Saturday, November 30, 2013

Glori talks about infertility and more.

Glori and I have so many things in common, being moms of a little girl and a little boy. But our paths to getting there have been so different and I am always amazed by the strength of someone that has had to go through infertility. I asked her some questions, and this is how she answered:

1. When it comes to infertility I would love people to know a few things. One, you are not alone, it feels like you are, but you aren't, it happens to so many people, just go to your first appointment and you will see all of the couples there.  One of the hardest things is going through infertility and having your friends pop up pregnant left and right. It is ok to feel envious, but just remember, where there is a will there is a way. Infertility is emotionally, physically & financially draining, but you have to get your mind set right and if you want it bad enough stick to it. Science is truly an amazing, amazing thing!  Also, it is not always because "the woman" is not fertile.  I was fertile myrtle, ovulating like clock work every week, however my husband had some major obstacles which made having a baby the old fashion way nearly impossible, but made me an excellent candidate for IVF. Lastly, infertility does not discriminate, it doesn't care if you are young, healthy and have done everything right, it sucks! It totally sucks! If it happens to you, I'm sorry, don't put blame on yourself though, it is more than likely nothing you did, again, it totally sucks! 

2. The most important thing to me with raising my children is raising them to be confident, respectful, loving & brave. I believe with these traits comes so much greatness. Love is the foundation. I want them to love each other, love us (their parents), their family, their friends and themselves. I want them to respect themselves and others. I want them to be confident in themselves, their decisions, their physical appearance and health, own their mistakes, and know they can get through anything. I want them to be brave. To try new things, to challenge themselves, to take leaps and dream big!

3. 5 random things people don't know about me are:  

{1} I love to take baths. I am not a soaker, but I love to take a nice, quick, hot bath. I like to stretch in the bath and wash my hair under the fountain. 
{2} Growing up my grandparents and my dog Princess were my best friends. I was a very independent player and still am independent to this day. I have never really liked being around too many people, especially strangers.
{3} I don't like surprises. I mean sure good ones are better than bad ones, but I don't like them period. I like to be prepared. 
{4} When I hit puberty, around 13 I guess, I got super chunky and between that and my lack of self confidence I had some rough teenage years, but they made me who I am today and I grew out of it, but that is why keeping my kids active is so important to me.
{5} I don't have a colon, a gull bladder or an appendix. Crazy, I know! Overall I believe I have had like 8 surgeries. My colon being the largest procedure and was compared to open heart surgery.

4. My favorite things to do during "me time" are go for a run, go to hot yoga, watch some great reality TV or look at a trashy gossip magazine. Also, at night during "we time" with my husband, I LOVE just laying in bed and catching up on our TV shows, usually while eating ice cream or multi tasking on our phones. Sad, I know.

5. If I could change one thing, hmmm oh goodness. My pageant answer would obviously be to cure diseases, have a magic pill that keeps kids from getting sick, and adults too. Our family has had such a rough few weeks I would just love to blink and all feel better. Then, there is also world peace, I mean honestly how lovely would that be. The world is cray cray and it is getting out of control. School shootings, mall shootings, oh my! Scary!!! Also, while I love, love, love watching my kids grow up, gosh I would love to just freeze time. Time goes by too too fast and with the busy lives most of us lead today, it goes by in a blink of an eye. Ok, I know, you said pick just one, but I couldn't chose.

Friday, November 29, 2013

20 Days of Christmas Crafts with Kids

This year, I decided that for the 20 days leading up to Christmas we would do something really fun every day. I love the holiday season and I love that it brings families together. I think that by doing stuff for our kids and more importantly with our kids, it allows us the opportunity to interact more, to talk about what this holiday truly means, and to appreciate the time that we have together.

For all these crafts that I have gathered below all you will need is hopefully stuff you already have at home. Some things you may need to pick up, but a quick trip to hobby lobby {or even Wal-mart} will have all of the goods.

I printed the details below and used it as my guide. I also have a picture of each craft that the "Elf" will deliver for us to do every day and he will have a bucket that he will have with all the supplies that she will need for the day!

Construction paper {colorful- normal colors, green, blue, brown, black, etc}
Hot glue gun
Empty toilet paper rolls
Black and Red Permanent Marker
Cotton Balls
Eyeballs {or draw on eyeballs}
Paper Plate
Popsicle Sticks
Felt balls

Day Five: Salt Dough Ornament

Day Six: Christmas Tree with Feet {put multiple on paper with multiple children}
All you need: Construction paper, paint, and some cute feet.

Day Seven: Snowman using toilet paper rolls
All you need: Toilet paper rolls, construction paper, permanent marker, glue, scissors 

Day Eight: Ornament Reindeer
All you need: Ornament, paint, and a black and red permanent marker

Day Nine: Santa 

All you need: Cottonballs, Red construction paper, eyeballs {or draw on}, paper plate, glue, scissors

Day Ten: Stick Christmas Tree

All you need: Popsicle sticks, scissors, and decorations {you can use buttons or construction paper to cut out decorations}.

Day Eleven: Button Snowflake

All you need: popsicle sticks, buttons, ribbon, superglue

Day Twelve: Acorn Trees
All you need: Acorns, round felt balls, superglue

Day Thirteen: Reindeer Cookies

All you need: Sugar cookie {either make homemade or store bought mix}, M&Ms, pretzels

Day Fourteen: Handprint Reindeer Hat
All you need: Brown Construction paper, Eyes {or cut out your own eyes out of construction paper}, scissors, and glue

Day Fifteen: Coloring Page
Day Sixteen: Button Candy Canes
All you need: Red construction paper, buttons, and a ribbon to hold.

Day Seventeen: Picture of themselves as a Reindeer

Day Eighteen: Snowman Ornament
All you need: Ornaments, white paint, and permanent marker {black and orange}

DAY Nineteen: Reindeer Pancakes

Day Twenty: Coloring Page
source to print: 
Day Twenty-One: Color/Decorate a picture frame

All you need: A picture from {dollar store}, paint, and anything else the kids want to put on the picture frame, and of course a picture of the family

Day Twenty-Two: Paper Plate Wreath

All you need: Paper plate, glue, and stuff to decorate the wreath, ribbon.

Day Twenty-Three: Snowman & Reindeer 
All you need: Red construction paper, white paint, brown paint, black permanent marker.

Day Twenty-Four: Christmas Cookies + Milk for Santa & His Reindeer

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Things that make me happy--things that I am thankful for--just the little things in life.

I am most importantly thankful for my health, my family, a roof over our heads, and a Jesus that loves me unconditionally. I am grateful for this life, and there is no doubt about it. However, there are little things that I like to reflect on that I am thankful for. Things in life that pick us up. Things in life that make us smile. Things in life that are gifts and surprises and just plain happy.

Things are good to be thankful for as well. For instance:

I'm thankful for

White chocolate mocha from McDonalds, and being able to go grocery shopping while the kids nap {and husband is home with them}, and pick one of these suckers up on the way. I can't stop talking about it. I went through the drive-thru the other day to order a PSL and the man kindly reminded me that they no longer carry those. That was when he recommended the WCM to me, and I went for it. Best decision I ever made.

The site of Christmas in our house. The sound of Christmas music in our house. And all the fun that is to come. I have been in Christmas mode lately {who isn't}, and although I do respect Thanksgiving {and holding off from putting up the big tree until after}, I still can't help but sneak in a few things here and there. We hung up our advent calendar the other day, and also surprised the kids by having them put up their little Christmas trees in their room. Elliana is over-the-top-obsessed and that makes my holiday heart very very happy. I imagine that as she gets older, she will be my little helper. Who am I kidding here, she already is!

My two children playing quietly together. During their 20 minute i-pad allowance, I sometimes find myself sitting there just watching them. So quiet. It's rare for them to be this quiet. It's amazing though when they are. It's even more amazing to think that they are actually mine. That I grew these babies inside of me. That they are a part of Andrew and I, look like us, and act like us, and will one day to grow up to be parents--just like us. It's amazing to watch the love between them. The way my daughter lights up to see her brother. The way she hugs and kisses on him, as well as put him in a headlock. I know that she will be just as excited for the day that he is able to show her that affection back just as we are.

Baby books--pictures. I am so thankful that we live in a world where we can capture moments and hold on to those moments in the form of a picture. That these pictures have the ability to bring us back into those moments, those feelings at that present time, and allow us to close our eyes and remember. I was sitting on the couch the other day while the kiddos watched a Christmas movie {that's all we do is watch Christmas movies these days}, and I decided to look back on an album I made out of our iphone pictures {I use & shutterfly by the way}. Even though the album I was looking at was from earlier this year, I still couldn't believe how much had changed throughout the course of the past 10 months. A lot. I smiled from ear to ear, and even shed a few tears as I saw precious moments like our time in the hospital after G was born. I know that if I feel the way that I feel today looking at these images, I can only imagine how I will feel 20 years from now.

Being able to dress up. I just don't do it enough.  I rarely spend money on myself these days, and my closet has just been blah to me. I really just need to go on a shopping spree and get rid of everything, but again...I just can't bring myself to do it. I'd rather spend it on these little mini-me's and their adorable little attires. Sigh. The life of a parent.

My girl. My girl who has been a rockstar this past year. My girl who has been my biggest helper throughout the day. G has been teething a lot lately {at least that is what I am blaming it on lately}, and literally does not leave my side. He plays for a little while and then crawls up my leg to be held. I embrace the hugs and kisses and snuggles, but I know my kitchen, laundry, and overall house does not. The thing about E is that she is so patient. She may want to read a book, and in the middle of reading that book is when G decides he wants me and wants me right away. She waits. She waits until he is settled down and then we get back to reading. She helps bring me his diapers. She helps to pick things up and throw them in the trash. She is just such an amazing little girl and has just grown so much in the role of being a big sister. And oldest child.

Girls night. I know I don't do this enough {ever}, and I know I should do this more, but I really enjoy having the time to be able to get away for a few hours and enjoy girl time. Or date night with my man. Sometimes having the opportunity to dress up outside of my mom role, have a few adult beverages, and enjoy adult conversation {outside of work} is really really nice. A group of girls from work went to go see Wicked last Tuesday and I had so much fun. So much fun that I ended up falling asleep during the second half of the show {talk about mom exhaustion}. Either way, I will definitely try to squeeze in things like that more often. Definitely thankful for those opportunities.

This handsome stud. I know that everyone says that their spouse is their best friend, but this guy is far beyond that. Gosh he knows me well. Gosh he loves me hard. And gosh he is just a great person. We have our moments {where I want to wrangle his neck}, but God really knew what He was doing when he put Andrew in my life. I don't think there is anyone out there that could deal with ME {all of me} the way he does. And my family would probably tell you the same thing. So his birthday is coming up, as well as our dating anniversary {8 years!}, and I hope to make it a really really REALLY good one.

This boy for being so darn cute and lovable. I know that I mentioned earlier that my daughter has been so helpful while G has been extra needy, but I also have to say that I am so happy that the two of them are in different ages of their lives. That although little miss is independent and helpful, she is also very... INDEPENDENT and helpful. Which means sass comes along with all that. It's nice then to turn around and have this baby that is all smiles and giggles and just wants to eat my face off. As I do his. So yeah, the balance is good. Plus, have you see his stud muffin look? I mean..... I've gone crazy in shopping for this little guy lately. For the first 10 months of his life he lived in onesies and sweats. Now he gets to finally dress up... and I secretly love dressing a boy more than a girl.

I hope everyone out there is thankful this season. There may be things that aren't going our way. There may be things and times that could be better in our lives. There may be sadness and pain that we just don't know how to take away. There will always be things {and people} that will make us question ourselves and try to take away from the good things in life. But remember, there is always something and someone to be thankful for. Always. That while we may not know it and while we may not see it right away, there is always happiness around us waiting for us to embrace it.

I am thankful this season for every breath that I have been allowed to take, and for every moment I have on this Earth with my family.

That is all I need, and it is all I have to live for.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

25 days of Advent and 25 days of Paper Chain Countdown.

So this year, now that E is 3, I wanted to incorporate a lot of fun new things for her to do, especially with the advent calendar. More importantly, I wanted to be sure that she knew the story behind Christmas and that she did not think it was all about Santa and getting gifts. The real reason why we celebrate Christmas. We are doing a lot of fun things every day leading up to Christmas and I thought that I would share them here:

We are doing 20 days of crafts, and I will be sharing those ideas with you on Friday, however, we also wanted to put little things in our advent sacks for us to do everyday. Little things. We will be putting little cards in there, and then reading them off to the kids. Sometimes they just involve a treat, sometimes another little craft, and sometimes just hugs and kisses.

We also made a scripture chain that we will be ripping off every day in December up to Christmas and reading about the days leading up to Jesus' birth. I found the details for each day here to print.
1. Parade downtown
2. Get a chocolate
3. Watch Polar Express-The movie
4. Write a letter to Santa
5. Get a quarter
6. Get new PJ's
7. Scavenger Hunt {find a snowman, find an elf, find santa, etc}
8. Get a treat
9. Get a quarter
10. Donate Gifts to the Firehouse
11. Paint a picture for Santa
12. Get 12 hugs and kisses
13. Have popcorn & Pick a Christmas Movie to Watch
14. Children's Museum with Mama & Papa & Brother
15. Get a treat
16. Get a dollar
17. Make a gingerbread house
18. Build A snowman {remember where this one is, and swap it for when it snows}
19. Christmas at the Zoo
20. Help Mommy wrap presents
21. Pick a movie to watch with papa
22. Make snowflakes for the grandparents
23.Pick a treat
24. Santa is coming! Read the night before Christmas and make cookies for Santa and his reindeer.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Baby number 3? Maybe. Maybe not.


It was a typical day. Nothing out of the ordinary, just another Wednesday evening at the S home. Husband came home, we had a nice family dinner together {including the usual Elliana trying to tell us how much she doesn't like what she is eating..."I no like chicken, I no like zucchini, I no like rice."} Okay then. You get the point, typical evening.

We finished dinner, Andrew wrapped up in the kitchen, and I took the children upstairs to get them ready for their bath. Water on. Clothes off, and in the tub we went. All three of us.

A few minutes into our bath, Andrew walks in, and out of nowhere, he says to me... 
"I think I understand when people say that it's easy to go from 2 to 3."
 I kind of sat there for a moment, brief moment, thinking about what he said, responded to what he said {something around of the lines of, yes remember how I said... blah blah blah} and before you know it I was busy scrubbing away the backs of little baby booties, tops of their tangled hair, and in between those squishy little toes {okay lie, I didn't really wash in between their toes... should I? Do you? ha} to even have a second to reflect.

But then after the fact, after the bed time routine is over, after we spent the next hour reading books, rocking the little one to sleep, and nuzzling next to our baby girl, I started to think about that very statement made by Andrew. The statement that made me go...

It just happened.

It. The whole... we brought up the possibility of number 3. Without doing so. In a non-chalant-we-really-don't-want-to-talk-about-it-but-we-just-did. That kind of way.

Except we didn't really talk about it. We just said it. Like we were both thinking the same thing, on the same page, and that was that. But should it be that simple? Was it that simple when we talked about Graham {the idea of him}. Didn't we talk about it for months. Weren't we going back and forth.

That was 3 months ago.

That conversation, as well as the start of that post. And today, today I am in a different place when it comes to deciding when/if we are ready to expand our family. I never thought that I would even be saying this, in fact, I keep deleting and restarting when it comes to this because I'm just not quite sure how to say it. But. But.

We are in a state of Chaos.

Having two kids is no joke, and I imagine having 3+ would be also. The thing is, I know that the chaos will slow down and eventually {not sure when} we will settle into a much easier {not to mention quieter and cleaner} routine, and things will just be calmer. And that? That sounds kind of nice. Knowing that eventually Graham will be closer to Elliana's age, which means I will have two potty trained, independent playing children---sounds nice. Knowing that bed time routine will be easier, meal time will be easier, getting the kids out of cars will be easier--all sounds nice. Easy does sound nice.

But the thing about it is--I love chaos. I love the crazy state of life that we currently are in. I love how loud my house is at times. I love growing our family and watching how different, yet unique and special each of my children are. I love all the activities and fun that we get to have as a family. I love it all.

My question lately has been... do I want to start the timer back at 0. Back at the start line. Back to the original chaos that started it all. At the same time, if I don't start the timer back now, will I ever want to? When things do settle down... will I want to mess with the chaos then? So why not add to the chaos.

Here is the thing...I've never been as tired as I am these days. It's 830 at night when I'm typing this and I can hardly keep my eyes open. I barely have time to really write from the heart like I used to, because I much prefer hanging out/cuddling with my husband during the little time that I am awake. I still wake up in the middle of the night for one or both of my children. I body aches at times. And if I'm completely honest here, sometimes I feel like a crippled old lady.

Staying home with two children and then going to work a 13 hour shift at the hospital is no joke either. My body has taken a beating because of my crazy schedule, and I know that if/when we bring another child into our lives that I will have to consider the option of decreasing my hours. I'd have to.

And lastly, what always weighs heavy on my heart is that we have two healthy happy children. Two children that we are so thankful to have in our lives, and we are so blessed for this life that we have been given. There certainly is not a day that goes by that we don't realize that, and there won't be a day that goes by that we aren't thankful for them. Having another child always adds that risk for something going wrong, and that is one of my biggest fears. It's always been a fear of mine. More so now that I have these beautiful souls in my life.

I know that this has all been sort of a jumbled mess of a post.. and that's okay. Because this is the way that our minds have been lately regarding future children. A jumbled mess. Or at least mine that is. I think Andrew is ready. I am too... kind of. But it's 830 and it's past my bedtime and I'm afraid I wrote this post with squinty eyes and a boggled brain.


Baby number 3?

I just don't know. Not today. Ask me tomorrow.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Elliana Lately. 3 Years


I know that it has been a while since I did a little update on what you have been up to baby girl, and this will probably be the last on on this space. I can't quite figure out how I will incorporate your everyday happenings yet, but I know it will be somewhere. Somewhere for me to write down everything that you are doing, so that we may both remember how special this time is. And how fast it goes by.
So at three? At three you are pretty amazing.

At three...

You love to pretend play. You can go off for hours doing whatever you are doing, talking to your toys, carrying them around the house, and arranging things from one place to another. You are in your own world and sometimes I just love to sit back and watch you. Imagining what could possibly be going on through your head. Sometimes I know. Sometimes I know because you tell me. Sometimes I just know because of the way you smile, or simply by the way you are thinking. It's a beautiful thing... pretend play... and I hope that we get to enjoy it for many more years down the road.
At three, you love baths. You always have and I hope you always will. Mama loves baths. So this doesn't surprise me that you do as well.

Cannot go to sleep without mama or papa. If mama is at work, you do fine with papa, however if the grandparents are watching you overnight, when it comes to bedtime, you are having none of it. I want to say that it bothers me, but it doesn't.I love that you still want us, even as you grow older.

Love songs. Loves to sing all your nursery tunes on the CDs in the car. From the four cds combined alone, you have 50+ songs memorized. Not to mention all the others that you know. And I have to say, it is the cutest thing when you pucker your lips and exaggerate the words. "Life is but a dreeeeeaammm." Your favorite lately have been "the bible songs,mama" and this warms my heart.

If you had it your way you would eat bread, lollipops, chocolate chips, bread, cookies, bread, and anything else that is full of sugar and carbs. If you had it your way that is. But I'm pretty sure that any kid would pick tasty over healthy, even though mama pushes healthy more than anything else. I mean, you sound like someone I know.... your mama.

When I'm in the kitchen, you have to be on your step stool helping. You are constantly saying "Mama, mama, can I help, can I help?" How could I ever say no to such a sweet voice.

You have been completely potty trained now for 10 months and have done so amazing. You don't even wake up in the middle of the night and it's been a long time since we even had an accident. Lets hope your brother is as easy as you were.

At three, you have shown us that you are independent, that "you can do it," and that you are very passionate about what you like/don't like, what you want/don't want, and what you do/don't want to do. Unfortunately, we are your parents and we still have to decide what is right/wrong and appropriate. And sometimes, you may not like our decision. That's okay because you aren't 18 just yet sweet girl. Stay little.
You love your brother. You love him a lot. You get so excited to see him in the morning and when he wakes up from his naps and you run upstairs to be the first person to throw that door open and yell "You're awak little guy! Hi little stink monster." Those exact words. However, now that he has gotten bigger and is more mobile than he was when he was a baby, you automatically assume that he is tough and can stand whatever you throw his way. And by throw I mean, running into him with your little car. Swatting him away when he tries to play with your toys. And rough housing. I guess I just better get used to it.
You're smart. You're a great and fast learner and I love that you love to learn. The best way that you learn these days is through play and constant communication and repitition. Incorporating the real world and our every day with what we are learning has been very beneficial for you, and frankly, I love that the most. I would still love the opportunity to homeschool you, but we will see where we were when that time comes. In the end, I want you to be a big part of the decision, and although you are young, I think at that age you will understand the difference between school at home and school
We still go to toddler time every week at the library and you love it. It's amazing to me that a year ago, I was having to sit with you during story time, and now you go sit down all on your own like a big girl. Soon enough, baby brother will be sitting right there next to you.
You still love Caillou and insist that you he is in your dreams each and every time we ask you. You don't want much TV, but if you do watch anything then it is always Caillou. Sometimes I feel like I need to have you watch more simply so you are aware of all the different characters {especially Disney} out there, but then I realize that you much prefer to be outside, playing with your friends, or doing your own thing. But, you still love the tube when you can watch it.
Gymnastics has been your thing. We did dance for 3 months, and although you liked it, you are much too active and go-go-go for it. So we went back to gymnastics, and now are in the 3rd session. It's amazing to be able to just watch you from the sidelines and cheer you on. At the beginning of the year, I was assiting you in the parent and me class, and after a few short months, you just grew up on us and decided to be on your own. A little btiterwsweet.

We celebrated your third birthday with all of your favorite people, and even your little friends came. It's so fun to watch you be around other little kids and you are one social butterfly. You love to hug and hold hands with your friends, although sometimes they are a little more reserved than you are. You have a gentle heart and you make us so proud of this.

What you know at age 3: State that you live in as well as the ones that your family members live in, who the president is, who the first president was, number 1-30 {although not perfect from 20-30}, how to write your name, more animals than mama or papa, how to spell a few words, recognize many words in books and on flashcards, the beginning letter of words when spoken, days of the week, months of the year, and so much more that would take me too long to list.

Your favorite thing to do during the day is go to the park, have races with your brother, and paint with your painting kit that we got you. Which by the way, you concentrate so well on.

At three...

You are the greatest blessing in our lives. You have taught us so much about love and life. You have give us more meaning to our world. You show us an unconditional kind of love. You are everything that we never knew we needed, and you are everything that we ever wanted. You are our baby girl, our first born, our daughter, and our reason for breathing. We are so grateful to be your parents and to have had the opportunity to watch you grow into this beautiful little girl that you have become.

We are even more excited to see what the future holds for us.

The best years are yet to come.
And we hope to enjoy every second of it.

Save money on shipping through Free In Store Pickup

I was at work the other day filling in my calendar for when I work, and I was quickly hit straight in the face with a big wake up call. December is right around the corner, and my calendar is already full of commitments. From visiting Santa, to riding the train on the Polar Express, to Children's Museum, Christmas at the Zoo, Disney on Ice, and so much more. Not to mention the business that consumes the holiday season---baking cookies, hanging lights, shopping {so much}, and more.

One way to relieve all the holiday stress and put a little more time back on our plates is by using great incentives available to us such as free in store pickup. I am not a fan of paying for shipping. Which means more money back in our pockets.

"Both Sears and Kmart offer free in store pickup, letting you shop thousands of gifts online in the comfort of your own home before picking up your items in store in 5 minutes guaranteed (or whenever you're ready).  With in store pickup you'll avoid lines, busy stores and the wasted time of walking down every aisle. The bow on top: You can have a friend or relative pick up your order and pay in store with cash, if you prefer. "

It would be silly not to save that money by utilizing the free store pick up by Kmart & Sears. This will save you time from standing in line, and we all know that more time could be used in places/organizations that need it the most. Some of these things include: volunteering for shelters, making memories with our kids, and enjoying the beauty of the Christmas tree.

How will you be spending your free time this year?

Learn more at Sears: click here to visit website and Kmart: click here to visit website 

"Presented by Mami Innovative Media, this is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears and Kmart. All opinions expressed here are my own.” 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Meet Rachel+ $55 Starbucks+ Blocks giveaway!

Who is Rachel?

I'm a lot of things these days: New mom. Wife. Yogi. Runner. Craft beer drinker. & Balance seeker are just a few things. I try to keep it as real as possible over at my blog,! Oh, and I'm an Instagram junkie and #BabyAri's biggest fan! ;)

So here are my thoughts on my Top 5 Posts:

1.  Ari's Birth Story 
"We decided to try and get some sleep around midnight. But as soon as I got into bed, I had to get back out because my contractions were too uncomfortable for sleeping. And I felt like I had to poop again. So I labored in the bathroom. And then on the stairs [just trying to find a position that was comfortable, and the one position that worked was laying up the stairs]. And went back and forth between the bathroom + the stairs for a couple of hours......"

2. Tales From A Working Mom // BS, Supermom!

"I have set expectations of myself to achieve complete family & work bliss, so at the first sign that I don’t 100% have my shit together, I lose it.
I feel like I’ve failed.
Instead of taking it in stride, I dwell on what I could’ve done differently to make it a more successful day......."

4. To The Love Of Our Lives On His First Birthday 
"We learned the hard way that come hell or high water (or birth control + a trip to Vegas), you were meant to be in our lives. As surprised as we were, we quickly embraced your pending arrival. We kept the big news as secret as possible before announcing in April that we were expecting you!..."

Rachel is giving away a fun little coffee gift set to one of you lucky readers! Enter via Rafflecopter below. This includes: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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