Friday, June 29, 2012

Our Getaway via {Instagram}

Last week we had a mini-staycation in Lexington, KY (about an hour and a half away) to visit the little town of Wilmore for the Ichthus Festival.  We had originally planned to have the kids stay with my sister-in-law for two days and then bring them down with us for the remaining two days, but do plans ever work?

Miss Laynie Lou started coughing and acting sick, so we changed our plans and just took them with us.  After all, we were close enough to go home if she ended up with something other than a cold. 

{Cross and the night sky as captured by Layne}

We had a lazy schedule of sleeping until 10, going to brunch, returning to the hotel to swim with friends, napping, and headed to the concerts from 5-6 until 10-11 every night.  It was physically exhausting for the kids (and us), but was so much fun.

{I was spoiled getting to spend all day for 5 days with my hubby!}

Ichthus Festival is a Christian music festival on a farm in the middle of no where.  This is our 4th or 5th time going in the past 14 years and we absolutely love it.  In the past, we've camped for the weekend with our Youth Group. Since they decided not to go this year, we stayed in a hotel close by and hung out with a few families from our church that went.

{Enjoying the concerts after dark}

{Laynie and my niece Emma - they joined us on Fri and Sat}

The kids loved hearing the music live that we listen to every day on the radio.  They were totally star struck that these were the same people they hear all the time.  I wish I would've gotten pictures, but they even got to sit on the edge of the stage to hear one of Layne's favorite artists, Jamie Grace, sing.  And...she waved to them.

More importantly, they learned what it meant to "worship" God in whatever way they can.  They witnessed total strangers singing, waving flags, and dancing for our God.  It was an awesome experience.  And what I loved was that they danced so much harder when they were dancing for Him.

{Hello, freckles!}

We were a little apprehensive about braving temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s.  It was extremely hot at times, but cooled off nicely by around 8pm.  And we had lots of excuses for ice cream and Italian Ice. 

Now we are home.  Back to reality.  It's been a huge struggle to get our kids back on their schedules of going to bed by 9 instead of 11 or 12.  I've been exhausted without my 2 hour afternoon nap :)  And the kids have really missed being with their mommy and daddy 24 hrs a day. 

{Holy 100 degree temperatures, batman!}

And this is what we came home to this week.  Temperatures topping 100 degrees for several days in a row.  Thank God Ichthus was last week and not this week!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

{From This Crazy Kitchen} Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Tortilla Bowls

I can't wait to share this fun summer salad with you!  And it's not your typical "salad."  I shared over at The CSI Project last week.  I had a dish like this at a Pampered Chef party YEARS ago.  When I couldn't find the recipe...I developed my own!  And what I love about this is that you can make it your own too!

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You'll need:
Assortment of Fruit {Go for a variety of colors!}
Flour Tortillas {any size, but 8-10" would be best
Cinnamon Sugar {mine is 1/4 c sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of cinnnamon}
Cooking Spray
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Start out by making your bowls!  Preheat oven to 350F.  My flour tortillas were 12" wraps, so I took a knife and cut approximately 1 inch around the whole wrap to make a 10" tortilla.  If you already have 8-10" tortillas, no cutting is required!

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Shape your bowls in a regular sized muffin tin.  This is your chance to be creative and make some fun, cute designs!  I stuck with a simple three fold bowl with my folds all going in the same direction.  I wouldn't recommend baking more than 6 in a muffin tin that holds 12.  This gives them room to not be bunched up!

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Next, spray the bowls {not the tin} generously with cooking spray and cover well with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are turning golden.

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My next task was to occupy my kids, so I gave them scraps and butter knives and let them go to town making their own cinnamon chips!
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Now for the actual salsa...don't blink, or you might miss the instructions!  Chop your fruit into small chucks and mix together!  That's it :)

I used strawberries, kiwi, mango, and pineapple in my recipe.  It would look beautiful with some red grapes or blueberries too! I much prefer fresh pineapple, but I used crushed canned in a pinch.  In hindsight, pineapple chunks would have been a better choice. {You can also add a few tablespoons of sweetener - honey, brown sugar, or sugar, but after tasting, I didn't think mine needed any!}

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Wait until just before serving and fill your bowls and serve!  If you fill too early before serving, your bowl bottoms will likely get soggy and fall out.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What the Baby Books Don't Tell You!

I've loved this series over at Life Rearranged.

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It has prompted me to come up with my own list of what the Baby Books don't tell you!

When I think back, I'm immediately drawn to my pregnancy and birth with Layne.  I was young (22-23) and was just so excited to actually be having a baby.  I didn't give much thought to the birth itself.  I read What to Expect While Expecting - worse pregnancy book ever.

I also bought into my family history way too much.  My mom had three c-sections because her pelvic bones were too narrow.  I am shorter than she is.  I was there for my baby sister's first daughter's birth where she had a failed induction that led to a c-section.  Deep down, I was scared and partially convinced that I may have to have a c-section.  I'd shared my concerns with my OB and everything.

And history repeated itself for me (Layne's Birth Story).  I was offered to be induced at 41 weeks (really 40 wks 3 days according to my true due date) and I jumped at the opportunity!  Yes, I was ready to meet my baby!  But there was no medical reason for induction.  After 18 hrs of pitocin labor, the doctor said I wasn't progressing and offered a c-section.  He didn't force me into it or make me feel like I had to do it, but I said yes...and was wheeled into surgery.

What I didn't know...and the baby books didn't tell me, was that there is a whole community out there with amazing information that rebukes the way that America view birth.  And sadly, I didn't find any of this information until I was pregnant with Baby #2. 

I made a lot of bad decisions.  Agreeing to the induction (which greatly increases your chance for C-section), getting the epidural so soon and not being able to move around and get baby in a better position, not waiting longer before I agreed to the c-section and so on. Sometimes c-sections are necessary and can save the life of a baby (like Owen) or a momma, but mine wasn't necessary.  And the baby books didn't tell me what I needed to know to avoid it.

Now I know better.  My body isn't broken!  It can birth a baby!  Gray was born via VBAC.  And now I'm planning another VBAC...hopefully a natural one!

Also - check out what Jeannett's purpose is on her blog.  I love it.  Raising funds for worth causes...like Xander's Adoption Fund and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Curse of the Pirate Fonts!

Since my pirate party and pirate printable invitation, I've had a few questions about what fonts I used.  I didn't use all of these, but here are the fonts that I found and downloaded when looking for bucanneer inspiration!

Click the links below the image to go to the free font downloads!

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Bellamy's Mapbats (included in Black Sam's Gold Download)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fancy Shmancy Blog Address!

I took the plunge and bought my blog domain!  We now have a .com!

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I had been wanting to do this for a long time, but I just couldn't justify spending money on my little ole blog.  when I saw this post from Maggie @ Midwestern Girl DIY, I was totally convinced.  $10!!!!  Really!?!  If you want to find out how to do it, go check out Maggie's post.

So...now no .blogspot.com is needed.  If you ever want to come over and check something out, it's just .com now :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One day I will miss this...

Thanks to Mama Birth's recent post for this cute idea.  It really made me reflect on the little things that sometimes annoy me in the moment, but I know that I will miss when my babies get bigger {or when the new guy comes out}.  And other things that I just love, love, love, and don't want to forget.


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{wth Gray}
1.  "Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom."  - "What Gray?"  -  "Um.  I love you."
2.  "I so sirsty."  {thirsty}
3.  The need for his BB {blanket} to nap.  Annoying when we don't have it with us.  Glorious when we do.
4.  Coming out of his room 20 times before he lays down and goes to sleep.
5.  Wearing shoes on the wrong feet...about 80% of the time.
6.  The naked dance he does in the mirror before bath
7.  Watching him wrestle with daddy
8.  The devastation of being somewhere without his big sissy {leads to total meltdown...Lord help us come August!}
9.  The snuggles after he wakes up.  It's a glimpse of my baby boy...not preschool boy
10. The want to play girl things like dress up, make-overs, etc.  {sorry, dad!}

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{with Layne}
1.  The pure joy of finding out we're going for ice cream.
2.  The 8 minute song that was just made up that you have to listen to {and God forbid anyone speak during it}
3.  The innocent prayers at bedtime.  "For everyone in the world to be safe."
4.  The need for kisses on boo-boos still.
5.  Sleeping in our bed.  can't stand it now.  I'll miss it one day.
6.  The 1000 drawings that are drawn for us weekly.  {each says Layne.  Mom.  on it}
7.  Her sewing projects.  I will not miss the millions of fabrics scraps that result from them!
8.  "Mommy, you're the best mommy in this world.  And I will never forget you."
9.  Mistakes when talking...like "girl scoutch" instead of "girl scout" when telling me about her recent dream
10. Her still wanting me to sing "Mommy loves her baby"

{The Belly has taken over my lap!}

{with Baby Knox}
1.  Swift kicks to the ribs {happening as I type this}
2.  The big kids insisting on kissing the belly 20 times before bedtime.
3.  Having him all to myself for the next few weeks.  Protected.  Not yet in this world.
4.  Heartburn ... nah.  I won't miss this one!


{Five things I'm looking forward to}
I've made huge effort over the last several months to live in the moment.  To be content in this season of my life.  {Totally recommend The Resolution for Women book.  It's life-changing!}  But at the same time, there are some things that I'm looking forward to in the next few months.

1.  Knox's Birth...not something most people look forward to, but I cannot wait.
2.  Experiencing the excitement of Layne starting school.
3.  Having some personal 1:1 time with Grayson
4.  Not stepping foot in work for at least 12 months.
5.  Nursing my new boy.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Amazing Faithfulness...

On the Thursday, May 17th, I got a text from one of my best friends, Tiffany, that she was being induced because of her recent NST (non-stress test).  {She was the one I made the Baby B Quilt for}  I was sooo excited for her and was texting back and forth with her until about 5:45 AM.  They were getting ready to break her water.  I couldn't wait to go visit her and her new baby boy later that afternoon!

On my way to work, I received a call from one of our other best friends asking me if I had heard.  I told her that we had been texting and I was so excited for Tiffany...well apparently, I hadn't heard the news she was calling to tell me.  Tiffany was rushed in for an emergency c-section and her sweet baby boy was intubated to help his breathing and was rushed to the NICU.  I quickly detoured on my way to work and headed right to the hospital.

Apparently there was a knot in his cord and it was wrapped around his neck four times.  When they broke her water, the knot tightened, cutting off his oxygen supply. 

That day and the following week were a whirlwind for me...so I can't even imagine what it was like for our friends, Tiffany and Adam.  Sweet baby Owen Hunter was transferred to Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

{Day 1}

The family went through so many ups and downs over the next few days.  He was placed on a cooling bed to help regulate his breathing and heart rate.  He went from being intubated to breathing on his own to being intubated again and back to breathing on his own within 3 days.  He had seizures that were being monitored and so much more.  One step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, and so on.

{Day 3 - First time as a whole family}

What amazed me was the faith of this sweet boy's momma and daddy.  They continued to praise Jesus through this storm.  And they remained faithful.  Through this, I really understood what true faithfulness is.  Having faith is one thing, but truly being faithful is something totally different.  It's remaining and keeping your faith even in adversity...even when you can't see what God's plan is.  It's continuing to bring honor and glory to Him through any circumstance.

{Day 5 - Finally getting to hold him}

I was also amazed at the outpouring of love that our friends were given.  By our entire church, the Facebook community, their other friends and family.  It was amazing to see so many people praying and lifting up baby Owen.  Each of their Facebook updates had over a hundred likes and comments.  And though they may not have realized it, Adam and Tiffany were witnessing to their several hundreds of friends through every update.  And I they touched hundreds of hearts.


{Day 8 - IV Free!}

{Day 9 - Going Home}

Baby Owen got to go home so much sooner than everyone anticipated.  He eats like a champ and is a great baby for his momma and daddy.  Brain scans showed some brain damage from lack of oxygen, but they know that God is a miracle worker and only time will tell.

Here's Adam's Update when they found out.

"Damage to basal glanglia bc of lack of oxygen at birth. As of now, there's no way of knowing how it'll affect Owen in the future. But possibly gross motor problems. It's something we'll have to do early intervention, etc to work with him on. On the other hand ...they said he could be perfectly fine. They said no way of knowing until he gets a little older. I do know one thing, God is in our corner and with Jesus all things are possible."

{Me and baby Owen on Day 8}

Through this all, I learned a few important lessons.

1) I serve an awesome God.  He was with Tiffany and Owen the entire time and He is the reason for how amazing Owen is doing.  All the glory is to Him.

2) I already knew it, but I have amazing friends.  Tiffany and Adam's faithfulness was amazing.  I can only pray that if I'm ever faced with as difficult situation as this, that I can be as faithful as they are.

3) I have an awesome church family and community.  

Tiffany & Adam - I love you guys!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Water Babes!

Last weekend was HOT  HOT  HOT!  And since Mamaw and Papaw's pool isn't open yet, we decided to head out and buy a $2.50 sprinkler!

While big sis was swimming on a playdate, Gray and I had some special "Mommy and Gray time."  I pulled out my non-maternity tankini {which covered about 50% of the belly, LOL} and we held hands and ran through the sprinkler until a thunderstorm showed up!

After Layne got home, they went at it again.  It was so much fun capturing their joy and excitement and playing with my camera. 

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{FYI - In case you were wondering, I used f stop of 1/2500 for most of these pictures.}