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The Kitchen Reveal!

BEFORE

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Eeeeek! We are so happy with how this all came out. I’ve been so excited to share. It feels so fancy- I’ve never had a fancy kitchen before!! So above you can see how outdated our old kitchen was. We did our best when we moved in, but I’ve longed to redo it the last 3.5 years. When we moved in, the walls were yellow and there was a floral type backsplash. We painted both the walls and the tile with white paint as a quick band-aid. So when the chance to redo the kitchen in partnership with Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s came up, we knew we wanted a major update! What we love most about the Frigidaire Professional Collection, is that you can have professional-grade appliances in your home, without having to do any kind of renovation. The collection’s appliances are all designed to fit existing kitchen cutouts, making upgrading your kitchen totally accessible to even remodeling newbies, like ourselves!

AFTER

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Appliances: 
Oh baby! Let’s talk about the stars of the kitchen. I have always LOVED to cook, but since everything has been finished I’ve been extra excited to get in there and cook on my new Frigidaire Professional appliances. I’ve been cooking up a storm these last few weeks. I’ve only ever had an electric range, so switching to gas was such a treat. I love that the Gas Cooktop has grates on top that are continuous. It makes sliding heavy pots and pans across the burners super easy. It also comes with a griddle/grill attachment that fits over the center burner! Let’s just say Rowan is pretty pumped about this feature. That girl loves her pancakes!

One of my favorite decisions we made for the kitchen is the cooktop and wall oven combination. I love the finished look!! I was totally surprised that a wall oven didn’t have to go, you know, up in a wall. We weren’t in the position to tear walls down and restructure the kitchen. The Frigidaire Professional Wall Oven fits perfectly below the counter and gives such a clean, professional style. I also love the powerful performance and No Preheat feature.

The Frigidaire Professional Dishwasher runs quietly and has lots of great features, We love the blue light that turns on when the load is clean. With all the cooking I’ve been doing, I’ve found that you can’t beat a 30-minute wash cycle. Washes dishes in a quarter of the time with a powerful and fast clean!

Now. Let’s all bow down to the king of the kitchen, shall we? I’ve never had a refrigerator that could hold all the fresh produce I buy, and I buy a lot. Four out of five of us are vegetarian so we consume fruits and veggies like whoa in this house. Our old fridge was always stuffed to the max and I would get so frustrated trying to find stuff. I’d be super bummed out when I would have to throw something away that had gone bad just because I forgot it was in there. The Frigidaire Professional French Door Refrigerator is my knight in shining armor. THERE IS SO MUCH ROOM IN THERE! And when you open the doors, it all lights up fancy like angels are singing about the glorious food inside. Am I getting too carried away with how much I love this fridge? Maybe, but it’s true. I love it! It’s got awesome shelves that you can change in a flash to organize all your stuff. It’s perfect.

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Open Shelving:
 The big thing we wanted to do was take down the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving. Our kitchen has always felt super dark. There’s really only the one window above the sink and with the heavy cabinets up top, it really made it feel smaller than it was. We got some great thick wood from Lowe’s and had it cut right there in the store to the exact sizes we needed. I just simply stained them, and the result was the perfect natural, yet slightly worn looking shelf. I was so weary of finding the right stain and I can’t say enough for how beautiful the shelves came out! DIY post and tips for having open shelving and an open pantry to come soon!

Tile: 
I also really wanted to subway tile from the counter up to the ceiling to help brighten up the kitchen. The tiling was by far the biggest project. The nice people at Lowe’s were so helpful when I showed up with 3 crazy kids and explained I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed, but I needed them to help me out quickly before everyone started having a meltdown. Hahahah. We went with your standard white subway tile and a lighter grey grout. It was the most labor-intensive part of the project, but so worth it. The finished product is gorgeous!

Countertops: 
This was our biggest investment, but totally worth it. We really wanted a nice countertop! We decided to go with quartz and you know what color we chose? It was called Blanco Orion!! It was the first sample I picked, and when I found out it was called Orion–Duh! Of course I was sold. It’s so beautiful and totally makes the entire kitchen. I love the subtle grey hues throughout the piece of stone.

Cabinets: 
We were planning on just painting the bottom cabinets, but when we decided to replace the countertops we thought, here is our chance to actually do something with the bottom cabinets. We wanted to keep the footprint the same to keep things easy on us. We decided to go with cabinets that Lowe’s has in stock, instead of getting custom cabinets made. It really helped keep the cost down and we loved the white Arcadia style. It was a win-win for cost and convenience.

Island: 
 Do you remember the custom pipe desk/shelf thing I built right off our kitchen? Well, I wanted to create an island that tied those two pieces together. Lowe’s sells these beautiful precut butcher blocks in two different sizes that you can get right at the store. All we had to do was assemble the parts and attach them together. DIY post to come so you can all build your own kitchen island as well!

Hardware + Fixtures: 
I have been drooling over brass hardware for quite some time now and decided to go for it. It may be trendy, but it’s an easy switch if I ever get tired of them. The faucet we went with was a matte black to match the black shelf brackets and black iron pipe under the island. And the sink… ooooh the sink. I love this sink. It’s this beautiful extra large single basin white granite sink. It’s so pretty! hahaha. Omgosh I’m such an adult. My 16-year-old self would hate me for just saying I loved a sink.

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Resources: Refrigerator | Gas Cooktop | Wall Oven | Dishwasher | Blender | Hood | Frigidaire Professional Collection | Sink | Faucet | Track Lights | Cabinets | Brass Hardware | Shelf Brackets | Hanging Brass Planters (fruit holders) | Letter Board | Floor Mat | Stools

This post is in partnership with Frigidaire Professional, but all words, opinions and styling are my own. A big huge thank you to Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s for helping our kitchen dreams come true.

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

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.

Making Winter Fun With Annie’s Organic Soup…

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So I will be the first to admit that I kinda hate winter. Why we live in the Northeast is questioned daily when the temperatures drop and we are forced to spend waaaaaay more time than I’d like indoors. Every year I try my darnedest to get us outside as much as possible. The key I’ve found is to find fun activities to do while you’re out there. It helps take your mind off how cold you are, plus is makes really fun memories! Things like building snowmen, tubing (especially at those tubing places that have chair lifts and tracks!), skiing and snowboarding (getting Rowan in lessons this year!) and of course ice skating!! Growing up in Canada, learning to skate was like a rite of passage. We used to go skating every weekend after church. We’ve been making it a point so far this season to do the same with the girls. They really look forward to it! Rowan is getting pretty good too- she whips around the ice pretty fast. This past Sunday we headed down to Empire Plaza in Albany to skate outside on the little rink they have there. It can be pretty magical feeling when all the lights turn on at night. Love this family tradition we are starting! Can’t wait to get Orion on a pair of hockey skates!!

One of our favorite things to do when we come in from the cold is to make warm soup! I’ve always hated most pre-made soup, they’re loaded with ingredients I can’t even pronounce and frankly just don’t taste that good. Needless to say, I was super excited when I heard that our already beloved Annie’s just launched a new line of organic soups. They have simple ingredients, no preservatives, artificial flavors, or synthetic colors. How awesome is that? Helps save time and the kids are in love with them. Finley’s favorite is the Creamy Tomato Soup with Bunny Pasta (Hello! 1/2 cup of veggies per serving!). She’s asked for it for lunch for like the past week. The cherry on top for little Miss Fin is getting to put Cheddar Bunnies in the soup! I love coming in from cold with red roses cheeks, sitting around the table and creating more winter memories as we sharing a warm meal together!!

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Thank you ANNIE’S for sponsoring this post.

My Everyday Style | 01.10.16

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Did you hear about the new Pantone colors of the year? I am not quite sure why they do that each year but oh well, it’s kinda fun right? This year the colors are Rose Quartz and Serenity. Both are very pretty colors, although I would lean more towards Rose Quartz if I had to pick a favorite. So when T.J.Maxx and Marshalls asked if I wanted to team up and create an outfit based on the new colors, I bet you can guess which color I went with. They had tons of beautiful designer options to choose from in both colors. This very soft pink sweater was the perfect addition to my closet!

And guess what? Woot! I am down 6 pounds. I am not dieting but just working at eating real, whole foods (and staying away from sugar) and working out lightly when I can. I know you hear a lot “it took 9 months to put on the baby weight so expect at least that to come off” and I agree. I am trying to be safe, healthy and not obsessive about it. Although seeing the weight come off does make me feel good. It can be a bit of a weird mental game to be at a weight you just don’t feel like yourself at. Anyway, I started back at the hot yoga studio in town and goodness, I missed it!

How’s your new year going so far? Anyone have any resolutions they want to share? I’d love to hear.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Sweater: c/o Marshalls
White Tunic Button Up: Loft
Jeans: Loft
Doc Martins: Kicks USA
Sun Glasses: Target

Creating a Giving Spirit in Little Ones.

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Christmas can be a tough time of year for little kids. They are bombarded with toy commercials and questions about what THEY want for Christmas. It very, very quickly becomes focused on getting presents. I really hate that about Christmas. I want Christmas in our house to always be focused first and foremost on the birth of Jesus and second to be filled with a giving spirit. An idea that is maybe embraced more at Christmas but hopefully an idea that last all year long. I want my kids to care for others deeply. To find needs that they can help meet, to be selfless and kind and to show the love of Christ to all that they come in contact with. Have you ever noticed how big kids hearts are? Did you see that video going around about the kids getting ice cream with their dollar or giving it to a homeless man? Kids are awesome!! They are natural givers (haha for the most part- we all have experienced melt downs over sharing toys). I really hope to foster that in my kids and help it grow over the years. Making it something that lasts.

I’ve been a big fan of Advent calendars over the years, but after feeling like we could be doing something more then just getting a treat everyday, I decided to ditch it all together this year. I wanted us as a family to be more intentional about how we could be giving and serving others this month. Rowan has been doing extra chores around the house to raise money for a special offering at church on Christmas Eve for Love 146, she is going caroling at a retirement home this week, we’ve collected hats, gloves and coats for a coat drive, gathered school supplies for a school in Uganda and various other little things. One day last week we headed to T.J.Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls and loaded up our carts for a local toy drive and picked up some presents for Rowan’s friends. She could have very easily asked for any one of those presents for herself. There were some awesome choices!! Love all the unique and wonderful toys there. But she happily pushed her cart up and down the aisles being very thoughtful about what she was picking out for everyone. Made my Mama heart proud.

Do you have any tips for creating a giving spirit in little ones around the holidays?
I’d love to her how your family works on this?

IMG_6633^^our finds

IMG_6636^^cutest little puzzle

IMG_6640^^working so hard on making little cards and wrapping paper for everyone

This post was sponsored by T.J.Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls. All opinions and words are my own. And to be clear any compensation for this post we used to purchase and donate toys. Thanks.
Happy Holidays guys!!
xoxox

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!


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