6 weeks…

It has been a little over 6 weeks since my little peanut or rather my little tank decided to bust onto scene.

This baby was quite large and required lots of encouragement on my end to make his presence known to the world. It is ridiculous to think that the baby that was causing so much discomfort, emotional roller coasters inside is now snuggling tightly in my arms.

That is the best feeling ever. Holding your baby for the first time. Not everyone gets this blessing or they have to wait days before they are able to cradle their bundle of joy.

Life has been a mix of excitement, exhaustion, anxiety, and laughs. It’s hard to always keep up with everything and everyone. My toddler has become more adventurous rather quickly. 

Something I am learning about this time of in incessantly fussy newborn cries and toddler dare devil attempts is to breathe, relax and trust God.

Having these two boys in my life makes the reality of the lack of control I have over my life more vivid every day. So what if the laundry isn’t folded. Who cares if the dishes are in the dishwasher ready to go at the end of the day. 

Little ones don’t stay little for long. I miss being able to focus on my oldest and I yearn for the never ending snuggles with my newborn. It’s a balance that has to be flexible. I may be stretched a little thin these days, but I’ll bounce back. Each day doesn’t get easier, but I get better. 

Let that little light shine

So as I mentioned before, my hubby and I took on the feat over Lent to dish out our old threads to donate or trash. Over the course of Lent, we had one trash bag worth of clothes that need to disposed of and 3.5 trash bags were filled with donatable clothes. 

It hurt both of us to let go of our pasts we kept alive through our clothing. Yet there we stood inspired by this project at the end refreshed. 

I used to joke that my hubby had more clothes and shoes then me. This was funny because it was true.  I really didn’t start casually buying clothing for myself until we started dating. Even then I maybe bought an outfit or two every other year. But I would always wear my older clothes anyway due to their comfort and familiarity.

With the exception of my maternity wardrobe, the statement above about my hubby having more clothes then me is not as true now. We probably have a similar amount of pieces. I would show you a picture of our closet that contains all of our clothing but that would require more efforts for me to organize it again. I cannot tell you how many times I have organized that space throughout our clothing de-cluttering project. We got rid of things and then throw more baby stuff in the hole that once held our clothing. 

Anyways, as painful as it was for us to grow up and give way to a more mature path of how we look at ourselves, I’d say this has left with more appreciation and confidence for what we have and who we are. 

Our clothes have given off the impression  that we wanted no one to notice us and were comfortable in our hidden space we emulated in our style.

Well truth be told, it will be harder for me to hide in the clothes I have left.  This experience has taught me how much emotion we as people invest in our appearance and what people see at first glance is a clear reflection of our hearts. 

God made me more then just to float around all frumpy and insecure. He made me his daughter, a princess, a treasure greater then any jewel. He did the same for you. Whatever life has brought your way, remember the Lord’s grace is for everyone. You’re a irreplaceable treasure with complex and perfect design the way God made you. Stop hiding like I was, and let’s shine together.

Giving it all you got

This Sunday marks Palm Sunday during the Lenten season. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, the highly anticipated week prior to Resurrection Sunday.

Palm Sunday celebrates the day Christ was   welcomed into Jerusalem with great excitement and acceptance. Later that same week, Jesus was arrested  following the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) and condemned to die on the cross (Good Friday). Then 3 days later, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter that Sunday.

It is vital as a believer in Christ to take the time to reflect on the sacrifice Christ made for us, not just during Lent, but everyday.

In mild comparison to the life Jesus gave, this is the last week of us demonstrating some form of personal sacrifice. My husband and I have been going through our clothing since Ash Wednesday and either donating or trashing one item of clothing per day. Thus far, we have been successful, although every day the selection process is getting more difficult.

My husband suggested during Holy Week we each find two items of clothing to donate per day. So another 14 pieces have to be eluded from each of our wardrobes by Easter.

I tell you, I always knew about my lack of fashion sense, but geez. As I have been getting down to the wire of only having a few pieces of comfort clothes left, I am starting to learn how frumpy my style really is.

For one thing I am 8.5 months pregnant and struggle with body image. I have been abundantly blessed by one of my best friends who essentially has given me all of her maternity wardrobe. It’s a wonderful wardrobe that I am grateful to have, but for some reason I  am having a difficult time wanting to show off my bump.

Alas, normally I bum around in my old boxy tees and sweats. Now that a lot of that is gone, I have to wear the maternity clothes more frequently then I have been, embracing my bump.

Yesterday we had the wonderful opportunity to hang out kid free with our close friends. We went to a local wine festival where I was the DD. Prior to leaving, I scoured my closet for something “nice.”

As this is my third pregnancy, being the second pregnancy to reach the third trimester, I had previously purchased a few pieces of maternity clothing that have been collecting dust in our closet.

The particular outfit I found was a pair of jeans with a stylish cut and a long flowy black top. I decided it was time for me to get over myself and wear the clothes that still had the purchase tags in place. I was a little unsure about the outfit , but like always, my hubby praised me with compliments of beautiful I looked. I really am so blessed to have such a great guy, I think I’ll keep him around ;).

When my friend saw me, I could tell she was a little surprised I was wearing something other then leggings, a shirt, and my oversized coat. She asked about my outfit and I told her I had bought them awhile ago. She joked about me actually spending money on clothes. I couldn’t deny the truth in that statement and I also couldn’t deny how good I felt in the outfit, despite the fact that it made me clearly look very pregnant to everyone around me.

More and more this week,  as we plunder our clothing, we will be experiencing the reality of the body types God has blessed us with by parting ways with clothing that no longer fits within our lives. Sounds kind of dramatic, but in a way it is. We are facing our demons of insecurity with nowhere to hide, but in fact, letting our lights for Christ become more radiant as we peel away these raggy layers.

Pregnant women can have their cake and eat it too.

When a craving strikes, it is almost impossible for me to focus on anything else.

What’s worse is when you have this mind consuming lust for deliciousness and the end result does not satisfy.

It leaves your taste buds angry. I honestly think that they have threatened to leave me at one point if I did not get my act together and give them the flavors they needed to properly thrive.

Needless to say, a craving may seem more then just a temporary moment of complete and utter desperation for fried macaroni and cheese bites…. oooooo…… , but more as a way of keeping your taste buds sharp and pleased.

See my logic. It makes perfect sense, especially to every pregnant woman out there. I have experienced the wrath of my taste buds and it has been haunting me for the past couple of days.

You see, I tried a cookie dough stuffed Oreo and it was not what I was expecting. It just didn’t hit the mark for me. So ever since then, I have been dreaming about cookie dough sandwiched between to two crisp Oreo cookies. Which leads me to my next venture.

I thought to myself, that sounds easy enough to make at home. I have a great recipe for edible cookie dough and I should be able to whip up Oreo cookies. You know, simple everyday baking.

Well I am going to be honest, I have attempted to recreate Oreos at least 4 times and each time I haven’t been able to get it right. But I was determined to try again.

So I decided to give it a go yesterday. I thought it would be smart to combine two different recipes and make a hybrid cookie with what I had at home. This dough contained chocolate cake mix and a lot of butter. Sometimes I am successful at cooking or baking this way, but this was not the case last night.

The Oreo dough was too sticky and when I lightly touched the baking cookie to check for doneness, I burned my finger rather painfully. I became more frustrated. I wanted so badly for this recipe to work out and now I burned my finger and it was slowing down the whole process. I had somewhere to be last night and time was not on my side.

I regained my composure and tried to fix my mistake with the Oreo dough that was not coming together. I tried to no avail. Therefore I quick whipped up the edible cookie dough and ran out the door, leaving the epic failure of confused Oreo dough a mess for my husband to rectify. He placed the dough, which was baked-ish, but gooey, in the freezer to solidify.

I came home late and was exhausted. I went to bed after a quick shower, not wanting to face the dreaded Oreo dough until the next day.

Still yearning for my cookie dough Oreo combination, a thought came into my head this morning. What if I made it into a smoothie????

Quickly, I grabbed the leftover edible cookie dough with some frozen Oreo dough and began to create my concoction. Little did I know how epic it would be!!

So here I share with you my Oreo Cookie Dough Smoothie recipe.

Now I do not have the individual dough recipes on here, but stay tuned for that sometime next week!

You can use any cookie dough you would like, just remember however, unless it is egg free and the flour has been separately baked prior to mixing into a cookie dough, you are eating at your own risk. You can also use Oreo cookies instead of dough, which I would recommend.

Oreo Cookie Dough Smoothie

1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used unsweetened coconut yogurt)

2 tbsp of edible cookie dough

1-2 Oreo cookies

2 tbsp of PB Fit

4 ice cubes

Pop it all in your blender, and mix it up!!

Enjoy!!

Day 21 of 40

At 32 weeks pregnant, my motivation levels to get organized have actually been rather high. I guess you could say I am in my nesting phase.

Despite the increased motivation, my energy levels and ability to move fast without waddling like something fierce or sporting my pregnancy swag, have made it a bit difficult to complete certain tasks.

For instance, we have about 4 or 5 boxes stacked in our bedroom that require “adult assembly.” Realistically these furniture pieces will be put together by my husband. As much as I am go-getter and have a strong desire to nest, my exhaustion causes my mind to be a bit foggy. I do not trust myself using his tools , especially one that I thought was a fancy flashlight when really it was a multi-purpose screwdriver.

In addition to the typical mom tasks of meal prepping and keeping the apartment looking sparkly, my hubby and I have been going through our clothing and deciding to donate or trash one piece everyday of this Lenten season.So everyday I feel somewhat accomplished once I get rid of excess from my closet, making more room for baby clothes.

The first half of this project was super easy. My husband and I would have an item in mind or just rummage the closet for a few seconds to find a piece. Now it has come to the point where going through our clothing is difficult. It takes me wondering to my closet throughout the day pondering and procrastinating this task.

Just the other day, my husband got rid of a t-shirt from middle school. It took him this long to let go of that old and worn rag. I really have no room to talk. My mindset is, well I need a few crappy pieces of clothing for doing projects or working out or postpartum. It turns out 90% of my everyday wardrobe is made up of this type of fashion.

It is high time to move out of my comfort zone in what I wear and embrace the confidence in myself that exists outside of my clothing. These next 19 days will be the hardest for us as we are ripped from our comfort zones and forced to be more than just okay with the bodies God has blessed us with. No more hiding behind our falling apart threads and insecurities. We have a better abiding place then our clothing for us to find peace and comfort.

“I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

Today is the first day of the Lenten season. 40 days of sacrifice in anticipation of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Some view Lent as a restart for their New Years resolutions. 

For Lent, I use it as a reminder to be more intentional with my life. This is something that we really should be doing all the time. In tandem with living more intentionally, the minimalist movement has peaked my interest.

The concept is quite Biblical. As a follower of Jesus we are called to let go of material possessions and invest   in our heavenly treasures.

Matthew 19:21 says “Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

A trendy clutter free technique is popping up everywhere and is called 40 bags in 40 days. The idea is to go through your things each day and donate or dispose of your clutter. 

I like the idea of de-cluttering. My hubby and I recently moved and had to donate/throw away much of our clutter already. So to put ourselves through another overhaul of going through every item we own would just be unnecessarily   emotionally exhausting.

However, one area of our lives that we have been neglecting is our clothing. We collect clothing and tend to hold onto it very tightly. Most times it’s sentimental threads that we are unable to part with. 

Our clothing collection contains pieces that date back as far as middle school which for me was 10 +years ago. It’s time for us to let go to say the least.

When I brought this idea up to my husband, he was excited to give this a go. At first I thought I didn’t even own 40 articles of clothing that I could get rid of, but once I considered all the tops, bottoms, outerwear, and under garments, I realized I had plenty to spare.

Starting today, we  will each choose one item of our clothing and decide whether to chuck it or donate it. I’m looking forward to this 40 day venture of de-cluttering. I’ll be sure to share with you my experience as we rip and tear apart our clothing collection containing years of attached emotions. 
God bless!

The Struggle is Real

Pregnancy is the one time in life that people are not allowed to judge you for the food choices you make. However, that doesn’t typically stopped people from voicing their opinions.

I learned not to say anything to a pregnant woman about her size or cravings very quickly when I once questioned a pregnant woman’s “snack” choice. She gave me a look that could kill. Needless to say, I now keep my shout.

Something I have also learned more recently while being pregnant, especially the second time, is that it’s really hard to hear people talk about your size.

As a person who was the quite the chubber back in the day, I am a bit self-conscious about my weight and appearance. During pregnancy, this self-awareness of my body grows exponentially with my baby bump.

Although I do my best to keep active and eat well, being a stay at home mom lends itself to all the time access to free snacks and chocolate. Some mornings I am craving a milkshake. Throughout the day, it takes all my will power not to sit and shove whatever sounds delicious in my mouth without any regards to calories.

For me, my baby bump started to show later in the pregnancy. Now almost in my third trimester, I feel like a balloon expanding by the second and everyone is noticing.  The other night I was a bit emotional about this, and my sweet hubby did his best to console me.

He said “It’s a good thing you are growing because that means our baby is growing like he or she should.”

That statement slapped the self-pity off of my face. I was being completely selfish. The fact that my bump is blossoming means our baby is blossoming and that is truly a beautiful thing.

So if you’re a pregnant momma like me, remember, no matter what people say or how you think about what you look like on the outside, a growing momma means a growing baby which results in a healthy baby.

Love the journey and embrace those new curves. Keep yourself healthy and know that God is gently weaving together the new life that you will soon hold in your arms.

Venus or Mars?

Considerate and thoughtful people continue to ask me questions related to my pregnancy. Questions include how do I feel and when am I due? One question that I tend to expect to hear is do I know the gender?

With our firstborn we wanted to know the sex of the baby. I’m a planner and I felt this overwhelming need to know in order to properly prepare. It’s funny because we lived in a one bedroom. So the little one essentially took over our room with minimal decor and a feature wall. Albeit small, it was special for our son.

With this pregnancy, we have decided to wait until the baby is born to find out the sex. My desire to plan and organize another nursery nook in our bedroom, that is in our now 2 bedroom apartment, is starting to bubble to the surface. Maybe it’s my nesting instinct beginning to flap it’s feathers giving me flips and flops in my stomach. However, not knowing the sex does not bother me or make my planning OCD twitch with anxiety.

The themes and ideas I have come up with for this baby are quite neutral, yet are very easy to personalize once we have our little one in hand. Normally I am not a fan of the neutral yellows and greens, but once I realized I don’t have to take that decor route at all, I warmly embraced the unknown in the anticipation in our little one’s arrival.
It’s sort of scary to learn that the sex of my baby matters more to others then me. Thinking about it more, I personally do not have a preference as to what the sex of my child is. I hear stories of people becoming heart broken to discover the gender before birth and I refuse to let such a thing get in the way of being in love with my child.

There is a lot of pressure when you are pregnant to know the gender, to have everything perfectly designed for that gender and have a life plan for that child based upon their gender.
Am I saying finding out the sex beforehand is wrong? Nope. To each their own. I really do not care if you prefer to wait or find out as soon as possible.

I do believe, however, that we need to remember as parents and parents to be that the sex of our baby is only one personal identifier. The greater fact is that this baby is life. This little life is always a blessing no matter what the baby’s sex is.

Let’s focus more on the celebration of the fact that every child is a precious gift and less on the social pressure of what we need to do to as a parent that we unfortunately get bombarded with as soon as the double lines show up on the pregnancy test.

Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Indulgence with a side of chaos

Much like many of my inspirations, they come to me in the middle of the night.

I cannot go back to sleep after I get an idea in my head. This is usually where I create new food bites, pieces of writing, and homemaking hacks. 

This pregnancy has been one to assist in the development of eccentric food pairings or weird cravings. 

Ever since I heard that Dunkin’ Donuts have new coffee flavors vanilla cupcake and fudge brownie, I have to try it. 

Cravings come and go and sometimes I am able to actually act on it. I woke up with the idea of combing Oreo hot chocolate with their vanilla cupcake coffee. This wasn’t too crazy to make it possible. I was determined to make it happen today and I had a plan.

I woke up about an hour earlier then I wanted to to the screaming of my little one. He totally wet himself and a load of laundry needed to get done. 

Once I started the day, I was motivated to complete my chores and get everything done before my prenatal appointment. That way if everything was timed properly, I would come home with the mind crafted deliciousness in my hands, snuggled up on the futon with a napping toddler in his crib.

After the rude awakening, the morning went smoothly until we got to the appointment. Little guy isn’t so little anymore and is completely mobile.

He has grown out of the infant car seat and is ready to explore anywhere and everywhere we let him. Today was freezing outside and the whole winter jacket rule with the car seat made the process of leaving the car and getting into the building a bit dramatic.

My little guy fought me tooth and nail to put on his hat and winter coat. Plus I had to stuff him into the stroller to contain him during the appointment. He screamed bloody murder the whole time and I prayed “please Lord let this jacket to fit into the stroller.”It was snug but I finally securely clicked him into his ride.

For some reason or another manuvering the stroller through doorways was quite a task.  Going to the bathroom with this stroller for my usual prenatal sample was an adventure in itself. 

Finally we were situated in the waiting room and I enjoyed the 5 seconds of calm.

The wait time for the appointment was longer then expected and the native was getting restless. Thankfully I had packed what a friend of mine calls baby “crack” or puffs. I kept giving them to him until my name was called.

During the appointment, he was entertaining himself by flirting with the nurses and midwife. 

The whole time in the back of my mind, all I could think about was my concoction of coffee and cocoa. 

Thankfully, I was able to get my indulgence with a side of chaos. 

I measured 4oz of coffee to add to my cocoa since I accidentally forgot to ask for decaf and plus too much coffee tends to make me sick. 


Now this momma is enjoying nap time with a sweet sip of rest and relaxation. 

Thank you Lord for these moments of peace and respite even when the day may start off with a screaming child.

How has God given you rest today?

I would love to hear what you think!
God bless!

Katie

A new season

It has been quite some time since I could muster up the motivation to write a post.

Not to say that I didn’t have time or any good stories to share, but merely because my motivation was  at an all time low. So much change happens in a year.

My little one who once was content with laying on his back kicking his feet is now a one year old running around, getting into anything and everything. He still would rather be playing than sleeping. 

I guess part of the reason I haven’t posted in awhile is because I am almost 6 months pregnant and the first trimester always puts me on my butt.

I totally lost my momentum to do anything at that point. However, now I am in my second trimester and for a short blissful time I feel somewhat like myself again. 

So yeah another little one is to be born this May! I’m super excited but also super freaked out. I feel as though I just got used to our new normal only to have it radically change. A good change, but a rather quick one.

Over this past Christmas we moved to a bigger apartment… 2 weeks before Christmas… need I say anything more??

This move felt like we were shutting the door to an old chapter. We had lived in that one bedroom apartment for 3.5 years. That apartment holds the frustrating memories of grad school, the tearful times of losses we experienced , and the bliss and adjustment of our little one. 

This new apartment is an upgrade so to speak. Everything works, all of our windows have screens, nothing is falling apart and we can use all of the electrical outlets! I feel so grown up! 

Our new place is making me think about the reality of our new season into a more stable adulthood. With another itty bitty on the way, my role as a stay at home mommy will be expanding. I want to make this place a home, which my husband and I never did prior to this place. We  didn’t feel the need to put forth such an effort into a place that was temporary. 

Well we accumulated enough pieces to make this place a welcoming and loving home. It was surprisingly easy to allow this new place to unfold itself into our home. A new start for our family. A new season for growth and opportunities. 
God continues to bless us immensely. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for is this year. 
God bless!

-Katie