Monday, March 31, 2014


We spent this past weekend in the Austin (or more specifically, Cedar Park) area. Jordan's closest guy friends are 3 brothers and we were able to meet up with 2 of the brothers and their families. Jordan loved the guy time, I loved the girl time, and there was even another boy who is close in age to Isaac. So basically, it was the perfect weekend for all of us.
There's nothing cuter than boys in PJs! (L: Ethan, R: Isaac)
Isaac hanging out on the porch
Philip & Ethan
Philip, Ethan, and Samantha
Philip, Samantha, & Ethan live in the Chicago area, so I was especially excited to see them this weekend. I think the break from the polar vortex was really great for them! The weather was amazing and we were able to spend a lot of time outside at several different parks around the area. Samantha is expecting her second little, and I'm desperate to know whether baby #2 is a brother or a sister! Jordan and I just adore this little family.
We need to get our kid some sunglasses! I only got squinty face photos while we were at Zilker Park
Sam & Ethan
Andrea (and baby Hudson) & Aaron
Aaron & Andrea live in the Austin area and were our amazing hosts for the weekend. They kept all 6 of us under their roof, fed us some delicious food, let us break in some of their baby gear, and were pretty much just awesome. Not only this, but they also put up with our scheduled nap times, early kid bedtimes, stinky diapers, and kid meltdowns. Baby Hudson is due in the next few weeks and I am so excited for this next chapter in their lives. Aaron and Andrea will be fantastic parents; this boy is blessed!

They are so stinkin cute!!!
These boys bring out the crazy in each other.
The Austin skyline from Zilker park
Isaac doing what he does best.... "finging!" (swinging!)
Checking out an old tree stump. I love that little dirty booty!
The ladies and their men (including Hudson!)
The dudes and their dudes.
We had such a good time, I'm hoping that we can arrange another family meet up again next year. I am so thankful for our dear friends. Jordan has known and loved these brothers for 25 years! Maybe next time we can get the missing brother and his wife (Nathanael & Brittany!) to join the party too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pinterest, Turds, and Fetal Monitoring

So I was thinking that my last post would be a fun little run-through with my good friends and blog readers... or my good friend blog readers. And it was! Hence the awkwardly posed photos. Good grief I am awkward. Little did I know it'd get more traffic than any other blog this year. And it's the 10th most popular post ever, and that's only after a few days. Crazy. Makes me wish I'd actually styled myself a little better, fixed my hair, taken off my glasses... you know. In the meantime, I'm seeing awkward photos of myself floating around on Pinterest. Note to self: next Stitch Fix review post deserves a little more polishing...

....But the truth is what it is. I don't know how to pose like the fashion bloggers and I routinely rock second day hair.

Strangely enough, my #1 most viewed blog of all time is this one, where I talk about my cleaning schedule. You know, the one where I tackle something different each day of the week? Chances are good (statistically speaking of course), that if you're reading this blog, that you're probably familiar with the blog I'm referring to. I even wrote similar content as a guest post on E, Myself, and I. (Happy Birthday E! Check out her new blog here) The funny/strange thing is that over time, my weekly schedule has morphed and evolved into something that still gets the house looking presentable, but doesn't look much like what I initially started with. Basically, it's even more flexible based on my schedule each week, and I've dropped a few things entirely. Who needs to clean their oven once a month anyway?

Yesterday, I was checking Zulily in the middle of my Intermediate Fetal Monitoring class (more on this in a sec...) and I stumbled upon this sign:
And I could hardly keep from laughing out loud. When you're one of 5 total people in a classroom, it can be pretty hard to stifle the chuckles without drawing attention to yourself. This sign hits especially close to home considering our yard is teeming with dog turds.

I'm totally kicking myself for not buying it.

So I'm excited to take on a new responsibility at work, and I'm really flattered that they selected me to be our unit's new AWHONN-certified Fetal Monitoring Educator. Basically, me (and my teaching partner, Melissa) will be responsible for teaching and certifying new nurses in fetal monitoring. Considering the ability to look at a fetal monitoring strip and be able to appropriately interpret what's happening is the absolute cornerstone of labor & delivery nursing, I know this is a really big deal. So Melissa and I have lots of requirements to meet before we're officially certified educators. One of the many hoops we have to jump through is to retake the Intermediate class before being certified to teach it. I think it's been 7 years since I first took the Intermediate FM class and as of yesterday afternoon (despite goofing off & looking at Zulily), I'm one step closer to being the one teaching the class. Soon, we'll travel to Houston for more intensive training, complete a few other requirements and by the time we need to host another class, I should be the one teaching!

I look forward to being back to blogging on Monday to tell y'all all about Isaac and his weekend with a new friend. I'm SO excited to finally meet my dear friend's little boy! Check back soon for funny stories and cute pictures!

Friday, March 21, 2014

My First Stitch Fix

Those of you who've kept up with the blog since Valentine's day know that my darling husband got me a Stitch Fix gift card. I was so excited to schedule my first Fix and even MORE excited when my box arrived on Wednesday!!!

New to the Stitch Fix idea? Here are the basics: Become a member and fill out a style profile questionnaire. Schedule yourself a Fix and a personal stylist will put together a box of 5 items based on your style profile and send it straight to your doorstep. You also get cards with styling suggestions for each piece. Keep all of your items or send whatever you don't love back in their prepaid mailing envelope. It's such a fun idea and I was really hoping to get some great new pieces.

So here's the question: What did I get?!
I got a dress, two tops, a pair of shorts, and a scarf. All in all, a great box! My stylist did a fantastic job picking pieces for me. I specifically told her that I was still a little self-conscious of my squishy post baby belly. I also wanted a couple of "out of the box" items. So between getting exactly what I asked for and the fun way each item was packaged together (so creative... I should've taken a pic!), it just feels so personalized. And user friendly!

Here's how I styled each item:
I ended up sending this striped top back. Not only was it a little boxy, but I already have a couple of items in my closet that look really similar. Obviously, if I'm getting a carefully selected garment that looks eerily familiar to what I already own, that must mean that my stylist really gets me! I did think the little gold button details were really fun.

I also sent this dress back, but honestly, I can't really give a great reason why. I liked it. It fit well. It was reeeeeally light and comfortable. The print was nice. I guess it just didn't totally blow me away. The style card encouraged me to pair the dress with a denim jacket, which I think looked really cute together.

I knew there was a possibility that I would get accessories in my Fix and even though I thought this scarf was super cute and right up my bright-pink-polka-dot-alley, I just already have a ton of scarves and this one in particular was pretty pricey. I couldn't really justify keeping an expensive scarf, so I sent this one back.

These shorts were the only item in the box that didn't really fit well. They were just a little on the small side... like 2 low carb days and they'd button without a little hangover pudge. Really close but not quite. Plus, just like the striped shirt, I also have a pair of shorts that are remarkably similar to these. For both of these reasons, I sent the shorts back.

Now, before you think I sent everything back, there's this shirt. I LOVE it! It's perfect! The fabric is light and hangs nicely. The style isn't something I'd gravitate towards in a store, but I adore it on. It's ridiculously versatile and the little details are fabulous. I kept this one and I look forward to wearing it very soon!!!

My next box is scheduled for April 16 and I am even more excited after seeing the first box. The cool thing is that with each box, you can send suggestions and comments back to your stylist so that your Fixes evolve into better and better boxes. Awesome!!

I'd totally recommend Stitch Fix, I mean, aren't new clothes fun? Check it out for yourself with my referral link here. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nearly 17 months down the road

A few weeks ago, Isaac's baby monitor broke. It was a video monitor (similar here), so Jordan had taped it to the corner of his crib (more on this in a sec.). Well, one day Isaac realized it was up there and instead of napping, he spent a little time ripping the tape off and somehow the thing shorted out. Since then we haven't had any luck with getting it to work.... which, in the middle of the night, in a split bedroom floor plan, I can barely hear him when he cries-- and that's if I'm awake. While Jordan was out of town, I slept with all the doors open, which is especially creepy in a dark house by yourself. Then last night, Jordan and I just so happened to wake up when he was screaming, but then for hours after he calmed down, I kept hearing phantom cries. Was that Isaac? Was it my imagination? It drove me bonkers. This morning, I drove to Walmart and bought a $17 sound-only monitor, which is a cheap price to pay for peace of mind.

So this gets me thinking about how crappy our video monitor was the entire time. We've had SO many problems with it... in fact, I had to have the company send me a replacement part before we even had Isaac, which should've clued me in. It was ridiculously flimsy... like, the slightest breeze or tug would send the camera falling to the floor or into the crib, which is why we eventually taped it in place. The camera could barely pivot, so we had to angle it a funny way and still wouldn't be able to see 1/3 of the crib. The cords were a little too long and apparently also fragile, considering one day I accidentally caught it in the vacuum cleaner and it ripped into about 4 pieces. Thankfully my husband is pretty handy with electronics and we were able to splice together the remaining parts, which was ghetto, but it worked.

If I could do it all over again (and it looks like I've got my chance...), I'd never buy another monitor from this particular brand. I like the video capability a LOT, but it is expensive. So, for now, the sound-only monitor will fill our need, and maybe we could find a better video option if baby Mims #2 ever materializes.

Now that we're nearly 17 months into this journey, I'm pondering the many baby "must haves" that I may reconsider the second time around (or a few things that were totally worth it). Maybe this list will help a mom-to-be? Here we go:

  1. Crib & Furniture Set from JC Penney. I've been so disappointed by the quality of this furniture that I felt compelled to actually write a negative review on the website. The craftsmanship is poor. It is so easily scratched and dinged, that I had done some relatively significant damage just putting the darn thing together. After having an awesome experience with furniture at JC Penney, I thought this would also impress my socks off. Now I can only wish I'd spent a little more money at Pottery Barn and gotten a piece that would last. I can't see myself using this furniture for very long, which is a real shame. Next time I'll know.
  2. Boppy. This is a for-sure must have. I used my boppy for nearly every single feeding from the time we got home from the hospital to weaning just a week shy of 12 months. It was indispensable. Of course, now it's just gathering dust in the closet, which still feels a little wasteful, but next time around, I'll get my money's worth all over again.
  3. Chicco Snap-In Stroller & Bumbleride Jogging Stroller. I love both of these strollers. The snap-in stroller was so light and easy, it could be opened & closed with one hand. Cup holder, phone holder, substantial basket under the seat for bags and stuff made this an awesome little stroller. It maneuvers well and is just all around user friendly. And of course, you don't have to take baby out of the car seat to move to the stroller. Only downside: once baby is finished using the infant car seat, this stroller is obsolete. Since Isaac is in a convertible seat now, the snap-in stroller is gathering dust in the attic. Thankfully, the price point isn't too steep. I've also been really pleased with the Bumbleride, which is now our primary stroller. It also folds up easily, but is a little heavier and requires two hands. The wheels are really sturdy and can easily go "off roading" which is good, because it gets a lot of park time. I have noticed a drawback when running with this stroller: sometimes if one wheel bounces independent of the other (like you hit a bump on one side), then the back wheels can start bouncing back & forth. It's weird to describe and kind of a pain, because I either have to lift the back wheels off the ground or come to a complete stop. 
  4. Chicco Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat. I loved this car seat. It was so easy to use... easy to install, easy to snap baby in, easy to get in/out. I was bummed to move Isaac up to a convertible seat. (but I've also been impressed by the Britax we're using now!) I'd totally recommend this, and I have!
  5. Bumbo. I hardly ever used this thing. Isaac fit into it for all of about 5 minutes and ever since it has sat in the closet and gathered dust. Lame.
  6. Mesh Feeder. Hated this thing. Isaac hated it too. Hard to "eat," impossible to clean. Unfortunately, after hearing such rave reviews, I bought like 4 of these suckers. Such a waste.
  7. Pack-N-Play. This I'm really on the fence about, which has surprised me most of all. Now, for the first 6 weeks of life, Isaac lived in the pack-n-play, so I wouldn't doubt its use... but... Ever since he has slept in the crib, I can probably count on one hand how many times I've used the pack-n-play. Mostly because everywhere we've traveled, someone already has a pack-n-play that Isaac can use for naps and bedtime. I kind of want to lug ours around and demand to use it instead, just to get some more use out of the thing. I still appreciate having it, but sometimes I wonder if it will ever see the light of day again.
  8. Muslin/Gauze Swaddle Blankets. I dont see what the big hullabaloo is about these blankets. I consider myself a bit of a baby swaddler expert, considering I swaddle babies like it's my job at my job because it is in fact my job. However, to me these blankets just never seemed to be good for what their claim was. I don't know if they just aren't the right shape for a great swaddle, but they're definitely too big. I bought 2 packs (5 in all) of these suckers thinking I'd use them all the time and mostly these just live in a drawer somewhere. 
So this isn't an exhaustive list, but it's a start. Hindsight is always 20/20. I should also mention that these links aren't affiliate links, nor does JC Penney know who I am. 

Here's to hoping I have a more peaceful night's sleep tonight! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Break Happenings at home and abroad

For the last week, Jordan has been traveling around the southeast with a group of our students. Two years ago, we participated in Mission Lab in New Orleans. This year, they went back to New Orleans for Mission lab again, but this time, they also took a few days to travel to Moss Point, Mississippi to participate in World Changers. Both legs of their mission included various projects throughout the city. They worked with homeless, cleared lots, prayer-walked, painted, did construction, and lots more. I've already heard some incredible stories of God moving and working through these students during the trip, and I'm really looking forward to hearing more.

So while Jordan was gone, Isaac and I kicked it at home. I laughingly call it my "single mom week" although after only 6 days without a husband, I wouldn't dare joke about how difficult life is as a single parent. It was tough, it was tiring, but Isaac and I had SO much fun together. I tried to plan little activities each day, which both occupied our morning or afternoon and gave us the opportunity to make neat little memories together.
...and maybe we watched Monsters University. Twice. 
I set a goal for myself to get a run in each day, so I strapped Isaac in the stroller (and sometimes put Mauve on a leash too!) and we ran to the park every day. I usually got in 2.5-3.5 miles and Isaac got some time in the swings, which is his new favorite activity. By the end of the week, he was asking to "go feeng" (go swing) all day long-- even when we'd just gotten home from the park! The weather certainly wasn't "spring break worthy," but I am thankful that we were able to find time each day for some fresh air.

One of my dear friends (and one of our former students) was such a huge help for me this week. She came with another friend/former student on Wednesday afternoon so I could have a few hours away. So a pedicure and a good book was on my agenda! Not only that, but later in the week, she came over during nap time and put gas in my car and ran a couple of errands for me. What a huge blessing -- and a weight lifted!
So thankful for a few late mornings. And baby lashes.
Isaac and I went out to lunch one day with friends. We drove to Corpus on Friday to do a little shopping. We went to a baby shower together. It was a week full of fun. God gave me so much extra patience toward him, and even though it was nice to curl up in the quiet with a good book after bedtime, our days together were full of kisses and cuddles and laughs and fun. One thing is for sure though, Isaac is nuts about his Dada. It was tough for them to be apart from each other and sweet to watch their reunion. We are all so thankful that God used Dada in a mighty way... and we're SO glad he's back home.
We read Bob the Dog approximately 38 times this week. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blogging about my favorite subject

I realized that it's been a long time since I've done any kind of updates on my little Isaac. Once that 12 month mark flew by, I stopped writing monthly updates and I've almost completely neglected to post anything about him since then. Shame on me!! Just as you would expect, he is growing entirely too fast. Each day brings new discoveries, new words, new accomplishments… it's been a really fun few months here at our house.

His ability to express himself has grown exponentially in the last month. It's been both easier and harder at the same time, because he's also getting more and more frustrated when he can't communicate what his needs and wants are, which in turn leads to meltdowns. His most favorite word to use right now is "No." Everything is "no" even if it is a yes, which is kind of hilarious. I'm looking forward to when "yes" comes into play. Some of his newest additions: swing (his favorite park pastime), food, Jesus, cheese, outside, please, balloon.

Isaac is still a fantastic eater. I couldn't have asked for a happier, more well-rounded little person to feed. For a while now, he has been saying "MM-mmm" to foods that he really likes (he shakes his head a little too when he says it, which is especially cute). It's just the funniest -- and it makes a mama feel proud of what she cooked!

Some recent photos:
Isaac and his twin friend Carter
He looks SO much like my dad here.
Isaac loves to help mama by brushing his hair and teeth. 
Not quite sure about the hoodie. It didn't last long.
Bath time is goofy time. Eventually more water ends up outside the tub than in it! 

Kooky post-nap hair.

This is what Isaac looks like at least 88% of the time. The Croc In Socks (aka: Gator) is by FAR Isaac's most cherished toy. He mostly sleeps with it (although we don't take it to school), but more and more each day, it's migrating out of the crib and is toted around the house. He loves to chew on the tail, which looks and smells just putrid. Gator gets at least 2 trips through the washing machine each week, although a daily rinsing wouldn't hurt.

I wanted to kick myself for a little while for getting so few pictures of him at this age. And then when I dusted off the camera and went in for the shot, I remembered why… he's so stinkin wiggly! I have to catch him completely off guard and keep my fingers crossed that the shutter is quick enough to catch a pic without being a blur of moving baby. And once he sees that I'm trying to take a picture, he wants to grab at the camera and push every button approximately 17 times.
An unfortunately placed black bean… not a dental accident! Ha!

Every time he gets his hands on this baby saline spray, he immediately puts it to his nose. Unfortunately, when it comes time to actually administer said spray, he isn't nearly as cooperative. Maybe that tells you how often we've had to treat the old toddler snot nose. Between the weather, allergies, and Mothers Day Out/Nursery, I think we've all had the "crud" a couple of times this winter.

You just make my day so very bright and full of life. I thank God over and over for you! Mama loves you so very very much!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Julep #2

Because of the timing with which I initially signed up for Julep, I didn't get a February box, so the March box is my second Julep experience.

After looking through all the color options, I decided to stick with the Boho Glam box, which isn't the box I was initially "matched" with, but it seems to always have the colors/styles I gravitate toward.
This month's box included Elisa (lilac with a barely discernible silver shimmer), and Harriet (a more-orangey-than-pink coral). I also added in one of the "bombshell" colors, Tania (a teal-colored super chunky glitter in a clear base) which was a promo item this month.

I really love all 3 colors. The lilac is a universally flattering color, the coral is summery and fun, and the teal glitter will look great layered or as an "accent nail." The two solid polishes are like 96% opaque in 2 coats.

The other item in this month's box was a lip gloss, which turned out to be quite lovely. After perusing the options (this was a customizable feature of the box, which I thought was really nice!), I ended up sticking with the gloss that was paired with my Boho Glam box. Enchanted is a bright watermelon candy-colored gloss that is moderately sheer. It's got a sweet/candy smell and is also a little on the sticky side. The color is a bit out of my lip-product-comfort-zone, as I tend to choose colors that are more "your lips but better." Unfortunately, the photo below doesn't do the bright pinky tone much justice, but I guess a selfie in the car is all I've got for you guys now.

Lastly, they included a cotton candy flavored peppermint stick candy thing. How's that for a description? It was a cute little addition that I haven't eaten yet. Little extra perks are always a nice touch.

Overall, I've been really pleased with my Julep experience so far! If you're interested in checking it out for yourself, there's a button on my side bar or you can follow my referral link here. Get your first box for free with code FREEBOX

Monday, March 3, 2014

What's on my side table? (Episode 2)

It's been a productive day here at the old casa. Pilates class this morning, then a trip to the grocery store with my little buddy, baked a loaf of banana bread, 2 loads of laundry, a few chapters of a new book, and a little veg-out time on the couch watching one of the greatest movies ever (Music & Lyrics) (obviously). And now a blog! What a day.

I've blown through a few other books, so I thought it was a good time to update the "Whats on My Side Table?" series. You can check out the first installment here. Since then, things are looking a little different, only because I've added a few new books to the pile.
Here's what you'll currently find on my side table:
To Be Read:
  1. Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis (currently reading)
  2. Passion: The Bright Light of Glory by Louie Giglio & others
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  5. Insurgent (same author)
  6. Allegiant (same author) (still got that Pampers reward sticker on it)
  7. A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman
  8. A Billion Reasons Why by Kristen Billerbeck
On the iPad (to be read also)
  1. Believing God by Beth Moore
  2. Jesus: the One and Only by Beth Moore
  3. When Godly People do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore
  4. Praying God's Word by Beth Moore
  5. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
  6. What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp
  7. Crazy People by Jennifer Cruse
And The Finished Ones!
  1. Feathers from my Nest by Beth Moore. Let me be the first to say that *GASP* I'm not always so enchanted by Beth Moore. Don't misunderstand me-- I think she is a gifted speaker and leader. I think the Lord has used her mightily. I've done many of her Bible studies, read a few of her books, and heard her speak several times. She just isn't at the top of my favorites list. (love you Beth. Don't take it personally.) THAT BEING SAID.... this book is incredible. It's not like her "typical" books or Bible studies, but rather, it's a collection of stories which all revolve around she and her children. It's not a parenting book, yet it's about being a parent. It's not a Bible study/theology based book, and yet I found myself relating SO strongly to the little nuggets of truth woven into each chapter. I'd strongly suggest this book if you're a mom, if you love Jesus, or if you love Beth Moore. Final Grade: A
  2. Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. This was also a fantastic read. After feeling a little disappointed by Bringing Up Boys last month, this book really filled my need for practical application. I would highly recommend it to any parent. It has changed the way I approach situations with Isaac, and ideally, it will change the way I parent him altogether. There is one portion of scripture that really has nothing to do with parenting which I will study further on my own time, but aside from that, I am totally on board with Dr. Kimmel and the assertions he makes. Final Grade: A+
  3. Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. I also got in an additional read through Gods at War, so you'll notice that in the picture. I feel like I've already said so much about G@W, so I'll skip that today. Not a Fan is very very similar to Gods at War. It's written in the same lighthearted tone that makes it such an easy/quick read. It's also still full of Biblical truths and personal application. Not only does G@W and Not a Fan share these traits, but they also share a lot of the same material. It's almost like G@W was a more thorough follow-up to Not a Fan. Despite all this, they aren't exactly the same, and Not a Fan looks hard at whether or not you are just a fan (aka: Enthusiastic Admirer) or a follower of Christ. Still a great book and worthy of digging into. Final Grade: B+
I am already into Kisses from Katie and have been so impressed by the words from this young woman. I look forward to reading more of her story. Maybe after KFK and Passion, I'll finally get to Gone Girl and the Divergent trilogy. But seeing as how I was predicting those to be the next reads 3 books ago, who knows where my reading moments will take me next.

Adios muchachas! (and muchachos)
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