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November 5, 2015

CMA 2015 Red Carpet

I may not be a country music fan, But I am definitely a fan of a great red carpet.
 The one thing I do have to say, male country singers really bring their A game to the CMA's!

Aw, So pretty!

Well, That's.....

Men of the night!

October 30, 2015

Book Club: How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran


Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.

This book has a 3.7/5 on Goodreads.com

October 27, 2015

Breastfeeding a Toddler

I have never hid the fact that I still breastfeed my 18 month old.
I’m not shoving my engorged breast in anyone’s face either.

However I do get asked when I’m going to stop nursing my son.
My reply is always the same.

When we are both ready.

Breastfeeding has changed and grown along with my child.

In the beginning breastfeeding was a test. Could I feed my child all on my own?
For the first 2 weeks I couldn’t, and my brother’s wife was generous with her overflowing stash of milk that she had for my niece, who was 6 months at the time.

Then breastfeeding was how I slept.
I was napping with Jaxon until he was a year old.
His second nap of the day would happen after I got him home from being watched at a family member’s house while I was at work. I was tired, he was tired. It was a win-win for everyone. I was so sad when Jaxon stopped that solid second nap.
Now it’s hit or miss.
More often, miss.

Then breastfeeding was how Jaxon slept.
If I am completely honest, we are still in this stage.
{Sleepy Milka face.}
I use breastfeeding to get him down for a nap or bed.
When he wakes up in the middle of the night, I nurse him back to sleep.

At this moment in my breastfeeding career, it is that quiet moment in a storm.
When my independent and growing toddler settles down and focuses on one single thing.
Me and what I can truly give him.

Yes, nursing a toddler is hard.
He is a toddler. Always on the go. He pulls on the neck of my shirt if he is upset or tired. He wiggles and squirms. Drops things he has to have. Pokes me in the eye or tries to stick his finger up my nose. We have nursing conversations about his cars or blocks. He grabs my phone or nook, trying to read it himself. He has started humming little songs, at least I think they are songs, content in bouncing his legs on the arm of our rocking chair. He also sometimes wants me to read him a book while he nurses. He stops to talk to the dog or cat if they pass by. And it’s game over if Daddy happens to come into the room.
But, I love it.
{Discreetly nursing out and about in the ergo. He just looked like he was sleeping.}

Yes, he sometimes bites me.
It’s a serious matter too. I say ‘Ouch!’ rather loudly and sit him up. We look at each other and I say ‘We do NOT bite.’ Tears start and I let it happen. He may not have hurt me intentionally, but I try to use the moment to show him that his actions have consequences. I always lay him back down once he settles down, and he nurses again. If he does it a second time, he is sternly told ‘No biting.’ And is set down.  
It doesn’t happen very often, thankfully.

When will he be ready?
I don’t know.
When he is.
When will I be ready?
I don’t know.
I’m pretty sure that it’s a possibility that my body will be done producing milk before I am ready to stop nursing Jaxon. And that doesn’t upset me. I have no timeline or age goal for breastfeeding. It’s never an agenda. I’m not doing it to prove anything. I’m doing it because I enjoy that time with my son.

October 6, 2015

Book Club: The Thirteenth Tale


Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author's tale of gothic strangeness -- featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

This book has a 3.93/5 on goodreads.com.

October 5, 2015

67th Emmy's Red Carpet

This was a better night for the Red Carpet. A lot of the looks were not amazing, but not horrible. But I am enjoying most of the outfit choices, even the interesting ones!

Interesting, but pleasing!

Very Nice

Umm.... No, Thank you.

Winner of the night!
{All class, no fuss!}

{The whimsical! I adore how fun this is!}

October 1, 2015

A Fall Renewal

The air is refreshingly crisp.
The sunshine is nice and warm.
The leaves are changing.

I adore fall. I can't seem to get enough of it.

Give me sweatshirts and jeans every day, please. 

I've been busy living life and haven't put much thought into posting lately. Admittedly, lately I have been in a kinda dark place. Life was, seemingly, at a stand still and it was slowly poisoning my attitude. 

But it's fall now.

And just as the trees do this time of year, it's time for me to shed my heavy burden and step into a renewed spirit.

The Lord has a plan for me. Has a plan for my family.

Life is finally moving forward!

September 21, 2015

Co-Sleeping with a Toddler

We area co-sleeping family.

We were a co-sleeping family.

Sharing a bed was the most natural thing in the world for us, as a family. We all loved snuggling and the convenience of night feeding. The bonding time of sweet sleepiness at night and the funny little morning coos and tickles. It is the stuff hallmark cards are made of. Every warm feel.

It was never that Jaxon being in a different room was an issue. He usually spent his first sleep of the night in his crib, but because it would take nearly 45 minutes for him to fall back asleep, I would just bring him to bed after that and nurse whenever he fussed.

Even the ‘bad’ nights weren’t bad, just hard because you want to be asleep.
No child that young is purposely trying to upset you.
There are so many things that contribute to crying in the middle of the night. Our biggest night issue was gas. Jaxon has always taken extra air when he nurses. You can sometimes hear the air go down. That on top of how hard he is to get to burp… It’s like the perfect storm. 

The other thing that is interesting is that once a toddler reaches a certain age, they like to sleep in all kinds of positions and places. Rolling this way and that. Throwing elbows and feet every which way. I woke up with his arm resting across my face and his legs propped up on mine… My little, crowding, starfish.

The night before we decided that night weaning was going to happen, Jaxon had a fit that lasted from 11-1:30. Finally we got a big burp out of him while I was hiding in the dark closet between our rooms, bouncing him. (I didn’t want to wake the families on either side of our set of rooms.) after burping, he quieted and I tried nursing him back to sleep…

Only to wake up 30 minutes later with him arching and whining due to his other end. The poor little man had so much air in his stomach that I could pat it and hear the hollowness. That pattern continued with him waking and me trying to nurse him sitting up and rocking to get his gas moving until I ran out of milk and we were both near tears. Finally, after my last 45 minute stretch of sleep, my alarm went off at 5:15am. I snuck out of the bed to shower in peace.

Jake and I decided that since he spent a sleepless night without milk, we would try to night wean him. He already had a head start and experienced a frustrating night with momma comforting him. It was dad’s turn. Jake and I set a plan of attack. I would do bath, nursing and prayers, he would do book, bedtime and any other time Jaxon was up. I tucked myself into bed and was up every time they were. Poor boys. I know he was up quite a bit… But the longest stretch was crazy enough that sesame street was necessary to calm Jaxon down.

They barely made it through the night. When I heard Jaxon fussing before my alarm, I went in and plucked him off the floor, where Jake was laying with him, and nursed him back to sleep while kicking Jake out and into bed.

We were all pretty tired that day.

Gearing up for night 3 of terror, We repeated the attack plan. Jaxon woke up at 11:45, like normal and because Jake wasn’t feeling great I nursed him back to sleep, put him in his crib, and went back to our bed.

The next thing I know, my alarm is going off.

I felt Jake wake up to the sound of my alarm and asked him how many times he went in to Jaxon.
‘None. And you only went in once, at 11.’

We high fived.
Now I am positive that this is not the end of our nighttime issues.
But it is a step in the right direction.

September 2, 2015

Don't Be Afraid

Did you know that 'fear not' and many other variations of 'do not be afraid' are in the bible 365 times. 

It is one of the biggest messages that the bible has to tell.

Do not be afraid.

Do you think it is a coincidence that there are 365 days in a year?

I don't believe in coincidences.

For me 'fear not' isn't about living without fear of anything, but acknowledging my fear and moving beyond it. 

I this week has been one where my anxiety grows day by day. The kind of fear that makes me second guess myself. That my life is smoke and mirrors. That the people I love aren't who I thought they were, or they have changed and I annoy able to keep up. That nothing will change while I am forced to remain stagnant do to circumstance. It's all based on fear.

Today, I'm praying a little more often and a little more intensely.

August 31, 2015

Stitch Fix: August

Anyone who knows me can agree that I am an online shopper.
There is something about seeing a box on the front porch that makes any random day feel like Christmas morning.
I have joined direct sales companies, subscription boxes, researched personal grocery shopping…
Did you know that you can get groceries delivered?
I know, right?!

Ok, it’s not really all that bad. 
But I do prefer shopping online to going to the store, now that I have a toddler.
There is something about taking an independent, stubborn, 1 year old into a clothing store that just makes me want to go to bed and put the covers over my head.
Believe me when I say that I have tried everything to keep that kid entertained while shopping. Cool carts, wrap carriers, snap carriers, letting him ‘push’ the cart (our most successful).
But if we happen to pass the fish in the grocery store (thanks a lot Meijer) it’s game over, and I’m abandoning my cart and chasing a running toddler through the pet isles.

I’ll admit, every once in a blue moon I need some actual retail therapy with my sister(s), but when it comes to the daily?
Drop it at my door please.

Ever heard of Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a subscription company that provides you with a personal shopper who can assesses your personal style profile and chooses you 5 items that you have 3 days to try on and decide if you are keeping it or sending it back. Then the $20 you pay for the subscription goes toward the item you choose to keep. If you choose to buy all 5 pieces, you get a 25% discount off of your entire purchase!

When you first sign up you fill out a Style Profile where you give your sizes and clothing taste/preferences. Then they give you a blank place to outline anything else you want your personal stylist to know about you and your wardrobe.
It was super easy and took maybe, 10 minutes.
Then you schedule your shipment.

I chose to not have automatic shipments, due to playing it by ear when it comes to my budget. You never know when you are going to have to pay for new brakes on your car.
You can choose every month, every other month, every three months.... Or choose, like I did, to have them come when you choose.

I was super excited to get my first fix in the mail. I had detailed that I was looking for a nice satchel purse and seasonally transitional pieces that would work for business and play clothes.

It came on the expected day, and I raced upstairs with Jaxon to try everything on.
I was super concerned about the 3 day window and I didn't want to accidentally forget about returning Anything I didn't want.

Your box comes with your items, a price list and styling cards that show you possibilities for how to wear each item. 
Tank and Jeans

Tank: was really cute, but not very flattering.

Tunic and Jeans
Tunic: Was really great. It was exactly my style. I could easily wear this to work or out carting Jaxon around.

Dress and Purse
Dress: The dress was really nice. It was more flattering on me than I expected, with nothing distracting the eye from my midsection other than the print. But it was all that was needed. I felt really great wearing it, but couldn't justify keeping it. I don't wear dresses all that often and it was a little bit more fancy than my normal work wear.

I'm super excited to see what my next box will bring!
Want to sign up for your own personal shopper, using Stitch Fix?
Just click HERE!!!