ONE MORE MAKES SIX

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I recently got to partner with the lovely Bethany Meysenburg and Artifact Uprising to bring to life some creative visions Bethany and I had, and I am overwhelmed with gratefulness with the end result!

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Several months ago, I was looking at the ol ‘gram and stumbled upon a crazy beautiful feed! I soon realized that this was a photographer named Bethany Meysenberg and then realized she lived close by!  Bethany’s photos are so moody and romantic and once I realized she lived close by,  I knew I wanted to work with her!  After visiting, we decided to work together as a creative collaboration, and I am so thankful we did!  Some of the belongings that I value the most are the photographs we have been so blessed with by our sweet friends who happen to be incredible photographers and have chosen to bless us with their passions and talents!

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Photos are one of those things that I have learned to treasure so much.  I don’t think I ever thought too much about photography until my father and sister passed away.  The photos I have help me to keep the memories I have of them and even sometimes remind me of a memory I had forgotten or tell a story I still didn’t yet know about them.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetI am able to share photos with our daughters photos of the Grandpa and Aunt they don’t get to meet in this world.  I get to share my childhood and my memories with our daughters so well because of photos! When I say I treasure these moments captured, I truly mean it.  We’ve only done a few family photo sessions and usually only when we welcome a baby, so about every year:D, but I’m going to try and be more intentional about taking and printing more of the daily moments we capture.

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Sometimes I have been teased for taking so many photos, especially of our daughters feet or photos where they’re not facing the camera, but I know all too well that these moments and tiny details that I love so much, might one day be forgotten if not for the sweet photos that I will have to look back on and remind me.

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The way Norah looks at her little sisters, how she takes being a big sister so seriously; Charlie’s pigtails and the way she almost always has a collection of toys, make up brushes or art tools in her hands; The concentrated stare and little tongue Ada sticks out and presses onto her upper lip while reading and building blocks or how she’s climbing on everything lately; Frankie’s itty bitty toes, her dark little locks and pouty lips; The way our girls jump on the bed and dance together.

DSC_9934The way they look at their daddy with this look that lets me know they understand how treasured and valued they are; And the way he looks at them that reminds me just how blessed I am to be married to such an incredible man! Oh, and Chris’ sexy beard and luscious hair that may be receding a bit more each day:D These are things I don’t ever want to forget…

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Maybe one day the girls will look back and think, “I remember you reading us that book mom!”, or “look at dad and that guitar he still plays!”  I want them to have their childhood captured in photos so that they one day can share their childhood and memories of us with their children and grandchildren.

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Because photos are so special to me, I knew I needed to start printing them. I’ve been terrible at this and have felt a lot of conviction to print more photos as there is just something so special about having a tangible photo to hold. There seems to be so much more life in printed photos.  I recently had some lovely prints made from Artifact Uprising and the quality was amazing!  When I saw these new Flatlay Photo Albums , I knew I wanted to get some of our favorite photos captured by Bethany  printed in one of these. And I am so glad we did!!! This book is definitely a treasure! I already am working on another one!

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The girls and I went through it several times and I maybe just wept because I am so thankful for the blessing that these photos and this book are…

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This book is super special. My Grammy gifted this to the little ladies and it is one of the books they always choose when I ask them to pick out a book to read. In it, Grammy wrote a scripture, one she has written in all of my books that she gifted to me when I was the girls’ age.  Proverbs 3:5-6. My mom saved all of these books from our childhood and recently gifted them to me. Another thing I truly treasure!

So, with that, I’ll leave you with a few more photos! If you live in Kansas and are looking for a photographer, please check out Bethany Meysenburg and if you’re looking to get some photos printed, books made or some unique and meaningful gifts to gift, check out our friends at Artifact Uprising!

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DSC_9697DSC_9640DSC_0158Here’s a little slideshow that I discovered after inserting the photos above:D!

 

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Also, without printed photos, I wouldn’t be able to share these gems with you:D Think of this as a thank you for reading!

(Disclosure: This blog was made possible thanks to a partnership with Bethany Meysenburg and Artifact Uprising, but every word is my honest opinion.)

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How we Holiday: Traveling with 4 babes & a little help from Philips Avent

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I love this special time of year! I love the weather and the decor and the music and the smells and the food and the fashion and, especially, the Holidays that gather us together with friends and family! My family is in Colorado and my husband’s family in Nebraska so the Holidays usually mean traveling for us! I remember feeling so overwhelmed traveling with our babe as a first time mom.  I almost always forgot to put diapers and wipes in my diaper bag and I thought I needed to pack the entire baby section from Target as well… Turns out you don’t need all of Target, but diapers and wipes are a MUST! I don’t want to call ourselves experts by any means, but we have learned a few tricks along the way to make traveling with babies, toddlers and little ladies a little bit easier!

So with the Holiday season upon us, we have partnered with PhilipsAvent to share with you a few of our favorite products to take on the road with us to make traveling and Holidaying a bit easier!

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We have a 5 year old, a 3 year old, an almost 2 yr old and a 2 month old. This might sound stressful, but it is amazing! In fact, traveling as a family is one of my absolute favorite things to do!

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The girls love it because they get to watch some of their favorite movies along the way, and I love it because it means sipping coffee, long talks with my husband and listening to our favorite podcasts together while the littles sleep. Car rides are actually one of the most refreshing things to me, so I greatly look forward to road trips whenever we get the chance!

As much as I love traveling as a family, there are a few things that I have found make our trips a lot more comfortable for everybody. I will share with you some of the things we bring in the ol’ swagger wagon and what I pack in my mom bag to make for a smoother ride.

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It seems like wherever we go anywhere, the girls start yelling to the front of the van, “We’re thirsty!” After waaayy too many spilled drinks, we have found these PhilipsAvent Straw Cups work wonderfully! They’re leak-proof, easy to hold, BPA free and the straw doesn’t fall off and get lost in the liquid abyss! The big girls seem to really enjoy them and since they’re leak proof, I’m not afraid to stash them in my diaper bag! Philips has several different leak-proof sippy cup options but the little ladies picked out these sweet ‘matchy matchy’ pink ones.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThe big girls are pretty much all set to travel with a drink, some snacks and a little throw blanket, but newborns can be a bit more particular.  One thing we have learned 4 babies in is, ALWAYS pack extra pacifiers! Always! Somehow those bad boys have a way of disappearing. Chris and I used to joke that we should buy stock in pacifiers because we were buying so many! Now we know, put a clip on it if you can, and always bring extras! Frankie really seems to like these Soothies and they are BPA free and have a little hole to slip a pacifier clip through! And let’s be honest… they’re super cute:D

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Don’t worry… I take her bonnets off when she sleeps…

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Sometimes, our babies will sleep for the entire trip! While this can be great for the whole family, this breastfeeding mom needs a little relief on the long trips! I have traveled with my double electric pump, but have found that it is much easier for me to just travel with a small manual pump that I can use while we drive. It’s small, doesn’t need a power source, there aren’t a bunch of tubes, it’s discrete, easy to use, and allows me to pump and store a few ounces that I can use to feed Frankie at another time, or use to mix in her probiotics. Oh! And it’s silent, so it doesn’t interrupt our podcasts or the girls watching Elf on a continuous loop:D

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThe manual pump comes with the perfect sized travel bottle for collecting a couple ounces of milk along the way.  I try to use glass over plastic whenever I can and so I’m thankful PhilipsAvent also carries these natural glass baby bottles ! I can store any milk I pump in one of these bad boys and feed Frankie with one if I need to!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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I hope some of you traveling mommas will find this little piece helpful for all of your road tripping adventures in your future! I feel like I’m forgetting something… Maybe that’s just mom brain or because I almost always forget something:D

FED80974-657A-44A3-A02C-3E96A15A7A2C.jpegAlso, I shared a detailed rundown of what I bring with me in my diaper bag about a year ago and not much has changed. I added a few new things, but if you’re wanting a few more details about what I have found helpful to have in my diaper bag when we travel, you can check it out at https://amandapahls.com/2017/01/13/whats-in-my-bag-today/

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Thank you PhilipsAvent and, from our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Holiday and Merry Everything!

(Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by PhilipsAvent, but all opinions expressed here are my own, personal and honest opinions.)

 

 

International Family Day: An Interview With BabyMori – Inspiring Lives 14: The Importance of Family, Kindness and Accepting Loss


  • How did you and your husband, Chris, first meet? 

Chris and I will never stop laughing about how we met!  I’ll try and set up the scene. It’s 2004, we’re college freshman, I’m maybe hung over (because #college and I was into poor choices at this stage in my life:D) and I was dressed in what we will call ‘not my best look’. We were in our University Cafeteria, and I’m standing in front of a TV & and literally shoveling ranch dressing smothered cottage cheese into my mouth using a chicken strip as my utensil of choice when my friend came over and introduced Chris and I 😀 I knew him after that as Hot Art Student Chris and he knew me as That Weird Chicken Strip Girl 😀 We didn’t begin dating until two years later, and have been inseparable since, but to this day Chris will joke, “I can’t believe I married the chicken strip girl”. So, maybe not a love at first sight story but it makes for a good story and we will never stop laughing about it. Oh, and I’ve been working on my table manners and Hot Art Chris has only continued to get hotter and hotter:D

  • Life isn’t always kind to everyone. How do you both approach life with such positivity and love?

Chris and I both understand that you can’t take life too seriously.  We have learned to really value the good moments, as we understand it is these moments that will help get us through the more difficult times.  We both value kindness and try to remember that the person honking their horn at us maybe just found out they have cancer, or the mean lady in line at the coffee shop is maybe grieving the loss of her best friend.  We understand that people are hurting all around us and believe we are called to be kind and loving to all people at all times. We both share the belief that everybody has a story to tell, everyone’s story is very valuable and sometimes these stories really just need to be shared and listened to. 2016-04-20 09.17.39.jpg

  • You’ve both lost family in the past, something that can be so difficult to cope with. How has family helped you to find the light at the end of the tunnel?

Chris and I were dating when my father and 17-year-old sister were killed in a tragic car accident.  I kind of lost myself for a while.  I hurt in a way I didn’t know was possible and I was hurting even more deeply for my family, watching them grieve.  I know watching my family and I hurt the way we did was difficult for Chris. I remember Chris not really giving me advice when I was really hurting, but just trying to be there and listen to me when I needed it. He still tries to do this. Please do this for your friends experiencing loss. Just be there for them. Just listen to them. Just cry with them…

Chris lost both his grandparents in the same week and my water actually broke with our first daughter the morning of their funeral so we were unable to attend.  As strange as this sounds, we gained such interesting perspective through this.  Although we will all experience extreme sorrow on this earth, there is still immeasurable joy that happens alongside this sorrow as well. However, sometimes you have to choose which thing you’re going to give more attention to, the sorrow or the joy.

All of us will experience loss and difficulty but we also all get to choose how we respond and react to these difficult times and painful emotions.  After the loss of my dad and sister, I reacted in many ways. Some reactions were good, some were damaging, but in the end, with Chris’ love and support, I went back to school and became a therapist so I could walk alongside people who were going through their most difficult times and be a part of their healing process.  We have learned, though, that you don’t need any kind of special degree to walk alongside people and help; we can all do this every day.

We can take the time to visit with the person checking us out at our your local grocers, we can be kind and buy someone’s coffee behind us in line at the local coffee shop or simply compliment and encourage that sleep deprived mother trying to convince her toddlers why they don’t need that candy that they’re letting the world know they need… You’ll be amazed at the connections and relationships that will form around you if you take the time to do these simple things daily.  Listening to people’s stories and sharing ours can have so much power and impact on the world around us. Chris and I believe we were made for connection and community and these are ways we have learned to join together as a family and connect with others around us no matter what season of life we may be in.

  • Moments are so rare because they come and go so quickly. For you, what family moments will you always hold close?

When it pertains to loss, I will never forget the moment I held my father’s hands or touched my sister’s beautiful face and said goodbye to them for the last time as they laid in their caskets. I can’t help but cry and breathing sometimes becomes difficult when I think of this moment, knowing I wouldn’t see them or touch them in this life again.

However, when I think of this moment, I also begin to think of the many unforgettable memories that made saying goodbye to them so difficult.  I remember the first time I held Bethany in the hospital when she was born and being so excited to have another little sister.  She was such a spunky, compassionate and genuinely unforgettable person. I remember my dad sharing with me, shortly before he passed, the regrets he had as a father and asking me for his forgiveness while expressing his deep love for me as his first-born daughter. My mind is flooded with memories of family game nights, road trips across the country and so many of my dad’s corny jokes that I will forever be grateful for!

I have learned so much from my family and so much more in having to say goodbye to them. Their loss made me realize I will say goodbye to other loved ones before I’m ready to, so I am trying to be more aware of this and hold tightly to the happy moments, especially as a wife and mother.

When it pertains to my family, there are so many memories that will stay with me.  The moment Chris asked me to be his wife, the moment we promised to love one another even through the hardest of times, the moment we became parents and every moment we met each one of our daughters for the first time. Every time we welcome a baby, I look at him and feel the deepest emotion that I don’t even know how to describe.  It’s like, WE did this! You did this! I did this! This is our baby, this is our family.  I think about this feeling and treasure it deeply.

IMG_6767.jpgThere are so many moments, which might be considered mundane, that have become so precious and almost sacred to me because I have learned that forever is a lot shorter than it sounds. Making pancakes in the morning, singing songs in the bathtub, the girls crawling into our bed after they’ve peed in theirs:D  I know these moments are fleeting and I want to hold onto them as long as I can!

  • What does family mean to you and how do you enjoy the little moments?

To me, family is a gift.  I don’t necessarily deserve my family or this life of ours, and yet they have been given to me and I to them… And for that, I am so thankful. There are some days I almost can’t believe how blessed I am! Before we had children, I was such an extrovert.  Now, I’m happiest at home hanging out with our family! I love and look forward to the days where our calendars are empty and all we have to do is to hang out with one another! Movie nights, dance parties, baking and making meals together, playing outside, watching the girls play together… Even cleaning the house is so much more fun as a family! I know my family is a gift and I am so thankful and continue to grow more and more thankful!  I think the best way to embrace family is to understand that it truly is a gift and to try my best to act in a manner that reflects this gratitude.

  • Finally, what does motherhood mean to you?

Motherhood.  So much can be found wrapped up into the word Motherhood. Motherhood is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.  Motherhood is a huge responsibility, a new identity, a constant dance of evolving and adjusting. Motherhood brought with it new insecurities, new challenges, new opinions, new fears, new convictions, new emotions, new abilities, new passions, new hopes and aspirations, new relationships, new priorities… To me, there was almost my life before motherhood and my life after motherhood.  Motherhood is not the only thing that defines me, but it is a confounding element that has completely redefined me.

 

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Read more inspiring stories @ https://babymori.com/blogs/journal . Thank you for letting me share my heart @BabyMori!
 Photos by StephPollock & RobynBunch

 

 

Sister, Sister, Sister, Sister: Sisterly Love

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Motherhood is more amazing than I could have ever imagined. There are so many aspects that I never knew existed or never even thought about before having our own children.  One of those things I never really thought about when we were dreaming of children, was what it would be like to get to watch their relationships with one another form and change as they grew.  We planned to have one baby, and now, 5 years later, our 4th girl is due in October:D  Watching these little ladies is such a gift! I can think back to when they were so little and just learning how to use words and communicate with one another…And now they’re best friends, most of the time, and doing just about everything they do with one another!

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I am the oldest of 4, with 2 younger sisters and a brother whom I love dearly.  I also gained 2 brothers and an amazing sister-in-law when I married my husband.  Our youngest sister, Bethany went to be with the Lord 8 years ago when she was 17 and I miss her more than I can express.  Losing Bethany strengthened the bond I have with my sister Heather and has taught me so much about how incredible the gift of siblings can be.

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I have a lot of regret as a sibling. I feel like I missed getting to know my siblings or pouring into them the way I should have… mostly because of my own selfishness… One thing I really want my daughters to understand is that they are precious gifts to one another and their job as a sister is to be selfless, compassionate and a best friend to one another…  I want to model that they are to be understanding and gentle with one another; to hold one another accountable yet give one another lots of grace. It’s easy to get frustrated and judgy with the ones you love most.  I am guilty of this and wish I would have shown my love to my siblings better.  I pray that through what I have learned, these daughters will love and protect one another in such a way that when they look back on life, they can smile and know they always were there for one another and that they will never feel alone in the many stages of life they go through.

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When it comes to the girls’ personalities and interests, all of our girls all pretty ‘girly girly’ but some of their favorite interests include learning, reading, baking, playing with dolls & barbies, playing dress up in princess dresses and momma’s clothes, lots and lots of make believe, playing midwives, doing make-up, building forts, dance parties, making & playing with play dough, painting, coloring, playing tag and hide-and-seek, playing outside and really just doing anything together! Norah wants everything Disney Princess Ariel, Charlie wants all things Princess Rapunzel and Ada likes anything she can throw or chew on:D

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It is truly so interesting how different they are from one another…. Chris and I started talking last night about what it might be like welcoming our fourth little lady, and we couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of four daughters but more so, about Ada becoming a big sister! She is so funny and wild and is going to be so in love!

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To describe them each briefly, Norah wakes up in the mornings like Disney Princess happy! Charlie always wakes up a bit grumpy and hungry and Ada always wakes up way too early and ready to wrestle and play.  Whenever Ada sees her two big sisters in the morning, she squeals with joy and instantly tries to wrestle with them!  It’s amazing watching how much she loves them, how much they love her and how much they all just love one another! My heart swoons thinking about the 3, soon to be 4 of them, growing up together and all the memories they will make together! Norah is our social butterfly, Charlie is our super creative artist and Ada kind of acts like she’s been raised by wolves 😀 I’m so excited to see what baby girl #4 will be like?! Also excited to giver her a name!

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Our two oldest have recently entered the ‘fighting’ stage and they are, surprisingly, very good at it.  One minute, they will be playing barbies, the next minute they’re fighting over who said what and then act as if the world is ending.  Chris and I are working on trying to learn what works best for each of them and that’s an interesting process as well. They fight over who gets to wear what outfit and they almost always ask to be “matchy matchy” which just means dress similarly, so I’m getting smarter about getting them “matchy matchy” coordinating outfits

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Even in the more difficult times, I am so grateful to be their mother and feel so blessed to call these daughters ours! Sometimes I just watch them and smile and take 1,000 photos so I never forget how these moments felt… When they hug and tell one another they love each other, or compliment and encourage one another… all the hard stuff seems to melt away…well, most of the time:D Motherhood is simply amazing and I am so grateful for our little girl party!”

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We are very thankful to have partnered with LittleCottonClothes and their Sisterly Love campaign for this piece.  Thank you LittleCottonClothes!

Heidi Skirts and Sidonie Sailor Shirts by LittleCotton Clothes

Knee Socks by RedRoverKids & AtHomeWithAveryGrace

More than just a Chalkboard

I get a lot of questions regarding our chalkboard and where we purchased it or if we made it how we did it, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a little tutorial and share a little about it!

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When we started educating at home a little more, I knew I wanted a chalkboard to incorporate into our lessons, but wasn’t sure where to get one or where to put it.  Then my handsome and brilliant husband had the idea to make our own! We were new to our home and had a big empty space on our dining room wall that we knew we wanted to fill with something and a chalkboard felt perfect! Also, our 1935 home has plaster and lath walls so hanging heavy stuff can be quite tricky, so we try to avoid drilling into and hanging anything heavy as much as possible in these bad boys. This method was easy and kind on our walls!

We only had to get 2 things! Black chalkboard paint and Pine 1×2’s!  We got both from our local hardware store for less than $20!!! Chris measured and taped off the wall and rolled on about 3 coats of the chalkboard paint. We had an idea of how big we wanted it so we knew what length of 1×2’s to get before we purchased them.  Then he just cut the sides to fit. Once the paint dried, he simply nailed the 1×2’s to the wall!

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We’ve had friends stain their wood dark, use pallet wood or larger planks, use dark green chalkboard paint, paint the entire wall without framing it, make smaller chalkboards, etc.  It’s a super simple and affordable project that can easily be altered to fit your space and personal aesthetic!

 

 

We have used this chalkboard as a centerpiece for Birthday’s, Home Births, Baby Gender Announcements, Going Away Parties for friends, home education, Holiday’s and even recently for an intimate Wedding we hosted for some dear friends…Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 

I feel like I can’t call this ‘just a chalkboard’  because it has been incorporated into so many special memories and holds so many dear moments for us in our home!

So many meals, special events, laughter and valuable conversations shared with friends, so many teachable moments we shared with our children and things we learned ourselves as parents, even our oldest’s first portrait of me and our family was a chalkboard piece!

So, I hope this was helpful and that you’re inspired to create a special place in your home to be used for all kinds of memory-making moments and events!

 

The Girls Get Bunk Beds & a Little Room Tour

As soon as we found out we were pregnant with baby #4, we realized we would have to expedite our plans for the girls’ bedrooms.  Norah and Charlie were still in their toddler beds that Chris built them but Norah was definitely ready for an upgrade and Charlie would be soon.  We thought about it and decided bunk beds would be the best choice for the space and as soon as Norah heard her best friend Aubrie had recently transitioned in to a bunkbed, she was all about it!

We looked around and found a super sweet simple white wooden set from WalkerEdison.  We could have the beds side by side if they turned out to not be ready for the bunk beds or bunk them!  When the bunk beds arrived, the girls were way more excited than I thought they even would be! I imagine their reactions will be similar to this when we get them tickets to their first teeny bopper concert one day…. If they’re into that kind of thing:D Anyway, they LOVE them! They were so excited to sleep in their new girl beds and I am so happy for that because that means they’re not in our bed! So thank you WalkerEdison for giving our daughters a little more independence and mom and dad a lot more alone time! Also, did I mention we’re pregnant again:D

Then we needed mattresses, which we didn’t even think twice about. Chris and I recently upgraded to a King Size Tuft&Needle and it was basically life changing!  I’ve never actually had a new mattress and always had hand me down mattresses which I have always been thankful for but none of them have compared to our Tuft&Needle!  I have had so many people ask me for my “honest opinion” and I’m telling you guys, I LOVE OUR MATTRESS!!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I had terrible sciatic pain after having Norah, so bad to the point that I couldn’t walk sometimes after a long day.  I would literally have to put my weight on my right foot and hobble along with the help of my walls.  When I’m pregnant, It’s even worse because of breaking my tailbone 3 different times and now the said little backwards Z shape that now makes up my tailbone actually makes contact with my sciatic nerve when I’m pregnant… So…That’s fun. BUT, no joke! It hardly ever hurts since we changed beds!  I have seen a chiropractor regularly and even after being adjusted, having special therapy, electro therapy and acupuncture, the pain would always come back within a few days… Until now! And I definitely believe I can contribute that to ur mattress. My husband used to complain of a lot of back and shoulder pain and we were just talking and we realized he doesn’t really have that either since we switched mattresses… so thank you Tuft&Needle!  When we opened the mattresses to put them on their bunks they screamed, “It’s the same as you and Daddy’s!” They were so happy that we could all be “matchy matchy”!

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Then bedding! Oh, how I had dreams of white fluffy down comforters and beautiful linen bedding but… That all went out the window when walking around at Target one evening. We walked down the bedding aisle for fun and there went all my bedding dreams for them:D Norah saw the mermaid + unicorn sheets, Charlie saw her Llama sheets and Chris pointed out to them their Mermaid Colored (Seafoam Green) Quilts.  After that, there was no way to convince them otherwise… They found the bedding of their dreams:D And as loud and colorful as they are,  I love how much they love them! However, they still needed one more pillowcase, so I won and got to use my favorite Linen company’s gorgeous Pink & Purple Linen Pillow Covers.. Thank you NotPerfect Linen!  And the girls loved them, so I was super happy!

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One of my favorite things about adding the bunk beds is we only had to relocate their teepee! It didn’t affect their Kitchen/Midwive’s station, their Ballet Barre their Dad made them, or their little reading nook!

Thank you SO much Tuft&Needle, WalkerEdison & NotPerfectLinen for being apart of the girls’ ‘big girl beds’ transition!

(Disclosure: I sometimes receive product for personal review purposes and all opinions stated above are my own honest opinions. You can click links in post to be directed to these websites and to learn more about the products featured in this blog.)

Momma’s New Bestie

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You know how sometimes you’re pregnant and sleep deprived and overwhelmed and looking around at the chewed up cheerios, organic cheerios of course, scattered about and somehow they have now multiplied into three times what you started out with and you’re looking at the plant soil that your baby decided to redecorate the living room with and you can see a reflective glare coming from the “toddler films” that are adorning every touchable surface of your home… And you’re looking at all of this and just thinking, did I feed those gremlins past midnight or let them get wet?! You know when your kitchen literally looks like that kitchen scene from Gremlins… and you think… IF ONLY…. If only there was something that would sweep this up for me… Or, better yet, sweep AND vacuum… Or, even better yet, sweep, vacuum AND mop! OR.. Maybe if there was just something that would sweep, vacuum, mop AND DISINFECT the never-ending toddler film off my floors!!!!

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WELL!!! I found it! I found it!!! Our new bObiPet does all 4 of these things! For real! Sweeps! Vacuums! Mops! AND Disinfects with fancy schmansy UV lights! I opened the box and, I call mine a him, and I imagined him saying to me in the voice of Ryan Gosling, “Hey Girl, Hey! Why don’t you waddle yourself on up those stairs and get get those sticky babes in the bath and I’ll clean up all those cheerios that fell in love and multiplied all over your floor!” There’s something magical about pushing a button, walking away and saying, “Thanks Boo, I’ll charge you back up so good later!”  Except, he can do that all by himself too!!! It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing! 

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So, we technically don’t have any pets, but we have a 4 year old, a 3 year old, a one year old, a baby on the way and I’m married to one hunk of a beard shedding manly man! So, this basically equates to owning at least a St. Bernanrd! And bObi is taking care of us real nice!

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The only thing that could make it better is if there were adjustable toddler straps that attached to the top that would allow me to safely buckle up and strap down the little teether who’s in full on stage 5 clinger mode for a little afternoon ride so momma could treat herself to something special, say maybe peeing by herself or something fancy like that:D  Or maybe if it has a ‘Beware! Toddler Coming’ Radar system:D  So, consider those suggestions for your next model, bObsweep

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Seriously though, thanks bObi for giving me a helping hand during the day. And now my broom can do what it does best! Hang on the wall ready to pose for some pretty photos:D 

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(Disclosure: I received bObiPet from bObsweep for personal review purposes and all opinions stated above are my own honest opinions. Click links in post to be directed to their website and to learn lots more about bObsweep.)

Tidy up with some help from The Laundress

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Has the weather been crazy for nice for you too?!  If so, you probably are feeling exactly what I’m feeling! That itch to clean up, declutter, minimize and refresh for the Spring season!  Fall has almost always been my favorite season, but I think Spring might be my new favorite!  There’s just something SO refreshing about the breeze coming through the windows, the curtains flowing in the breeze, the sweet floral aromas, the girls playing outside to the sounds of birds chirping! I am just really excited for Spring this year!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetSo, with Spring almost here, and the Spring cleaning/Nesting season around the corner, I’ve teamed up with one of my favorite companies to share with you some of our favorite products we will be using to dust those bunnies into shape!  If you don’t already use The Laundress‘ products, they’re lovely!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThey had me at non toxic and eco-friendly but their packaging is so very pretty, everything smells amazing AND these products really work!  AND did you know that 90% of “Dry Clean Only” products are actually washable at home?! The Laundress will teach you ALL the things!

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I have used their Signature Laundry Detergent before and I think I have a goal to try out every Laundry product they offer. They have a ‘Just For Baby’ line and they’ve even teamed up with John Mayer to create an eco-conscious partnership where 50% of proceeds from sales go to the Montana Association of Land Trusts.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI never thought I would get so excited about cleaning and laundering.  For those of you who know me well, you probably didn’t know I had this in me either.  I can imagine my husband reading this and thinking, “So… You’re going to do the laundry today then, or at least fold the three clean loads unfolded in a gigantic pile on the basement floor, right?! Sorry Husband.  I love you boo!

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They have everything you need to clean every room, wash any item, they sell beautiful storage pieces, some of the prettiest brushes and brooms I’ve ever seen AND The Laundress will teach you all the cleaning and laundering tricks!  Check out their blog  here to learn even more!

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No joke, these girls love cleaning everything but their room! They would scrub the floor, mop, sweep, dust, make my bed, load and unload the dishwasher, even take out the trash and you would only hear giggles! But if you ask them to pick up their room! You would think I’ve just asked them to walk on nails:D So funny!!!

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Weird confession time! I’ve never scrubbed my bathroom floor.  Please don’t judge me. We have fairly new tiles but I’m strangely excited to scrub the bathroom floor!??  This Laundress brush is perfect for our mosaic tiles and as strange as it sounds, the little ladies are getting some cleaning toothbrushes and we’re going to play Cinderella and clean these floors like they’ve never been cleaned before.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset Also, I feel the need to reiterate that having them scrub the floors with me is not some weird form of corporal  punishment!  They seriously love cleaning, as long as the room is detached from their bedroom:D

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As a mother of 3 chocolate milk lovers with a growing wardrobe of ‘delicate wash only’ apparel, I have had to learn a lot about home laundering delicates lately!  This wash & stain bar and I have been getting well acquainted and it’s lovely! I’ve used it on this very loved top, a few of Ada’s knitted bonnets and have a few dresses that have a date with this bar & brush this evening!  It works wonderfully and smells SO good! The Laundress has other stain treatment options that I’m hopeful to try in the near future as well!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

My husband actually likes their stuff so much that I am gifting him their Men’s Garment Care set along with some of their LeLabo detergents for Father’s Day this year!

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So, there you have it! If you are looking for some new products that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, work great, smell amazing and, most importantly, look good in photos☺️☺️☺️ try The Laundress’ products and tell them Amanda said you would like their stuff:D

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Washable Rugs + Hopeful Missions

A couple months ago the girls were playing on our rug and I asked my husband, “How do you wash a rug? Wait, why has no one made a washable rug?!” We had one 5×7 rug and an entire house of hardwood floors, yet somehow the girls really only seemed to spill stuff on this rug!  Ok, the Mr. and I have spilled many a cup of coffee as well.. But! The idea of a washable rug seemed so genius to me!  I ended up googling washable rugs and found Lorena Canals! I had actually seen some of their lovely rugs on instagram, but wasn’t aware of their quality, their social mission or that they were WASHABLE!!! With a 4 year old, a 3 year old, an almost 1 year old, and a mom & dad prone to spilling many a beverage, this was like, YAAAAASSSS!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetRugs that make sense

Lorena Canals rugs undergo an extensive handmade elaboration process based on the selection of the best raw materials, the use of natural dyes, the control of non-child labor in the production process and the compliance of quality and safety regulations for children when creating their products! Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Lorena Canals provides schooling for children in northern India

When someone purchases one of their rugs, they’re not only getting an awesome washable rug, but they’re also helping a child attend school!  Lorena Canals believes that education is the key to mobility and is vital in breaking the poverty cycle. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Lorena Canals Sakûla project

In 2008 Lorena Canals built a Nursery in Haryana, the North of India, in order to help children who are in the streets without protection and security, create a safe place for them to be, and to provide one meal a day and the education they need. Right now, they are serving  104 children in their nursery and are hopeful to increase this number more and more every year!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetBaba Jodh Sachiyar public school

Lorena Canals has started collaborating with the Baba Jodh Sachiyar Public School, giving some of their benefits from product sales to finance the education of their students. Thanks to this, more than 10 children are schooled every year!

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I want one of these rugs in every room:D Now we can spill a cup of coffee, let the girls enjoy a snack on the rug and not feel stressed about spilling and ruining our rug!  They’re beautiful, comfortable, very convenient and purchasing one supports some wonderful missions!

A wonderful new friend & some family photos

Instagram has turned into something that I never imagined it would be.  At the same time, Motherhood is everything wonderful I ever imagined to be and beyond amazing, but it too has surprised me.  Along with the incredible joy, love and everything sprinkles and rainbows are made of, came along some unexpected insecurities, discouragement, doubt, fear, mom guilt and loneliness. Somewhere in between these feelings, busy schedules, 2am nursing sessions, toddler tantrums, 4am nursing sessions, sleep deprivation, trying to adult,  6am nursing sessions and snapping photos, I found myself  in this wonderful community and surrounded by mothers who seemed to understand everything I was experiencing. While Instagram may just be a button on my phone, it also opened up this extra community where even in times when I might not be able to sit with my best friends for coffee, I could still drink coffee and visit with my best friends.  These friends I have made through these little squares have reassured, in my moments where motherhood is rough, that I am not a total failure, I am not doing everything completely wrong and I am definitely not alone in feeling these things.

I was laughing with some friends I have made through instagram this week about how instagram used to just blue blue & orange filters over our poor quality photos of our food:D You guys remember that right?! If I could just give this piece of cheesecake a more grainy vintage look and a sweet vignette or border, it will be perfect!  🙂 However, out of those grainy photos has birthed, for me, a wonderful community full of awesome opportunities and genuine friendships!  While I could talk much more about this, I bring it up to to share that I got to have my first insta meet up with a beautiful friend that came out of these little squares and it was wonderful!!  I can think of at least 30 of you, you know who you are, who I am just certain we will meet up one day soon too!

Anyway, not only did I just meet my sweet friend Stephanie, but she also blessed us with her talents and photographed our family doing one of our favorite pastimes, visiting coffee shops!  She brought along her sweet daughter and we were all smitten with her! For those of you who know her from instagram, she’s even prettier, more kind and more hip than she looks in her feed!  I instantly wished we lived closer and in our conversation it just felt  like I had known her forever!  It was such a fun visit and I just feel so grateful that we had the opportunity to meet up in real life and to have these sweet memories of such a fun day.  Thank you SO much Stephanie and Loyal Coffee!

Here are a few of my favorites!  Well, they were basically all my favorites but here are a couple!

 

Photos By Stephanie Pollock 

Dresses & Romper- JamesVincentDesignCo

Tights-Sawyer&Halle

Bonnet-YarnRepublic

Moccasins-TheLittleDesignCo

Watch- Jord

Boots- Wilcox Boots

Ring Sling- WildBird

Diaper Bag-Fawn Design

Location-Loyal Coffee