My Everyday Style: Seeing Comfort Differently with Born X Zappos

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Whoa! Can you believe it? It’s a good ol’ fashion outfit post. Woot Woot. It’s been awhile huh? Life since Orion’s been born has been all comfort as far as clothing goes. Jeans, tees and sneakers usually- my daily uniform if you will. So you can bet I was intrigued when my friends over at Zappos challenged me to look at “comfort differently” by trying some super cute and fashionable Born sandals out. I haven’t worn a high heeled/wedged shoe in forever. I was a bit skeptical if I would be able to last longer than 5 mins in them. But let’s just say, I wore these all day, chased around the kids and still felt like they were supremely comfortable at the end of the day. Born sandals for the win!! And of course ordering from Zappos is the best. We honestly order all our shoes from there all year long. They offer free shipping that is super speedy, they have a 365 day return policy, and their customer service is the best!

In case you couldn’t guess we’re not in NY anymore. We hopped a plane last week and headed down to FL for a bit. We’re actually boarding a cruise today to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday with my whole family. WE ARE SO EXCITED!!! I am pretty sure the girls are going to explode from excitement when they get on the boat. I bought this dress to wear on the cruise but I loved it so much I couldn’t wait.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Sunglasses: LOFT
Dress: asos
Sandals: Born

Thank you to Zappos x Born for sponsoring this post. All opinions and words are my own.

Speckled And Watercolored Easter Eggs

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You know what I love? Bright, colorful, messy, painty pictures. Nothing better! The girls and I went to Target the other day to pick up some plain white eggs to hollow and paint but we ended up finding these plastic eggs in that section in the front of Target that steals all your money with out you knowing. Bahahahahaa. You know, the “$1” section. These weren’t a dollar but I think $3 which is still pretty good. We bought 2 dozen and decided that since we actually don’t have a kitchen at the moment anyways, plastic eggs trump real eggs this year. Plus! These ones will last year after year. We skipped the dye and brought out the craft paints this year instead. I showed the girls how to use an old toothbrush to create speckled eggs and how to take a painted paintbrush, dip in into the water to create a more watercolor look. It was a fun, simple way for them to create some really beautiful eggs. You should give it a try!

Happy Easter Everyone!

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Our Everyday Style | Getting Ready For Easter

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It’s Easter Week!! Yay! There are 2 special occasions every year I look forward to buying a new outfit for the kids. Christmas and Easter! I try to not go crazy and keep it to a reasonable price but I am always on the look out for really special and cute items. It’s an extra bonus when those things go hand in hand! That’s why I love T.J.Maxx and Marshalls. They have the cutest Easter dresses for the girls (and outfits for the whole family!)- like we could hardly narrow it down. Rowan had a bit of a meltdown because… “I can’t choose between all the beautiful dresses” she said. hahaha. Poor girl. Plus! Look at our handsome little Easter man. He kills me in that outfit.

We are laying low for Easter like we usually do. I have to decorate for Good Friday and Easter services at church. We have been making time to do a special Holy week devotional with the kids this week. Today we made a cute palm Sunday craft (even though it was yesterday) that the girl’s hung up in their room. I am also hoping to make them something for their Easter baskets. We don’t do a lot of candy- just a few items. This year I got them a book, a new Klean Kanteen, some Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops and fingers crossed, a homemade stuffed bunny. Butttttt realistically not sure that will happen. I can dream right?

Happy Easter!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

ROWAN:
Dress: Marshalls
Sandals: Salt Waters
Hat: Marshalls

FINLEY:
Dress: Marshalls
Shoes: Disney Store

Orion:
Plaid One Piece: Marshalls

JEN:
Linen Top: Marshalls
Jeans: Madewell
Clogs: Swedish Hasbeens

Thank you T.J.Maxx and Marshalls for sponsoring this post.

The Birth Story of Orion David

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I am not even really sure where to start this. I’m pretty positive that no matter how good you are at writing (which let’s be honest- is not my strong point) you can’t really express in words all that you feel about the birth of your children. I’ll start off by saying that I was very, very scared about Orion’s birth. The weight of what was ahead (you know the whole labor thing) really weighed heavy on me the last few weeks before his birth. I don’t really know why. I love birth! I love the strength, power and beauty behind it all. I trust my body and what it has to do but something about Finley’s birth really had me full of fear of how this one would go down. And especially how I would handle it all. Finley’s birth was such a whirlwind. Going from nothing (no early signs of labor, no beginning contractions, etc..) to everything (hello transition!) and having a baby in 2 hours really had me feeling completely out of control during the whole thing. The only thing that made me feel in control was being at home. In reality though, the whole labor was very much in control but I felt like emotionally, I was alway a few steps behind what was happening. Never really ever being able to ground myself. In the end I was left with a “what the heck just happened?” feeling. I never felt that empowered feeling that I felt after Rowan’s birth. Which is ok. Sometimes labor doesn’t happen how we pictured and really, once our sweet babies are here none of that matters anyways right? However, I spent a lot of time praying that no matter how Orion’s birth was to happen that I would feel confident, in control and full of peace.

I chose to have a home birth again because honestly, I can’t imagine it any other way. I have no judgement on other’s choices but for me (as long as everything is going well with the pregnancy) being at home is the only way I would want to give birth. I love it with every fiber of my being. Like seriously guys! It means so much to me and has brought me so much joy to bring these babies into the world in our own loving space. If it’s ever been something that has peaked your interest, I recommend whole heartily to do some research on it and see if it’s the right fit for you. It’s so magical!

Anyway, on to the little guys birth! I figure since it’s such a personal story between Orion and I would would write out his birth story in a letter to him. I hope one day he will read this and know just how special this day was for me.

Dear Sweet Orion.

Hi Baby. You’re here! You are growing and you are wonderful! What a day we shared together as you came into this world. I hope I can express how much love surrounded you (us) that day! Let’s start the day before you were born. It was a Monday. Just a regular ol’ Monday. Dad was at work, Rowan had school, Finley and I were hanging out like normal. I’ve never had any feelings about when your sisters were going to be born. They both just sort of came. Bam! like that. For some reason though, on that particular Monday I knew you were coming soon. It was 2 days before my due date and normally I go very late but I knew it wasn’t going to be like that this time around. Well, maybe it was just some serious wishing on my part. We went about our day and around lunch time I called your Dad. I asked him to cancel bible study on Tuesday night because I just felt like you would be here. I wasn’t having any contractions or early signs of labor but let’s just call it Mama intuition. We picked Rowan up from school and headed out to meet up with Meme who had just come into town. She always comes right around mommy’s due dates and then just stays and hangs out and takes care of us all. She is such a good Meme!

That night I think we all went to bed thinking that you were going to be born that night. I don’t know why I have this idea that all births happen in the middle of the night. The only activity that happened that night was that Rowan came into our room like 5 times saying her tummy hurt. Which ended in her throwing up all over our bed at 5am. Not a great way to start the day of your birth! But in a way it helped us savor the day. Slowed us down. Kept Rowan home with us from school. She was only sick that one time and then really was fine the rest of the day. I love the pictures we took that morning at home. The light pouring in through the windows. I feel like we all knew it was your day.

I started having mild contractions that morning. They were inconsistent and not too intense, I figured it was just 3rd baby preterm labor that would for sure go away. I think I was trying to not psych myself up too much incase it wasn’t going to lead to anything. It lasted through out the day but never really turned into anything timeable. They would get close but then fizzle out. Mommy way able to take a nap, go for a nice long walk with Daddy and just relax as much as I could at home. Around 3:30 I decided I would call our Midwife Kelly just to let her know. She had told me to keep her in the loop even if I thought it was nothing because of how fast Finley came. She was just finishing up with another birth and then was going to head over and see how I was doing. She got there about 30 mins later and by the time she got there I was pretty sure things were starting for real. I had started to pace. Hahah. Daddy and Meme always say I have this pace thing I do- walk back and forth and keep pushing my hands down or something.

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IMG_4907^^barf bowl. hahaha.

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We had set up the whole sun room like a little birth sanctuary. The pool was inflated, the chaise lounge was out there, there were candles and lights strung up and music all ready to go. Something that was really, really important to me was having some of my favorite bible verses up around the room. A few days prior to you being born I had worked on drawing out some of them and hanging them around the birth pool, so that I could focus on them if things got really tough or out of control feeling during the labor (5 months later they are still hanging up out there- I can’t bring myself to take them down). I was so excited to have a water birth! When kelly came she was like “ok, lets check things out and see where you are at”. As she was checking things out down there, a look came across her face. I thought for sure it was a look of “oh honey, this is just the beginning”. I was waiting for her to say that it was early labor but I still had a while yet to go. She looked at me though and said “I don’t think you are getting in that pool”. I was confused at first. I didn’t know why I couldn’t get in there. It was all blown up ready to go. She then said… “You are fully dilated, this baby is coming!” Haha omgosh. There was not going to be any time to fill and heat the tub. Out the window went that birth plan and we kicked the pool to the side and mentally I switched gears. I thought that would have rattled me. I had really put a lot of hope in the warm water helping me feel grounded in a fast labor. God had another plan though…

Kelly’s assistant had called her right after. She had stopped for coffee (no one had realized it was go time yet) and was calling to see if Kelly wanted anything. I remember Kelly on the phone like “everyone needs to get here now”. Kelly calmly hustled around getting everything ready and I paced and breathed and it quickly, quickly escalated into go time. Contractions were strong but the music was playing and I was praying over the verses I saw around the room. I was still standing, walking around but after awhile the pressure and intensity brought me to my hands and knees. It was a good position. I felt strong, powerful and in control. When a break would come I would lean back into child’s pose, the stretch always felt really good. Your Dad was at my side, holding my hand and whispering prayers and encouragement in my ear. Kelly was at my back at this point rubbing all the right pressure points which helped so much. The room felt light hearted and warm. There was laughter and talking and sounds of your sisters in the other room with Meme. I had struggled with how involved I wanted your sisters to be. Rowan is such a sensitive soul (as I am sure you will find out), she is very aware of people’s emotions so I didn’t want it to be too much for her to see me in labor. It all played out perfectly though. Meme had them in the kitchen which is right next to the sun room. She’d made cupcakes that the girls were decorating for you. As I was pushing, I could hear them giggling and making videos to welcome you to the family. All of us in the other room were laughing at the sweet words they were saying. Mommy couldn’t have felt more in love- being there working hard at bringing you into the world, holding hands with Daddy and hearing your sisters making videos saying they loved you in the other room. My whole world right there.

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Kelly brought 2 assistants with her, both of which I loved so very much. Everyone in the room felt like an extension of our family. Shelby was right there with me and Kristen was my knight in shining armor taking pictures for me. I had been so stressed out about getting a few pictures to remember the moment. You will learn very quickly how much Mommy loves photos. You are going to have a camera in your face most of your life. Just learn to love it kid! I can’t express how much I love the pictures that were taken. I LOVE the one of your sisters peering around the corner for the first time as they came out to see you moments after you arrived. I also love the one of your Dad holding you with wide, teary eyes. Oh my heart! I pushed only a few times and out you popped about 45 mins after kelly had first arrived at the house. You were placed right on my chest and our hearts exploded all over the place. Hahah. Seriously though. What is it about boys? Everyone had told me, but oh man! You are something special little dude. That hour or so after you were born was pretty magical. Everyone helped me up off the floor and onto the chaise lounge and then the midwives and assistants kinda quietly disappeared into the kitchen for awhile so we could spend some alone time together. The girls brought out gifts and kissed your head. I sat there holding you, unable to stop crying over the joy I felt. You came as fast, if not way faster than Finley (but in a way not at all because I was really in labor all day) but you had redeemed so much about birth for me. God had guided that whole day to be a complete answer to prayer. I can honestly not express how wonderful it was.

When I was ready, we headed upstairs so I could take a shower and then we all climbed into bed. We took guesses at how much you weighed as Kelly did your first little exam. I love the picture of us all on the bed. Papa, Meme, Rowan, Finley, Daddy, you and Mommy. It’s like a perfect picture of the love filled chaos that our family just entered into. hahah. Finley also looks like she just got a rose from The Bachelor. Yes, Mommy likes watching The Bachelor don’t judge. Well, that’s pretty much it Orion. You won us over instantly. These past 5 months have been about the craziest, most fun, exhausting moments of my life. You are like a ray of sun- your face lights up whenever someone smiles at you. God has shown me more about who He is and His character and love for us than I ever thought through my pregnancy with you and by naming you Orion. There’s a song called Orion by a band name Ghost Ship- crazy huh? A friend sent it to us after you were born. The words have been hanging heavy with me lately (in the best possible way!)…

I look at the deep dark sky,
mighty throne of the Most High.
I’m aware of my true place,
won’t You come and save me?

Still I know that You are near,
speaking comfort in my ear.
God, I long to see Your face,
won’t You come and save me?

I was answered by my Lord,
“Can You bind Orion’s form
or guide his path?”
I looked up and answered, “No,
but You can, so I will hold
in Your strong hands.”

The hands that own the stars above,
will never let me go.
The one who holds the heavens up,
in Him I put my hope.

Yeah, who am I that You should love,
and bind in Your embrace.
Well, God is this who holds the stars
and guides me in His grace

See? Oh man. So Good. Amos 5:9 says “He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name” Nothing is too big for God. He will meet you in every situation, every doubt, every trouble, the good, the bad, whatever. There He is. He created the heavens but he also fearfully and wonderfully made you. There is no limit to His love for you11 I pray daily that you will know that love.

I love you sweet boy!
Mommy

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IMG_5121^^My AMAZING birth team. These ladies are rockstars! So much love for them!!

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SOOOOOOOooooo here is the exciting part! I recorded a podcast with Bryn from The Birth Hour and it just went live today! Good timing. You can pop over there and listen to me talk about all my births and especially Orion’s on the podcast. I promise you will become obsessed with every episode Bryn puts out. Love hearing such empowering stories of ladies from around the world! Go check it out!! If you are new to podcasts this is a helpful page to get started.

Our little Starman…

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*cue David Bowie song.

Guys! How is he 5 months already? I just uploaded his birth photos to flickr. Trying to sit down and finish his birth story as we speak. I started it forever ago. Whoops! I honestly can not express how much joy this little boy brings me. I seriously want to smoother him with kisses. We call him Guy Smiley (you know, from Sesame Street) because well, he smiles ALL.THE.TIME. You just have to look at him and his whole face hinges open like a puppet with this gigantic smile. It’s the best. What’s also the best is seeing just how much his sisters love him. He basically has 3 mothers. Finley rushes out of her room every morning shouting “let me see my baby!!” and Rowan is the only one so far that gets him to laugh hysterically. I think it’s fair to say he is just as smitten with them as they are with him.

Soooo Orion and I were supposed to head up to Vancouver a few weeks ago to visit my sister. Long story short… his passport didn’t come in time and we had to postpone our trip. Isn’t is silly that babies need passports? and even sillier that they can use them for 5 years even if the picture is from when they were weeks old? Can you imagine Rowan going through security like “I swear that’s me!” haha. Anyway, taking a baby passport photo is no joke. They have to be looking at camera, preferably with eyes open, you have to see both ears, they have to be on a white background, their hands can’t be in the photo and neither can yours for that matter as you hold down their hands. Let’s just say we had to take about 100 photos to finally get the one to use. The lady at the passport office did say she thought it was the best baby passport photo she had seen so, I think I might have missed my calling in life. The outtakes were pretty hilarious to look through though. What a cutie he is! We went with photo number 1 up there although, Kev wanted me to try hard for the last photo with the oh so awesome eyebrows.

He is a tall little dude. Long and lean. He’s at 45% for weight. Weighing in at 15lbs of awesomeness and hitting the 98% mark for height. He has 2 teeth already and drools like there is no tomorrow. I don’t think I ever used a bib on the girls. This boy soaks multiple shirts a day. He doesn’t sleep the greatest but we are working on it- hence the 1:16am blog post. A little sleep training is happening in our house tonight and I am distracting myself by typing this. I haven’t meant to be away for so long but life happens I guess. I still love you little blog. One day I’ll get to write more!

He’s rolling all over the place which is not helping with the sleeping. He just keeps rolling all over his crib not sure where/how/ or what direction he wants to finally get comfortable in. It’s got to be tough as a baby when all the sudden you have this new found mobility. Poor guy! But I also don’t want to be nursing him back to sleep every 2 hours when he wakes up all night long. Soooooo here we are.

I am recording a podpost cast with Bryn from The Birth Hour this week and I am so excited. I love talking birth and birth stories! Can’t wait to share with you guys.

I feel like everyone told me before he was born that it isn’t as much fun dressing boys as it is for girls. BUT GUYS!! It is SOOOO fun dressing a little man. I love it. Maybe it’s just the welcome change since Disney princesses have taken over my house but oh it’s just so cute. My favorite places to get things for him are Zara, H&M, Tea Collection, and Baby Gap. Zara for pants and joggers for sure! H&M for cardigans and onesies and Tea Collection for jammies (always look for the ones on sale!).

Ok. So this post was a bit all over the place but I am signing off because I think I am going to give in and go nurse him. Nite, nite. Maybe I’ll be back down here in 2 hours… #halp

A Day At Mass Moca

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Guys! Today was awesome. Like really, really awesome. Life has felt a little (ok, ok a lot) chaotic since Orion was born. He’s seriously the greatest baby alive but I’ve felt like 3 has really tipped the scales for a lot of things in life. haha. Being out numbered is tough! Anyway, I guess since he’s been born we haven’t really been going out a lot to do things together as a family. It always seems to be divide and conquer over things that need to get done. Sort of a “you take the girls and do this and I’ll take the baby and get this done” sort of deal on the weekends. We go here and there together but have missed out on bigger day trips and such. I hadn’t really noticed it being a big deal till today. This morning we headed to North Adams for a day at Mass Moca and it was just so refreshing and lovely. I love, love, love being out, doing fun things as a family!! It’s the wind to my sail! I realized just how much I’ve missed being adventurous all together. Just seeing the girls faces and excitement and getting to share in new experiences…. aaaahhhh! So, so good! Mass Moca is such a wonderful museum. Lots to explore and great programs for the kids to participate in. Not to mention the beautiful building it’s in. If you’re ever passing through the Berkshires make sure you take a trip there!

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IMG_7687^^made out of socks!

IMG_7688^^Rowan brought her camera too. Fun watching what she thinks is “picture worthy”!

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IMG_7704^^My handsome guy!

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IMG_7715^^ Always 1 step behind Rowan

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Our Everyday Style | GNO!

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Our sweet little Orion is falling into his big sister’s foot steps and refusing a bottle. I seem to grow stubborn little babies (I wonder where they get that from?? Definitely not me! Insert winky face here) It’s been hard to create one on one time with the girls when I am attached at the hip to the little man. However, now that he is getting a bit older and on a tiny bit of schedule, I am making more of an effort to take the girls on dates. Girls Night Out! Or well afternoon, or morning or whenever we can fit it in. Nothing big or over the top yet. We only have about 2-3 hours before we need to be back home again, but we have fun and I love the time with them. Their all the sudden super grown up to me now that Orion is here. Ahhh how are they so big?!?!! They’re my best little buddies. For this particular date we just headed out for some frozen yogurt. We got out of our pajamas (because let’s face it, we’re always in our pjs if we’re at home) and put on our new favorite items from Abercrombie. They have some of the best denim I’ve ever tried. The perfect skinny leg, with the perfect amount of stretch and the perfect high waist. My favorite jeans by far ( I do size up just for reference!). I also LOVE the abercrombie kids line. They have some of the cutest sweaters and denim for the kids too. I mean look at how awesome that skirt is that Rowan is wearing or that little chambray shirt finely has on… *swoon. SO CUTE!!

OUTFIT DETAILS:
JEN: LEATHER JACKET | CREAM BLOUSE | HIGH WAIST JEANS | BOOTS
ROWAN: CARDIGAN | DENIM BUTTON UP | DENIM SKIRT | HIGH TOPS
FINLEY: CHAMBRAY SHIRT | SKINNY JEANS | VANS

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Thank you to Abercrombie for sponsoring this post.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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