Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Severely Lacking

I could write about how busy I've been, how we've hardly had time to breathe in the last month, or how my 9 1/2 month old child is WALKING, which also tends to keep me on my toes...but the truth is, I've been severely lacking in motivation to blog. I'm not really all that sure why. I have cute stories to tell, and fun pictures to share...just no motivation to actually sit down and do it. Lame!

So, here it is. The catch-all post. The update on our lives, photo drop, random post. The hurry up and write because I have five minutes before the munchkin decides to take a flying leap over the side of the couch.

Molly is walking. It happened around 9 months, but then she wouldn't duplicate it for anyone - not even Daddy. Then, about 2 days ago, she decided to try it out again - but this time for real. Just about everyone has seen her do it now, so they know I'm not making it up.

I taught her to say, "Santa!" last week. However, the way that I got her to say it was by semi-yelling, "SANTA!" every five seconds. So now she yells, "ANTA!", angrily. Oops.

When you ask her where the "pretties" are, she frantically searches both of your ears to check and see if you have earrings on. I love this, but she won't do it on command - only when the mood strikes her.

We are going through some really interesting changes in our lives/jobs right now, hopefully ones that will lead to us (finally!) being settled down in a house of our own in the next year.

And....on to our pictures! Just a few from our family pictures with Amanda Grace Photography a few weeks ago. They turned out even better than I imagined!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A "Pinterest Minute"

Don't even try and pretend you don't know what I'm talking about here, ladies. You think to yourself-  "hey, I'll just get on Pinterest reaaaaaal fast...for just a minute...and then I'll do [insert productive activity here]."

No. Just no. It doesn't happen. Unless I can somehow program my computer to turn off and be unable to be revived after a "minute" is up, it will probably never happen that I will just hop on Pinterest for a "minute"

I wish I did other things like I do Pinterest - "hey, I'll just do laundry for a "minute". WHOA! How'd all the laundry get done in just a "minute"??!!"

"I think I'll bake something for a "minute"....what?!?! My time's up?! I baked us out of house and home and it was only a "minute"!!!"

I say this jokingly, but there is truth behind it. 

I have recently begun to use Pinterest as a sort of reward (call it like it is...BRIBE) for tasks that I don't particularly enjoy doing. 

Example: Do XYZ. When that is COMPLETED, you get five minutes on Pinterest. 

The problem is that I still have trouble ONLY browsing for 5 minutes! In my head, I feel like I'm talking to (myself) a 4 year old! "Okay, Mackenzee...three more scrolls and then you will click the X and go back to being productive."

Pray for me as I try to enforce my own rules with myself and become a more productive wife/mother/human being...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Never Say Never

No, I'm not referring to a song by The Biebs...although, I will unashamedly admit my adoration for that particular tune. ;-)

You know the things that you say before you're pregnant/have a baby? The ones judging other mothers' parenting choices? The ones that are start off with, "I will never ever ever ever do _________" Yeah, that kind.

Never say never.
You will eat your words...daily. And it will be such a humbling experience. 

I'm not talking about judging others for things that may harm their children's safety. If you see somebody feed their baby a bottle of orange Fanta, while screaming curse words, then driving away with the baby in their lap in the Walmart parking lot? BY ALL MEANS, JUDGE AWAY. (and then pray for them!)

I'm talking about these:

I will never ever ever go to the store at 9pm wearing yoga pants.

I will never ever ever let my baby sleep in bed with me. all night.

I will never ever ever pacify my child with food to make them stop crying.

Even as I write this blog post, I'm thinking of examples and banishing them from this post with the thought - "But, I really would never do that! "

I've done all of the above. And she's only been here for 8 1/2 months. Granted, the yoga pants were post-partum, and I was tired of maternity pants!

Anyway, I write this as an encouragement. It's okay to do (some of) the things you vowed you'd never do.

(But for the record, my child will never ever ever play in the play-place in the Mall.)
(No, really. Never ever.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

White After Labor Day

There are some things in life that I have a really hard time with. Wearing white after Labor Day and wearing brown and black together are just two of the "biggies" that I've been struggling with recently.

These are not euphemisms. This is for real, you guys. These are real problems that I'm really facing. We're getting down to the nitty gritty now. 

In all seriousness, I was raised that you wore your white shoes for the first time on Palm Sunday - and put them away before Labor Day. It doesn't matter how hot it was after Labor Day - you wear your black or brown dress shoes, because the time for white dress shoes has passed. 

Well, recently, I read in a magazine somewhere that that's no longer the case. So this year, I branched out and wore my white dress shoes whenever it was too warm for dressy boots. Which ended up being up until about 2 weeks ago. It was very freeing, and the 90's fashion police didn't even slay me when I left the house.

So that brings me to my newest fashion hurdle: black and brown together. It's killing me. I am trying my hardest to get over it. Yesterday, I wore a black cami with a brown shirt. And a grey sweater. And brown boots. But I felt like a sinner all day long because of it. I ended up tucking the black cami into my jeans so that it had less of a chance of showing. I THINK I HAVE A PROBLEM.

So today I'm taking a break from black and brown, and branching out to black and navy blue...something I conquered long, long ago....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bathtime Beauty

We have a waterbug on our hands. She wasn't so sure about the bath when she was itty bitty, but ever since we took her to the pool at about 4 months old, she has been hooked! Her favorite, though, is the "big girl" bathtub at Patrick's parents house. 

She wiggles and stands up to the bathtub (with our supervision...) while it fills up with water and bubbles - I just love her cute little nakey baby butt as she stands there impatiently. No pictures of that, though - well, at least not on the blog. ;-)

Finally, the bath is ready, and we sit her down with a big rubber duck, a small rubber duck, a little metal bowl, and an orange plastic toy boat that was Patrick's when he was little. She splashes and plays and dances if you sing to her. 

She doesn't mind getting water in her eyes (unlike her mother) - she just holds her breath and blinks a few times until I wipe her face with my hands. I love how laid back she is about that! 

Also...seriously...she makes the cutest faces at her Daddy. She loves him so much.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nursing Cover from Swanky Panky Designs - A Review

A friend of a friend recently began to make nursing covers, so my friend purchased one for me, since I was sorely in need - my first one bit the dust after only a couple of months. :-(

So here I am to give a review of my new nursing cover from April over at Swanky Panky Designs. Not only is she going to be stocking nursing covers (send her a message if you want one!) soon, but she also has the cutest camera strap covers, mixing bowls covers, and shirts for your cutie pie kiddos!

The fabric is durable, and Molly can't yank the top part open - which is a big plus, because the child is hell-bent on exposing me to the public EVERY time I nurse her! I also LOVE the fun pattern that my friend picked out for me. :-)

So whether you're looking for one for yourself, or searching for the perfect baby shower gift for a friend (OR a just-because gift....I love just because gifts), click the link above and visit April's shop for a sweet $18 nursing cover!

Friday, September 28, 2012

"THAT Mom"

Since high school (or at least, somewhere in that time frame), I've always prayed that God would help me not to be "THAT Mom" when I grow up. Don't even act like you don't know what I'm talking about. We all have someone in mind. No matter how much we love them...they are still "THAT Mom", and we cringe a little when they go on the prowl!

But let's be honest with ourselves, ladies. We are all "THAT Mom", sometimes. There is no way to perfectly guard against it! The best that we can do is surround ourselves with family and friends who will brave the fire-breathing dragon that is "THAT Mom" to let us know when it's time to reel in the rod of unwanted opinions, facts, and lengthy stories about our children's milestones.

All through my pregnancy, I would get so annoyed with older moms telling me "just wait til..." or "it goes so fast!", or even telling me all kinds of labor stories, tips, and tricks. 

Now, looking back, I appreciate the love and support from those mothers, but when you're 5 days past due and feeling like you could rival a beached whale, you just want to scream every time someone says, "Oh, she just needs longer to cook!" <--- No. She's being an evil newborn who hates her mother before she's ever been born. (<--- I know that isn't actually true, but, that's really what you feel in the moment. :-)

Being on the "other side" now, I often say to my husband, "I can't believe I almost typed to her that it's going to go SO fast!" (Speaking about commenting on my pregnant friends' statuses on Facebook, of course.)

I get up in arms about car seat laws, outraged when someone is prohibited from breastfeeding in public, and giddy at the sight of a coupon that will save me BIG bucks on diapers. My daughter passes gas during the most inappropriate (albeit hilarious) times, reaches little milestones like... you know, licking the windows, and is 30-something weeks old (come on, now, just say almost 8 months!). I don't post these things on Facebook, not because it isn't important to me, but as a deterrent for myself, so that I will not be tempted to be....you guessed it... "THAT Mom".

Wait...is me writing this post being "THAT Mom"???

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seven Months

Sometimes I can't believe that Molly's 7 months old...other times, it feels like we've known her/had her forever. It's hard to remember a time without her. Isn't it funny how you can feel like you loved someone before you ever met them...or even before they existed? I digress...

This is just a little update on Miss Molly's ever-changing, ever-individual personality. Her likes and dislikes.


Banana Puffs. She screeched at me in frustration the other day when I put the container away. Don't get between a baby and her puffs!

Sophie the Giraffe. She deserves her own post. Not kidding - there will be one.

This YouTube video. She dances to the song, and jumps and bounces and flips out. You're welcome.

Taking walks. She looooves walks. Walks are our go-to thing if she is crazy fussy, which has been happening a lot lately.

Anything Mommy is eating/has in her hands........need I say more??


Peek-a-Boo! She thinks this is hilarious, however, still will not give up the belly laugh very often. Aw man, she's totally my kid.

Wipes. Yep, as in...baby wipes. She goes nuts if you give one to her to hold while changing her clothes or diaper. That's been my saving grace lately because she HATES getting her clothes on/off.


Naps. Or sleep. I think she just hates sleep. It's really very sad.

Getting clothes changed. ALLIWANNADOISPLAYDRESSUP. But noooo, we can't, because she will scream her head off!

Getting buckled in her car seat. After our trip to Tennessee, she won't tolerate the car seat for any longer than absolutely necessary. Can't say I blame her.

.......did I say sleep already?? ;-)

Friday, September 14, 2012


In this day and age where women seem to be having children later in life versus earlier, it is becoming less and less common to have multiple generations alive at the same time. This is why it is such a blessing and an extremely fun thing to document that Molly's great-great-grandmother is still living!

The other day, we went out to her "home for the aged" to visit, along with Patrick, Patrick's mom, and Patrick's grandparents. FIVE generations, y'all!

We accidentally took the picture youngest to oldest, but oh well. :-)

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Blankie For Baby

I wanted to write a quick "review" of one of my favorite gifts we have received for Molly so far in her little lifetime!

 Click Here to get this AWESOME Lands End baby blanket for YOUR cutie pie.

I have shamelessly pushed for this blankie to become Molly's "lovey", and now she is pretty attached to it.

At first, it doesn't seem particularly soft, but the more you wash it, the softer it becomes! It's soooo soft now.

Also, it's crazy warm, despite the small holes - which makes it breathable, so I have no problem putting it in her bed with her. AND it has her first and middle name embroidered on it, which makes it even more precious, if that's even possible.


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Chattanooga Adventure

As long as I can remember, my parents have never shied away from road trips just because there was a baby in the family. Probably because for the majority of my childhood, there was always a baby! 

So, when my sister in law was asked by one of my dearest friends to photograph her upcoming wedding in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I jumped at the chance to go along.

Last week at this time, we were driving through Somewhere, Virginia listening to one of the 12 (yes, 12) mix CDs that we acquired for this journey and munching on Sundried Tomato Basil Wheat Thins. <-- Check those out, because trust me when I say that they are the bomb diggity.

The trip was beautiful and enjoyable, and Molly did great! She was sooooo done by the end of the ride there, but still, we never had major meltdowns for more than a few minutes and she definitely brightened the day for many a rough-lookin' traveler by waving and grinning out the windows everywhere we stopped!

The wedding was lovely (and fun!), with the most hilarious bridal party I've been around to date. FOUR random singing/dance parties, all pre-ceremony. And Waves made a beautiful and laid back bride, despite the torrential downpour right as it was time to start taking pictures outside. 

Besides the wedding, we also got to visit with some other treasured "old" friends - Morgan, Josiah, Johanna, Jimmy, and Owen.

The ride back, however, was not quite as pleasant. :-( There was a good bit of traffic (Labor Day - we had expected that), rain almost the entire way, and about an hour and a half from home....our car died. Just up and died! I mean, fair enough, the poor dear had about 203,000 miles on it - but, really? Right now? I know God is trying to teach me something in this, I just haven't figured out what yet. 

Thankfully, we had friends in the area who took us in for the night, and my grandfather came to get us the next day after the auto repair shop owner let us know that our wonderful Buick had breathed its' last breath.

So, here we are. Looking for a vehicle to get us from point A to point B, and bumming rides in the meantime.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Co-Sleeper - A Review

I always knew that typically babies slept in their parents' bedrooms for a little while as newborns, but I never gave much thought to how that would play out practically until we were expecting our own child.

The world of bassinets, moses baskets, pack 'n' plays, bed sharing, and co-sleepers is a confusing and frustrating one to dive into with no prior experience! You don't get to have a time of trial-and-error before the baby comes.

I had finally decided on an Arm's Length Co-Sleeper (as pictured below) when I was browsing Craigslist and happened upon a "gently used" one for $30! I was thrilled!
This is identical to our co-sleeper. Needless to say, we love it, and will be saving it to use for any and all future babies. It was wonderful for those middle-of-the-night feedings. I loved not having to get out of bed, or being able to reach over and sooth her from the comfort of my pillow. Loved it so much, in fact, that I am totally sad that we had to move her out of it a few weeks ago (homegirl was climbing out of it onto our bed...um, no, not safe!).

When she was a newborn newborn, she would only sleep cuddled up in her boppy pillow, inside the co-sleeper. High maintenance, right?

It's easy to strap to your bed, lightweight to move, and has mesh sides - so no worries about baby rolling into the bumpers!

Here's how it looks/works:

Of course, Molly doesn't always like to sleep in what I would classify as "the most comfortable" positions - here's one that I woke up to the sight of one morning:
Yes, she's asleep like that! And yes, that's a blanket in her co-sleeper. Hush your face, I'm the mom (and I'll be doing a review of that blanket soon, too).

I cannot say enough good things about the co-sleeper. Fabulous. Five mom-stars.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Beach Day

Today we took a trip to the beach - Molly's first daytime trip to the beach, in fact! I say daytime because she has been to Assateague one time, but it was in the evening for a bonfire with friends - so not really your typical "beach" experience. :-)

I know, I know...Summer is almost over, and I live 25 minutes from the beach - so why is this her first trip? 

I hate tourist season. I loathe it. I hate the traffic, I hate the jacked-up prices of everything, I hate the stupid people who don't know where they are going and what they are doing. I hate the barely-dressed masses, and the less-than-sparkling water. And the trash in the sand. <--- That is why this was our first trip. And we didn't even go to Ocean City!

We went to a "secret" local beach. It's tiny and wonderful, and I'm not telling anyone where it is. Ever.

Molly LOVED it. We're talking - best mood ever, wanted to stay in the water forever, fell asleep on Amanda kind of loving it. It was blissful, minus the pretty awful sunburn that I came away with (my own fault).

Here are a few pictures from our beach day, courtesy of Molly's aunt Amanda.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The "Mom" Hair

I have never liked ponytails on myself. Sure, they look cute on other women...but not me. Nope, I just end up looking like a boy...or someone with no hair. 

 Even with bangs, I just can't rock the ponytail! Whenever I do just give in to the ease of a ponytail, I always end up seeing someone with fabulous hair, or getting my picture taken. Murphy's Law at its finest.

After having Molly, I fell into a pattern of "mom" hair - not that it looked bad, it just wasn't my normal way of doing my hair. I didn't have "time" to blow dry/straighten every day. 

But guess what? Your baby will be just fine if you spend 15-20 minutes doing your hair and makeup every day. She will not die from being strapped in the carseat with some toys while you shave your legs and use a little hair product.

Don't get me wrong - Molly doesn't like it when I divide my attention, but she has also (after a few weeks) gotten used to it. Now, my routine looks something like this:

Feed baby, put baby in the carseat with some favorite toys. Turn on Disney kid songs in the bathroom. Take a shower. Baby cries for a few minutes (she's thinking hey! mom! share some of the bathtime fun with me!). Baby (usually) falls asleep, lulled by the shower/music/toys combo. 

Once I get out of the shower, I get a few extra "getting ready" minutes by leaving the shower running! She stays asleep and I get to choose an activity: painting my toenails...plucking my eyebrows...the fun stuff. ;-)

After I turn the shower off, she usually wakes up in just a few minutes. I leave her in the carseat, though, while I blow dry and straighten my hair. Makeup can usually wait until her next naptime, unless I have somewhere to go.

As a new mom, it can be really hard to let your baby cry, even if it's just for a few minutes. But I'm realizing that this is how they learn! If they have been fed and changed, and given plenty of attention beforehand, I know that she is fine, and is just learning to self-soothe and self-entertain. This will be such a valuable trait when she is a little bit older...then maybe Mommy can pluck her eyebrows AND paint her toenails! ;-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dijon Syrup Chicken

I'm not the greatest at consistently making dinner. Often times, I get distracted or I don't feel like being creative, so I make an old stand-by (pizza, grilled cheese, chicken salad etc.). HOWEVER, I am trying to turn over a new leaf and find recipes online (mostly Pinterest) that I want to try so that I can at least branch out a little bit.

So, I tried out this recipe called Dijon Syrup Chicken. It was super easy, and SUPER delicious. I wasn't sure about it at first because it's maple syrup...and dijon mustard...on chicken. The combination was foreign to my tastebuds, but Patrick and I both really ended up enjoying it and it's definitely one that I will make again in the future!

Here is a link to the recipe for you to try it out for yourself - it's also on the "recipe" section of my blog for easy access. :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let the Awkwardness Begin!

So, first posts are always awkward because you never quite know exactly the best way to begin a blog. In fact, beginnings of things are always kind of awkward and full of mistakes - that's pretty much what this blog is about.

It's about my journey to becoming an accomplished housewife - about my life as a Christian, a homemaker, a wife, a mom, and a creative, fun-loving person. Or at least, learning how to let all of those parts of my life mesh peacefully together. Sometimes they won't mesh perfectly - but don't worry - I'll write about that part, too.