Traveling with Little Ones

8 11 2015

Last week, I had a work conference that took me to The Homestead Resort for 3 days. Last time I went, I traveled with a friend, and we had a great time, so this time, I invited my family along. It was a nice escape from our daily routine, but taking the kids out of that routine throws all of us off! The Homestead is pretty spectacular:



First off, what should have been a 90-minute drive took us 3 hours. Our little guy screamed for the entire 3 hours, so we were forced to make pit stops in a few places, including a tiny diner halfway there. The boys were all keyed up and definitely entertained the workers – luckily, we were the only ones dining in. E kept swinging his corndog around, yelling about his “horndog.”


Luckily when we arrived, the valet handled our car and luggage, and our room was ready with a nice Pack n Play already set up. Of course, I wish I could say this was the scene, but he didn’t go to sleep for several more hours:


Even though it was late, we decided to explore the hotel and easily walked about 7000 steps just by looking around.

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It was a late night followed by an early morning, as I went to early sessions and listened to the keynote speaker of the conference the next day. All of my sessions were SO good this year! I came away with lots of practical ideas and freebies. Meanwhile, my husband spent lots of quality time with the boys – lots of snacking, napping, and trips to the playground and the Village.


I thought our evenings would be full of dining out, downtime to explore the hotel and the town, a swim in the heated pool or a trip to the gym, but there never ended up being time for that. The conference schedule kept me busy, with receptions lasting until 9 PM. When we did have a break, it would only be for a few minutes here and there. I don’t think we got much sleep because of the boys, and then we would start all over again the next day.

Well, we attempted to dine out twice, but Sage cried almost the whole time both nights.

The second night, we ate at the Casino, right on the property.

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On the third night, just before leaving the resort, we ate at Le Cochon d’Or (The Golden Pig) in the village of Hot Springs. I was late to our dinner reservation because my session ran over, but my family was seated right there in the window and I was able to snap a pic of this happy scene before all the meltdowns started.


I kept it simple with a French onion soup because I knew the kids weren’t going to last long in there – YUM! So hot and cheesy!


One of my favorite places in the hotel was the Christmas shop. I picked out this year’s ornament and took lots of pictures of E with the gorgeous tree. At the end of November, The Homestead will ceremoniously bring a real tree into the grand lobby.

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I’m so glad that I was able to show my husband The Homestead, and I’m thankful that he was able to spend real quality time with the kids, but I wouldn’t call it a “vacation” by any means! It was pretty stressful for me to find a balance between being a mommy, spending time with my husband, and still attending all my sessions.


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Back into Running

7 11 2015

Seeing as this is a running blog, I should probably update about my recent running ventures.

There haven’t been many.

Life with 2 little ones plus my full-time job keeps me on my toes so much that I only sleep about 4-5 hours a night, and those are almost always interrupted by one or both of the boys waking up. It’s much harder for me to carve time for running, way harder than it was with one child, but I also know that getting back into a habit of running will ultimately give me so much more energy in the long run. (Long run.) It’s important that I take care of me, too!

So this fall/winter, I’m making myself start over again. You won’t find me running a marathon this January, but I’m planning to start with a few 5ks and work my way back up. I have to be careful with my heart and with dehydration while I’m still nursing my 13-month-old, but I’ve done it before and know that I can.

This fall, I helped with the after-school running program at my elementary school, and I also served on the Fun Run committee, helping to pull off planning our school’s very first 5k and one mile Fun Run race this morning. In spite of the rain, it was such an awesome, energy-pumping family event, and we had an awesome turnout. My husband even won a 2nd place medal! I took things slowly and steadily and was proud that I finished, even on our school’s muddy, HILLY cross county course and with NO training.



Next up, we have a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning and my favorite 5-miler through Busch Gardens in December.

I also need to be more careful about eating. The holidays can be so tempting, that stretch from Halloween to New Year’s, but when I run, I reach for healthy foods, so I think getting back into a training schedule will help curb the sweets.

This past year, my husband and I dared each other to give up donuts for a whole year (we both got really sick after eating at a donut shop and pretty much wrote off donuts then and there). So far, we’re 11 months in and it has actually been pretty easy. I love the accountability piece by doing it together and the awareness this little experiment has raised in how often I am around donuts. I am offered a free donut almost DAILY. It is insane – I never noticed before. Almost every single day at my work there is some reason or another that a box of donuts is floating around, but it’s been so easy just to say, “no thank you.” Next year, we’ll probably add something else to our “no donuts” rule… maybe soda or fast food.

What motivates you to jumpstart a healthy habit again?

Outpouring of Love

25 10 2015

Mother Teresa quote

This weekend, I was so incredibly blessed to be a very small part of what has been and what will continue to be an amazing journey for a special family that I know.

I’ve always been fascinated with adoption and foster care. My husband is actually one of ten children, six of whom were adopted. Most of my 4th year research in college was on Attachment Theory, and my undergrad degree was in Psychology. Last year I followed the blog of a woman who served as a surrogate to carry another couple’s baby when they couldn’t. This time, however, my small opportunity was none of these things.

There’s a quote, “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” This always makes me think of a gift I received that I’ll never be able to repay or even say thank you for. When I was 17 years old, I was the recipient of another person’s bone – actually, a cadaver’s bone – which was drilled into my spine, fusing my lumbar and sacrum together. For years, that isolated bone glowed on my x-rays until it was in my body long enough to dull to match my own, with bone grafted from my hip fusing it into place.

Fast forward a decade…

My older son was just a few weeks old when I returned to work from maternity leave, so I pumped twice a day there (and sometimes at home before I left) for a year to supply enough milk for him to have at daycare. I’ll be honest, it was hard. Finding a private place was absolutely non-existent in the 1970s-built-pod-school where I taught. Remembering to bring all the pump parts, freezer packs, cooler, bottle tops, tubing, power cord, wetbags – I felt like every day I forgot one component of the pump. And I never had teacher coverage while I pumped, since my schedule was so inconsistent, so there were days I barely came home with any milk. Other days, I came home with plenty for the next day – it just depended on my water intake and what time(s) I was able to pump that day. My heart had many episodes of tachycardia while nursing both my children, and I’ll be paying off cardiology bills for the next year.



Woke up in the middle of the night engorged. This was all from one side. Ouch!!

I nursed E until he was 18 months and weaned him when my husband and I needed to travel out of town for a week without him.

I was also pregnant with my second son before this trip. When he was born, I was able to stay home with him until he was 13 weeks old. Once at daycare, he crushed bottles of my expressed milk like a champ until he was about 10 months old. I spent the summer at home with him, and when I went back to work in August, he refused bottles of any kind. No interest whatsoever. It didn’t matter who was holding the bottle, or what brand, or what temperature. Which left me with a freezer full of the precious liquid gold that I had pumped and so carefully frozen. Now at 13 months, he still nurses when we’re at home  (and all throughout the night, every night), but if I’m not there, he won’t take my milk in bottle form.

Spilled milk

Truth. Or left it out on the counter overnight. 

When he was 10 months old, I began researching how and where to donate my excess milk. After calling local hospitals, I found that a lot of them actually had enough frozen breastmilk to support their NICU babies, so I was given phone numbers to call to locate hospitals all over the country who might accept my milk. The process of testing the milk and testing myself would be extensive, not to mention packaging and shipping the frozen milk, but it would be worth it.

I had just started the process of milk donation when I learned that God had a different plan for my milk.

A mutual friend of mine, after years of prayer dedicated to adopting a child, got a call that a newborn was ready to come home. That sentence took me only a moment to type but represents a lifetime of prayer for this little baby. In getting together the things she would need for her new baby, she put out a request for any moms who had breastmilk to spare.

I did! A total of 144.5 ounces. To put it in perspective, it’s almost $1500 dollars’ worth of “liquid gold” and over 35 pumping sessions. It equates to 18+ hours of pumping, although with 2 sides at once, it was more like 9 hours, give or take. But double that to include the time it took to wash all the teeny tiny pump parts and Medela bottles and caps every night, dry them, and pack them to do it all over the next day. And then washing the wetbags I used to transport all the wet bottles and pump parts. My husband washed every single bottle and pump part, by hand, every evening. (Thank you!) I carefully measured and labeled each bag for future use.

Yesterday, I studied the Medela guidelines for thawing frozen breastmilk and checked the date on all of my milk. To my amazement, not a single drop of the 144.5 ounces was expired. I had pumped every bit of it in the last six months. Even more amazingly, the “oldest” frozen milk I had will start expiring in about 2 weeks, so I was running out of time to find a place to accept it.


I know this baby is going to be supported in big ways and always with an abundance of love. I am so incredibly honored that I got to help with such a specific need – I told the baby’s mommy that I felt like I just donated an organ and am praying it’s a match – that the baby will accept this same precious milk that continues to sustain my own little boy as he nurses. This new little baby was born on my son’s due date, exactly 12 months later. We serve a most amazing God whose timing is always spot-on.


Family arrived with a cooler today to transport the milk to its new home. :)

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

NICU baby

Brew of the Day

19 10 2015

For the first time in years, we found ourselves with a free October weekend! October is usually filled with celebrations of fall – festivals, craft shows, races, and out-of-town trips, but we ended up having the whole weekend to explore the peak of foliage in our town. Normally, I would have been running my favorite half marathon, the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. But sadly, the race featured a great white on their medal this year, and alas, I have a huge phobia of all things sh*rk – it’s no joke. So no trip, no race. Getting over endless sickness made us also postpone plans with friends to make our annual trek to what would have been a cold, crowded, windy apple orchard.

Instead, I stumbled across an ad for a local craft festival that featured all things vintage, handmade, and shabby chic – of course we had to check it out! (We loved their brick-and-mortar store, too!) From there, we walked around downtown, checking out a beer shop, grabbing a coffee, and poking in lots of small local businesses. It was so nice to chat with the owners of each shop – from boutique baby clothes to fair trade stores. So much better than big-box stores!

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E always insists on “coffee water” whenever I get coffee anywhere. It’s just free water in a to-go cup but I’m sure moms of toddlers everywhere are giving him the sidelong.

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After a full day of gallivanting and an impromptu family photo shoot in the woods, we stumbled upon a pumpkin sale benefitting the church that does so much outreach for my school community – we decided to spring for one of their pumpkins this year instead of a wagon-full from another local patch. Our pumpkin came from New Mexico!

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My husband and I both returned home remarking that Saturday had been one of the best days we’ve ever had!

Despite our week of sickness and sleepless nights, we didn’t want to miss out on a single gorgeous fall day (fall is so fleeting!!), so after church Sunday, we headed out on a scenic drive, stopping only for fresh kettle corn and breathtaking overlooks. We originally wanted to hike, but we were just too tired.

We visited my favorite trees on our way out of town.

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Gosh, my boys have changed since the last time these trees were red:




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We continued our scenic drive and climbed all over the mountain rocks! I took pictures in every possible light.

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Fall-themed blogs are my favorite kind to read – thanks for cozying up to read along with me!

Pumpkin Scales, Pig Races, and Pink Skies | Very 1st Field Trip!

14 10 2015

Despite a little one at home whose temperature was flirting with the 104-degree mark, I took a personal day from work to accompany my 3-year-old on his very first field trip. The trip was to our favorite farm, but I still wanted to be there to catch all the sweet moments! As a teacher, I won’t always be able to do this, but this milestone was really important to me and was so worth forking over one of only 2 precious personal days we get each year.

But first, a look-back: last year’s and this year’s trip to the farm:

Back Home on the Farm 2014 2015

The morning sky promised a perfect fall day on the farm:



Listening intently to his favorite preschool teacher, clutching the brown bag lunch he wouldn’t let me hold.


Digging for potatoes and exploring the new kiddie play area!







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He found the best vantage point on the hayride up to the pumpkin patch!



The entire class rode the carousel twice… it was a long ride… and fast…



Front row seats for the pig races.


Finally getting to eat his lunch. We capped off the day with a zillion trips down the 40-foot underground slide, everyone’s favorite attraction. :)

And just like last year, he slept in the car all the way back.

Juggling Act Lately

13 10 2015

Maybe it’s life with two who are getting just a little older, maybe it’s just the busy-ness of fun fall activities, but we have been go-go-go lately, with sickness to boot. So yes, this blog post is all over the place, too. Just like my thoughts these days.


On the homefront, the children’s clothing app where I sell my kids’ outgrown clothing featured my shop last week (yay!), so I gained about 250 new followers and had lots and lots of sales! A lot to manage, even with a shipping scale at home. My friend’s shop was also featured, so we teamed up to do a giveaway, which brought in a lot more followers and sales. I’ve been busy packaging up items to send to sweet little fellas all over the country!

My husband has also been diligent with his business, participating in lots of fall craft shows and sales, so he’s usually off doing that in the wee hours of the morning, when he’s not running. It works out well when the baby is up with teething pains from 3-6 AM each day after nursing with me all night.

My family attempted our first mini photo session with a professional photographer, which went by too quickly for my liking, so we hung around the farm an extra 2 hours so that I could take more photos of my own at our own pace and more my style – less props, more letting the kids play while I followed them around. The day was gorgeous, and the setting was breathtaking. I spent forever trying to coordinate outfits for 4 different people and finally went to Target the night before to purchase some last-minute items, another reason I wanted to take pictures while we were all dressed at the same time!



Our neighbors hosted an Octoberfest celebration for the neighborhood after we got home from pictures, so we stopped by and met some new faces.


We recently had a hurricane, and my yard flooded – we were so fortunate that the only thing we lost was our garden, which was nearing the end of its season, anyway.


E’s curly red hair was really starting to look completely unkempt, so I attempted to cut it but am not sure if I made it better or worse. I finally got mine cut, too, by someone legit.


We took our son to his 12-month “well-baby” checkup Monday, but he was actually very sick.  The doctor was concerned that he might have pneumonia because of the way his voice was catching when he breathed, but she monitored him for 3 hours and determined it was more likely an ear infection and upper respiratory infection, topped off with a 103.6 fever that is STILL going strong at over 103 even tonight.


Parent-teacher conferences at the boys’ preschool are tomorrow. plus we have all kinds of appointments in the next week – eye doctor, dentist, chiropractor, the works – and a new friend from church (whom we’ve never met) is coming over Friday to learn more about cloth diapers. I’m exhausted just thinking about getting everyone where they need to be while still putting in all my hours at work. On top of it all, I’m sick, too and barely have any voice left for teaching! I’m sure my immune system is down – I blame severe lack of sleep, a lotta nursing, a whole lotta coffee, not enough water, and not enough time to eat real meals today. I’ve been putting lemon EOs in my water and using Thieves EO for my whole family.


At work

My husband and I are missing all kinds of work this week – I took off early Monday for the baby’s well visit, took a half day today for our preschooler’s field trip, and I will miss again tomorrow to stay home with our sick baby. Meanwhile, my husband already has missed two days of work being at home with him this week.

My school has had some festive fall programs in the evenings. Last week (before all this sickness!), our family literacy night was a huge success. Students came and picked up a free bagged dinner, which they ate on blankets while visiting 4 different storytelling tents. Afterward, they attended an assembly while their parents attended a workshop, then came back together again to pick up free books and make s’mores over fire pits. Afterward, they viewed Saturn through a telescope! The literacy night inspired me to take my family to a seasonal book fair, but I was too sick to walk around, so we didn’t stay long.


Tonight was also my school’s Spirit Night at Chick-fil-a, so I just got home from facepainting for 2 hours.


I have so many posts I want to write about – hopefully they’ll come soon! Blogging has just not been a priority lately:

  • My latest Stitch Fix.


But instead, I think I’ll go fill my empty tank with food, infused EO water, and what bit of sleep I can catch before someone wakes up crying or needing their next dose of meds!

Normal Day Treasures

6 10 2015

normal day

The sun is back. It’s been a long time since we have caught even a ray of it! Today can pretty much be chalked up to a perfect “normal” day. I thought a lot about how grateful I am to have a generally positive attitude, as I was pulled in a million different directions at work while my sons were away from me at daycare. I began to look for the treasures hidden in the day, reflecting on each one as its own silver lining. I hope to collect these thoughts later in my journal of blessings (inspired by Ann Voskamp).

The fog settling over the valley was so pretty during my drive to work this morning. Stumbling over my words as I tried to explain fog to my 3-year-old.


My 12-month-old waving goodbye to me from the comfort of his teacher’s arms. A tear-free transition. Finally.

Arriving to work 10 minutes early and using the time to walk a prayer circle behind the school. Still in awe that I get to work in such a beautiful place.


And feeling blessed that at my new job, I get to be a full-blown counselor. Almost 100% of my time is spent directly with students individually, in small groups, and in the classroom (I log my hours in NoteCounselor after school every day). When I’m not directly with students, I’m talking to their parents or conferencing with their teachers, also direct hours. It makes for busy days, and my principal has begun to exclaim, “You came back!” after some of the most eventful days.

Getting a handwritten card from my principal, just thanking me for being at the school and being a positive light.

Having one of the most respected teachers in the school, the one who never speaks when I teach in her classroom, seek me out in my office later just to say, “Thank you. You have such a calm and soothing voice for the kids, you talk to them in such a way that they have no choice but to want to follow your directions.”

Me: an awe-struck puddle on the floor.

Missing lunch to facilitate the toughest small group of them all, and seeing the boys’ tough exteriors begin to crack as they slowly trust each other. Finding a pocket of 10 minutes afterward to eat a bowl of hot soup and a full-size Hershey bar.

At car rider duty, a parent sincerely telling me, “It’s so nice to see a smiling face every single day. Thank you.”

Staying after school to coach a running club, running alongside a new coworker who is exactly my pace, and finding out we grew up in the same hometown.

My 3-year-old, after spotting me at daycare, running toward the gate with open arms, not yet too cool for such affection over Mommy or for falling head over heels to hug me.

Finding a free book for the boys in our mailbox: “Llama Llama and the Bully Goat.”

Wolfing down leftover Greek dinner my husband made last night before leaving the house one last time for the evening.

Driving through my favorite canopy of trees today…

…six different times.

The first and sixth trips with cups of hot coffee.

Opting to let my hairdresser straighten my hair before I left. (I ALWAYS leave the salon with wet curly hair.) Laughing with her about the 3 wiry white hairs I found on my head this week.

Teaching my 3-year-old how to play a board game before bed. How to roll a die. How to take turns and play fairly.

Watching his excitement as he taught his daddy how to play the same game while I watched, nursing the baby to sleep.

Trying on pretty Stitch Fix items, debating what to keep and what to send back.

Finding quiet time to blog and do laundry.

Grateful for my decision to cloth diaper as I hung them to dry. Looking forward to having a new friend over next week who wants to learn about cloth diapers.

Thinking about the 5 cute little cloth diaper pails, lined up all in a row at daycare.

Being able to answer my toddler when he asked, “Mommy, are you coming to the pumpkin patch with me and my class?”

“Yes, Mommy is coming.”

I’d rearrange the world for you. 

Baby’s 1st Birthday | Bushels of Fun

2 10 2015

So my little man turned ONE this week! And he took his first steps today! September has all-new meaning for me because of his birthday, and I thought a fall-themed party would be the perfect kickoff for my most favorite season.

Confession. I kept his party (relatively) simpler than his brother’s 1st birthday party (recaps here and here), especially now that we are a family of four with an all-new routine with my new job and the kids’ new daycare. It has been quite an adjustment. Invites were electronic, party shopping happened the day before, and we didn’t have time to crank out many of the dishes we had planned. But in the end, none of that mattered – Sage had a blast, and E keeps asking, “when can we go back to Sage’s party?”

The decor

I went for a “Bushels of Fun” apple theme using red and green. The homemade Happy Birthday banner was still up from E’s birthday (oops), so I just replaced the pictures of dump trucks and tractors with apple bushels. I blew up 30 red and green balloons the morning of the party while nursing Sage. Great way to almost make yourself pass out, I tell ya. I drew cute apple faces on the balloons and strung some around the house and scattered the others on the floor. Simple!

Sage party 1

Our dining room table was already decorated for fall, so all I had to add was real apples to the pumpkin basket and this year’s handprints to our pumpkins – the boys add a handprint to their white pumpkins each year. We bought them at Michael’s and found the decorative candy apples at HomeGoods.

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I framed a fall printable I found on a Five on Friday blog, hung a fall bucket list artwork that I designed last year, and taped up Sage’s monthly picture collage. I put a pumpkin and a basket of favors by the door, which I forgot to hand out to our guests as they left!! We did get to send home balloons with the kids, though!

The food

We served 3-ingredient crockpot meatballs, homemade pretzel rolls, apple turnovers, Carolina Charm’s best pumpkin dip (served with ginger snaps, apple slices, and Nilla Wafers), macaroni muffins (better in theory than in execution), a fresh veggie tray, fresh apple cider, cake, and ice cream cups. Probably other fancies I’m forgetting, but the kitchen was very hectic in the last 30 minutes before the party – it’s all a blur! I completely forgot to take a picture of the counter-full of food, but I did manage to grab a pic of the dip before it was gone!


The games

We bobbed for apples using tongs and butterfly nets! I saw the butterfly nets for $7.99 each at our toy story but then found them for $1 at Dollar Tree. If I could do it again, I’d buy a net for each child and let them keep them! It was rainy and wet outside, so we stayed on the back patio under our canopy. (That canopy has since gone the way of the wind after an unanticipated flash flood two days after the party!) The kids took turns transferring apples from one bucket of water to another. After the party, we let E bob for apples a few more times before pajama time.




The presents

Our friends and family were over-the-top generous with their gifts, and thank-you notes are on my to-do list this rainy weekend, I promise! My sister was so sweet with the present she sent! She wrapped the shipping box and filled it with GLITTER RAINBOW TISSUE PAPER and all kinds of toddler goodies! We took our time opening her present with breakfast – such a fun way to start a birthday!


Lucky kid!

We had Sage’s silhouette cut at our local toy store just in time for his party by the same man who did E’s 2 years ago. Once again, he was spot-on! We also gave Sage a set of wooden Hape blocks that we found during Target’s deep toy clearance sale last summer, along with a handful of fall books. E gave him a pack of Squigs that we’ll use for traveling and going out to eat.



The cake

I wanted something that would be easy to pass out to our friends and family, so we went with cupcakes and ice cream cups. But I just couldn’t resist making a smash cake for our little sweet tooth. This was NOT his first rodeo with cake by ANY means, but we’ve never put a whole cake in front of him. He did not disappoint!

Sage party 4

I made cupcakes (spice and chocolate) into apple shapes by baking them with tin foil balls tucked behind the wrappers. (You could also use marbles to create the same effect.) My sweet husband dug all the green gum drops out of the bulk candy bin at the grocery store, and I cut them into thirds using cooking scissors.

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I left a whole gum drop on the smash cake to make a large leaf. I used pretzel sticks for the apple stems. I used Carolina Charm’s tips for icing cupcakes (this tutorial has been a lifesaver for SO many parties!). After finishing Sage’s smash cake, it needed a little something, so I added a face with black gel icing and red sprinkles for cheeks.

Sage’s cake turned out smaller than I had planned after it broke in half while I was assembling it, but it ended up being the perfect size for his high chair tray. And honestly, it only stayed upright for a couple minutes, anyway…


Sage party 5

And then it just exploded.


And he started kneading the cake like dough.


It was almost therapeutic to watch.

Sage party 6


The face of a kid who LOVED his birthday.


Loved it! We marked his height on his new growth chart ruler, bobbed for more apples, and then it was off to bed for the birthday boy!

Sage |O-N-E

27 09 2015

Happy birthday, Sage! I can’t believe it has been a whole year since you made us a family of four. Today we party!

Sage Bartley - 12 months photo by Ashley Bartley - mom

Your First Birthday

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Wearing size 24 months and 2T | Long, wispy blond hair | Eyes – blue like mommy’s, shaped like daddy’s | Dimples for days | Sleeping in your crib | Teething | Nursing at least 3x a day and alllll night | Refuses bottles | Eats everything | Loves bananas | 92nd percentile for weight | 99th for head | Refuses Wubbanub | 10 fingers | 10 toes | Loves being worn | Wears cloth diapers | Climbs staircases | Smiles in a straight line | Rides tricycle | Walks with help | Gives sloppy kisses and hard hugs | Bites Mommy


(Bites Mommy.)




They grow so fast

| full article |



You and your brother are 26 months apart and the very best of friends. He’s the first person you call for in the morning from your crib, and he constantly looks out for you. Your brother is quick to say, “No more babies, I just want Sage.” <3













Sage, as you fell asleep (for round one) on the eve of your birthday, I prayed over you, so many things.

I love you.

Facebook Timeline Cover

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Sage 12 month birthday collage - photos by Ashley Bartley

Stitch Fix | September Review

15 09 2015

I was pleasantly surprised this fall to check my Stitch Fix account and see that I had a large credit to put toward my 4th fix! I had taken a long hiatus from Stitch Fix during my last pregnancy (although now they do offer a maternity line!). Last year at this time, I was super pregnant and wearing maxi skirts to work every day, so now I’m in need of new fall clothes!


This is literally my favorite part. Opening the box. (Try it!!)

My stylist listened to my requests in my style profile and found clothes that would be perfect for work or weekending with my family. I had specifically requested a light jacket, work pants, and long necklace similar to one by Kendra Scott. She also threw in a shirt for a date night, but let’s be real… I have 2 little guys at home that need all the time they can get with us on the weekend after a long week of preschool!

So let me just tell you how the unboxing went down. Now that I have a new job, its new location makes it easy to stop in at home before picking up my kids from daycare. So that’s exactly what I decided to do when my husband texted me that my Fix had arrived. We had an appointment scheduled that afternoon before we picked up the kids, so I ran home after work and in the comfort and quiet of my newly-clean room, I scoped out the box.


First glance: love olive, love all the stripes and neutrals. I only counted 4 clothing items, so I knew there’d be a jewelry piece involved. Stitch Fix always sends 5 items, and you can make your profile very specific as to what you’re looking for, what colors you love, and what types of pieces you’d like to receive. Being open-minded will allow your stylist to push you to try things you might overlook in the store that you end up loving!


Kut From The Kloth Siena Cropped Pant

These olive pants were an instant win. Love the fit – stretchy and flattering, while professional enough to wear to work and in a flattering olive color that goes with many pieces in my closet. I had requested an olive army jacket, so this was the next best thing. The pants did have one tiny flaw, so I was given the opportunity to get 15% off or exchange for a brand new pair… I took the discount, and a few easy stitches by hand will fix them right up.


Thrift store shirt, $2 :)

Target is running a sale this week on their Merona skinny fit cropped pants (BOGO 50% off), so I’ve bought a few more pairs similar to these in other colors.

Mystree Jackie Striped French Terry Asymmetrical Jacket

I also loved this jacket. I was on the fence about it for the entire 3 days that I was allowed to keep the box. I even went to Kohl’s and tried similar asymmetrical jackets, but they weren’t nearly the same quality. I also found the same jacket on the Stitch Fix BST Facebook board in my size and almost snatched that one up. In the end though, I decided to be good and only spend what I had received in referral credits. Otherwise, I’d be wearing it right now!


I heard a lot of feedback from other girls that this jacket was too short for them, but I have a super-short torso thanks to the spine surgery I had as a teenager, so the fit was perfect on me. I was a little weary of the busyness of the stripes but loved the navy and white. And the pockets! I could live in this jacket, so soft and thick. Alas, it was dry clean or hand-wash only, so… DEALBREAKER.



Renee C Charle Split Front Knit


Keeping an open mind… the first dolman I’ve ever tried. I loved the stretchy fit of this, the thin stripes, the navy color, and the uber-soft fabric — oh, it was cozy!, but that’s where the love story ended. I am personally not a fan of dolman sleeves and felt like I was swimming in this shirt.


Photobomber <3 I took this picture later when deciding what to keep!

Skies are Blue Galla Mesh Detail Sweater

Gahh. “Mesh sweater.” Whyyy. My stylist thought this would be “fun for a night out” paired with the long necklace she also sent.

First of all, KIDS. I had a vision of kissing my kids goodbye as I rushed out the door in this for an evening out with my hubby, their tiny fingers getting hooked in the fabric and literally tearing the sweater, fresh spit up seeping through each and every hole in the mesh, impossible to clean. It featured a striped pattern where one stripe was solid, one was mesh. Because of this, I’d need a cami, but then the straps would show. It didn’t seem one bit nursing friendly, either. The cut and fit were great, and my stylist’s intentions were good… but in the end it was a no-brainer to send back.



Nakamol Benton Beaded Pendant Necklace

This piece was interesting, but not enough for the price point. I was also afraid the chain would mess up, since it featured tiny beads that wanted to move around.

IMG_5354 IMG_5365(Also: I think I could make this?!) I did like the length and the way it hit. She gave it a good effort!

In the end, I used referral credits to purchase the pants, which ended up being free with the 15% discount added in. I even have money left over for my next Fix! She was on point with the cropped pants and striped jacket and came very, very close with the dolman and necklace. But quite a bit off the mark with the mesh sweater. Too bad, because if I had purchased all 5, I could have gotten 25% off the total.

I’ve updated my profile and my Pinterest board for my next Fix. Want to try it for yourself? Answer a series of questions about your sizes, preferences, color choices, etc., and link your own Pinterest board to see what 5 items your stylist will send! Use my link to sign up, and then use your own link to refer friends to accumulate credits in your account! Win-win. Thanks for reading!

See my past Fixes!

Linking up with Crazy Together (Kinder Craze) blog!

Stitch Fix Button Kinder Craze


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