at home with framebridge

Hello friends! The seasons are rapidly changing here in the midwest and it is lovely beyond words. The leaves are suddenly glowing in vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange. They blow in the cool breeze and fall to the ground producing that oh-so-enticing crunch beneath our steps. With temps in the fifties almost every day, we have gathered our sweaters, stocking caps, scarves and boots for adventuring outside of the house. And inside we've stacked cozy knit blankets at every corner, strategically placed candles throughout each room and of course you can expect to find a pumpkin or two (or twelve) on every ledge, shelf and counter. It is F A L L. 

As we prepare our home for the cozy, autumn nights before us, beloved photographs and comforting artwork were at the top of our must have list. Admittedly I am not great at printing photos. As you can see from my Instagram there is no shortage of moments captured to go around, but while chasing after two kiddos, working full-time and keeping up with the household, taking the time to mindfully print photos and purchase frames always seems to fall by the wayside. Enter Framebridge.

With the help of the lovely folks at Framebridge, this process could not possibly be simpler. After downloading their app, I carefully chose a few favorites from my Instagram feed and then selected the frame and mat of my choice all right inside of the app. Boom. Done. The next thing I know these gorgeous frames showed up at my doorstep ready and waiting to be hung. And thanks to my sweet husband, I didn't even have to do that part. It doesn't get better than that, am I right?

This photo is a favorite of mine from a particularly dreamy afternoon in our backyard this summer. All of us just hanging around, doing nothing really, but for some reason that afternoon was a memorable one and this photo takes me right back there. I decided to hang it in our bedroom, right by our bed; one of the first things I see in the morning.

This one is just one of the many, many photos I have of my babies loving on each other. It was hard to pick just one; maybe a gallery wall is in my future? 

This was the first photo that I added to my cart, knowing right away that it had to be framed; her first trip to the ocean. This was taken on our last day at the beach in Mexico this summer, when swimsuits were no longer needed and she called the ocean her friend. Even when she wasn't in the water, she way she looked at it and got lost in the waves from afar is something I will never forget. I don't even need to see her face in this photo to know exactly how it looked in that moment, and I think that is one of the reasons that I love it so much. 

I was so impressed with our framed photos that I had big dreams for my favorite art print that I still had rolled up in a tube from months and months ago. I had always meant to get it professionally matted and framed, but it just never made the top of the list. I knew I had to send it to Framebridge. I logged into the app, input the measurements of my art, selected my frame and mat of choice and a few days later I received a prepaid mailer from Framebridge to send my art to them safely! Once they received it, they professionally framed it per my selection and sent it back to me. It is stunning, and happily residing in our living room. Much better than the tube it's been rolled in for months in our storage, don't you think?

Framebridge, you sooooo get me. I think our walls will soon be filled with many more memories worth savoring.


the last sink bath

Hi guys!! For this post I have teamed up with Aveeno Baby as part of their #TinyMoments campaign, which I am so thrilled about. As a working mother of two, it truly is the tiny moments that I cherish the most and I have always been an advocate for sharing them. Bath time is one of those moments for me because it forces me to slow down and just enjoy my babies. I have to bathe them no matter how many dishes or piles of laundry are waiting for me elsewhere. And also because is there anything sweeter than a sudsy baby splashing in bubbles and the glorious scent that comes after? I don't think so!

We love to use Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo for both babies and moisturize after with Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion. We love how gentle and nourishing the oat formula is for delicate baby skin.

This week Everett had his last bath in the bathroom sink. All. The. Tears. He has already grown so big and squishy that he no longer fits in the sink. As a mother there is no greater joy than seeing your babies grow and thrive, but oh how I wish that time would just pause for a bit so that I could soak it all in and relish every wet, slippery, sudsy ounce of him.

It's so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our every day lives and take these moments for granted. So I am thankful for the opportunity to slow down and focus on the tiny, but special, little moments with my babies. Looking back years from now I know that I will be thankful I did. 

Share your #TinyMoments and tag @AveenoUS to show off your #AveenoBaby.

Treasure every moment, tiny and all, friends. Xxo

Disclosure: I partnered with Aveeno® on this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


everett's birth story

As if it were kismet, I went into labor naturally very early on the morning of my scheduled repeat cesarean. Everett was coming... and so was a blizzard. It was Monday, December 28th 2016.

I tossed and turned all night the night before, as I knew I would. 40 weeks pregnant tends to do that to a person, but my scheduled cesarean for 8am the next morning was contributing to my insomnia as well. At about 1am I started cramping, but chalked it up to nerves and tried to force myself back to sleep. By 2am I thought that I might get sick and again just thought that my nerves were just getting to me. It wasn't until nearly 3am that it dawned on me that these "cramps" were still coming and felt an awful lot like something familiar to me. Something my body was remembering from two years ago. These felt like contractions.

^^ my very last bump photos ^^

At this point I gave up on sleep altogether and made my way to the shower. I tried to time the contractions in my head, but easily lost track of my counting while visions of a sweet baby that I would meet in just a few hours flooded my head. By the time I got out of the shower my contractions were noticeably painful and I started my app to start timing them. Brian woke up shortly after and we watched the contractions log fill up pretty quickly... They were only about 7 minutes apart and pretty consistent. What?! Now my mind is spinning and I'm remembering all of the articles I read about how second babies tend to come much faster than your first. And while Lorelai's mind boggling 26 and a half hour labor (only to end with a c-section) gave me the time cushion that should give me some relief, the pain that I was feeling every 7... no, wait 6 minutes now, was not comforting.

Nearing 5am now and I knew that my mom would be arriving at our house around 6am to stay with Lorelai while we checked into the hospital, two hours before my scheduled surgery as instructed. I tried to get myself ready and finish packing last minute things for the hospital, all the while watching my contractions get closer and closer.

My mother arrived about 20 minutes early and thank goodness she did, because at this point I knew that we needed to go. I kissed my sweet girl goodbye and off we went. You could smell the snow in the air even though it had not yet arrived. I remember telling Brian that I could smell it as we drove up our street to the hospital only blocks away, baby squirming in my belly.

Unlike our last hospital check-in when my water leaked all over the lobby floor of the hospital, this one was a little less exciting. Except for the fact that I kept telling the woman checking us in that I was having rather painful contractions and she kept taking her sweet time getting us registered. (Really though, why are these people always so calm and act like nothing gigantic is about to happen to you?! possibly right in front of them!!)

We made it to our room and were hooked up to all of the monitors and my surgery prep began. This is a lot of NOT fun stuff like IVs and catheter's.... bleh. Not fun, not fun, not fun. After telling the nurse just a few times (!!!) that I was in labor she finally checked the monitor printout and said "Oh, yes! You certainly are." And then carried on like it was nothing. Oooooooookkkkkk.

Soon my mom arrived after dropping Lorelai off at daycare and the doctor came in to chat with us briefly before the surgery. We were all set.

Here we go.

They asked me to get up from my bed and walk to the operating room which I found rather strange given that I had a bag full of pee attached to my bladder and hanging by my leg, but whatever. We waddled our way in. And this is the part that I hate. First of all, Brian can’t come in the operating room with me yet at this point and has to wait outside, which I hate. And they have to give me my spinal block.

With Lorelai I had an epidural during my labor and I don’t recall them ever having to do anything else before my cesarean. Though I’m sure they did, it was nothing like this. I had to hunch over on the operating table and sit PERFECTLY still while the anesthesiologist administered my spinal. Keep in mind that I’m still having contractions, okay? Now, at first this wasn’t as bad as the epidural with Lorelai because I was in deep, DEEP labor at that point and sitting still was nearly impossible. But this time I could manage… until he couldn’t get it in correctly. Obviously this is extremely uncomfortable and before I know it my nerves are being poked at with a giant needle forcing my limbs jolt away from my body involuntarily and I let out screams that I didn’t even know were coming from me. The anesthesiologist had an extremely difficult time and after many, many failed attempts finally was successful. I know I’m making this sound just dreadful and it was, seriously. Obviously one hundred and ten thousand percent worth it and I would do it again and not as bad as labor, but still, holy cow… THE PAIN. Brian later told me that while waiting outside of the operating room to be let in, he could not only hear my screams, but saw blood rolling down my back every time the door swung open. I think I cried when he told me that.

Unfortunately from this ordeal, my anxiety was at an all time high. The meds were kicking in now and I couldn’t move the lower portion of my body. I was stuck, paralyzed from the waist down; my legs dead and driving me into the table under their weight. Now I’m not completely naiive, I knew that this was the ultimate goal for a c-section, trust me I don’t want to feel what’s going on while they do their thing. But my panic was getting the better of me after the unnerving experience of getting the spinal inserted. The first five minutes of the surgery were tough. I kept asking Brian to squeeze my hand as I closed my eyes and just waited for that familiar cry, trying to push away the drowning feeling in my chest.

And it came.

Oh boy, did it come.

Everett was born.

I peeked at him briefly before he was whisked away and Brian soon after him as he was examined, weighed and cleaned. 

At this point the anestiologist was able to give me anxiety meds that were not safe until the baby was out and for that I was grateful. But suddenly I’m alone on this table. My baby gone. My hand lying there suddenly empty. Do people talk about how hard this is? Man, this is SO HARD. The emotions, the pain, it is all staggering. I can’t feel my stomach, but I can feel the weight lifted of what was my 8 pounds and 1 ounce baby boy. Brian goes with the baby because that’s what you do as a parent and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I lay on the table for the next 45 minutes while they put me back together because that’s what you do as a parent. But these moments are hard. I thought that maybe it wouldn’t be hard this time because I knew exactly what to expect, but that’s just not true. For me, these moments are harder than the long recovery from surgery. You just birthed a baby, your very own child, that was literally inside of you for ten long months, but you are forced to wait to really even meet them after they are here. All they want is you and all you want is them.

When Brian told me he was a boy my heart exploded. Everett Milo. My headed flooded with memories of things we had said and done throughout my pregnancy, realizing that it was Everett in there all along. While we danced to The National in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin on that simmering hot night, it was Everett kicking to the music. While we chased Lorelai along the hiking trails that warm day in October, it was Everett bouncing along with us all. This realization never seizes to astound me.

Finally, surgery is done and my baby is in my arms!! JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY. I can’t believe how big he is! JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY. He looks so much like Lorelai. ALL THE DAMN JOY.

Gosh, I love this boy.



What do I do with a boy?!?!??! (I seriously asked several nurses this question. As the older sibling of two younger sisters and the mother of a baby girl, you can see my hesitation).

My mother meets him and Brian stares at him wildly and we nurse. And he just nurses away.

Soon our family pours in and slowly everyone gets their taste of him. All of that newborn goodness that words cannot possibly describe.

It wasn’t all rainbows, don’t get me wrong. Because I was pretty darn sick from the anesthesia and spent a lot of the day throwing up. But thankfully the super strong drugs were in me from the surgery so it wasn’t too painful on my incision and eventually the side effects faded. We all dozed off and on, myself especially, exhausted from the surgery and the medications.

I remember looking out the window after a while and noticing the raging blizzard outside that began somewhere along the way. I cuddled my sweet little guy and we all just watched him as the snow continued to fall and fall and fall and fall (seriously, it was a huge snowstorm).

Early that evening Lorelai came. This is a moment that I can’t even think about or picture in my head or write in a blog post without crying big, wet, sloppy tears. She saw me and immediately wanted up in the bed. MY GIRL. I held her and I held him and she stared at him with wonder and love and adoration that I have never seen so purely before. She just loved him. One of the best moments of my life.

Soon after this she started to notice all of the IVs and tubes and needles I had on me and was pretty frightened. But that’s ok. We had our moment. Watching her go that night nearly broke me, but I knew she was happy to be visiting grandma & grandpa. My mom told me that as they walked down the hospital hall on their way to the elevator, hand in hand, Lorelai looked up at her and said “baby boy”. And it was the first of many times that she would say that.

^^ one day old, everett milo. this was the first photo that I was able to take of E myself. which might not seem like a big deal to most, but to me that is special. after watching visitors, nurses and family take photos of him, this was the first time that I got to capture how I felt about this tiny little new person in my life. ^^

^^ two days old, everett milo ^^

^^ all bundled in and ready to get discharged ^^

^^ home ^^

And isn’t the rest just history? My recovery was long and the nights were sleepless, but the LOVE. Oh man, we have the love.


our kids (plural)

two kiddos. it's been over two weeks since everett was born and it still feels odd to say kids, as in plural, KIDS. we have TWO CHILDREN. how did that happen?! okay, not how, but it amazes me how quickly everything evolves and changes. it seems like only months ago we became parents for the first time and now here we are, navigating the waters of toddlerhood and that newborn goodness all over again. it is thrilling and terrifying and exhausting and absolutely everything. watching lorelai with her baby brother brings me such joy. immeasurable joy. she kisses him, and checks on him, and asks for him right when she wakes up. she gives him his "binkie" and caresses his head while he drinks his "mama milk". she is so gentle around him and absolutely adores him. her face beams when she is around him. my heart is constantly growing and breaking and melting all at the same time.

i couldn't possibly be more in love.


everett milo

on a snowy, wintry morning we welcomed our darling boy into our world and our hearts. we are in such awe of this little wonder and immensely grateful for our healthy, little family of four. 

everett milo was born on december 28th, 2015 at 8:42am weighing eight pounds and one ounce, and 21 inches long.

my mama heart is so full.


packing our hospital bags

it's that time! well actually, i'm a little late (especially considering we had a false alarm at the hospital last week!) but hey, at least i am getting them packed, right? after lugging three full bags with us, among other things, to the hospital when my water broke with lorelai, i desperately tried to simplify what we would need this time around. i still have a very vivid visual of brian running through the hospital doors, after he dropped me off and parked, with a big bag in each hand and one strapped on his back as my water spilled all over the hospital lobby. oh dear, first time parents syndrome. it helped me a lot this time to remember how much i appreciated little comforts of home during our stay and how many other things sat in our bags untouched, so i am hopeful that my packing list is a little more simplified and on point with what we will need and want this time. below is a list of pretty much everything that we have packed and ready to go, including links to our favorite goodies for both baby and mama during this newborn/postpartum stage.

for baby's bag:
- lily jade co bag
- a cozy, warm blanket
- a couple of muslin swaddle blankets
- a paci
- solly wrap (to use for baby wearing + as a nursing cover)
- a couple of outfits (some knit jumpers, some footie pants and little kimono shirts and some festive holiday sleepers)
- teeny white socks
- scratch mittens
- a hat (the same one that lorelai wore home from the hospital)
- several bonnets (because baby bonnets make my heart explode into tiny pieces)
- butt balm + baby lotion
- a few prefold gerber cloth diapers (for burp cloths)
- approved car seat + car seat cover
- a few teeny diapers + wipes
- baby book (same one that we have for lorelai)

for mama's bag:
- tote bag from the jones market
- a hospital gown (because the ones they give you are just awful; i love the story behind james fox co)
- a comfy robe
- slippers
- a couple pairs of wool socks
-toiletries (hair ties, bobby pins, toothbrush, dry shampoo, deodorant, hair brush, moisturizer, lip salve, shampoo, conditioner, soap, body balm, face towelettes, makeup, contact solution, glasses, always pads, etc)
- nipple butter
- loose fitting tops
- a big, comfy sweater
- leggings + yoga pants
- many pairs of underwear
- nursing bras + tanks
- button down pjs
- nursing pads (i like the cloth, washable ones)
- boppy pillow
- pillow from home
- coconut oil
- hot water bottle
- laptop + charger
- camera + charger
- a family photo for by my bed (there is just something special about having one actually printed with me)
- oily birth kit + diffuser

for lorelai's bag:
- travel crib
- clothes + pajamas
- her bunny + blankie
- paci (and backup pacis)
- sippy cup
- diapers + wipes
- butt balm
- hair brush
- sound machine
- snacks
-toothbrush + toothpaste
- first aid kit (tylenol, ibuprofen, syringes, thermometer, neosporin, bandaids, owie roller bottle essential oils blend, tummygize essential oil)
- ipad
- a couple of favorite books + toys
- frozen stickers (that i threw in as a surprise)
- recordable story book (i got this one and recorded my voice reading it to her her so that mama can still read her a bed time story every night. please don't ask me how much i cried while doing this...)
- a family photo for her too (she loves pointing us all out in photographs)

my oily birth kit:
- peace & calming (for diffusing in our room)
- gentle baby (i plan to diffuse this during our initial bonding time together)
- lemon (to drink with water for swelling)
- joy (for my wrists and over my heart to combat baby blues and a general mood booster)
- fennel (to take with a spoonful of honey for boosting milk supply)
- geranium (for healing)
- peppermint (for nausea)
- V6 (for diluting, massaging)
- thieves (for killing germs)
- valor (for aches & pains)
- tranquil roll on (for calming)
- stress away roll on (enough said)
- deep relief roll on (for everything)
- ningxia red (for energy)

it still seems surreal that in less than a week we will have another baby in our family. i'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what that will be like and also so, so curious what this new little one will be like. we can't wait to meet you baby!


baby bub no. TWO

what a whirlwind this pregnancy has been. so much so that my updates have been few and far between. and now here we are, getting ready to meet this sweet babe because i am almost full term! i wish you could see my eyes bugging out of my head when i type that. we will meet our newest family member in three weeks. THREE WEEKS.

while many of my symptoms this pregnancy are very much the same as they were with lorelai, this pregnancy itself has been very different. for one, i don't have as much time to spend dwelling on every little symptom, milestone or new development. not that it isn't just as exciting (it is!), but i am usually retrieving items that my toddler threw into the toilet instead and by the time she goes to bed at night and i prepare for the day ahead, my head can't hit the pillow fast enough. needless to say, i am much, much more tired this pregnancy (who knew that was even possible?)

back in july we had our 20 week ultrasound and were thrilled to see our tiny babe wiggling away on the screen. we were lucky to get to spend some extra screen time with him or her while the doctors checked the baby's heart for any abnormalities. thankfully, this baby's heart is healthy and we only have a 5-10% chance of a heart defect developing later in pregnancy. lorelai received these same percentages during pregnancy and she is just perfectly healthy, which helped us to cope with these heightened chances this time around.

and surprise, we managed to remain team green during the ultrasound and are keeping the baby's gender a surprise yet again! we hmmm'd and hawww'd a bit this time about whether we would like to find out the baby's gender or not, but ultimately decided that we like to be surprised and so we will be! what a happy little christmas present we will have waiting for us.

cravings have been pretty consistent with my first pregnancy as well... chocolate milk is always a big contender. a lot of mexican food and of course doughnuts. SOURDOUGH BREAD. you know, the necessities. my biggest craving by far this pregnancy has been pie. seriously, any damn kind of pie and i am all over it. apple. buttermilk. chicken pot pie. crisps and cobblers will do in a pinch too, but man, PIE. all the pie. and this time i find myself craving coffee often which i didn't at all while pregnant with lorelai. this time i cut out caffeine in the first trimester, but once the second trimester rolled around i allowed myself a cup or two in the mornings and boy, let me tell you how absolutely delicious each drop has been. heaven on earth.

these days i will cry at literally anything and easily drink my weight in water. coincidentally, i pee at least four times a night and usually wake up my family with my grunts as i try to (unsuccessfully) slip out of bed each time. i've also been experiencing a lot of braxton hicks contractions this pregnancy. more than i remember when pregnant with lorelai, but maybe i just didn't know what they were then. on multiple occasions i have had to lay down and slather myself with lavender oil just to calm them. no bueno.

i have pretty much narrowed down baby's super active times, which is usually early morning and late at night, so it seems we are definitely on track for some sleep deprivation in our future. baby kicks are easily my favorite thing about pregnancy (but also my least favorite when baby is quiet and worry settles in). i distinctly remember these feelings when lorelai was in there too because i swear i have never felt more beautiful than when my body is growing a baby. all the swelling and bloating and skin flare-ups aside, it is just so humbling to experience a life inside of you that you are solely sustaining, simply because your body knows how to. i swear, i will never take it for granted.

as we prepare our hearts and our home for our new arrival, we have much left to do and haven't been nearly as prepared as we were the first time around (see earlier blurb about retrieving items from toilet). on our to-do list: 1/ working on transitioning lorelai to her big girl bed. i really don't want her to feel kicked out of her crib, but we are struggling because she still loves her crib so much. her new bed is all set up, but we still mostly just play in it and read books. 

2/ there are a few things left on our shopping list, but mostly it is nice to have all of the basics already. of course we will need new teeny, tiny pacifiers and diapers, which we have slowly started collecting. a stroller attachment to turn our current ride into a double (oh boy). more swaddles and blankets, because you always need more swaddles and blankets. and we got a sweet little bouncer that i would like to try this time in hopes of replacing the gigantic swing we had for lorelai that takes up half of our living space. a couple of sweet little outfits and rattles made their way home too because every babe deserves some special things of their very own. 

3/ we still have some rearranging and organizing to do in the nursery too. we love our babies to sleep in our room in the beginning, but eventually we will have a shared nursery for our littles, which is very exciting and feels special to me (as i hope it will to them). eventually we will outgrow our little home, but for now i can't imagine bringing our new baby home to anywhere else but here. i love organizing their teeny, tiny newborn things amongst lorelai's collection of dresses and books and creating a special and magical place for them to explore together. 

oh sweet baby, we are so anxious to meet you and snuggle you and adore you.