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Newborn Pictures // Maddox Charles

just wanted to share a few of our sweet baby boys newborn pictures; i absolutely love how they turned out. the adorable knit bear romper was made by my grandma and the denim pants with overalls were made by my mom, seriously how talented are they!?!

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photo credit lindsay j smith photography

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One Month

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and just like that you are a month old. i really don’t know how time goes by so fast. i love watching you grow up, but it is so bittersweet. i found myself in tears the other night thinking about you and your sister and how time keeps escaping me. you both are my entire world.

maddox charles, at one month old you are smiling and holding your head up on your own, you are such a strong little boy. you get hiccups all the time (just like your sister did). you are up a lot more during the day and it’s so wonderful getting to look into your big blue eyes. you are such a good, quick and efficient eater and you do well with diaper changes and baths. you are a gem at night, sleeping for hours at a time, this i appreciate more than you know. you are constantly moving, i’m predicting you’ll be an early crawler. you make squeaking and cooing noises that is the sweetest music to my ears. but my favorite of all is when you squeeze your hand around my finger holding ever so tightly.

you are loved by all, though none more than your sister. she constantly wants to hold you and gives you the sweetest kisses. she hates when you cry and makes sure that i feed you and change you frequently, even if you aren’t ready for it. she covers you up to make sure you’re warm and races to get your pacifier when you are upset.

happy one month my sweet baby boy, we are so lucky to have you.

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2016: Looking Back

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2016 was a year full of lots of changes for our family, but all in all it was a good year. we made the tough decision for me to quit my job and instead of finding something else decided i would stay home and take care of lennon full time. not long after, kyle got a “promotion” at work, which was quite the blessing as i was a bit nervous about how we were going to be able to make it on only his current income; something that actually wasn’t as difficult as i thought once we took out all the added expenses that me actually going to work added.

we celebrated lennon’s first birthday (where did that first year go) and a few months later found out we would be adding another sweet baby to our little family. we traveled and spent time enjoying the summer at home. and finally as the year came to a close we welcomed maddox home.

it wasn’t an easy year by any means as we all adjusted into our new roles and there were definitely moments where i was stressed out and emotional (thank you pregnancy) but we made it through another year better, stronger and happier and we are so looking forward to see what 2017 has in store for us. happy belated new year everyone.

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Welcome Maddox

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we couldn’t be more excited or happy to have our baby boy finally be here and join our family just in time for christmas. for some reason my babies don’t like to come early so as we passed our due date with little man we decided to schedule an induction in order to get out of the hospital and recover for a day or two before all of the christmas celebrations we had planned (little did we know we would be struck with the flu the day we brought baby home from the hospital with it taking each one of us down on a different day throughout the week). it was really important for me to be able to be well for christmas as i was really looking forward to seeing lennon enjoy it this year…unfortunately things don’t always go as planned.

the day was cold and blizzardy, i suppose it was the perfect day to spend in the hospital as the weather was so crappy. we started the induction process around 8:30 in the morning and our sweet baby finally came just before the day ended. we welcomed maddox charles on saturday december 17th at 11:41 pm weighing in at 7 lb 14 oz and 21 inches long.

the labor couldn’t have been more different than it had been with lennon. aside from a few scares with lowered heart rates he came much smoother and way quicker (i only had to push about 45 minutes this time a much welcome change from the 4 hours i pushed with his sister). i also was able to lay with and hold him right away which was nothing short of magical; i was not able to do this with lennon.

lennon came the next day to meet her baby brother and seeing her so excited and asking to hold him made my mama heart burst into a million tiny pieces. the love that she has for him is endless and they already have the strongest little bond.

i love this little family of mine and can’t wait for all the new memories we get to make as a family of four.

however, i was very disappointed in myself because kyle had taken a bunch of pictures the night maddox was born on our camera and we found out the next day that there was no memory card in the camera so there weren’t any pictures saved. many tears were shed over this because it is something i have done more than once, pull out the memory card and forget to put it back in. at least we noticed right away the next day and were still able to capture a few in the following days.

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Monday Must Haves: Spring Sneakers

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hallelujah the weather is forecasting sun and sixties this week, something this mama is very much looking forward to. we had snow and cold again this past week and it had me reeling. i am so sick of this “spring” weather we are having. i am trying to remind myself why i live in wisconsin.

with nicer weather comes more time spent outside something we are looking forward to after being cooped up inside for so long. wagon rides, bubble blowing, chalk drawing; bring it on! more time outside running after a very active one year old means that i need shoes that allow me to keep up with her and that are comfortable. but remember comfort doesn’t mean giving up style.

i’ve rounded up a few of my favorite kicks to share with you to keep you going this spring and summer. from all different brands and price-points you are sure to find something that fits your style! those light blue new balance with hints of yellow are calling, no yelling, my name!

new balance ‘696’ sneaker; $79.95
puma suede classic sneaker; $64.95
gap leather slip-on sneaker; $49.95
nike air pegasus ’83; $40
converse chuck taylor dainty casual sneaker; $39.98
adidas ‘adi-ease’ sneaker; $59.95
nike air max 90; $120
steve madden ecentrcq sneaker; $59.95

 

Photos From The Weekend


^^^this girl of mine makes me laugh like no other


^^^there are moments when you catch these two girls looking at one another and you know they are going to cause some trouble someday

   ^^^those lips

 

the weekend came and went faster than expected. why does it always feel like the weekend days are so much shorter than those during the week? probably because everyone is rushing around trying to get all of their errands done, homes cleans, to-do lists checked off all while trying to make time for family and friends. even after becoming a stay-at-home mom i still find myself looking forward to friday’s and dreading sunday’s end.

weekend’s are my favorite, like most people, because they are time spent with family and those we love. this past weekend was no exception. with all of our other obligations over easter weekend we decided to push the celebration one week back with my family. we met for dinner at hu hot where we devoured some excellent hibachi, seriously i am still craving it days later, then we headed over to my parents house for an egg hunt and good ole fashion family time.

unfortunately it had to snow so the egg hunt had to be moved indoors. i’ll admit lennon wasn’t too interested in the hunting of the eggs she much preferred cracking those babies open and steeling the goodies inside. i can’t believe how big she is getting. easter was her first big holiday after she was born and now here we are a year later with a 13 month old walking around on her own. time really does go by so fast.

again i hope you all had good easters and i hope your weekends are filled with joy and family fun. it’s hump day today, halfway through another week!

5 Tips to Cut Out Added Sugar

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i think i’m addicted to sugar. i really can’t remember the last day that i didn’t have something that wasn’t sweet and i’m not talking something that is naturally sweet i’m talking about the sweets that aren’t good for you. coming right off of easter and the loads of candy that filled our baskets, my mom loves to overdo it and i love her for that, doesn’t make it any easier to stay away.

it makes sense that i could have a sugar addiction as i love myself a sweet treat; candy, ice cream, a donut, you name it if it’s sweet i probably could be tempted to have one, scientists have found that sugar is addictive and actually stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain as heroin and cocaine (source).

i’ve tried cutting out sweets before and it didn’t work, but here i am attempting to do it all over again. i felt by putting it out here where everyone can see will hopefully help me stay more accountable.

in order for me to really make a change with my sugar intake i needed to understand the differences between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar and what it does to my body. naturally occurring sugars are the sugars found in whole, unprocessed foods (like milk, fruit and vegetables). added sugars are sugars added to unprocessed foods while they are being made. if you eat or drink too much added sugar you can develop multiple health problems; tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, etc. added sugars are considered empty calories and if you eat too many you may also gain weight. so what are some ways we can cut out those pesky added sugars? read on for my five tips below…

1. read the back of the box. look at the nutritional info and ingredients list. choosemyplate.gov has a helpful table that shows you, based on your age, how many empty calories you should limit yourself to a day. when looking at the nutritional info it’s good to keep in mind that 1 gram of sugar equals 4 calories. also added sugar can come in a variety of names so when you are looking at the ingredients list watch out for high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and fruit juice concentrates among others.

2. pick up a naturally sweet snack instead. fruits and veggies can make for a satisfying treat.

3. choose water. pass on that can of soda or glass of fruit juice and choose a glass of water instead. try sprucing up your water by adding some slices of fruit. pinterest has some excellent ideas for different fruit-infused water recipes.

4. get it out of the house. just get rid of it or don’t buy it. if it’s not easily accessible you won’t be as tempted.

5. be active. go for a walk. get outside and play. get to the gym. keep your mind and body busy and you will be less likely to pick up that piece or candy or bowl of ice cream. the last thing i want to do after a work out is ruin it by snacking on something unhealthy.

not only do i want to make changes to benefit my own health, but i also want to be a good example for my family as well. so here we go, day one. i know it’s not going to be easy, but here’s to making better choices. how do you minimize added sugar in your diet? i’d love to hear some other suggestions and tips!

Thoughts on Thursday

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1. “clothe yourself with with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – colossians 3:12

2. lennon and i took a little day trip earlier this week to go meet up with one of my very good college friends. we spent the day shopping and going to lunch; lennon spending more time people watching with a ridiculously cheesy grin on her face than eating. the weather ended up being super nice and the day turned out wonderful. it truly was a great visit. however, i do have to admit i always feel a little bit sad after days like those, visiting with people i don’t get to see often enough. i really miss all the times we had together and while i know our lives have changed and we will always remain close, i wish we lived a little bit closer. does anyone else feel this way when they leave a visit with old friends?

3. i am all caught up on the game of thrones and am anxiously awaiting the next season (which is set to premiere on april 24th if you didn’t know). so while we wait we needed to find another show on netflix to binge on. kyle chose the walking dead and while i wasn’t sure if i would be into the whole zombie thing i have it say i’m kinda hooked. any other shows i should be watching, please let me know!

4. i am truly amazed at how smart my sweet little girl is at only one years old. she remembers everything. she can tell me where her nose, teeth, tummy and hair are and she is a walking machine. i have been slowly teaching lennon a few words/phrases in sign language to help her better communicate with us. she caught on to ‘all done’ and ‘more’ fairly quickly, but we’ve been working on please for a while now. well tonight she signed it. i was so proud. it may have been because of the leftover ice cream birthday cake her daddy and i were eating in front of her that she desperately wanted, but hey i’ll take it. ‘eat’ is next on our list.

5. did you know that different countries have different sign languages. sign languages, similar to spoken languages, developed naturally out of groups of people interacting with one another so it’s no wonder that there would be different dialects in different areas (source).

5 Ways to Feel More Accomplished

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i don’t know about you but when my house is cluttered or i am not getting things checked off my never-ending to-do list i start to get anxious and it actually makes me feel extremely unmotivated. clutter in your home makes for clutter in your life; at least it does for me.

however, i feel like i always have a little bit more energy in the springtime. maybe it’s because the days are longer and lighter or the fact that we can get outside a little bit more, either way i am checking things off of my to-do list one by one. spring cleaning is in full affect around here. today i am going to share some tips with you that help me stay motivated.

1. wake up early. although it may be hard to do sometimes try to set an alarm and wake up early. i always feel more productive on days that i am up starting my day rather than sleeping in.

2. to-do lists are your friend. i am a list maker. i have too many thoughts constantly running through my head not to write them down. it’s important that your to-do lists are realistic and workable. i like to keep two to-do lists going, one for items i need to get done that day and a second list that keeps track of things i need to get done long-term. not only do to-do lists help me stay organized and prioritize, but it’s fun being able to cross things off as they are completed.

3. do it now. this is the one i always have the most trouble with. whether it be a few dishes, making the bed or putting away some laundry do it right away. doing one small task at a time doesn’t take as long as letting those dishes or laundry pile up.

4. pick up before bed. it only takes a few minutes, but when you wake up in the morning to a tidy space it makes a world of a difference for the day ahead.

5. get a good nights rest. this may be the most important of all. we’ve all been there. stayed up too late the night before binging on some netflix, waking up too early, 5 loads of laundry, a sink full of dishes and toys strewn all over the living room. but you’re tired. so you leave it. and it starts to accumulate. and now you have hours of work to do and not enough time in the day to get it all done. you end the night feeling bad because you haven’t accomplished anything. so if you remember one thing it’s this. sleep when you can!

6. take time for yourself. this is a bonus point. pick up a book, go for a walk, or sit and drink a cup a coffee whatever it may be, for a few minutes or an hour if you have it, every day make sure to take a moment for yourself to refresh and recharge.

how do you stay motivated? i’d love to hear!

 

 

Easter 


  
  


easter has easily become one of my favorite holidays and no, it has nothing to do with the egg hunts and chocolate bunnies (although those don’t hurt). what i love about this holiday is that it is not surrounded with all of the hustle and bustle of other holidays, ahem christmas. don’t get me wrong there is still lots to do and much to prep, but in a different way.

i’m not out shopping for weeks in advance searching for the perfect gift or wondering if my wrapping and bows are made just right. i’m not planning and preparing tons of food and rushing in and out of our families homes to be sure we don’t miss anyone or anything. while i do love christmas it always leaves me feeling so anxious, overwhelmed and tired.

cue easter. easter is different for me. i love that it falls right around the first day of spring, this season is really growing on me. this time of year is so refreshing to me; all about renewing, growth and life.

i’m thankful for easter as it gives us time to reflect on what our lord did for us and a time to celebrate his life. to remember what he gave up for us and to know he is waiting for us leaves me so grateful and at peace.

as usual around holiday time for us we had quite the busy weekend. we kicked off good friday with a family fish fry at my in-laws. it was so nice to get together with everyone enjoying good food and great company. i loved watching the children race to find eggs during their egg hunt. lennon and her little cousin decker got a headstart before the older kids; at only two he was so sweet to her. she learned how to say his name and kept calling for him all night.

saturday we woke up early to drive to my grandma’s house. she lives close to three hours away and it’s not often that we get up by her, especially on holidays other than christmas. it was a special time this year as most of my mom’s family was able to get together and enjoy the holiday. the weekend was great, but it always leaves me a little sad that we don’t all live closer together.

the easter bunny hit our house a day late with all that was going on. but seeing lennon’s face light up when she spotted her basket monday morning is a memory i will have forever. she “ran” to it as fast as she could and there were lots of “oooh’s”. it was so cute.

you may think easter is over as the holiday has past, but nope, not for this family. our holiday is extending on to next weekend and i’m looking forward to celebrating with my immediate family.

i hope you all had a great holiday with those you love and remembered what this day truly means.