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We met over 8 years ago at church as Shaun was walking in and I was walking out. The few words exchanged sparked an interst that kept Shaun coming back. When we FINALLY began dating 4 years later we soon knew there was something special here. Our first year quickly flew by and we both decided we never wanted to spend another year with anyone else or without each other. We married in the place where it all began on January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) and gave birth to our beautiful daughter Ava Marie on September 22, 2011 our next little one, Clara Rose came 16 months later on February 11, 2013. This blog began with our preparation with our wedding and has entered into recording the days and events of our newlywed life and new motherhood.

The Happy Couple...

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers

Ava Marie

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Clara Rose

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers

Gabriel's ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Twins ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Pregnancy tickers

Saturday, July 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1.  We received a note from our postman/woman the other day "new/old house" (still don't have a good name) to trim the jungle of overgrowth that has accumulated there or they would no longer deliver mail there.  It was pretty bad, but we had a large storage unit taking up most of the front yard that made it pretty tough to mow around.  Finally got it all emptied out and the unit removed so on Saturday when it was nearly 100 degrees and super humid, Shaun woke early "chomping at the bit" to be let loose on his jungle. 

He conquered it quickly (I'm sure our neighbors were thrilled) and as soon as I could get the girls down for naps and my mom could run over and stay with them for a little bit, I headed over to help.

I wasn't much help.

My hub, aka: "Superman" was almost done!

Detirmined to be of some help, I DID get to cutting down a huge and luscious crop of the invasive "American bamboo" that was taking over the side of our driveway...

...and it looks much better, don't you think?  (well, I don't have a before pic, so you'll have to take my word for it.  THIS is "better)

2.  Unfortunately, while cutting the bamboo down, I must've come in contact with poison ivy because a couple of days later I had it all over my feet and lower legs. 


and I don't look like this...

3.  BUT it did make me think of this song:

4.  Ok, off that subject.  Our T.V. went totally caput somewhere around a month ago. 

I thought we couldn't live without it.

Low and behold... I was wrong.

We lived.

We lived happily!

I cancelled my cable and am even happier!

We watch videos, but are totally ok with the loss. 

Funny how you can live without what you thought was "important", huh?

5.  I came across this website/blog today for Stay at Home Moms and thought I'd pass on these good ideas for those of you with toddlers!  We need all the activities we can get.  BUT if your toddlers are anything like mine, they shun the toys to get into all that they're NOT supposed (while they think they're helping)

Case in point:  Tonight while Ava was walking around the house shortly before bedtime, thanks to my Mom visiting today, everything was cleaned up for the night and the house actually looked semi "tidy" (a rarity).  She (Ava) found ONE little wooden block under the ottoman...


...and independent as she is, did not ask for help, but immediately being the good little girl she is, set upon her mission.  She knew just where the bucket of blocks was amidst all her other toys. 

There was a large tub of plastic blocks on TOP of it and a few other toys nearby. 

She quick as can be pulled ALL those down and they clattered to the floor in one loud clanging heap... thus waking the baby.  I turned to look and see her undeterred, climbing up to gently place that ONE wooden block back into it's rightful container and happily scamper away with the remnants of her "successful mission" strewn about her. 

I didn't want this to happen...

So, what could I say? 

"Good job Ava for putting your block away!"  Then I smiling, looked at my mom who stared at the scene and said, "Well... what can you do?  You just gotta laugh, right?"

6.  I also came across THIS little article yesterday called "When your mother says she's FAT". 

It was so poignant for me right now as I honestly don't know who's body I'm living in, but I try not to let it keep me from still donning a bathing suit and playing with my girls and allowing for photographic proof of my happy time with them (before their permanent memory is actually established). 

Honestly?  I do struggle with the way I look right now.  I don't like it at all.  I'm not one of those women/moms who lose all their baby weight as soon as they deliver.  I definitely don't do it after TWO babies close together.  I bear the marks of birth and motherhood on my body (including the joy that shows on my face) and given the choice would simply not have chosen to have more time between them in order to get into shape first.  Let me say that this does not mean that I'm unhappy with myself as a person as I'm very happy as a Mom and my beauty has gone into my girls who give me great joy.  Still, I'm surrounded by reminders of how far I've fallen from where I was.  AND I have so many friends who are great at working out and are totally dedicated to it and look fantastic (though it's truly like talking to a wall to try to tell them that sometimes.  I know they also don't feel satisfied with themselves yet, even though I think they're beautiful) and although I'd like to say I try, I feel like from the moment I start the day, to the moment I stop... I don't stop... and by the time everyone's in bed and some of my household duties are completed while the house is quiet, the LAST thing I want to do is "work out" at close to midnight... or later.  Aside from the fact that with this pregnancy and breastfeeding I've been suffering from terrible joint pain that makes it awful to even walk much of the day... let's add high impact aerobics to that shall we? 

I know I need to lose weight before adding another baby to this body, though.  And though I'm cautious about doing too much while breastfeeding (Clara's my 1st priority) I've been thinking, "Ok, I can just throw them in the stroller and take them rollerblading.  I love rollerblading" and so one day while everyone was actually awake at the same time and I'd gotten them sun blocked (have you SEEN how white my kids are) and fed (you with toddlers know that this is not "quick" and you breastfeeding moms know this is not "quick") and in their car seats and to an area of the city where the sidewalks don't look like a meteor shower hit them, I struggled to get my rollerblades on that fit pre-pregnancy, but suddenly now seem to have shrunk about a size and a half.  Ugh... feet.  Even YOU don't fit anymore!

No matter though, I smooshed my feet in just like Cinderella's stepsisters and determined to "follow through" with my resolve,  I did take the girls rollerblading the other day (it was like 95 degrees already by 10am), but poor Ava just wants to go to the beach as soon as she sees the beautiful water (can you blame her?) and after 45 minutes of rollerblading a temper tantrum ensues as I begin my REAL workout while I try to strap her back into her seat and get her home for a late nap and explain while doing so that "we were just out for a quick walk but will try to come to the beach later" all to screams and protests of "Mommy!  WATER!  Beach! Beach!!! BEACH!!! WATER! BEACH!" ...allll the way home

Now, I don't know about YOU, but I SOooo want to make THAT a daily regimen, so I can burn 300 calories that I quickly want to add back on in "drink form" after that performance. 

I DO walk with them to the library and playground regularly and I really really don't eat garbage, but still... I simply don't know how the rest of you fit it in.  Someone's always napping or on the verge of napping, so doing a video in our small home, just seems unrealistic.  Shaun's not home early enough to "take over" so I can go out and honestly, he gets home so late that I don't WANT to leave my little time with him.  So my perfectly fit body suffers... and waits, because being his wife and their mom takes over and is simply more important to me right now.

I do think it's important that no matter how we feel we look, we watch how we talk about ourselves around our daughters.  I cannot tell you how many times in the past year I've seen friends post about their very young daughters already having negative issues with their appearance.  I am SO happy that my children hear Shaun genuinely tell me all the time that I'm beautiful and that he loves me.  It's so important that they see that their father genuine loves their mother... and not only when she looks flawless, but when she's bearing the all too prevalent marks of a "body given for you" that has been scarred and stretched and nursed and worn for her children and her family.  Let us all remember that we are not "loveable" only when we're easy on the eyes and that our worth lies in far more than just a perfect appearance.

7.  Okay, on another note, I'm looking for ideas to celebrate Ava's quickly approaching 2nd birthday.

 I didn't say "birthday PARTY" because I'm open to ideas that are "non party" type as well as "party ideas/themes/etc..."  Let me have em! 

I can't believe she's going to be 22mo on the 22nd!!!  Yikes!


  1. I'm sure your other commenters will have lots of suggestions for a birthday party, so I'll leave that to them. Just wanted to point out a perspective on the body issue that might make you feel better: at least you don't have separated stomach muscles! Both my sister and I have them; it comes (for some women, not all) from having big babies. My stomach muscles separated after my first baby and never went back the way they're supposed to. To this day, I am still asked when I am "due" and my "baby" (my 5th now), is 18 months old! When I go shopping, I have to get every shirt in an x-large and it has to be loose fitting, not form fitting or I look more pregnant than ever. It's not something that ever goes away, it can only be corrected by surgery which is not covered by insurance.

    So hopefully that helps! You will eventually lose "the fat", but I will always be "pregnant." For the most part, I have learned to accept it, though summer time is always harder since we can't hide our tummys in bulky clothes. Even my kids ask me, "Are you sure you don't have a baby in there?" while carressing my "pregnant" stomach. I just tell them that they "baby bump" that they see is just their first home...:-)

    1. Becky, "their first home" ...funny. I'm sure you are very beautiful. Sure of it!

  2. Sorry about the poison ivy, friend...ugh! But the end result was worth it! Looks great!

    The exercise thing...I can only tell you how I feel personally. And here it is...This time of toddlers and babies is so special, so fleeting, so precious...I think that while it is important to be healthy, it is also important to realize that we have different seasons in our lives. The season of babyhood and toddler time and mommy-ing is just that...a time to enjoy the gifts that God gave me and my new mommy body is part of that. For me, if that means I don't have time for a scheduled exercise routine right now, then that is fine with me! : )

    After all, I am chasing a preschooler, and running laundry up and down the stairs and pushing a giggling lady on the swing and loving every minute! There will be time for all that other stuff later. I don't love to exercise...I prefer to snuggle on the couch with my kids and a book or a movie. And that is ok with me.

    And as far as a birthday for your sweetie...let's two she can probably pick out the theme...and my experience has been at that age the smaller the better...I always scheduled the parties in the late afternoon after naps! And had a small get together with close friends and family only. Something simple so as not to overwhelm the birthday child! But then again, that is just me...and you know how I feel about crowds of people! : )

    Sorry so long, dear friend!

    1. Thanks so much Billie Jo! Wish I could write a longer reply expressing my gratitude, but husband is waiting and it's 11pm.

  3. Pregnancy weight gain is the ONE thing I hate the most about pregnancy. Or more I hate the fact that I DO NOT lose it easily...not just with breastfeeding anyway. I have to actually diet which is not fun while breastfeeding because there is a very delicate balance of restricting enough to lose weight but not so much that my milk supply suffers ugh. Luckily, my babies are they're worth it.

  4. M, I know you think I am one of the moms who look fit, and I just want to say that it is so stinkin' hard to add in workout time when you have only littles in the house. I didn't join the gym until I was pregnant with Eamon and I NEEDED to get myself and JP and Andrew out of the house (they were 3 and 1.5) to do something...anything. The gym had a child room, and I thought, great, I can get a break (because you KNOW I didn't get any help from anywhere else!) while I "work out". I used to do the elliptical for 45 minutes 3 times a week. That was it. It was the perfect mental break for me.

    As I got stronger and fitter (and went a year without getting pregnant after Maggie was born) that's when I finally got into shape and lost the pregnancy weight from 4 kids. BUt it took until Maggie was 2 years old! I just can not lose it while breastfeeding, but I really make it a priority to workout for my stress levels :)

    Now if I miss a day, I feel yucky and blue, and luckily, Phil is on the same page as me, and we encourage each other. I will gladly take some walks with you (when the weather is cooler!!!)

    Also, I think diet is way more important than exercise as far as weight loss goes, and Weight Watchers really really helped me with learning portion sizes. You can eat "healthy" but still be eating way too many calories each day, it seriously was eye-opening to me!

    1. Colleen, I do think you're beautiful and fit. I look up to you in SO many ways. I know how hard you work to get where you are and I admire it. I admire the support your family offers one another and I totally get that it's a release for you. I'm so proud of you and just wish sometimes that you saw how beautiful I, (and Phil and your children) and others think you are.

      I've always LOVED my walks with you (and definitely when the weather is cooler want to take you up on that!)

      I know it's just where I am right now and I'm struggling with the sacrificial element. Someday I'll get there!

      Just know this was not meant in any way to be offensive or accusatory to anyone, but rather to remind myself (and others) how our self image reflects on our children, sometimes when we least expect it.

  5. I think going to parks or parties at home are great for little ones. That's what we did and it turned out well. We didn't really have a theme. I just made a cake and my parents cooked some hotdogs and hamburgers and the kids just played at the park. My kids really loved pinatas so they may be something to consider doing too.

    As for exercise, I don't really get to do it either. I'm always busy with the kids and when my husband gets home from work I like spending time with him before we have to go to bed. I've been thinking about trying to squeeze a little exercise in on my husband's day off, but just haven't done it yet. Just take one day at a time and love those babies :)

    1. Oh, I meant to also write I love how your husband tells you often how beautiful you are (because you are)! My husband does the same thing, and it does help to hear it from him, especially when I'm not feeling that way.

    2. Kari, thank you for the input! I appreciate it really. I am pretty sure I know what we're going to do for her birthday, but am always open to good ideas.

      We have good husbands! ...and beautiful children!

  6. This has been sitting her since yesterday waiting for me to read it...So sorry about your poison ivy, I hate that 2nd daughter always gets it, she's always outside, this year she said she did NOT touch any, so we are maybe thinking it is maybe poison sumac? (it's all over her body)

    No TV...Oh, we don't watch any in the daytime, but we do DVR things, like America's got Talent...the kids love that show, we DVR it and watch it when we get a chance. I always watch cooking shows late at night. I'm not saying the kids don't watch cartoons, because they do, but not that often. They did a ton while I was pumping, we are trying to make up for lost time.

    We did go without tv the first like 5 yrs of our marriage.

    That block story? Good thing you knew what she was doing...if you hadn't have known, you might have gotten upset...I have a daughter that is always trying to help (my 7 year old) she's a little clumsy and over anxious to help and it almost always ends in disaster. The other kids often quickly yell at her or make her feel bad (some of them) but I TRY to see she is only trying so hard to help....

    OH, I saw that article on Facebook, the mother/fat thing, great post!

    Oh, what you wrote about getting in shape, so very true for me too. It does not get better...there was a time when I had 5 kids, before this last pregnancy that I got up every morning at 5 am and worked out, I lost like 17lbs total, then got pregnant again....It's like you said, I love myself, but don't like the way I look right now. I don't eat junk, like you've said, but it's that time factor. If I plan to get up early to workout, someone is up all night, or several are up several different's always something.

    I don't count kid walks as exercise. we stop to tie shoes, to pick rocks or just be carried....

    The kids will grow, we will eventually have time.

    I think you are looking super!! God bless you!


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