Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dear 2014.

Ah 2014!

You've been a tough one for me, I won't lie.
It's one of those years where all the incredible blessings came with an underlying trial.
I learned a lot about inner strength this year. And love.

You threw things my way that had I known was coming, I would have never thought I would have gotten through them.  But that's the beauty of the unknown, if we were to know the trying things to come we would forever live in fear and dread; always wondering how in the WORLD we would make it through. 
But what we don't know is all the weapons that we will have at our disposal; our spouse, family, good friends, God. 

This is the first year maybe ever, that I actually feel like I want to sit down and think about how I want to live my life in 2015. Sans the title of mama.
What do I want to accomplish? 

It''s been so busy lately I feel a little lost it in it all. 
Lost in the daily grind of raising two children. 
Lost in the hard work of making sure my baby's needs are continuously being met and all the challenges that comes with a baby (can I get an AMEN?).  
I want to get out of survival mode and get more intentional. 

Here's my top 5 (non-specific) goals in 2015.



Happy New Years, friends!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday: Parenting Seasons.

I love having two boys.
I have always wanted two, right in a row, and I don't know if that was God's way of gently giving me a heart for what was to come or random, but when I got two my dreams came true.

I love the dynamic between the two of them, the similarities and differences, and I am so looking forward to the time in their lives when they become buddies. True friends and supporters (and competitors, because let's be real, they're still boys)!

I think a lot about what I will mean to them down the road.  In twenty years, forty years. What role will I play in their life then?

The relationship daughters have with their parents is awesome. An eventual friendship, based on trust, and built on decades of unconditional love from two people. It's a gift from our parents really, to have given us a sense of security that we can now give to our children.

What kind of relationship do boys have with their parents as adults?  
What will I one day mean to Ben and Cooper?
Because now my boys adore mom. I am their world.
And as they grow their world becomes more split between their dad and me, but for now? It's mom. That's the season we are in. They will likely never remember this season of complete love and dependence, but for me it is daily ingrained in my memories and is now a big part of who I am.
Soon these boys of mine will grow older and we will enter new seasons.

I hope to soon enter one where we teach them confidence, strength and kindness -
than one that teaches self-sustenance, commitment and grit -
and eventually these boys will take all of these seasons we've shared and go out into the world and use them to become men.

They'll never know the role they played in my life. 
I'll tell them, probably too much, but, they will never really understand. They will get it a little when they become fathers, but never truly get it.

Recently I stumbled across this blog post 9 Truths Moms of Boys Need to Know. And all the sudden I was reminded of my greater purpose in their lives. Here's an excerpt:

"Raising good men is a wonderful and honorable thing. 
Men who are gentle, kind and nurturing. 
Men who treat women and children well. 
Men who will make loving, devoted husbands. 
This is an overwhelming responsibility but you are up to the task. 
You've been given this amazing opportunity. 
Enjoy it. Own it. And reap the rewards." 
-Abby Rodman

Many blessings friends, from my Santa babes...
Coop's face? To me it screams, "I'm on to you Santa!"

Friday, November 14, 2014


It's demolition day, baby!
Week actually. Because that's how long it's taken me to post this - but I digress.

Jeff and I recently had our third baby, ie THIS HOUSE, and it's definitely as time consuming as the first two. Without all the snuggles.

I love this house, but it's like a really shiny diamond, covered in rust. I don't know, do diamonds rust? Okay mud. It's covered in mud. But, we love this place and this is where we see ourselves raising our family and creating, room by room, our home.

So for the next two months plus you can find my family here in our make-shift kitchen.
IE the dining room that I still haven't finished decorating. But, we're getting there.
That view's pretty rad though.

It's always been a dream of mine to remodel a kitchen and create a space that we love. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to do it. Here's a look at what inspired me during our design picks.
I'll save before and after pics for when the deed is done, but I will leave you with the one thing that isn't changing (literally, the ONE), the view from my kitchen sink.
Happy weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2014

0-3 Months: Favorite Products and the Second.

I often get the "what is it like with two?" question.
A GREAT question. One I wondered about for nine months!
Will I love the second like the first? 
Will I be able to handle two?
What kind of mom is a mom of two even like?
And (obviously), will my wine and coffee intake increase? 

One thing that has surprised me is just how much I love being a mom.
I love having two kids. And I really love having a baby around again. 
I'm more mellow than I was with the first. (By a lot. Like a LOT).
I'm aware of a routine but less anal than I was with Coop about it. I follow the lead of my baby more than a book. I'm more patient and flexible.
And I am so happy. So thankful that God blessed us with another one.
I love him more than I ever thought possible.
Now off with the sap and on to FIVE products I've loved during the first three months.

1. Maymom Medela Pump Replacement Parts
I really struggled with Mastitis with my first, and I truly think that was due to over-pumping. So this go-around, I wanted to start fresh with brand-new pump parts and I also committed to pumping less. This product is AWESOME because it gives you exactly what you need and is affordable. The Medela pump-parts you buy are super expensive.

2. City Select Double Stroller 
The stroller issue is tricky. I still love the Snap 'n Go that you can buy with your carseat for every-day errands, but I needed a stroller for errands where I could keep both kids contained. I love the front loader and there are 27 different positions you can configure this bad boy into; of which I only know three. The only down-side is it is hard to steer with the carseat connected and gets very heavy. I am considering buying a double Bob Stroller for workouts and jogs (hah! as if!) at the park. 

Benjamin Wallace slept in this darn thing every night and for all naps until about 7-weeks and slept really, really good. I kept him there purely because of how amazing he slept and finally moved him around two-months when they say habits start to form in babies. I will say the only down-side to the RNP is he would wake up mad, because they are so tight and snuggled in there they can't move.

4. Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge
B-dub loved stretching out in the bath on this thing (who wouldn't it is like laying on a cloud) and is happy as a clam. This thing is a game-changer.

You guys. Apart from the Rock 'n Play this is my favorite find. With the second you are on the go, all the time, and this app has worked miracles! He likes the White Noise and it doesn't drain your battery. I use this to this day, erryday. It costs $1.99 and is worth every penny.

Other products that I feel like deserve honorable mentions are the Angel Dear lovies (both my kids can't sleep without the), the baby Swaddle Miracle Blankets and this hand-made carseat cover my Mother-in-Law made. Isn't she crafty?
And for those of you still concerned wondering my coffee and wine intake has actually gone down.
I know. I surprise myself sometimes.
Linking up with the ladies behind Five on Friday and oh hey Friday! today! 
Check 'em out!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday: Living Intentionally.

Lately I've been thinking about life.  Sounds deep, right?
Okay so not so much about life, but how I want to live my life.
As a mom, as a wife, as ME.

Something about having young kids can be so...mundane.
I didn't say it wasn't cute though. I mean look at that head size, right?
Not in a bad way, but in a necessary way. It's easy to forget what kind of person you want to be; how you want to be known by those who know you.

What's your life's jam, ya know?!?

But like I always taught professionally, you have to be know where you want to go so you can create your road to get there. The ole, set a goal than create your plan, diddy.
I don't want to be the gal whose world becomes her children.  I don't want to lose myself in the next 18-years of child-rearing and then wake up one morning and forget what I like to do with my days. But what do I want for my life in the meantime?

Check this bloggity-blog out:
The Helpful Guide to Living an Intentional Life

In the quest to live with purpose and towards life's important goals (and not washing my hair more than three times a week) I'm going to take his challenge and work on this for a bit:

Examine yourself. Know who you are. Get a strong handle on your passions, talents, abilities, and weaknesses. Give precious time and energy to this endeavor. It is one of the most valuable things you can do.

Welp, here's to finding my jam, y'all. And to hoping your road is paved with intention.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

From my law breakers and makers! 

Oh, hey there, hey!

Happy Halloween, y'all! 

I don't do crafts so I'm not the best at this holiday, but I still love it because it ushers in (or out in my case) my favorite time of the year, the fall.

Life is so much fun right now. It revolves around my children and my kitchen (long story), and free time that I have is poured into, oh I don't know, a SHOWER,
or DVR'd shows,

So here goes our Lately.
Words can't express the joy Police-car-man Coop brings to my life. He is kind, busy, and funny. Two years, eight months now. Coop is a riot. 

His favorite song is Taylor Swift's "Trouble." He requests it ("E-E-E Mommy?) every car ride. Every time it ends. All the time. I'm 90% sure his next favorite will be Taylor's "Shake It Off." What is it with her tunes? I hope I NEVER forget what he sounds like when he sings to this jam.

Each morning he tells me to hurry up and get out of bed because the SUN IS UP, MOM! 

When he goes potty, he sits down, spreads those legs, and literally folds over on his tummy and holds on to the bottom neck of the toilet, because OBVIOUSLY! he does not want to pee on the floor. He does this even in public places. Even yesterday in Sherwin Williams.

He is independent, and must do everything himself. 
He is very kind-natured and non-confrontational. Where he gets that I have from I have NO idea.

He loves Team Umizoomi. Yeah, you may have to look it up. Also high on his love-list are trains and trucks. Today we talked extensively about the fuel tanker and garbage truck we saw when we were driving. I'm sure all you girl moms can COMPLETELY understand. I find myself getting excited when I see trucks now, "Oooh a digger! Look, a digger!" Even when driving alone.

He is SO adaptable. He can sleep in his bed, your bed, a mattress in the corner, it just doesn't matter. 

He asks me to kiss Ben every morning and likes to rub his head like a dog.

He likes to talk through things. He recites who his Mommy, Daddy and brother are. "My mommy is Lauren." He even said "Goodbye Lauren!" The other day when I dropped him off at preschool.

He likes to talk about what he just did, but if you can imagine drawing out the last word in every sentence it goes like this: "I took a baaaaaath...I played with tooyyyyyssss...I ate some chickeeeennnn...I saw my friend Thomasssss..." 
He is my soul.

And then there's this handsome devil.
Ben is 3-and-half-months now. I am SO attached to Ben. And him to me, which is a bit complicated when I leave him with sitters or the church nursery. He's a screamer y'all.
I'm less "on a schedule" with Ben than I was with Cooper. He nurses every 3-4 hours depending on how the day is going. He is a rockstar car-seat napper and will nap 2-3 hours in that thing. Not so much in the crib. We're working on our crib naps, but I can't complain because by 7PM he's ready for bed and I typically don't hear from him until around 3 or 5AM. Eight hour stretches are DIVINE.
He started grabbing for things this week - and I quickly refreshed my Oball collection and other toys to keep him entertained with and touch. I can't wait for him to start coming into his own as he explores and notices the world around him. 
He is my heart.

So with that, I bid you a Happy Halloween! 
I'll be sure to share pictures of my law makers (and breakers) here and on Instagram.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Moving on.

Oh hey friends! It's been a bit. 
Our little family grew, as you know, but then it moved...
Yours truly did a little part-time work on an event for a cause very close to my heart...

And we have been doing a little, oh okay, a LOT of work renovating our new house. Not for the faint of heart, I assure you!

I'd be lying if I told you I haven't been overwhelmed. SO buried that I could literally not tell you where my feet were; that's buried deep y'all. 

But alas!
My event has passed, we survived a trip to visit family and friends in Texas, and now I am excited to get our little family back into a routine and work on making this new house of ours a home.
The casa.
Speaking of homes, I'd like to share a quick ode to the one I left behind.

The first home that I was a part of searching for and purchased. (My husband, well he's a different story, but we'd need a whole month devoted to that! Kidding honey).
The home that I found out I was pregnant in...twice.

The home I learned how to be a mom in, and my husband, a dad.
The home where I specifically remember the moment I understood love. Truly understood how wonderful and painful love can be; this being the unconditional love for a child.
The home I brought both my boys too. 
The home that saw tears and joy. Love and sorrow. 
Where I learned my Grandfather had passed. 
Where I brought new friendships too and watched them grow into life-long ones. 

The home near South Pearl Street. 
An area that cemented my love for Denver. Where I realized, I can do this, I can live away from my family and make this home.

I had no idea how sappy I would be leaving the house, and funny enough, I haven't missed it a day since we left. However, when I was standing in my empty kitchen as we moved the last of our things out bawling like a baby, I realized just how much this home meant to me. It represents a home of firsts and a neighborhood, South Pearl, that will go down in the books as one of the best.
Thanks for the memories, old home of ours.