"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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What I'm loving lately {July}

Linking up with 5Faves to share what I'm loving lately!

1. Beef jerky

Logan came home from Costco with this one day...
...and I was reminded of why I love him so. And turns out this is actually pork jerky. But seriously, these are so good. Perfect little thing to grab when I'm breastfeeding hangry. And I found their website and learned there are other flavors! But only this one was at Costco.

2. Lularoe

Their clothes are a bit pricey, but I think it's worth it. I love the Nicole dress (and wore one for Aaron's baptism), but my new favorite is the Perfect T. So freaking comfortable and I can still pull it down to nurse. And it's very forgiving in the belly area!
I may or may not have worn this black one a dozen times in the last few weeks. This particular fabric (because they're all different) works for dressing it up (I wore it with a nice skirt for my grandmother's visitation) or dressing down (like with these super comfy Old Navy shorts).

My sister is becoming a Lularoe consultant and Logan actually gave me a gift certificate for my birthday, sooo the obsession will continue.

3. Brownie Brittle

One of my friends brought by some breakfast foods for us and also included this lovely bag of specialness for just me, myself, and I. (I told you I had good people!)  IT'S SO GOOD. I finished the bag yesterday and totally regret it, only because the kids have been absolutely nuts today and I could use some good chocolatey goodness.

4. Granola

Yogurt with granola has been one of my go-to snacks this past month. So when I saw this at Costco, I was all, um, yes please. At first I was disappointed because I didn't notice any dark chocolate but it just must be a weight thing (with all the chocolate falling to the bottom of the bag) because now there's chunks of dark chocolate which makes it so very yummy.

5. Baby Aaron

I hope you're not tired of seeing baby pictures because I.just.can't.help myself. He's so cute. And sweet. And I'm just totally smitten!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It really does take a village

Well, we made it. Aaron is officially a month old and I'm still sane! Most of the time. ;)
Logan showed me this which is pretty hilarious because...yep. I feel pretty outnumbered. But honestly, I don't think having 3 children is harder than having 2 at this point. Just different. (I realllllly think it depends on your children's personalities. Just a personal theory. Because Aaron is my easiest child right now.)

I have to say that I'm SOOOO glad I was determined to rest as much as possible this postpartum period, because I know it has made such a difference. Especially because we weren't anticipating going to a funeral this month and everything that goes along with that. Plus our newest godchild was baptized last weekend! It's been a pretty crazy month and I know I would be a complete mess if I was also trying to do everything I was doing before getting pregnant.
I also have to say, though, that I know it wouldn't have been possible to do as much resting had it not been for my awesome friends and family. Logan was home the first week Aaron was born, my mom was here for the second week, and ever since then we've gotten 2-3 meals a week from friends. If you ever want to do something for a new mom, bring her food. Seriously. It's the best.
I've only attempted baking once while solo with the boys and this was that time. Chocolate banana bread is totally worth it though!

I've really been thinking about how different the postpartum period is in other parts of the world and I really wish our country would get with it. It's so important to support our new mommas! I'm so grateful for my "village."
Look! It's my roommate from college, Lauren! (I'm trying to get her to blog again...) Her family is staying here for a few days which is fun because it's my big 30th birthday tomorrow. And they have been soooo super helpful while Logan was at work last night and this morning. Like, I would have lost my mind without them. We even survived Mass without Logan! The big boys just love Lauren and Alex so they actually did pretty well for the most part.

My skirt and shirt are both from Target (I get really good deals on their clearance racks), as well as Lauren's skirt that she borrowed because her baby peed on her super cute capris. Linking up with Rosie for My Sunday Best! I need to remember to take all of our pictures outside because this picture came out really well!

I just have to say that this blog post happened because ALL 3 BOYS SLEPT FOR 2.5 HOURS. Praise Jesus. (And I'm certain that it will never happen again.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

God's timing...and how babies make everything better

Back in the fall, once my fertility finally returned after Chase's 1st birthday, Logan and I started feeling the pull towards having another baby. Pregnancy is a drastic lifestyle change for us, so I went back and forth about it a lot. One thing I knew, though, is that I really wanted to go on a weekend getaway with Logan before I got pregnant again. We hadn't done that since kids entered the picture (with the exception of a marriage retreat).

So as we tried to figure out a weekend that would work, we quickly realized how limited our options were - which is what happens with Logan working weekends and me in charge of a major silent auction at the time. As I looked at our calendar, one weekend stuck out to me in the middle of October. I just felt like if we didn't go THAT WEEKEND, it wouldn't happen at all.

Thankfully, it all worked out. We spent 36 hours in New Orleans with just the 2 of us, slept at a really nice hotel and ate a lot of yummy food. It was awesome.

Oh, and we also made a baby that night too, apparently. (TMI maybe but I DON'T CARE.)
This cute baby right here.

Yes, I knew at the time that a baby was possible. And no, I still wasn't sure how I felt about it. I mean, I totally wanted another baby...just not another pregnancy. (Now that Aaron is here, I'm realizing even more that pregnancy is just not fun - and this was the "easiest" pregnancy thus far! Oy vey.)

Well, I'm so glad it happened the way it did, because here we are, 10 months later, with the sweetest little baby. He sleeps well, eats well (and I'm exclusively breastfeeding! I still can't believe it!), and has been a source of comfort in these crazy, crazy times of shootings and terrorist attacks. I'm totally the type of person to get overwhelmed with the state of the world (it's how us melancholics roll, I hate to admit), and it's tempting to be even more discouraged since we just brought another innocent baby into the craziness...but he's actually been a little ray of light in the darkness. In more ways than one.

Last month, my grandma (dad's mom) was given just a few months to live. She's been battling cancer for awhile now, but suddenly declined and actually passed away last week. I was able to visit her back in November when I was just a few weeks pregnant. (She used to live relatively close but moved to Texas last year to live with my aunt.)
She was so adorable. (And hilarious and strong and devout and so, so much more.)

I knew when I left the hospital that day that I probably wouldn't see her again, assuming I was able to carry the pregnancy to term. What I didn't think about, though, is that she probably wouldn't get to meet her newest great-grandchild.

But her newest great-grandchild did make saying good-bye to her a little bit easier. At the wake, visitation, and funeral Mass. There were tears for my grandma and smiles for Aaron. My aunt held him during Mass and I know he comforted her at the end of what's been a really hard journey. It's been hard for everyone...but especially her. And I'm so glad God timed everything so Aaron could be here through it all. Babies really do make everything better.
Celebrating (with a toast) the life of an amazing woman. We love you, MoMo!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Recent Reads {July edition}

Lots of newborn snuggles means lots of reading! I feel like my "want to read" list is constantly growing that I kind of forget about my initial list. So maybe next month I'll cross more of those off my list! I only have 9 left out of the 27, so not too bad...and hey! I read 47 books total this year! I should probably increase my goal of 50 books, but I'm waiting until I actually complete it.

Here's what I read the past month and my random thoughts about them:

1. Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford

My word of the year is "rest" and I think this book fits perfectly with that. I did find it kind of repeated the same concepts over and over...but it was still a nice read if you like the memoir-type style of writing and if you need some encouragement to focus on what's really important in life. 3 stars

2. Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen

If I want to read a good Christian fiction novel, I look to Julie Klassen. My friends love her and recommended this one, and it was actually perfect reading leading up to Aaron's birth - which happened the day after I finished this book! Breastfeeding is a big part of the story and after purposely forgetting that I would soon have another baby to breastfeed (it wasn't easy for me AT ALL the first 2 times), this book actually made me look forward to it. So that was cool. 4 stars

3. Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

I've been having this ebook for awhile and finally read it this past week, thanks to all the resting I did. I did like it, especially because it was a lot about food. And it was about family and relationships, which is nice...but also depressing because it got me thinking about dysfunctional relationships and all and how common they are. A lot of people raved about this book which makes me think that's why I was slightly disappointed. Gotta hate when that happens. (If you're going to read a book by Katherine Reay, I think I liked Dear Mr. Knightley better.) 3 stars

4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

I've been rereading the series, and I can't believe how much I forgot. I mean, I know how it ends, but I don't remember many details and it's kind of driving me crazy. I still think Goblet of Fire is my favorite book so far...this one just seemed kind of drawn out. And of course the ending made me go all "WTH??" I need to recover before I read the last one. 4 stars

5. Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft

This was my read for the category "a book by a Catholic professor" in June. Perfect book because it was short and simple but definitely insightful. I do think the title is a little misleading, because it's not exactly a how to pray book - it's more of a why you should pray book. But I loved it and recommend it. 5 stars

6. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I was on the library waitlist for this for a couple months and finally read it last week. I honestly didn't really read the description first - I just knew it was a bestseller and people liked it, including a couple close friends. Had I known what it was about, I probably wouldn't have read it when I did (having a newborn and all) because it was pretty depressing. But I liked the story and Tom was my favorite character. (And I'm so excited to see who's playing him in the movie coming out in January!! Mr. Rochester!) 4 stars

7. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

This was my pick for this month for "a book you should have read in high school". Maaaaybe it's more of a middle school book, but I needed something easy for my tired brain. I liked it! But I also like classics. It reminded me of Hatchet, except a female version. It's probably not for everybody though... 4 stars

Linking up with Kelly for 7QT! Go check out everybody else's posts.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday fun

Today Aaron was baptized! We don't waste any time around here.
My cousin and his wife are Aaron's godparents, pictured here with our awesome priest. :) I love this picture.

Baptism Day also means I have pictures of what I wore! Linking up with Rosie again for My Sunday Best.
My dress: Lularoe, Nicole style
Chase's outfit: Target - pretty sure I got it for like $12 a couple years ago
Landon's shirt and belt: Carter's
(no clue where Logan's stuff is from, if y'all cared, and Landon's pants were hand-me-downs)

Logan's parents on the left, my parents on the right
Landon actually wore the same outfit Chase is wearing for Chase's baptism...so obviously I had to keep the tradition going. And all 3 boys have worn the same outfit when getting baptized! I wish I had gotten a better picture of Aaron in it...
Lighting sucks but here's our little setup that my detail-oriented self just had to do (I have a problem, I really do). But! I totally made the banner several months ago and ordered all the food, including the cake, which is a first for me. (Huge sheet cake from Costco for $19! Hollerrrr)

And in other news, we officially have a 2-year old in the house again.
No cake, no clean bowls...just ice cream in whatever container we could find, complete with 2 candles. Because we're fancy. #postpartumlife

I'm hoping to get back to some real writing soon, but my mom is leaving tomorrow (*sob*) so I may have some adjusting to do first. She's been the absolute best!

One last thing! If you could say a prayer for my grandmother (my dad's mom), I would really, really appreciate it. She's not doing well and likely won't make it to the end of the month.

I don't want to end on a depressing note, so here I will leave you a quote from a book I'm reading by Peter Kreeft, Prayer for Beginners: "Prayer does not exist for its own sake; it exists to transform us into saints."

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Postpartum life

Welllll I wasn't intending to take a mini-break from the blog, but it's actually been kind of nice - I think it's been years since I've gone longer than a week to post something!
So! I had a baby! And he's super cute. I know I'm biased and all, but all the nurses in the hospital totally agreed. I have to say I'm still having a hard time believing he's actually here and how perfect he is...he eats well, sleeps well, and is pretty chill unless you're changing his diaper. That could change, of course, but for now I'm super grateful.

I'm still dealing with some pain from surgery, but thankfully I've had help for the past 2 weeks (with the exception of like 3 days). So when there's another adult around (Logan or my mom, who's staying here this week), I don't do a whole lot other than read, sleep, and take care of Aaron. It's really nice and I know I'm really blessed!
Not a flattering picture of me (Logan took it on the sly) but this is an accurate description of what Aaron and I have been doing a lot of when there's another adult around...recliners are the best.
Landon was super excited about Aaron from the beginning and loves patting him randomly and saying, "Awww, Aaron!"
Chase took a week or so to warm up, but now he affectionately calls him "Arrow" - which is pretty funny considering Logan and watched the TV show Arrow while I was pregnant and Logan totally joked (well, maybe he was serious...) about using the nickname Arrow for Aaron.

I'm still very much in postpartum mode, hiding out at home as much as possible, which is honestly the first time I've done this and I highly, highly recommend it. I'm still so tired (even though Aaron really does sleep well for the most part), and having some pain, so I couldn't imagine how I would feel if I was running around town. I've really just left the house for doctor appointments so far - and we've had THREE, ugh - and now I totally think house calls should be a thing again. Seriously.
One of the bad things about c-sections - super puffy face! Ugh. Darn fluids. And silly hairnets.

Part of the birth story has already been written and I would probably be done if it hadn't been for all the phone calls and paperwork I had to deal with the past couple of weeks. It kind of takes all my (limited) brain power, ya know? Here are some highlights just to tide you over: being accompanied to Labor and Delivery by 6 friends, Aaron latching on in the OR, going the longest amount of time ever without eating a meal, and almost needing a D&C after the C-section because I wouldn't stop clotting/bleeding. Fun times. (The first day was rough but I'm totally good now!)

We've got a fun/busy weekend ahead, with Chase's 2nd birthday and Aaron's baptism. Yay!


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