My Everyday Style | 3 Weeks Postpartum

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I can stay in my pjs for about a week after having a baby and then I need to start getting dressed to help my own (mental) recovery. Nothing fancy, but I at least need to feel put together. Something that really helps with that is buying a new pair of jeans that fit my current 3 week post part body. I’m not talking designer jeans or anything, but jeans that fit good, sit higher up on the waist, pretty inexpensive (because they will most liking not fit in a few months as I work towards pre-baby weight) and make me feel good about myself. I am trying not to stress about the 20lbs I would like to lose to be back to my pre-baby self because 1. it’s only been 3 weeks 2. look at that beautiful baby boy!! and 3. I know it takes time to loose that baby weight. I don’t plan to go on any diet or whole 30 or thing but just get back into being little more strict about clean, whole foods. We’ve let things slide a little around here lately as we adjust to new baby Orion. Anyway, this was my “look at me! I am actually getting dress” outfit the other day for an outing to Mom’s group. Don’t you love dressing for the fall weather. It’s my favorite!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Sweater: a.n.a (JCPenney)
Jeans: LOFT (40% off right now!)
Hat: Forever21
Clogs: Lotta From Stockholm
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington

Introducing: Orion David Richardson!!

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YOU GUYS!!! He’s here!!! It’s taken me a bit of time to actually get on the computer and post this, but if you’ve been following along on Instagram you know he came 3 weeks ago on the beautiful day of October 6th. He was born at home at 5:27pm, weighted in at 9 lbs 6oz. and was 22 inches long. He was a day early even! Woot! Woot! I can’t wait to share his birth story with you guys but today I wanted to share the story behind his name. We named him Orion David Richardson. He’s the very first son (duh!) and grandson on both sides of our family. David is Kev’s middle name and I love that my 2 boys now share that in common. Kev’s middle name is after his Grandfather. I never got to meet him but Kev has lots of wonderful memories and loved him very much. He sounds like such a good man and I wish I had gotten to know him. I am proud that Orion gets to carry on his legacy.

As far as his first name, I knew when we found out we were having a boy I wanted to name him after my Dad somehow. Not in the traditional sense by just giving him my Dad’s name, but by something with deeper meaning and maybe a little more abstract in reference. You see, my Dad is a pretty special guy. Next to Kev, he’s my favorite guy and probably the smartest one at that. My Dad has always been in love with astronomy, telescopes and space exploration. For most of my childhood there were telescopes in abundance at our house. At school I was know as “the girl with the observatory in her backyard”. I’m not talking dinky, little observatories either… like real legit ones that my Dad built himself. He not only built the observatories, but built and machined almost all of the parts for the actual telescopes as well. Because of his love of for astronomy he instilled in us a sense of wonder, to dream big and to follow our passions full force. He taught us to have an appreciation for the extreme beauty in the skies and the awe of God’s creation. Kev has this memory that he told me well after the fact, that on one of our early dates we were out sitting by this reservoir and I said to him something along the lines of “doesn’t the sky look huge tonight?” He said he looked up and noticed that the sky did indeed look big that night. He told me that he knew right then and there that I was special (haha mushy I know). He said he’d never dated someone who would have noticed something like that. Aww what a guy to remember something like that, huh? Love him. Anyway back to my Dad… His observatory is called Heaven’s Glory Observatory after Psalm 19:1. I love that my Dad works amongst some of the smartest men and women in the science and engineering fields yet has never felt the need to question his faith. If anything it has only grown stronger- science does not need to be separate from God. He is such an awesome example of a strong man of God.

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My dad is a super talented astrophotographer (all astronomy pictures in this post are by my Dad)! When we started to come up with names we couldn’t get our minds off Orion, which is actually his favorite constellation. It was perfect!! It was everything we wanted in a name for our sweet little boy. Something to represent my Dad but also express the beauty of God’s creation and especially in creating this new life. Did you know that Orion is actually mentioned in the bible a handful of times? How cool is that? My favorite is…


He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns midnight into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the Lord is his name.
Amos 5:8




orioncolor05^^M42/NGC1777 Emission/Reflection Nebula region in Orion (photo by my Dad)

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Untitled^^My Dad and his new grandson. All the heart eye emojis please!!

ic434color21RGB^^Horsehead and Flame Nebula Region in Orion (photo by my Dad)

m78LRGB03^^M78 Reflection Nebula region in Orion (photo by my Dad)

dome&family^^Oh boy! Look how cool I was in 8th grade!

observatory01^^Observatory in my parents backyard

Thanks for letting me gush on my Dad and my new baby boy for bit!
and thanks for all the love and congratulations- you guys are the best. THE BEST I TELL YA!!!
xoxox

3 outfits, 6 iphone Pictures and 9 Favorite Links…

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Hey guys!
It’s Friday!! Yippie!! Can’t wait for a slower paced weekend. We have just one soccer game this weekend and I am hoping the weather might hold out for an apple picking trip. Of course if a baby decides to show up I would be ok with that as well. Anyway, I have been day dreaming of wearing regular clothes again and these 3 outfits would be top on my list of things I would wear this weekend…

Outfit One:
Shirt Dress | Thigh High Socks | Cutest Wedge Boots | Geometric Earrings | Cozy Southwestern Coat | Simple and Beautiful Watch

Outfit Two:
EVERYTHING IS 40% OFF!! Best High Waist Jeans | Cozy Sweater | Sherpa Collar Denim Jacket | Prettiest Necklace | Coolest Sneakers

Outfit Three:
Amazingly flared Jeans | My Favorite Plaid Shirt | Clogs | Backpack Purse | Faux Leather Jacket | Sunglasses

6 pictures from my phone this week…

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Untitled^39+ weeks.

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and here are a few favorite blog posts and articles from this week…

1. A good reminder to slow things down and listen to what we are called to for our lives.

2. Totally made these the other day and guys! They are AMAZING!! We ate them all up and then have been using the left over pumpkin caramel to dip apples in. Yum!!!

3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… My most favorite style blog. I pretty much pin every outfit. If only I could afford those boots!

4. Loved hearing from John and Sherry from Young House Love again over on the newest Lively Show podcast.

5. I think I need to eat this for breakfast tomorrow.

6. I love this blog. Some of the best articles on foster care for sure!! Would love to hear Jason speak sometime soon.

7. Guys!! Julie came to visit me last week!! It was such an awesome surprise. Our visit was short but sweet but it was so good to catch up with her. She’s a traveling machine these days.

8. How cute is this diy project for you and your kids. Love the idea of a solar system necklace!

9. My favorite food combination will forever be kale and sweet potatoes! Doesn’t this salad look so very yummy!!!

http://bit.ly/1lhqIDd

HAPPY WEEKEND FRIENDS!!!

Being A Soccer Mom and Other Random Thoughts…

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Sooooooooo there is no baby yet. My due date is less than a week away now and we’re all anxiously awaiting his arrival. I don’t have high hopes for an early appearance though- neither does the 18yrs old dude at the deli counter at BJs. He was quite an expert in all things baby! Letting me know I was still rather high and that I should makes sure I microwave my applegate turkey before I eat it. Thanks guy. How are you guys this week? Doing good? My pregnancy brain is in full effect with locking keys in the car at Target and over booking our morning this morning with like 4 things all happening at the same time. Thank goodness for Kev to the rescue on all accounts. Super Daddy for sure. Although I am pretty sure he quite enjoyed getting to bring Finley to gymnastics this morning and jumping into the foam pit with her.

We dove head first into the whole soccer thing this fall. It’s been super cute to watch and ooooh so hard to keep my mouth shut on the sidelines, which was a funny surprise to me. I just want her to get out there, knock ’em all down and get the ball. BE AGGRESSIVE. B-E Aggressive. B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E AGGRESSIVE! Hahahaha. Who am I? It’s a competitive side I didn’t really know was in me. And not to play the Mom card here, but I think she’s pretty good. Did I write this already? I am having deja vu. If I did than I am blaming it on being 1 part proud Mom and 1 part pregnancy brain. That’s a thing right? Im totally using it as an excuse.

Anyone else’s littlest one regress a bunch right before a new baby came? Oh Finley. I love ya kid but the baby voice has got to go. She’s pretty much refusing to use words except this high pitched baby noise. She makes these baby noises and points at things she wants instead of talking. It’s not all day and when she is playing with Rowan she talks like normal but “baby Finley” comes out a few times a day in certain situations. I’m sure it’s normal and we’ve been trying to give her lots of extra love and attention to make sure she feels all the love but?? It’s super annoying when I know she can say full sentences and I’ve been trying to figure out what she wants for like 5 mins. Don’t judge me. hahahaha. She is lucky she’s so darn cute though. I just want to eat her up! This almost 3 age is pretty hilarious.

So I wrote this on instagram the other day but I am just going to full on copy and paste it here as well… “Schools been a tough adjustment for us. Anyone else? And not even really for Rowan. She is doing wonderful. She loves it (other than the early mornings). But it’s been harder for me than anything. Of course I miss her like crazy when she’s gone but its more this crazy strict schedule we all the sudden are on. Where everything in the day is dependent on the thing before it happening at the right time (wake up, drop off, bus , lunch, nap, dinner, bedtime, etc…). We’ve always been sooooo easy going. Never strict about nap time or bedtimes. Eating dinner at 8pm etc… So this new “responsible” parent thing has me a little stressed out trying to make sure everyone is well rested and happy and ready for school. I know it’s a good change. But it sure is hard getting into a steady routine as you sit and wait for a big ol’ life change about to happen. It definitely has been so awesome seeing her learn and become so big though. Why is it that as soon as they start school they seem years and years older all the sudden?”

Anyone else feel like this? Does the routine become easier?

Anyone watch the newest Brooklyn 99? I think that show is hilarious.

I’ve been craving making something lately. Some sort of craft project but I am not sure what it is that I want to make. I shhhhoooould probably finish the 2 skirts for the girls I started months ago or the handful of weavings left on the looms in my basement but why finish something when you can start something new! Now there’s a motto to live your life by (just kidding).

There is the sweetest (not like candy sweet but like totally awesome) picture of a bat that Rowan drew on the desk next to me right now. I kind of want to make a t-shirt out of it for the girls for halloween. Here is the picture.

Day dreaming lately of travel for next year. Which may be much harder with a 3rd but in my head I want to make it work. It’s also our 10th wedding anniversary and we have some big plans! Feeling motivated to train for a marathon again after this baby arrives and hoping to pick a marathon to run that’s also a fun place to go visit. Maybe… Vancouver in May?!?! It would be so awesome to go visit my sister out in BC.

Oh yeah! Rowan learned to ride a bike with no training wheels the other night. It was so out of the blue and she just hopped on and started riding just like that. So awesome! Listen to her cute voice at the end of this video!

Ok over and out for now. I am off to watch the new Project Runway from last week.
Peace.

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My Maternity Must Haves!

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Guys! I only have 2.5 weeks left. Holy cow. Well, I am sure it’ll be more like 3.5 weeks left but I am trying not to think about it like that (stupid always being late baby arrival). I thought since I was nearing the end of this pregnancy, I would share my must haves that’ve gotten me through the past nine months. These are staple items that can help you build a fun and successful maternity wardrobe. You don’t need a ton of maternity specific items but a few make life easier (and more comfortable) if you do invest in them.

1. Vim & Vigr Compression Socks: Totally helps with swelling and they look cute too! I would wear these almost every night before bed to help circulation after busy days on my feet chasing the girls around.

2. Maternity Tights: Especially now that fall is coming around, every pregnant lady should have a good pair of black maternity tights. Don’t try to fit into a non maternity pair- ugh! They will not be comfortable. I love that these sit up high over my belly. Thick and soft!

3. Honest Belly Balm: My skin gets so itchy when I am pregnant. Does yours? Love this belly balm from Honest.

4. Belly Bandit Post Pregnancy Wrap: Now this is something I actually haven’t tried but I did just buy it for after the baby is born. I never tried anything like this after Finley or Rowan’s birth but thought I would give it a go this time around. I’ve heard good things. We’ll see!

5. Belly Bandit Support Band: Now this! This is a life saver! Whenever I would be active (walk, hike, etc…) ooooh that round ligament pain would set in. This support band would allow me to continue exercising without much pain at all. Totally helps distribute the weight of your belly. I would wear it under my tank top so you wouldn’t even know I had it on. I’ve used this thing so many times!!

6 + 7. Speaking of working out! This active wear from Old Navy was hands down my favorite. There are some really expensive maternity active wear items out there but ultimately wasn’t something I decided worth the hefty price tag. These maternity pants and tank from ON were perfect though. Not bad on the wallet and perfect for what I needed. I wore the same size (medium) the entire pregnancy. So it’s worth the purchase.

8. SHAPE WEAR!! Ladies. Get yourself some pregnancy shape wear. You won’t regret it. I wore mine all summer long under tank dresses, skirts and tighter fitting maxi dresses. Just helps round out your already beautiful pregnancy curves. I’m telling you, you’ll love them!

9. Tank Dress! Get yourself some kind of neutral tank dress whether thats grey, black or striped. I promise you’ll wear it all summer, fall and winter. So comfortable and so easy to layer as seasons change. Make use of the non maternity clothes in your closet by throwing on a denim vest in the summer, an open flannel in the fall and a chunky and warm cardigan in the winter. Here are some other styles I love (HERE, HERE and HERE)

10. WORLD’S GREATEST LEGGINGS!! I’ve tried a few of the more expensive maternity leggings this time around and I have to say without a doubt that the Blanqi Maternity leggings are by far the BEST. Like seriously! THE BEST. Don’t even mess around trying out different brands. Spend the money- you won’t regret it! While you are at it… love their support tank as well!

11. So these are not maternity but I just love a good bralette. These ones from Aerie are by far my favorite. So comfortable and easy to wear. Looking for a little extra support while you sleep? These fit the bill perfectly!

12. JEANS! One of my top pieces of advice for pregnant ladies is to invest in good maternity jeans. You don’t need a ton. 1 or 2 pairs will do but seriously it will make all the difference. I am a big fan of the over the belly panel, extra skinny leg, with a lot of stretch kind of jean. These Joe Jean’s have been my go to’s. I wear them almost everyday. They are on sale right now and there is a sale on sale!! Buy one, get one 50% off. That is a pretty good deal on designer jeans if you ask me. Love this pair as well!

13. This Target white V-Neck has been my most favorite. So perfect to wear on it’s own or layered under something else. I like the fit and material of it. Its a rayon/spandex jersey knit so it’s thin and stretchy. Sometimes the cotton maternity tees seem so thick to me. I really like this one.

14. The perfect Maternity top. I would tell everyone to go get at least 1 or 2 nice maternity tops that aren’t just a cotton tee or tank. Something that makes you feel special and not frumpy or huge. I just got this lace one on sale and every time I wear it I get so many compliments.

15. The Maternity Midi skirt: I really didn’t find a whole lot I loved from asos maternity this time around. I really kind of hated the fabrics of everything but I did LOVE this skirt. It worked so perfect paired with all the cute crop tops that were out there this summer. The skirt goes up over the belly and then the crop tops would be the perfect match.

Little Artist Party | Happy 5th Birthday Rowan!!!

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Rowan turned 5 on Saturday! What a big girl she is! For the past year, almost daily, she’s talked about what theme she’s wanted to have for her birthday. Her ideas changed every few days depending on what we did that day or what movie she just watched. She’s had a lot of ideas over the past 365 days! A few weeks ago we really started to think about her party and narrow down what she wanted to do. She’s been soooo into art lately so we sat at the computer one day and looked up artist themed birthdays on pinterest (get ready for all the rainbow colors if you do that). Anyway, she was hooked! she loved the idea of everyone having their own canvas and easel and getting to paint a picture they could take home. All in all it was a super easy and fun party to plan for (hello amazon prime!)- I didn’t go over the top or spend tons and tons of money. It was fun to let her be a part of the decorating and have a hand in her own party. We had a lot of fun! There are A LOT of ideas out there in pinterestland for artist themed bday parties. I wasn’t for all the primary/rainbow colored party ideas but I did find this post as my inspiration and then made the party fit us and our own ideas. I really, really love decorating for the girls birthday parties. It brings me a lot of joy!

Rowan made all the placemats for the table with watercolors and lots of splatters! We’ve since cut them all up and used them to make the thank you cards for her friends who came. Dual purpose!! Heck yeah! We ordered canvas boards, easels, paint brushes, aprons, paper cups and palettes from amazon (links below). I already had the craft paint. I just lined it all up for the girls to pick out the colors they wanted for their paintings. I kept the food simple. I made sugar cookies (from a box!) in shapes of 5’s and artist palettes (made with a heart cookie cutter). I made some individual fruit cups with all fresh berries, veggies cups with hummus and then the girls got a palette filled with lots of sprinkles and an undecorated cupcake that they got to go to town on decorating. You know, keeping with the artist theme and all. The girls had a blast and I loved the ease of it all. I made a few watercolor buntings with some painted papers. Just cut the shapes you want and run them all through the sewing machine. Super easy!

What a fun afternoon celebrating our little artist!

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Items from Amazon:
Easels | Canvas Board | Round Palettes | Oval Palettes | Aprons | Paint brushes | Tiny Paint Brushes | Goodie Bag Gift

The First Day of School | Letting Her Go…

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Well, here we are again. Middle of the night. I can’t seem to sleep. I got myself some hot tea and grapes (weird combo??) and I’m ready to type out all the random thoughts. This has been a big week for us! And well for a lot of people I am sure. The first week of school! Of real school! Like a legit kindergartner! Who’d of thought we would ever get here?? I mean I know we would be here but ahhhhh. How did 5 years go by so fast? I was feeling very anxious about it. Not for her sake but for mine. I know I’ve been very lucky to have gotten the last 5 years with her. I didn’t have to go back to work after she was born and we loved home schooling last year so she has been by my side for 5 years. Day in, day out. So the anxiety of letting go of that had started to build. And not to be dramatic but once they leave for school it’s like they are gone for the rest of their life. Hahah (yes, yes, I know that’s super over the top) but seriously! They will basically be in school for the rest of the time they live with you and then they will be gone. Elementary, middle, high school, college, move out. ALL THE SAD FACE EMOJIIS.

BUT

Then you remember how excited they are and how much you love seeing them learn and grow and well, your sadness doesn’t really seem to matter all that much in light of that.

We decided to send her to the most wonderful little classical school near us which we totally fell in love with. The teachers, headmaster, parents and kids feel like a big ol’ family all striving for the same goals and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of that. It really, really helps sending them off on their day when you totally support and trust the school they are going to. This is in no way a dig to public school or any other type of schooling. For us this is just where we fit best for this year. We decided early on that we would never make a decision and say this was it for all of school. Every year we will prayerfully ask where we are supposed to be. Anyway, nearing school I could tell Rowan was getting a little bit nervous. I knew she would love it but she also is very sensitive so after much hype all week (school picnic, kindergarten meet up, parent orientation, convocation) I could hear it in her voice when she talked that the unknown was starting to seem a bit scary. We talked through a bunch of stuff and I assured her she was going to love it and that no, you didn’t need to know all the presidents names to start kindergarten. Where she got that idea? School does start a bit earlier than we are used to in our house so that is almost the bigger challenge for everyone. The first morning I woke her up she looked at me and said “I didn’t know I would have to get up THIS early”. Poor girl. Me either sister, me either. Ugh. We are not morning people.

The first day went off with out a hitch. I went to pick her up on the first day but she was insistent on taking the bus home with her friends (ouch). Message received little one. She obviously didn’t have as hard of a time being away as I did. It was so sweet though, seeing her climb onto that little short bus with her buddies and head off for home. I just scooted home to meet her there. Poor girl has a bit of a ride though, she is the last one off but she doesn’t seem to mind. The bus driver calls her “Ms. Chatty”. I better watch what I say in front of Rowan now, she is airing all our secrets to the bus driver. Hahaha. I was really praying for a sweet older lady to be the bus driver. Don’t ask me why. That’s just what I wanted. Prayer answered! The bus driver is amazing- makes me feel a little more comfortable with her being on the bus so long.

Change is good. It can be tough but always helps us grow and our character to strengthen. So excited for this new year for her. You really can’t experience much more joy as a parent then watching your children learn new things and develop into these wonderful little beings. It’s pretty awesome. I just need to figure out how to be a responsible parent of a school aged child. haha. All the folders and papers and school things to keep track of. Oh man. I need some help đŸ˜‰ Like seriously- how do you keep track of everything?

Wishing all your Mama’s with kids in school a very happy 2015-2016 school year!!

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FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

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p.s. she may have to wear a uniform (which I am convinced makes her look 1000x cuter. Not sure how that is possible?) but we found the best back to school items at T.J.Maxx for her. She was dead set on finding a purple backpack to match her uniform and because I wanted to stay clear of the ol’ character themed Elsa bag, I happily dug around the store to find the perfect one. They had a great selection of backpacks to chose from. I don’t know why but I just love the plain ol’ classic Jansport backpack. It’s so nostaglic. We also were able to find her the cutest shoes for fall and winter. She is feeling pretty grown up with a pair of her very own tall “leather” boots. So cute!

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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