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Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter weekend/A little late.

We had such a nice easter weekend.
Really we never know what the weather will be like around this time of year.
Snow, Rain, or sunshine we've had it all.
This year though, it was beautiful.

Saturday was a busier day but fun.
Like many saturdays I try to get up and get my work out in.
Come home just in time to make breakfast before the littles open their eyes.
We did a little thrift store shopping. Which I absolutely love to do, Oh and I'm a garbage picker.. yup.
Garbage day for us is wednesday mornings.
So on Tuesday nights you can find me driving around checking if their was any hidden gems being thrown away. 
You never know what you will find.
I have been searching for a old dresser to replace our entertainment center.
I ended up finding one at Goodwill for $20.
I love it!
It fits perfect! Now I'm just in search for a few knobs to replace some of the broken ones on top.


//Brody usually gets jipped when it comes to getting pictures taken, he jumps in any chance he gets//

I picked up Annie Sloan chalk paint.
I originally bought the color Old Ochre luckily I only bought a sample size because it is definietly not cheap.  Old Ochre ended up being WAY to much of a creamy/yellow color when I was looking more for a  crisp white with a hint of creaminess to it.
If that makes any sense at all?
I ended up going back to the store and picking up the color Old White which is perfect.
I can't wait to share the photos when it is all painted and decorated.
Going on day four painting, distressing, and then adding more paint.
I could keep going and going.
So stay tuned!

Did you know every first saturday of the month Home Depot does a FREE building workshop for kids?
It is the cutest thing.
They give each kid a apron, and building kit that of course included safety glasses.
They get a pin when they complete the project.
And its FREE.
You don't hear that a lot now a days.






How cute is he? 


On Sunday we went to church in the morning. 
We got the boys in their matching outfits, one of the holidays we are able to get them matching. 
They are going to hate these pictures when they get older, and I love it.



and usually it takes about 20 snapshots before we get some good pictures that will do, otherwise we get these.....


haha this will be a good one to show Liam's girlfriends one day.... 

We don't do anything spectacular as far as easter baskets, I usually end up getting them a shirt, sippy cup and a few pieces of chocolate. Liam was eyeing at target this bug net, he was playing with it the entire time, by playing I mean putting it on Sawyer's head but hey it kept him laughing and kept Liam from running off.
 So no matter how many weird looks I got it, it was worth it.  
I caved and slipped it under the cart without him noticing. I thought if it keeps him entertained this summer for at least an hour it would be worth it. 





I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sawyer is One: POW WOW 1st birthday.

I have kinda been in a funk, I just can't seem to catch up.
I have been a bit absent in the blogging world.
A lot has been going on, or maybe not & I just feel that way.
I have kiddos ear infections, emergency vet visit (my dog is okay), sister in law came in town, half our house is w/o electricity, we can't figure out why.
It can always be worse though... right? 
Oh.. and our furnace went out and has to be completely replaced.
Yes, spring is slowly approaching but in the Midwest that means nothing.
It actually snowed two days ago.
Its crazy.
I'm so ready for spring, fresh air, green grass, flowers blooming and letting the little's play outside.
It can't come soon enough. 

I'm happy to be back at it today though.
I'm really excited about his post, I have been reminiscing on the photos taken & wondering how my baby is a year old already.

I would consider myself a crafter, I love creating things myself.
It takes a lot of work, but I enjoy seeing it all come together.
Beginning of March, on a Sunday we threw Sawyer a first birthday party.
I wanted a Pow Wow theme.
As always, I try to do everything myself, and spend as little as possible.
I would have to say I am pretty frugal. I come from a dutch family so that must explain it. (:

It was so fun, and I think it turned out pretty darn cute.
I love seeing all the love towards Sawyer from family & friends, it means the world to us, knowing that so many others love & adore him like we do.

My husband captured some sweet photos at the party.
I had him on camera duty because lesson learned from Liam's first birthday, after all was said and done I realized I had taken zero pictures to remember that day.

WORST. FEELING. EVER.

((Some of the pictures didn't turn out as clear as I wanted them to. ))
Half the pictures were taken from our nicer camera that is a trial & error process, and others were taken from an iPhone. 


  //So Sawyer, here's to being ONE.//



//Sawyer's Pow wow sign was made by me.//
Picked up this gem at the thrift store for 2 dollars. 
I spray painted the glass with chalk paint but kept the original frame color because I loved it. 
The black lantern & fuzzy slippers are from Sawyer's nursery. 


I loved Sawyer's little outfit. 
It fit in perfectly with the theme & its nice because everything he wore can be worn again.
//Sawyer's denim shirt is from hm.// 
//The leggings he wore were from a company on Etsy called Sweetslittlethings.//
 I can't say enough good things! They shipped so fast and the fabric on these leggings are so soft. I was very impressed. 
//The arrow bib is also from Etsy, from a company called M.U.M.B.// 
She also had incredibly fast shipping and great communication.
I would recommend these two shops to anyone! 
I linked them both, so you should go check them out! 



//Sawyers headdress was made by me.// 
I love how it turned out. 
I bought a big bag of leather remnants from hobby lobby, couple of bags of feathers, leather cord, and was able to make all the kids a headdress for them to wear to join the fun. 
I'm so bummed though, I didn't get one single picture of them wearing it. 
See I'm so bad with this picture taking thing, I need to work on it. 
I'm hoping being a blogger now will help. (: 



^^The centerpieces were little tee pees.^^
 I used bamboo sticks I had at the house, little bit of hot glue, & extra drop cloth fabric I had on hand. My husband ended up cutting the wood pieces we had in our back yard as the base & I used left over feathers as little touches here and there.  





I used a drop cloth I already had in my fabric bin for a table cloth. 
( I should have probably ironed it, but oh well ha!...)


^Sawyer's smash cake along with the cake topper was made by me also.^
The picture behind the cake, I grabbed from Sawyers nursery.
I learned while planning parties before going out and buying a ton of decorations check around your house you never know what you will find to add cute touches.

  





Above the food table I printed out pictures off of instagram of Sawyer from birth til now. 
I have it hanging in Sawyers room, gotta love the multi purpose use. 
The Menu was: 
BBQ chicken sandwiches: the recipe was from here.  
We topped it with home made cole slaw my mom made & ended up having so much food because pretty much I have an amazing family who all brought something. 
They helped out so much & I'm so thankful for that! 
Don't know what I would do without them.


^^ How cute is this sign? ^^
My talented sister in law made this for Sawyer for his birthday & just fit the theme perfectly.
 I absolutely love it! 




//My husband and I made this tee pee for Sawyer for his birthday present from us.//
Super easy to put together, I followed this tutorial but just tweaked it a little bit here & there.


Liam of course loved helping me open presents & thanking everyone for the gifts. 
I have to keep reminding him whose birthday it really is. (: 




Sawyers face pretty much explains it all. 
He was exhausted by the end of the day & Liam could keep going for days if I let him.  

My boys. (:
I'm outnumbered. 


 I hope you enjoyed seeing all the pictures & if your throwing a little POW WOW yourself,
I hope you were inspired. 















Monday, March 9, 2015

A letter to my sweet Sawyer Jude

My sweet Sawyer Jude.



I cannot believe you are one already.
Time has slipped away once again.
You, my dear hold a special place in my heart along with your brother.
You have taught me so much more the second time around.
How to be more patient then I am already.
How to love more deeply.
How to relax & cherish those times that I feel like I rushed through the first time around.
I was so anxious to see Liam conquer the next stage, I didn't realize how quickly it would go by.
Your laid back personality has been such a blessing especially with your energetic older brother.
Your favorite thing to do is to just sit & watch him make circles around you.
There will be plenty of brotherly fights between you and him, but I can already tell you hold your own.
I know you look up to him so much already.
You are always in the mood for a cuddle session that I just cannot pass up.
You have quick, curious hands.
Always getting into stuff but so quietly so momma doesn't catch you.
Your my little Soybean.
Your blonde hair, blue eyes & that big smile of yours gets me every time.

I pray that you grow up knowing that God loves you o' so much.
He has made you special & unique.
Sawyer, may you walk with him, talk with him, serve him, & serve others for his glory.

Be Brave.
Be Courageous. 
Be Strong.
Do everything in love.  

I can't imagine what this world is going to look like as you get older, Sawyer.
Stand up for whats right, for what you believe in & most importantly trust in God.
He will never leave you.

Amen. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Miscarriage: On my heart.



I struggled with posting this one.
Here is me being honest, raw, and open about my family's loss.

Miscarriage. 

It happens so often to so many women but yet most of the time its such a hush-hush situation.

I lost my sweet baby two years ago already. Wow.
Typing that just made it become so real.
Two years.
I lost him/her the beginning of March of 2013.

I believe everything happens for a reason, we hear that all the time.
You go through something sad & tragic, and I feel the first thing people do to comfort one another is to blurt out those words--

"Everything happens for a reason."

Maybe it's just me, but that's the last thing I wanted to hear in this situation.
I know they are trying their best to give comfort, but honestly there is just nothing anyone can say to make it better. I had to see it play out and see the Lord's hands in my life before I could ever learn to accept what and why I was going through this.

I was so excited to be pregnant, I wanted to share it with my husband who was away in the coast guard.
I drove 2 hours just because I couldn't handle him not knowing a second longer.

I wanted to share the joy & excitement with him.

Our little family was growing, and I began telling close family and friends about our new addition.
I know they say don't tell anyone for 12 weeks,  but I never follow that rule.
Too much excitement to not share.
Looking back I wouldn't have done it differently because I knew there were more prayers lifted up for me and my family through this time.

I had scheduled my first ultrasound, everything looked great.
Little bean was moving all over.
Hearing that heartbeat beating so strong is one of the best feelings ever.

I carried my baby for 9 weeks.
I remember exactly where I was when I felt something wasn't right.
I spent countless hours on the phone trying to get a hold of my doctor to give me advice on what to do.
She just kept reassuring me that everything was okay, the baby is fine.
She gave me that hope and reassurance so I wouldn't worry so much.
False hope.
I wish she wouldn't have because I knew deep down I was losing.
A mother's intuition is no joke.

I went in for my second ultrasound.
This time Brent went with me and my mom drove us because she wanted to be by my side if anything happened.
Brent's parents had just flown in that morning from Texas and they had taken Liam and went out to eat.

Brent and I walked into the ultrasound room, where the lady greeted us so kindly. I sat up on the bed where they put the warm gel on my stomach. The screen popped up and there the baby was.
There was an awkward silence.
I will never forget the look on the ultrasound tech's face as she turned towards me saying:

"I'm so sorry, their is no heartbeat."

My heart sank.
I looked over at the screen and just saw a lifeless little baby.
There was no movement, everything was just STILL. 

The first thing that came in my head was the lyrics to the song by Matt Redman "Blessed be your name."

"The Lord gives and takes away, but my heart will choose to say Lord blessed be your name."

Tears started rolling down my face, uncontrollably.  My husband comforted me as best he could. Its hard for men; they feel and grieve so differently then women do. That's something I had to understand throughout this whole process.

I was told to go wait in the doctors office until she came in to give me instructions.
I waited for over an HOUR.
All I wanted was to go home to Liam and hold him and never let go.
Do these people understand this is the last place you want to sit at after you have just been told you lost your baby?

The doctor just asked me if I had any questions.
Of course I had a ton, but I couldn't think of anything. I just wanted to go home to my baby.

I crawled in bed and just let the tears roll down, I asked for Liam and just held him in my arms.

I have such wonderful in laws that I felt so bad they had just flown in to spend time with us and had to come during this hard time but they gave me a lot of comfort. Looking back I know that was all in God's timing.
Both Brent's parents came upstairs gave me hugs and just prayed.


I felt God's presence in my heart.

There was little information on the internet about what to actually expect when your miscarrying other than just what it is. It wasn't until I started reading other blogs & discussion boards that I really got an in-depth explanation on what to expect.
It was scary.

No. Actually, it was terrifying.

Looking back I think I would have opted for a DNC right away.
Not that it would have made it less emotionally painful, but it would help to get started on the grieving process.
Passing naturally which my doctor recommended was such an emotional roller coaster that I just wasn't prepared for.
But who is in these situations?
It lasted for over a month.
Until one day I knew I had for sure lost the baby, I felt an emptiness that I can not explain.
Seeing Liams little eyes look at me in tears and sadness made my heart break.
I was out at the time it all really started, which I would recommend staying home if you can because it was quite embarrassing.
It was just another thing I wasn't expecting.
I sobbed for hours knowing I no longer had my baby with me.
I read many blogs on this moment of other women's journeys, but nothing compares to you actually experiencing it.


It wasn't until 3 months later that I started realizing God's timing in everything.
I found out I was pregnant again in June, and was due in the beginning of March 2014.
On the same day I lost my second baby.
Coincidence?
No.
God's timing.

I found out that the little baby (Sawyer) I was carrying at the time was going to be a boy on the same day I was due with my second pregnancy.
Wow, God you are amazing.




I know now that there is a reason for this miscarriage in my life.
It has drawn me closer to God on a more intimate level, more than I could ever imagine.
I started a journal to really write down my prayers. It has been such a blessing.
If you are struggling with any hardship in your life, I really suggest you writing down your prayers.
There is something about pen to paper that is so simple and special, like writing letters to God.
I look back on it now and read how I felt in the moment and how far I have come since then.


I prayed for those families who have had multiple miscarriages or who just can't get pregnant at all.
My heart aches for you.
I prayed for myself to have an understanding.
And most importantly, I THANKED the Lord for my many blessings I receive from him day in and day out.

If anyone is struggling with their miscarriage,
I am here with you and would love to talk and pray for you.
It's not an easy topic to talk about.
But it's so important to show love and support to others that have or are currently struggling with this.

Although I wonder and think about all the time what life would've been like if my precious baby had not passed away, I know he/she is with God who loves them even more then I ever could have.

I will see him/her one day.
Knowing this gives me peace.


"The Lord gives and takes away, but I will choose to say Lord blessed be your name."







Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentines Day with a house full of boys.

Ahhh Valentines day has come and gone.
We are inching closer and closer to Sawyer's first birthday at the beginning of March.
I can't believe he will be ONE. Where did my little baby go?
More pictures and party details soon to follow! Can't wait to share!

We didn't do much for valentines day ... and honestly it was kinda nice.
I rented a couple movies, indulged in some chocolate covered strawberries that I made, poured myself a glass a wine, kicked back and relaxed.
I always try to make valentines day special for the boys.
Well Sawyer is a little young yet but I was able to wake up early enough and make my boys a 'hearty' breakfast. ha!



Of course there could be NO pink sprinkles.
Mamma's of all boys understand.
My heart is anxiously waiting for some pink in my life. 
Lord willing of course. (:



Liam was to fast for me to take any pictures of but I captured one of this cutie eatin his blueberries.

Brent had Liam walk in the room where I was changing Sawyer's diaper.
He rehearsed with him what he was suppose to say to me which was
 "Happy Valentines day, Momma. I love you."
What he actually said was "Here, Daddy got ya sometin."
Liam handed me a black box.
Brent got me a Alex and Ani charm bracelet to add to the one he bought me for Christmas.
I was surprised, I had no idea. He got this one and the Christmas bracelet all by himself.
I love it.
Those are the best presents.
Doesn't matter what it is, but just knowing the thought that goes into it makes me all giddy.


Coast Guard charm because my husband served for 6 years.
 He is now currently in the Reserves.

I picked up a little nerf gun for Liam to open on Valentines day.
I didn't realize that the box said 8 years and up.
Oops. I always do that, I never check the age on the box.
Well for a five dollar nerf gun, that thing is pretty powerful.
Brent had a long talk with him about not shooting anyone and only aiming at the wall or the ground.
 It went like this....
"No, Liam you may not shoot your brother." 
(Liam pointed the nerf gun at the dog.)
"Liam, NO! Not the dog either." 
Liam: "Ahhh man...."

A couple minutes later as I'm cleaning up breakfast, I get hit on the back.
Thinking it was Liam but it wasn't, it was Brent.
Of Course.
Practice what you preach. ((AHEM))

I swear some of these "boy" kid toys are more for Brent then Liam.
He is always like "Here let me show you how to work this.."
(a.k.a I will give it back to you in an hour.)

Oh also good news, Liam has been so much better in the regression area.
Thank the Lord. 


I hope you all enjoyed your valentines day and spent it with the ones you love















Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quiet time & toddler regression.

When you stay with your kids all day, being a human tissue to boys with runny noses is pretty normal.
The other day I caught Liam taking my scarf that was around my neck and wiping his nose with it.
True Story.
Sad thing is, it didn't even phase me.
Some daily tasks all momma's deal with consist of wiping butts, feeding on command, being a shoulder to cry on, helping them learn and explore new things.
By explore I mean being a human jungle gym
I cherish those times, I really do.

I also know how precious quiet time is.
How few and far between it comes nowadays. 
Especially when your almost one year old is down to one nap a day (if that) and my three year old has decided he doesn't know how to take naps anymore... 
But both boys fell asleep while driving home from Costco.
Man, was it glorious
I could actually clear my head and "hear myself think" as my mom use to put it back when I was little.
Now I totally know what she means. 
I look back in the rear view mirror to see Liam's head down and drool running down his mouth and it makes my heart smile.
It is always the littlest moments that really help you regroup and get back on track.
That 10 minute car ride was it for me.

I decided to do a mother/son date this week with Liam.
He has been regressing with potty training this past week.
I seriously think he has had more than 20 accidents.
Just this past week.
No joke.
I mean the kind of accidents where I walk in and he had just pooped and peed all over the floor which should not be happening, he has been fully potty trained since the summer.
I didn't know how to deal with this except get really upset.
I know he knows how to go to the bathroom.
He was testing me.
I read somewhere that at his age they don't care what kind of attention they get whether bad or good,
they just want attention.
Hearing that hit me like a ton of bricks. I finally understood why he was acting out.
So now I've tried an opposite approach. Instead that night getting mad and angry.
I took him out for frozen yogurt.
One on one time with just Liam and I.
I love just getting him talking about anything, some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is just downright hilarious.
He absolutely loved the full attention he was getting from me.


I think he changed my attitude more than I did his.


I'm still trying to figure this whole parenting thing out but when your child does stuff like throw away your garbage without even being told to, shows me that I can't be doing that bad. 


Such a gentleman. (:



Has any other moms dealt with regression with your toddler?
How did you handle it?









Thursday, February 5, 2015

These are a few of my favorite things...

Back in the beginning of 2011 before I had my first son Liam, I attended cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell School of Chicago. I have always enjoyed hair, skincare, and makeup.
Its just who I am.
I love trying out new products, so I would read blog posts about bloggers favorite beauty products.
Now I get to do a post about my own, and I am really excited!
I'm sharing some of my all time beauty favorites that I have either recently discovered or that I have used for years.





1. My first essential product is the Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar. I recently started using this, and I fell in love. I was looking for a cheaper face wash because I feel that they work just as good if not better in my experience.  Then I will splurge more on a face moisturizer and eye cream which to me is more important.  I read a lot of reviews on it, and decided to try it out. I mean you really can't beat the price, $6 for 4 bars. 

2. Faux Tan by Bare Minerals, I am all about self tanners, especially during these long winter months when you live up near Chicago. I use to use St. Tropez self tanner and it made my face break out, so I decided to switch to Faux Tan and it has worked wonders. It gives me such a nice bronzed sun-kissed look, I feel like I  never have to worry about looking too orange. I usually use a sponge to apply all over, but sometimes when I'm lazy I only apply to my arms and face. That is all that shows now anyways... right?

3. Redken Pillow Proof, As you probably already know a lot of hair stylist don't wash their hair.... like ever. I am a wash twice a week kinda girl. I'm always looking for an awesome dry shampoo. Then I found Redkens dry shampoo and it has worked awesome for me. It doesn't weigh your hair down and takes the greasy look away. It also smells amazing, so that's a plus.

4. My mom introduced me to the Ponds Cold Cream back in high school. I haven't turned to any other make up remover since. This stuff is amazing. It seriously can take off any type of make up without tearing your skin up. 


5.  Essie good to go. I love doing my nails, I feel like I do them every other night except when I get the professionally done which is rare. I find it relaxing to do my own nails. This has always been my go to top coat. It dries so fast and leaves your nails shiny for days. 

6. Nars Bronzer in Laguna I purchased this a couple months ago and have used it every day since. 
I use to use Arbonne's bronzer, which I loved but i ran out.  I'm always the kind of person that doesn't like to wait for product to be shipped, I rather just go out and get it. It is quite a bit pricier then some other bronzer's that might do the trick but I have fallen in love. 

7. Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Tea Mask. I discovered this product in my monthly birch box. If you haven't heard of birchbox, its a monthly sample box that ships to your house at the beginning of the month and usually includes 5-6 deluxe size samples all for $10. This product came in my box, and I love it. It smells amazing! I'm not even kidding. It has a nice cooling effect that lasts the entire time you have the mask on. I usually use it about once a week and I am still using the sample size they gave me. I have yet to purchase the big size, I'm still trying to stomach paying that much for a face mask! ha! Its worth it right??

8. Anastasia Brow Wiz. If your into makeup like me, then you probably already know how important eyebrows can be. It can change the whole look of your face by just creating a shape and filling them in. Out of my whole makeup routine, half of it is spent on perfecting my brows. This brow wiz is amazing to say the least. I have mine in soft brown because I have heard you should go a shade lighter then your natural color of your brow. It has worked out perfect for me so far! 

9.  Beauty Blender This has been a game changer for me. I received this also in my birchbox. Who would've thought a sponge would do the trick? I'm telling you it truly does. I have noticed my make up going on so much smoother and have been able to use way less makeup to get a full coverage. 

10. Tinkle Face Razor Okay I admit it, I shave my face...My entire face, and I'm proud of it. Not only does this little guy take the unwanted hairs, it exfoliates too. You can actually see all the dead skin coming off. When I tell people that I use this, they always ask the question if the hair will grow back in darker and thicker. Honestly, no it doesn't. I have been using it for over a year and I haven't noticed any change. This also helps makeup go on so smooth because all of us ladies know what foundation and concealer looks like on top of hair... Not so good. You can also pick these up at Target also. 
If anyone has any questions on this, or would like to see how I use it!  I would love to help and show you.


These are my top beauty favorites as of right now, I am always switching them out though and trying new things!

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!