugget and hear that sweet heartbeat.

Happy Homemaker Monday Vol. 6



On the weather front:
Very hot and humid.

On my bedside table:
A Bride Most Bedgruding by Deann Gist
The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman

On my TV:
We rented Paddington Bear to watch later tonight. :)

On the menu for this week:
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Ranch Chicken & Veggies
Pot Roast & Mashed Potatoes
Lentil & Ham Soup
Breakfast Casserole

On my To Do List:
Laundry
Sweep/Swiffer/Vacuum
Clean Bathrooms

New Recipe I tried last week:
I made a new pot roast recipe. I tasted pretty good, but I think next time I'll add onions for spice up the flavor a bit!

In the craft basket:
Just my Project Life album

Looking forward to:
Making a list of items for Evie in preperation for the big consignment sales headed our way. It's my favorite way to stock up!

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Invest in a wax melter! I love mine and it always makes the house smell inviting. :)

Be The Best Mom You Can Be Review



I just finished reading "Be The Best Mom You Can Be" by Marina Slayton, and I can equate it to a "breath of fresh air". So many parenting books seem bent on telling you how to parent, and which type of parenting is best, rather just sharing Biblical truths. I found Slayton's book to be of the later sort, and it was greatly encouraging to my heart.

Instead of a traditional review, I thought I'd share a few things I learned from reading:
  • She reminds us that as parents our greatest parenting tool is that of prayer. When you are discouraged or not sure how to approach a situation simply ask for God's direction. 
  • She reminds us that our role of parenting is not just a hat to wear, but more importantly it is a ministry. One of the most important ministries that we will ever have.
  • She reminds us that there will be days when we fail as mothers and it's important to accept God's grace and forgiveness when this happens. Doing so provides a model and basis to your children that no matter how many times they fail they too can have grace and forgiveness.
  • She addresses the issues of "synthetic parenting" and getting so caught up in "busy" that we no longer operate as family units. She shares insight on how this is leading to depression, drug usage, etc in our young adults. An eye-opening issue for me, and has reminded me that I need to be more careful with our time as a family.
There were many issues that she tackled, but these really stood out to me. If you are looking for encouragement in your role as a mother, I highly recommend this book. Many thanks to Book Look Bloggers for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Linking UP: Mommy Moments

Reflections


You'd think I'd have a book to write on all the things I've learned as my first year as a mom.

The one thing that really comes to mind is grace

Oh, how He gives grace. Grace on the late nights when you are so tired that walking across the floor hurts. Or how He gives grace when you have a sick baby, and quickly have your fears calmed thanks to those after hour phone lines. Or grace when you snap at your husband because your HORMONES aren't quite back to normal. 

But, also, I've seen God's love for us through our role as parents.

I love her so much it hurts. I would do anything to protect her. 

The amazing thing is that my love for her is just a tiny reflection of God's love for us. Just a tiny drop in the ocean. He's our heavenly Father. He loved us so much He sent His only Son to die for us. 

The cross and resurrection have taken on a whole new level of sacredness to me.

It's a humbling reality of love, redemption, and grace. 

Evelynn's 1st Birthday


We had so much fun planning Evie's first birthday! I knew I wanted a minnie mouse theme, but also wanted it to have a vintage feel. Josh created classic Minnie Mouse invitations that turned out so adorable. We decided to keep the birthday party just with our families, it just seemed easier that way. I made funfettie cookies, and pink lemonade punch. We also had tons of finger food for the adults, but I kept all that in the kitchen so the birthday table would be cute.



I also printed off Evie's month by month pictures (1 month through 11 months), and placed the instagram prints underneath the tablecloth. It added a fun touch, with a lot of sentimental value to this mama!! ;)


My mom made the cupcakes, and they were amazing! They were dark chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing. The mini oreos made perfect little ears! ;)


We definately wanted to have a smash cake sesssion! Let me just say she LOVED the icing. I thought it was hilarious that she threw up her hands kind of like "VICTORY". Haha.

I just love every single detail, and planning her special first birthday. Can't wait for next year (or maybe I can...) <3

What I've Been Reading


Thanks to the slower pace of summer, and the fact I've had some evenings by myself, I've had quite a bit of time to read. No complaining here, ha!


My mom gave me this copy a while back, and I just now sat down to read it. I'm still making my way through it, but it has been interesting so far. Basically MaCaulay presents an argument on why Classical Education is a preferred and sought after method. She shares insights from Charlotte Mason (whom I believe was considered a pioneer for Classical education). I'm still learning, and forming my ideas on what education should look like for our home. I tend to believe that every child's learning needs are very different and should be the basis for consideration while trying to balance traditional schooling vs. classical or other methods, etc.


I finished this book in about three days. It was an intense & action packed suspense novel. It was my first book by Singer, and I can whole heartedly say I'm a new fan. The main characters are very unique, and believe it or not...NOT very likeable at all. But, that lended to the unique aspect of the book. I really didn't have a favorite, instead enjoyed watching the mystery and suspense unravel. Also, I didn't see the end coming at all.


This was a fun, albeit, totally fluffy read. If I were to summon it up, I'd liken it to the Bachlorette meets Divergent. Ha! ;)

Anyway, those are a few of the books I plowed through over the last month or so. What have you all been reading?

Happy Homemaker Monday Vol. 5



Weather:
It is very hot, humid, and will be for the rest of the week. Pass the ice cream, please!

Things that make me happy: 
When God provides for the tiniest of details. It's humbling to see how much He cares for His children. I don't want to take it for granted.

Menu for this week:
Monday-Grilled Cheese & Tomato Bisque
Tuesday- BBQ Chicken Tenders & Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday-Hoagie Sandwiches
Thursday-Broccoli, Cheese & Rice
Friday-Out

What's on my TV today: 
Curious George ;-) I recently started Cedar Cove and it seems decent. I need a good show to plug into...any suggestions for Netflix shows?


Looking around the house:
Time to clean...hehehe

On my To Do List:
Laundry
Dishes
Pick Up Living Room
Clean Bathrooms
Clean Bedroom
Sort Evies Clothes & Price for Consignment Sale


New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Well, I made the blueberry crisp I posted about the other day. I haven't been feeling up to my normal cooking standards...I tend to base meals/snacks around what sounds good at the time.


In the craft basket:
I NEED to catch up with my Project Life Scrapbook. Two months behind. Argh!


Looking forward to this week:
Staying home! It's hot, and frankly, I just need a quiet week at home. ;)

Old Fashioned Blueberry Crisp


The other day as I was grocery shopping, and I noticed blueberries were on sale. They looked delicious (thank you hormones), and I suddenly needed to make something blueberry related.

I got home and thought an old fashioned blueberry crisp would be fun. I like to top mine with old fashioned ice cream (Bryers!). Needless to say, it turned out great, and both Josh & I had two servings. Oops! Yum. ;)

Old Fashioned Blueberry Crisp

2 Cups Fresh Blueberries
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Oats
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 375. In a pie plate or 8x8 pan, layer blueberries, and sprinkle granulated sugar. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until the batter is thick & chunky. Sprinkle evenly over the blueberries and let is cook for 30-45 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream!

Linking Up: Tuesday Talk | Roses of Inspiration |

The Wood's Edge Book Reivew



Where to start with this book? First, I would say it was honestly more like a 3.5 stars for me. Was it good? Yes. How can I not appreciate a story so intricately woven, with instense scenes, deeply woven emotions, and well devleoped characters? Well, I can't.

As a whole, I really enjoyed the story. I think I read it in about three days, which says a lot for me when it comes to this style of fiction. I love historical novels, espeiclly the era that this was set it in. Not to mention, anything with Indians tends to grab my attention.

{contains spoilers}

The plot was unique. We follow the lives of many characters: There's the father, Reginald, whose newborn son dies in it's sleeping mothers arms. Rather than face her anguish, he switches his dead baby for another woman's newborn son (she had delivered twins). From there, Gerald is haunted by his choices, and many of those he loves will bear the consequences as the truth unfolds.

Benton does a great job of developing the rest of the characters of the family: There's Lydia who has long regarded Reginald, and helps raise his daughter when his wife refuses to do so. There's Anna, the daughter he loves & fought to save who falls in love with the most unlikely person--the twin of his son he kidnapped years before. We are also introduced to several other members of the story line, and it was interesting to see how the story plays out.

My main problem with the book lies with the character of Lydia. She is only 14 years old in the story when we realize she regards Reginald in a somewhat normal teenage-ish regard. But, as the years go on, her feelings deepen. On one hand, she keeps the feelings hidden, but continues to be a huge part of their lives. It was a bit odd to me, being that the mature decision would have been to simply stay out of their lives. Instead, we see Reginald occasionally shows favor towards her. He remains faithful to his wife, and there is nothing that passes between them until his wifes death. But, it just left a weird bone to pick for me. I think it would have been more satisfying if his wife had come around, and concluded with her being the heroine of the story.

Wherein lies the beauty of a deeply woven work of fiction: it tugged at my heartstrings, made me question relationships and motives behind characters, and learn to love the overall theme: forgiveness. With that said, I can't wait to read more of Benton's Books.

Many thanks to the wonderful program Blogging For Books for my honest opinion!

A Sweet Little Surprise...


I feel like the last two months have been a whirlwind. It was the week before Memorial Day, and I had been feeling a bit off. I was nauseous almost every evening after dinner. I thought I might be catching something, so I tried to rest. When the nausea persisted, I realized there might be more to it. ;-) So, I took a pregnany test, and it was negative. We weren't really trying to expand our family just yet, but I couldn't help feeling just a tad disappointed. I tried going about the day, but I just felt like I needed to take another test.

So, I waited 24 hours, and took another test. It was negative too, so at that point, I thought it may be more wishful thinking than actual symptoms. We had a busy weekend planned, so I remember trying to get my mind off the nausea. However, when we showed up at a big get together, I distinctly remember needing to well, for the lack of better words, hurl. I went to find some ice water, and sit down until the feeling passed. I was really worried that I was indeed sick, so I was a bit embarrassed that I had showed up at a get together. The water helped, and the feeling passed. The rest of the weekend went by without anymore incidents, so I figured it was indeed a weird bug.

But, when I woke up on Monday morning, something else felt off. I couldn't explain, but this time I just KNEW I was right. I remember telling Josh I would get a different brand of pregnancy test. I drove across town to a drug store. I had to do the "akward chat" at the counter because I couldn't find the stinking things. Anyway, I got back home, took the test...and guess what??? The test didn't work. At this point, I'm in tears, and Josh was slightly stressed out (I may have been an emotional mess). He decided to buy another box with multiple tests, and to make sure they were digital. I felt so silly, because honestly, I should have done that in the first place. But, the cheap dollar store tests had worked just fine with my first pregnancy.

Needless to say, after almost a week of wondering, we finally had our answer. We were expecting!! It was quite the shock to be honest. Like I said, this wasn't necessarily our plan, but we know that God doesn't really go by "our books" or so to speak.

It's been very different, yet so much the same this time around! My symptoms are almost identical to my first pregnancy. Nausea in the evenings, and the only thing that helps subisde it is my good 'ol lemon water. The only difference, is that I feel a thousand times more exhausted. But, that might have to do more with chasing a one year old around the house.

We are so blessed, and excited to meet our little one!