"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our week in pictures: I have a cute baby

I have a cute toddler too, I just have some cute pictures of Chase this week!

I remember Landon in this outfit!
Post-bath. I should have turned off the TV...
I married a romantic. In-home date night!
My 2 dates ;)
Is it just me or does Chase look like he has a combover? #stillcutethough

I put this hat on him and couldn't stop laughing. Love this boy.
Landon's 3rd Buddy Walk!
Chase's 1st time at the Buddy Walk!

Landon loooooves Mickey on TV but he wasn't too sure about this one...
So much fun = exhaustion
This dog right here is the reason I will never get 2 dogs at once (sorry, Mom, she's cute but…)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

5 faves (vol.5) - new habits that save my sanity

It's been awhile since I linked up, and now there's a new host for 5 favorites! Jenna at Call Her Happy. I actually follow her blog anyway so it's alllll good.

So, I've been trying to make life simpler and thought I'd share 5 new favorite "habits" that have been helping me not feel so overwhelmed with life. Here we gooooo.

1. Keep the kitchen sink empty.
I know, I know, this sounds weird. But let me tell you, the rest of my house can be a MESS, and I will feel great about life as long as my kitchen sink is clean. Because for some reason keeping up with the dishes makes me more motivated to keep the counters clean, and a clean kitchen means a happy Jen. Also, a clean kitchen sink somehow motivates me to just clean everything else (doesn't always happen, because, um, baby and toddler rule my life, but you know).

2. Don't start a new load of laundry until you fold what's already in the dryer.
Yet again, sounds weird. But I will get so into doing load after load without actually folding anything…and then I want to run away from the mountains of clean laundry. So! I make sure everything clean is already folded before running another load. It's a good motivator to actually fold, because hello! We do need clean underwear and that's not happening until the towels are folded.

3. Crockpot it up, baby.
I'm not ashamed to say we typically have the same meals over and over, especially if it's in the crockpot - don't fix what's not broken, right? Our absolute favorite is so, so simple - chicken, taco seasoning, and salsa in the crockpot for 6 hours on low. Then serve on tortillas with cheese. We also tend to add refried beans to our tacos to make the meat stretch (because chicken is expensive, yo). My favorite part is how I can throw everything in at lunch time and leave it - then it's ready by dinner time. Win win (especially if Logan is working the evening shift…dinner can sit there until I'm ready!).

4. Eat some now, freeze some for later.
With most things I bake/cook, I'll freeze some to save time in the kitchen later. Make 2 dozens of blueberry muffins? Keep 1 dozen out for quick breakfast food and freeze the other dozen. Made a big pot of spaghetti? Freeze half for another night. You get the idea!

5. Keep the TV off and the laptop closed.
This one is probably the hardest but makes the most difference. Yes, I feel like I deserve to watch an episode on Netflix if both boys are miraculously napping at the same time, buuuuut I usually feel guilty with things still on my to-do list. And I feel much better about life if I use that precious quiet time to pray, read, write, or catch up on housework.

Hope these help you too! Got any other tips for me?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sometimes it's worth the risk (heck, it's ALWAYS worth it)

During my crazy pregnancy with Chase, I had this fear that I would get pregnant soon after he was born. Somehow, his pregnancy was even rougher for me than Landon's was - both emotionally and physically - and the thought of having to do it again so soon after freaked.me.out. It really is an irrational fear, because I didn't get with my period with Landon until the day before he turned a year old. I breastfed him for a year but he mostly got formula, and now Chase is mostly breastfed with just a little bit of formula. So, you would think my chances of getting pregnant anytime soon are even lower than they were with Landon.

But that still doesn't make me feel better. I feel bad even writing about this, because I know several women (including close friends) who would probably give anything right now to be pregnant. And here I am, thinking I cannot get pregnant, nope, nope, nope. 

I should clarify something though, just to make sure you're understanding me. I would love another baby. Totally. Chase is such a good baby that I'm all like, awwww, I could have another of you, yes I could! But being pregnant? Nope. I don't know how I manage to have ridiculous pregnancies, because my mom carried twins with no problem (except one episode of preterm labor, but totally normal considering), and my sister didn't have any big problems with her pregnancy. 

Anyway. I do have a point.

As difficult as my last 2 pregnancies were, I can't help but look at my 2 boys every single day and think how they were so worth it. Every time I threw up, every contraction (and um, I had a million), and every troubling ultrasound. It could have been really, really easy to just call it quits after Landon because of the bed rest and insanity and not knowing how I would ever survive a pregnancy while taking care of another kid. And it'd even be easier after Chase to call it quits because heck no, I don't want another pregnancy roller coaster ride.

But here I am, with my 2 boys, and I am so glad I decided to say yes. Yes to life, yes to the crazy pregnancies, and most importantly, yes to the possibility of loss. After we lost Levi, I honestly didn't know if I wanted to be pregnant again, because the thought of experiencing the same thing was just too much to bear. And with each baby, it's like that fear grows, because you realize even more how precious each life is and the thought of losing one of your babies is frightening (especially if you've already experienced it).

As scary as it to think about yet another crazy pregnancy, or even worse, losing another baby, I can't help but think that God knows what He's doing. So much good has come out of so much bad these last 5 years, so I don't want my fears to make me miss out on what could be another blessing. 

*I should say that Logan and I are not trying to have another baby right now. But if that were to happen unexpectedly, we would embrace it! God knows best! Just saying. :)

These two right here? So worth it.
"Real love is demanding. I would fail in my mission if I did not tell you so. Love demands a personal commitment to the will of God." Pope John Paul II
P.S. It's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month! Please pray for those who have lost babies. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our week in pictures: I love this weather

Chase likes tummy time!
His first walk in the actual stroller seat and not the infant carrier
Landon looooves going for a walk

So happy with our laundry room!

I wish this one wasn't so blurry! Chase loves when Landon plays with him. So cute.
Eating a popsicle while Daddy works in the yard. (Photo bombed by Marley)
Playing with his cousins (boys are so messy!)
Chase is serious like his momma ;)
But not always! :)
He grabbed a toy for the first time
Enjoying the weather! Sigh. I love this sweet boy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

House Pictures - Laundry Room

Man, it's literally been years since I've posted a house project. Guess that's what happens when you have a couple babies within a couple years ;)

So! Our laundry room. We've added things here and there, and of course, I don't think I took pictures through the entire process. Oh well.
But here's the laundry room before we officially bought the house. (And let me just tell you now we still have that same window valance on there. *hangs head in shame* I guess we should update that finally!)

Obviously, we bought a washer and dryer to go in this room, and then a shelf to go over that. Once we started cloth diapering, we installed a utility sink. We also put in a pantry cabinet for more storage. And then even more recently (like, this past week), we moved the pantry to the kitchen (since we don't have a kitchen pantry) and installed more shelves and storage instead. Now for the pictures!
 Logan is hiding behind the door of the panty (which was open). So I guess you could say this is a before picture.
Technically another before picture. I have a drying rack I use for delicates and diaper covers, and now that the pantry is gone, I'll probably just keep this rack out all the time (I used to fold it up and put it away between uses). Check out that empty space on the wall….
Bam! I have shelves now!
The lone shelf over the washer has been there for awhile now, but it just wasn't cutting it - I'm too short to reach over for a lot of it so now I have all the stuff I rarely use on that shelf.

 I can't tell you how useful a utility sink is…seriously! Our diaper pail for cloth diapers is beneath the sink, in case you were wondering. And that wooden cabinet? Freeeeeee! It's from Logan's parents' house and has been sitting in our garage for awhile.
That thingy on the wall to the right is pretty sweet and I can't believe how long we went without having one. Keeps our broom/mop/etc out of the way!
The laundry room is not exactly Pinterest-worthy, but it's totally practical and exactly what I needed...I actually don't mind doing laundry anymore. (Kidding. It does make it more bearable though.) ;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Our week in pictures: I forgot

Well, you wouldn't believe how much stuff I can get done when I leave the TV off and my laptop closed. So you can blame me forgetting about our weekly pictures on my productivity. (That's a good thing, though!!)
A little Target trip. Love love love this carrier!
Father/son bonding time
We went outside and all he wanted to do was have me pull him in the wagon
My little helper!
So excited on the way to the pumpkin patch
Too much pumpkin excitement for Chase
Y'all, the weather was so nice! Hot, but pretty.

Ice cream fun
Poor Chase didn't get any ;) (not that he needs it!)
When Logan is home at night, we bathe the boys together and it's so cute :)
This dude! Happy about being 3 months old

Landon was alllll about sorting these beads. We were making kids' rosaries!


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