Sew Together Bag

Hey! I actually sewed something!

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I’ve had a heck of a time getting my act together on any and all crafting projects lately. Part of it has to do with my unpredictable newborn schedule…and part of it has to do with the fact that we cleaned everything up for guests to come and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to bust out all my sewing supplies yet (madness and messiness will certainly ensue).

But before guests came, I had the pressure of coming up with a Mother’s Day gift for my mom which lead me to finally sewing this bag that I’ve had my eye on for quite awhile.

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I don’t remember where I first saw this bag, but the moment I saw it I knew it would be perfect for toting around the pieces to my La Passacaglia English Paper Piecing Project. It’s been in the back of my mind ever since.

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See? It has so many pockets! Perfect for all the teeny pieces associated with EPP! The bag is called the “Sew Together Bag,” and I got my pattern here from Craftsy.

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This was my first time making any sort of bag so I was a little bit nervous. The pattern instructions themselves were mostly pretty good. Some of the steps were a bit confusing. But luckily someone in the reviews had commented that there is a step by step sew along on the Quilt Barn Blog (find the sew along here) which helped a TON because it has pictures!

I made this particular bag for my mom for Mother’s Day (she’s not doing the La Passacaglia, but she has some other EPP projects going on) but I’m really excited to make one for myself! It didn’t take too long to complete and I really love how it turned out. If only every sewing project only took me two evenings to complete…

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Books Lately

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The Broken Road by Richard Paul Evans

This Book: chronicles the life of a man named Charles who, despite growing up surrounded by poverty, finds overwhelming financial success. He’s discovered this success comes at a price and, after a series of disturbing events, Charles finds himself wondering what it would be like to get a second chance. (It’s based on a true story).

What I Thought: 

  • I really liked this book. I’ve never read Richard Paul Evans before but his writing style is really easy and enjoyable. It’s obvious he writes to portray a message but the story was interesting in and of itself as well. It was also refreshing to read something that was totally clean.
  • This book is just the first in a trilogy (and book #2 doesn’t come out until May). I didn’t realize this when I started reading so I was frustrated at the abrupt ending. Just be warned, if you do read it, that the ending leaves you wanting to know more!

Should You Read It?: I would recommend this without reservations.

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Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

This Book: begins with a private jet falling into the ocean. The only survivors are a 4 year old son of a millionaire and a nobody struggling painter. What happened in the moments before the crash? Was it an innocent accident? Or was something more sinister at work?

What I Thought:

  • After reading so many YA books, this one definitely had a more mature voice and that was a nice change! And I liked how the book was written. Interspersed throughout the book were chapters talking about each of the people who had been on the plane, their personal histories and any clues about what happened leading up to the crash.
  • This book would probably be considered a thriller but in my opinion it was a pretty tame thriller. Meaning, my postpartum, anxiety-ridden mind was able to read it and still fall asleep at night. I was grateful for that.
  • I truthfully really enjoyed this book BUT I was pretty disappointed in the ending. It was the kind of ending where I guessed it right off but immediately thought, “That’s too obvious, it’ll be something more crazy.” But no, it was just kind of a boring ending. Having said that, I still really enjoyed it.

Should You Read It? I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers but is kind of a wimp (just me?).

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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This Book: was written by Gilbert, in a way, as a means for healing. Following a drawn out divorce and a painful broken heart, Gilbert is determined to fight through her depression and find peace. So she takes a year long trip spending 4 months in Italy (eat), 4 months in India (pray), and 4 months in Indonesia (love).

What I Thought:

  • I know I’m late to the party (like, waaaaay late), but I can see why this book has gotten so much attention. It’s very well written and I could see how it’d be really easy to relate to.
  • This book was definitely meant to be a sort of journal of spiritual discovery. Honestly (and not trying to sound superior in any way), I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at spiritually so more than anything I enjoyed it mostly for the travelogue. It got me seriously craving some Italian food (can you crave something you’ve never eaten?). And I loved reading about the herbal healing in Bali.
  • I thought the section on India was boring and seriously lacking. I mean, I enjoy yoga quite a bit but I’m not a huge fan of meditating (at least not in the sitting cross-legged and humming sense)…so I guess it makes sense that I wouldn’t want to read chapters upon chapters about someone else meditating for hours on end. Blech. Boring.
  • This point contains a spoiler, so skip it if you don’t want to be spoiled;). As part of her year of self discovery, Gilbert commits to avoiding romantic relationships during this time. She says she wants to, for once, just let herself be without the influence of a partner. And she spends a sufficient amount of time whining about how difficult this is. But then she ends the book with her hooking up with–and eventually falling for–some gorgeous Brazilian man whom she meets in Bali, but don’t worry, reader!-it’s on her terms! As if, obviously, the pinnacle of any year long spiritual journey would/should be a romantic relationship. Meh. Lame ending, in my opinion.

Should You Read It? I think a lot of people would really enjoy this book and even maybe learn from it. The book has been referred to as priv-lit (can’t argue that…I mean, who has the means to quit life for a year so they can aimlessly go travel?), so if that kind of staged-means-for-a-book bothers you, then definitely steer clear. Otherwise I’d say it’s worth giving it a try.

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Entwined by Heather Dixon

This Book: is a retelling of the fairytale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. In this version, Azalea and her 11 younger sisters lose their mother to illness, and in having to comply with mourning rules, are unable to do the one thing they feel honors their mother’s memory: dance. But the castle in which they live is enchanted and one evening they find a secret passageway that leads them to a magicked pavilion. The Keeper there invites them to come back every night…but soon he starts asking favors of them…ones they’re not sure they can keep.

What I Thought:

  • Overall I liked this book. It wasn’t my favorite in this genre, but it was definitely unique and enjoyable.
  • I did think that it moved a little slowly at some points. And I kind of got bored of all the dancing (I skimmed lots of the technical terms). I almost stopped reading it towards the beginning because nothing was happening, but it picked up right after that.
  • I thought the villain was extra creepy. Like too creepy…? But I admit to being a wimp.
  • I did really love all the relationships in this book. I thought all the characters stayed true to their personalities, which I appreciate. And the romances were sweet and believable and not overwhelming.

Should You Read It? This book, with it’s magic and princesses, definitely has a particular audience. If you’re a fan of the genre, I’d say it’s, again, not my favorite, but still pretty good.

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

This Book: starts off with Alice waking up from a serious fall at the gym. The most recent things she can remember-buying a fixer upper home with her husband, learning she was pregnant with their first child-apparently happened 10 years ago. A lot has changed in 10 years and 39 year old Alice starts putting together the pieces of her life that lead her to this place the 29 year old Alice never imagined she’d be.

What I Thought:

  • With how often I read, it is a surprisingly rare occurrence that I read a book I’m completely in love with. So let it be known that I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. I seriously loved it. I thought it was unique, fast paced, intriguing. I loved the questions it brought up. I loved the ending. The last chapter was so good. To me, it had a clear message and it made me cry. Loved it.
  • I don’t have any real complaints about this book. I will say that I thought the Frannie storyline was unnecessary but I didn’t hate it.
  • My first Liane Moriarty book was Big Little Lies which I totally loved. I wanted to read any Liane Moriarty books I could get my hands on! But I read Truly Madly Guilty and The Husband’s Secret and was decidedly disappointed. The writing was still good and the storyline intriguing, but they just didn’t hold my attention in quite the same way. I’m so glad I gave What Alice Forgot a try and although it wasn’t nearly as juicy as Big Little Lies I think I liked it more!

Should You Read It?: I’d happily recommend it (although it does have swearing).

5 Things Friday: Favorite Baby Items 12-18 Months

These posts always take a bit of brainstorming and I think it’s just because lots of my favorite things are used so routinely that I don’t stop to think how useful they are! Here’s my five favorite things from the past six months:

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  • Gap/Old Navy Socks: We’ve been really lucky with Wendy’s wardrobe in that she has a several cousins/friends/neighbors who’ve given her their old clothes so we’ve rarely had to buy anything (seriously it’s been so nice…especially since we are definitely getting our use of them with baby girl #2). Anyway, we were given many pairs of socks but it didn’t take long for me to zero in on the ones from Gap. They are thick and well made and actually stay on the baby’s foot! Miracles! Ha! When Wendy grew out of the ones we were given, I was looking into buying more. I realized that (since Gap and Old Navy are affiliated) the Old Navy socks are the exact same and, if you watch, you can get them for waaaaaay cheap on clearance. They are THE BEST and awesome for any size!
  • Fisher-Price Sit, Stride & Ride Lion: I’ve heard different things about whether or not baby walkers actually help a baby to learn how to walk, but in Wendy’s case I really think having a walker is what finally got her walking on her own (obviously, I don’t attribute all the credit to the Lion, but I think it helped with that final push). It aided her walking when she was still a little tipsy but she’s still loving it. This particular walker has a TON of different phrases and songs (so you still get obnoxious stuff stuck in your head, but at least you get a variety of obnoxious stuff;) and Wendy has yet to get sick of it. I will say you have to adjust it to switch from riding to walking and that’s kind of annoying, but other than that it’s been a hit!
  • North Face Jacket: Like I said, we’ve rarely had to buy Wendy’s clothes and as a result, most of our favorite clothing items have been given to us. One such item is our North Face coat. It’s size is 3 months but Wendy is still wearing it-ha! And even if your babies grow faster than Wendy, I think they purposefully run big so that you can get more wear out of your coat. This particular coat is reversible and the quality is awesome. If you live where it gets cold, I’d highly recommend something similar, just because you can trust the brand is keeping your baby warm. When Wendy wears hers I know that she’s either a good temperature or too hot which is awesome for someone like me who insists we go for a walk even if it’s snowing. (I’ve seen North Face Jackets at Ross for half price!)
  • Munchkin Weighted Flexi Straw Trainer Cup: Munchkin, can you do no wrong? Everything I’ve bought from them is great quality and totally ingenious. This particular cup has a straw with a weight at the bottom, so no matter which way baby tilts the cup, the weight will fall where the liquid is and baby can drink. So smart! This is definitely not a “need” item but Wendy loves it. And when Ben is downing a beverage and Wendy wants NEEDS a sip, we just fill this guy with water and she feels like she’s getting the real deal, cause, hey! she has a straw too!
  • Kid’s Folding Camp Chair: I’d love to have one of those nice little toddler chairs that looks like a miniature recliner someday, but being on a budget and with limited space, we bought Wendy a folding camp chair at Walmart for like 6 dollars. And it is a HUGE hit. She loves having her own spot to sit. Plus the little cup holder is basically the coolest thing ever in the eyes of 1 year old.

April 2018

This has been one FULL month! I even hesitate to do a GBOMB because how can anything be better than having a fresh, new baby to snuggle. And how can anything be truly Blah when I’ve been blessed with this beautiful little family of mine? Just know that having a baby makes me feel ALL the feels…but the strongest is definitely gratitude. Also…I have a feeling this will be a long post.

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Good

  • I know I talked a bit about this, and it technically happened in March, but labor went so well (mostly)! Here we are, weeks later, and Ben and I are still talking about how blessed we were throughout this labor.  I cannot tell you how stressed I was about going into labor without having family close by to watch Wendy. It was nothing short of a miracle that Ben’s mom was in town when I started having contractions. We were able to head to the hospital with next to no worries, knowing Wendy was in the good hands of her grandma. And, while I was totally mentally prepared for another C-Section, I felt super lucky that I was able to have Greta naturally.
  • Ben’s mom was in town because she had brought a bunch of the grandkids down during their spring break. So Greta had lots of visitors at the hospital which was so fun.
  • After having Greta, we only had to stay at the hospital a little over 24 hours. It was nice to be able to get home so quickly.
  • My mom drove to Flagstaff the day Greta was born and stayed for a week. What a blessing she was to us!Wendy loved playing with Grandma. Greta loved snuggling Grandma. And I loved that Grandma made it possible for me to sleep in!
  • I love conference and this conference was wonderful.
  • I was a little worried with how Wendy was going to respond to a new baby but she has just been awesome. I mean, I still get a little worried because Wendy doesn’t quite know how to be as careful as I want her to be, but mostly she has been so sweet. She’ll copy us when we say Greta. She’ll independently go up to the bassinet and say, “Awww!” She’ll also stand by Greta and do her version of baby talk (it is seriously hilarious). And just today she wanted Greta to be sitting on her lap (and once Greta was on her lap, Wendy proceeded to jab her face). It’s definitely a learning process (for all of us) but it’s going better than I imagined.
  • Recovery this time around has been soooo much easier. After I had my C-Section I felt like recovery was not bad. BUT having had the VBAC I can say that this recovery has been loads easier. And I’m sorry but it is so nice not being pregnant.
  • Mental recovery has been so much better as well. I don’t know if hormones have just been kinder or if it’s just one of the benefits of this being my second child, but I’ve been feeling a fraction of the anxiety I felt after I had Wendy. Everything seems so much more doable and so much less worrisome.
  • Ben has been so helpful. Not only does he wake up with Wendy in the mornings and offer to make dinner, he also just gives me so much sanity in the moments when I am worrying about stupid things. Thank heavens for him.

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Blah

  • Apparently I’m allergic to something at the hospital. When I had my C-Section, I got a huge rash surrounding the incision, and this time I got a huge rash on my back (where I got an epidural). I don’t even know exactly what it is that’s causing the reaction (some people say surgical tape, some people say anesthesia). But the rash is big, itchy and it spreads like crazy. The first time I got it, I was prescribed some medication that took it away pretty quickly. This time, the medication didn’t work as well and the rash stayed much longer than preferred!
  • I can’t complain too much about lack of sleep because I know lots of moms who have it much worse with their new baby. But there is something about getting inconsistent sleep that really makes your brain just a little off. And that’s what I’m suffering from. Foggy brain. Which makes me just a little bit slower and a little bit less eloquent. Perhaps this will be an intermittent problem for the next 18 years 😉
  • At Greta’s 2 week appointment, she hadn’t gotten back up to her birth weight. Ugh. Anyone who’s been following my blog knows that Wendy’s had weight issues as well. It’s definitely not the worst problem ever, but something that still stresses me out. But Greta had a weight check yesterday and she’s finally passed her birth weight and looking good!
  • So…news…Ben has officially heard back from the schools he applied to and…(this is in the blah section, people)…he wasn’t accepted into any of them. After waiting so long to hear back we suspected as much. I think there is a bit of relief at being rejected, just in knowing that grad school isn’t an option at this particular time (one less thing to have to decide on). So the question we get asked all the time: What will you do now??? My answer: Cry. Just kidding! (Kind of;). Ben has started looking for and applying to jobs. We might stay here in Flagstaff, but he’s looking in different places as well. I think the most frustrating thing for me is that we have more waiting! It gets really frustrating not knowing what our next step is, especially since Ben is graduating and DONE with everything in less than a month! It’s crazy and a little scary but we really do have faith that everything will work out. Meanwhile…should I start packing???

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On My Brain

  • Social media has been in my brain as of late. I feel like I keep seeing things on social media and on the news where I just think, “Man, is everyone blind to the impact social media has on people?” But then I have experiences where it’s obvious I’m blind to it as well! Before I had Greta, I was scrolling through Instagram aimlessly. I came across something (I don’t even remember what it was) that made me feel very anxious and worried. I thought, “Ugh. I am feeling SO anxious. I need to pay more attention so I can find out what’s triggering this anxiety.” Then, as I went to put my phone down, I realized how dumb I was being! I didn’t need to “figure out” what was triggering the anxiety. It was right in front of me! I don’t think all social media is bad and I think everyone has to figure out their own limits. I’m not on Facebook because I hate it (okay, I hate how it makes me feel). I like Instagram a lot, but I’ve realized I have to give myself boundaries. Browsing in search is fun (and a great way to pass the time when you are nursing at 3 a.m.) but if I stumble onto a post (even if it’s uplifting) about anything regarding death or major illness, I fall into this pit of anxiety and worry that has zero purpose. So I try to keep my browsing to cake decorating and wedding pictures. I just think learning to manage our social media exposure is super important for our own mental health and it’s important so that we can teach our kids, or the next generation, healthy habits. End soap box 🙂
  • We’ve kind of gotten back into a routine in the last couple weeks but it’s not really something that’s set in stone. And as a result, I’ve had several days where both the girls are napping and I’m finding myself with nothing to do. Ha! I’d love to jump back into some sewing projects but I’m hesitant since that free time sometimes only lasts 5 minutes…and that’s hardly enough time for me to pull out my sewing stuff. Eh. I’ll get back into sewing eventually…

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Extras

  • I have many questions for you all! Please help! Do any of you have great activities for your little kiddos while you are nursing??? Putting on a movie always works but I wish we had some other options that would keep Wendy occupied for a bit of time while I feed Greta.
  • I’ve been plowing through books since I had Greta. Any favorites you’d recommend?
  • Finally, please send me your favorite crockpot recipes! That’s the only kind of meal I seem motivated to make lately…

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Books Lately

I meant to have this posted before I had my baby…but she came early so I didn’t get a chance to finish this until now! I tend to read books a bit obsessively, in quantity and in genre. My last books post had only non-fiction. This time around the theme is YA (although not all the books are YA). The last few weeks of pregnancy had me reading quite a bit and now that I’ve begun round-the-clock nursing, I’ve been busting through about a book every other day (yikes!). What I’m trying to say is, I’m sorry that you might be seeing an excess of book review posts over the next little bit. I’ll get back to crafting eventually. On a totally related note, if any of you have book recommendations, send them my way! Here’s some of what I read:

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The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

This Book: is about Emi Kato, daughter of a Japanese diplomat during the height of WWII. Before the war, while living in Austria, Emi falls in love with Leo, who, because he is a Jew, must flee with his family to China. After several years and a move to the United States, Emi still thinks she’ll never love again until she meets Christian in an internment camp in Texas.

What I Thought:

  • I think my favorite part of the book was just how many different settings there were, and how unique each setting was. Instead of just seeing how the war affected the United States, you also get a glimpse into how it affected parts of China and Japan, as well as internment camps in the U.S., and I thought that was really interesting.
  • I’m just going to be straight and say that I didn’t really love this book. I felt like the author threw in enough adult content to have it sell as an adult book, but it really felt YA to me. Which that in and of itself doesn’t bother me at all (I love YA books, as you’ll notice below), but I just felt like the book lacked the depth it could have had.
  • I read this book without reading the jacket blurb. But I read the blurb after and…um…am I the only one who noticed that it tells you everything that happens in the book? Like, LITERALLY tells you EVERYTHING that happens in the book. Like, for real. I can’t get over it. The only thing it doesn’t tell is how it ends.
  • Which, it does have a good ending, so that’s nice.

Should You Read It? I’d honestly tell you to pass on this one, although I think lots of people would probably enjoy it.

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

This Book: is about a girl named Maddy who is basically allergic to the world. She’s never stepped foot outside her clinically sterile home, to avoid contact with germs that could potentially kill her. But then a boy moves in next door and he and Maddy strike up a friendship through their bedroom windows.

What I Thought:

  • This is a Young Adult novel and it is bursting with all things YA-doodles, drawings, instant messaging. I thought it was totally light and fun and it was a really quick read.
  • I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was unique (I mean, it’s a girl meets boy story, which are all pretty sameish, but it definitely had its own voice) and unpredictable.
  • There were parts of this book where I was like, “Seriously? That would never happen. He/she wouldn’t do this/that because x/y/z.” But then I thought, “Eh, teenagers are dumb so maybe he/she would do this/that.” (No offense intended. I was a dumb teenager once too.) Even with some of the unrealistic stuff, it was still a good and, honestly, fairly believable read.

Should You Read It? I really enjoyed it and would therefore recommend it (but it does have some mature content, so read at your own risk).

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (the trilogy) by Jenny Han

This Book: is about Lara Jean, a hopelessly romantic teenager who has written letters to all the boys she’s ever loved and stored them in her mother’s old hatbox. But at the start of her Junior year in high school, she realizes that somehow those letters have actually been mailed. To avoid making things awkward with her current crush, she makes up a boyfriend and (it’s high school) things get kinda crazy.

What I Thought:

  • Sooooooooo, I read this book because another blogger had said that it was in the top 10 books she’d read all year (and she’d read over 100!). And, I’m not going to lie. When I finished the first book I was like, “Seriously? Top 10? Bleh.” But apparently I have no self respect (or maybe self control?) because I went and checked out books #2 and #3 and I actually ended up really enjoying them (not Top 10 status…but fun nonetheless).
  • The thing that bothered me most was just the writing. It is so juvenile. I mean, the main character is 16 and calls her dad “Daddy.” So that was kind of annoying but it gets better and by the third book she really isn’t so annoying anymore (which who’s to say whether the writing matured or if I just got used to it?).
  • This book is pure FLUFF. Don’t expect any major happenings, twists or lessons. It’s just a sweet simple high school romance with quirky, believable characters.

Should You Read It? If you’re looking for a fairly mindless, fluffy YA read, these books would be right up your alley!

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Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

This Book: Is about two sisters: Harper, a single mom attempting to be a flawless domestic goddess while getting her own business off the ground and running; and Stacey, a career driven scientist who needs to figure out how to tell her mother she’s 6 months pregnant and then figure out how to be a mother herself.

What I Thought:

  • I read Mallery’s “The Friends We Keep” and I really enjoyed it. It had fun characters and problems that made me think about how I would respond in similar settings. I was looking forward to this hoping for the same light but thoughtful read, but I feel like it really fell short. It wasn’t quite as thought provoking and seemed a lot more patchy? Like she had to kind of scramble to make it a complete book.
  • Getting more into specifics: I really liked Lucas’ relationship with Becca. I think that his parenting style is totally awesome. But I failed to see where he was romantically appealing. Like, in that area he seemed like a big old D-bag (sorrynotsorry). Whatevs. To each their own.
  • I was also really confused by Stacey. Mostly, I really loved her character. But half the time she seemed like a fairly normal career driven woman and the other half of the time she seemed like she had some social disorder…like maybe a mild form of autism? I was reading someone’s review of the book (is goodreads addicting to anyone else?) who said that if a character has a disability that it should be explicitly stated. I disagree with that, but I do think that a character’s personality ought to at least be consistent. And Stacey’s personality, to me, was not.
  • Truthfully, I had enough issues with this book that it made me think I’ll probably never read Susan Mallery again.

Should You Read It? I personally didn’t care for it, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This Book: is about a wealthy family who spends their summers on their private island near Martha’s Vineyard. But that’s not really what it’s about at all. It’s about Cadence…and something that happened one summer…but she can’t quite remember what. And nobody’s telling her the truth.

What I Thought:

  • How does one review a book like this without giving anything away? The story was good and intriguing and difficult to put down. It had me guessing the whole time and I finished it really quickly because I just wanted to find out what happened.
  • So. The ending. When I finished the book I was so conflicted with the ending. After giving it some time I think that the ending was appropriate. It was totally unpredictable and it also (in my opinion) was means of getting a theme across. I will say that I’ve read lots of reviews where the reader was left bawling and in an emotional funk for days after finishing the book. I did not have this reaction…but beware, I guess.
  • Well I’m going to be totally vague here but the thing bothered me most was that something that was totally avoidable lead to this other thing that was totally crazy. And while the totally crazy event was acknowledged and discussed, nobody said anything about how it could’ve likely been avoided if that one thing hadn’t been going on. (I feel like Angela from The Office: Certain events have transpired. And I’ve thought about certain things. And I’m sorry for how those certain events transpired).

Should You Read It? When a book is this short and reads this fast, even if I’m not totally in love with it, I have a hard time saying don’t bother. The tone is a bit subdued and melancholy and the whole story is fixated on remembering what happened. But, overall, I enjoyed it (even if it was just to figure out what happened).

She’s Here!

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She’s here! Our sweet little baby number 2 is here and we are in love!

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We named her Greta Jean. We had a hard time choosing a name this time around but Greta was a name that we kept coming back to and, when she was born, we knew it fit. And Jean is after Ben’s sweet Grandma Brown (seriously, one of the sweetest ladies ever).

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Somehow, this girl had the exact same measurements as her sister: 6 lbs 14 oz and 18 1/2 inches tall.

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Greta came 9 days early and her timing could not have been better. Ben’s mom was miraculously in town when I went into labor so she was able to to watch Wendy when we headed to the hospital. And my mom came soon after and stayed for a week to help out.

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And I was able to have a VBAC! It was seriously such a crazy experience! And I didn’t think my C-Section was bad at all but retrospectively, this has been a MUCH easier recovery and I’m so grateful for that.

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Life with 2 kids is definitely different than life with one and we are all still learning and adjusting. But I’m definitely trying to enjoy every moment because babies grow too fast.

 

 

March 2018

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Good

  • This month has been blessedly busy. I’m so glad I’ve had stuff to do to keep me from focusing too much on the fact that I’m waiting for a baby.
  • Ben had his spring break last week and it was so nice to have him home. I feel like I got a ton of stuff done and we got to do some fun things together. Win win.
  • For one day of spring break we drove down to Phoenix and went to the zoo (that was my parents’ Christmas present to us). It was so fun. Wendy might have loved looking at all the people more than she loved looking at all the animals-ha! We also did some much needed shopping and got some of the best pizza I’ve ever eaten (from a place called Spinato’s. We had some when we went to Phoenix last July and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since!).
  • On a different day we went to Sedona. I’m not a huge shopper and I’m even less of a spender, but for some reason I love browsing downtown stores. We finally stopped at Sedona’s downtown to walk around and peruse the shops and it was really fun. We also went to Oak Creek and let Wendy wade in the water. She was freaking out she loved it so much.
  • We finally saw Coco and totally loved it. Apparently Mariachi music is Wendy’s JAM. I’ve never seen her dance so hard- she was jumping and twirling. Oh, it was hilarious.
  • I mentioned that our ward was rearranged and as a result my primary class went from having 2 kids to 6 and it has been great! Yes, it is harder to keep them quiet and paying attention but they are all great kids. And they all are so sweet to Wendy. I love it.
  • The rest of this week is going to be packed too (I’m writing this post Monday otherwise I don’t think it’ll get posted). But tonight my mother-in-law is coming into town and she’s bringing a whole slew of grandkids with her. They are just staying a couple of days but we’re hoping to pack as much into the days as we can. And then my mom is coming on Friday or Saturday. And then I’ll really feel like the baby can come whenever she wants (hopefully sooner rather than later…but we’ll take what we can get:)!

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Blah

  • I mentioned the same thing last month-but I’ve just had so much I’m supposed to be doing and not quite the energy to get it all done. BUT we are making progress and having Ben home for a week was awesome. Sometimes I forget that I can ask him for help…isn’t that dumb? He’s more than willing…(unless it involves scrubbing the toilet;)
  • Just your normal pre-baby worries over here. I basically worry about everything. Like all the time.
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It wasn’t raining when we started the walk…

On My Brain

  • Baby names! Ha! Why does choosing a name have to be so difficult? But it is! We talk about names fairly often (more so the closer we get) but we haven’t been able to even say “most likely we’ll name her this.” I’m just hoping that when we meet her we’ll get a little bit of inspiration. I don’t want to feel pressured!
  • Oh I think about labor all the time. It keeps me up at night which is just so dumb. It’ll happen when it happens and I’ll take everything in stride. I’ve got a great support system and I trust my doctors. But there is just something about not really knowing what will happen that gets me a little nervous. I will say that Ben gave me a blessing and I’ve been feeling loads better.
  • I was thinking about doing Easter outfits like I did last year. Which would have been pure craziness because it’s close enough to my due date that I would’ve had to make something for myself that could’ve worked for a pregnant body or for a newly postpartum body and I didn’t even want to start thinking about designing something with nursing capabilities. Luckily I remembered that Easter is going to be the same Sunday as conference! This all worked really well for my sanity. Plus I’m really excited for conference! And Easter! I’m always missing my family’s big Sunday dinners and Easter is just the occasion to make a delicious roast beef dinner that normally can’t be justified.
  • Well and now I’m thinking I still need to get Easter candy! Another thing to add to my list!
  • Oh, and this probably goes without saying but I’ve got a post for next week and then I’m going to be taking a break for awhile from blogging. I’m looking forward to snuggling my new baby while she’s still fresh :). And I’m just going to play it by ear when it comes to posting again…I’ve never had 2 kids before so I’ll do what I can when I can!
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Wendy has been loving to crawl under Ben’s blanket when he’s reading, so we put up her tepee and she’s been loving it!

Third Trimester: 37 Weeks

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(Do you guys get sick of seeing my messy bedroom?) Here’s me yesterday! 37 weeks and a couple days. Obviously I have not mastered the art of selfies…

Belly: I’m huge. Well, technically I’m measuring right where I should be. But I feel huge.

Exercise: I’m still running! Which is a huge miracle! Okay, and “running” is certainly not the most accurate term for what happens after I strap on my Sauconies. It’s more of a waddle/jog (a joggle?). I don’t go far and I walk if I’m feeling uncomfortable. I’m not hanging on to running for any specific amount of time. As soon as it stops being relatively comfortable, Imma stop. I’m also doing workout videos (on days I don’t run) and going for walks.

Cravings/Aversions: I’ve been so lucky in the aversions department as I haven’t had any this whole pregnancy! And I finally have a legit craving to tell you guys about. And it’s shameful! Top Ramen noodles! Ha! There were a few weeks where Top Ramen just sounded so good. All. The. Time. Don’t worry, I recognize there is like no nutritional value in them, so I reined it in. But they were seriously hitting the spot for a few weeks there.

Left: 1 month to go when I was pregnant with Wendy
Right: 1 month to go this time around! (Ha! Same cardigan;)

Less Awesome:

  • I feel totally huge this time around. When I’m being logical (or even comparing pictures), I realize that I’m not huge. I’m just normal. But logic doesn’t always win out.
  • Every day is different but I’m definitely running low on energy. It just takes so much more effort to get things done.
  • Around 34 weeks I got a rash along my spine that kind of itched. I had the same thing my first pregnancy and it never became a big problem. But this time it spread all over my torso and had me itching like crazy! (A midwife said it might be PUPPS-but she never looked at it to confirm…so I don’t know for sure if that’s what was going on). Anyway, no amount of Vitamin E oil was helping. I finally got some Palmer’s Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks and putting it on for the first time gave instant relief! I’ve been putting it on every night since and the rash is gone and no more itching! Basically a miracle in my book. I’m loving this cream and would highly recommend it (although I can’t attest to its ability to stop stretch marks since I’ve already got plenty of those)!
  • I am really stupidly worried about labor. And I say stupidly because, as far as labor goes, I’ve experienced quite the smattering of possible scenarios just in my one go around: I had my water break, I labored without an epidural, I labored with an epidural,  I pushed, and I had a c-section. So I’ve experienced a lot. But there is just still so much unknown when it comes to labor…and I’m nervous.
  • I’ve also been worried about Wendy. I’m worried about what to do with her if the baby comes early since we don’t live near family (we do have a tentative plan). And I’m just worried about how she’ll adjust to having another baby here. She will adjust (we all will) but I just want to make sure she still knows she’s loved! The good thing is that I’m worried Wendy won’t feel loved and Ben says he’s worried the new baby won’t feel loved, so I guess we’re balancing each other out.

Awesome:

  • We are down to once-a-week appointments and baby seems to be healthy and doing well. As far as the doctors can tell, she’s in the right position and I’m measuring right where I’m supposed to be.
  • This baby is coming so so soon. For some reason, when I hit 30 weeks I started feeling so impatient. I know. That’s way too early to get antsy. So I told myself to buck up and power through. And, luckily, for the most part, I was able to keep my head in the right place (although I’d be lying if I said I never had days where I told Ben I never want to pregnant again…). But now, here at 37 weeks, I feel really good about how much time I have left. My due date is so…reachable. I might feel differently in a week or two. But right now, I feel patient. Huge and sluggish, yes, but like I can make a few more weeks being huge.
  • The doctor’s office I go to here in Flagstaff is a little different than any I’ve been to before. Here, there are several nurse practitioners (midwives) and a handful of doctors (they’re all women) and the one who will deliver you is just whoever is on call at that time. For my appointments, I generally meet with the same 2-3 women (who I really like) but I had to switch to a different day so I’ve met with some women I’d never met before. My last appointment was with a doctor who was just so great. She was so straightforward but still so optimistic. It was a breath of fresh air I didn’t even know I needed. She answered all my questions and helped me get a plan ready and just was awesome. It’s funny how much a good appointment can mean and this one really did wonders for my worries.
  • As I mentioned above, Wendy ended up being a C-section, so this time around we are trying for a VBAC. Honestly speaking, I’m not the best candidate but we’re going to give it a go anyway. In the case of a VBAC, they often won’t induce labor and they recommend that you get a C-section if you’re 3 days overdue. I know that different people would have different opinions about this scenario…but honestly I am totally okay with it. We actually have a C-section scheduled in the event that I don’t go into labor naturally, and it is a huge relief to me that I won’t have to go more than 3 days late (and I’m sure that having a solid end in sight is helping with the patience I talked about above!).
  • My mom is coming! Obviously, she was always planning on coming but now she has a set date and I’m so so grateful she’ll be here! Very soon! That woman was pregnant 6 times, had 7 children and to say she knows what she’s doing is a huge understatement. Hooray for Mom!

One More Thing

  • How does everyone choose names???? I’m not one for naming my kid as soon as I find out the gender (I have to meet the baby first) but we basically knew Wendy would be Wendy as soon as we found out she was a girl. But this baby has been sooooooo different. We are not sure at all what her name is going to be. And it makes me feel a little bit unprepared. But hopefully we’ll just know when we meet her.
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Running out of room…

WIP Wednesday: Works in Progress

Well, I’m officially to the point where I’m crossing 1 item off of my To-Do list for every 5 items I’m adding to it. Pregnancy and mothering really affect how much you can get done in a day, apparently. And since I’m low on energy as of late, I really have to prioritize.

Let’s just say that lots has been put on the back burner.

As a result, I’ve done a couple small projects and I’m working on some bigger projects that won’t get done until after baby comes. Here’s a small taste of some of the stuff I’ve been working on:

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Ben’s sister hosted a party that Ben planned during Christmas time and we wanted to say thanks. We saw a super cute llama pillow at World Market but it was $30, which was more than we wanted to spend. So I decided to just make a similar one and it was way cheaper. Plus it was super easy.

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Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product but it turned out really cute. I still have all the supplies and I’ve been thinking I should just make another one so I can do a full post on it…but haven’t gotten around to it. But I will get it done someday. I’ll take any excuse to use that tassel ribbon…

I’ve been meaning to make some throw pillows for us for sooooo long. But our couch came with some ugly pillows so it hasn’t been a necessity. We finally just chucked the old pillows which was just the kick I needed to get going on making some pillows. I made that sequin heart pillow a few weeks ago. And then I made this one a week or so later:

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Have you guys ever looked at Crazy Mom Quilts? She makes THE cutest stuff (I love her color scheme). And I always get pillow envy looking at her projects. This one was kind of inspired by some of the pillows she’s made. It was the first time I quilted a pillowcase and I really love how it turned out. I have a couple more throw pillow ideas in the works so our couch can be fully pillowed.

The last project I’ll talk about is a quiet book for Wendy. I decided to do this project while we were at church one week (anyone wanna guess what inspired it? Ha!). As soon as I got home, I started searching Pinterest and thinking about different page designs. We spent a few days shopping for all the supplies we would need.

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And then I started actually working on the book and I realized just how badly I’d underestimated the time it was going to take. So far, I’ve only completed this:

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And it’s not even done (I still need to add string and grommets). Our apartment is small and I don’t have a space where I can keep projects safely untouched. Since this particular project has so many small pieces, I really have to be on top of putting it away every time Wendy’s up so that she doesn’t get into it and lose stuff. I’m still plugging away at it, but it will definitely take longer than I anticipated. Do 5 year olds still appreciate quiet books?

 

Anyhow, those are the projects I’ve been working on recently. I have ideas for a bunch of other things, but I still need to pull out newborn baby clothes, make sure they’re washed, vacuum the car, install the carseat, pack a hospital bag…the list goes on. And you’re right. I have nothing in the works (project-wise) for Baby Girl #2. Maybe if I get everything else done, I’ll whip out a blanket for her. Although, if I don’t get it made until after she’s born (read: 2 years old), she won’t remember, right???

5 Things Friday: A Frugal Girl’s Tips to Maternity Shopping

I’ve heard there are some crazy peeps out there who don’t think it’s worth buying maternity clothes. Some mumbo jumbo about how you’ll only be wearing those clothes for a few months so why even bother.

That is pure crazy talk to me.

Which is saying something because I’m pretty darn stingy (doesn’t frugal sound so much nicer than “stingy?”).

Buying maternity clothes is absolutely worth it. Here are some things to think about before you vow to make do with your regular clothes:

  • Pregnancy is uncomfortable. Oh, you’ll see. Be kind to yourself by allowing every comfort that’s possible (in this case, in the form of clothes that fit).
  • Pregnancy also makes you kind of…emotional. There may or may not come a time in your pregnancy where you go to put on your pants….and those pants may or may not fit…and tears may or may not be shed. This hypothetical scene IS avoidable!
  • There is like 1% of the pregnant population who will fit right into their pre-pregnancy clothes immediately following giving birth. The other 99% will have to wait awhile to get back to “normal” (spoiler alert: it’s a new normal). There is no shame in wearing panel pants and baggy shirts while you’re in that transition period.

But seriously. There are so many reasons to get yourself some maternity clothes while you experience the weird and exciting time of your body getting bigger than you thought possible. (I’m really selling pregnancy here, aren’t I? Ha! For the record, being pregnant is awesome!).

And, contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT have to spend half of your life savings on maternity clothes. Here are some of my tips to keeping it affordable:

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I don’t take pictures of  myself very often these days…but this shirt has been a fave through this pregnancy. It’s this plus size shirt from Target (and on clearance!)

  1. Know what your options are in your area: Here in Flagstaff, we have all of 2 stores that offer maternity clothes: Target and Ross. There aren’t many pregnant ladies here, I guess. But even when I’m shopping in Utah (where everyone is pregnant;), I’m surprisingly disappointed with how few options are available.  If you have one of these stores in your area, it’s worth checking to see if they have a maternity section: H&M (super cheap plain t-shirts), Old Navy, Target, Ross (jeans for less than $15), and TJ Maxx. Wow, that list is teeny. Anyone have success with other stores? I will say that Motherhood Maternity can be great if you watch their sales (or go to their outlet store).
  2. Shop clearance: if you are frugal like me, then I don’t have to tell you to check the clearance section, right? But seriously, I’ve found some of my very favorite maternity clothes in the clearance section for less than $10. Most maternity sections are only rotated seasonally, so keep an eye out for when they start bringing new clothes, and check then. Also, if you’re not superstitious (or a little stitious;), I’d honestly start shopping the clearance section as soon as you’re trying to get pregnant (or before), so that you can have access to the most variety. Another great option is to buy online. Or, better yet, buy clearance online. Old Navy has a huge selection of maternity clothes on online clearance (although, watch the sizes before you get excited; often they only have less popular sizes available).
  3. Maternity clothes don’t have to be “maternity” clothes: When I was pregnant with Wendy, I was all about the cute, fitted maternity clothes. This time I’ve leaned more towards oversized regular clothes (which might have to do with the fact that I’ve been pregnant during winter versus summer). Maternity specific clothes are often way overpriced just because it’s got the maternity label. But if it’s your flavor, shop a few sizes larger than you normally shop (at normal, non-maternity prices) and you’ll be set. It won’t be fitted. But it will be comfortable. (Target has a plus size section that has really cute stuff.)
  4. Only buy what you know you’ll wear: When I was pregnant with Wendy, everyone was like, “Skirts are the best for pregnancy! They’re so comfortable!” I’m sure this is true, but the fact is that I don’t really wear skirts except for on Sundays. So I bought a few maternity skirts…and then never wore them (surprise, surprise). Avoid over-buying by buying what you need when you need it. I mean, be prepared and have some clothes on hand before you need them (to avoid the crying pants scene). But you don’t need to completely replace your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. With my first pregnancy, I seriously rotated between two pairs of pants (leggings and shorts) and about 5 shirts. This pregnancy has been just about the same (just replace the shorts with jeans and the shirts with sweaters). Of course, I have more maternity clothes than that (stuff for working out, stuff for special occasions, etc.)…but those shirts I wear all the time are the ones that are the most comfortable, as well as the ones that are most practical for my day to day.
  5. Feel free to splurge where it’s worth it: Some things are totally worth spending a little extra money on, whether it’s a hard to find item, something you know you’ll use all the time, or just something that makes you feel pretty. I know lots of women who buy those beautiful flowy dresses to wear for a maternity photo sesh. Personally, when I was pregnant with Wendy, I knew that I needed some shorts. They were surprisingly hard to find and pretty expensive but I knew that I would use them. And I did. Almost every single day. Luckily, they’re great quality so I knew I could use them for any subsequent pregnancy. Treat yo’self.

{I honestly have plenty of maternity clothes that I love and would love to recommend, but since I mostly buy on clearance, they’re items you can no longer find. However, here are just a couple of tried and true favorites that you should be able to find anytime: H&M 3/4 leggings (probably the most comfortable leggings ever. I’ve worn the crap out of my pair and they are totally shot…need to buy some more…), Motherhood Maternity leggings (very comfortable and cute patterns-keep your eye out, they often have a 2-for deal), and Target bodycon dresses (with sleeves and to the knees, so no need to layer. Yay!).}

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Old pic, but such a comfy dress! Maternity clearance from Target (for like $8!).