Monday, September 1, 2014

Guest Blogging {Happy Labor Day}

Hope you all are having a lovely long weekend!

If you've got a second, pop over to visit me at Chasin' Mason, where I am blogging all about being a boy mom today.

Enjoy your Labor Day!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall, Fall, Fall, Fall, Fall {Oh Hey, Friday!}

First off, I posted a bit later than usual yesterday, so if you missed my update on Caleb at 15 months, you can find that here. Complete with way too many adorable photos. You're welcome.

Second of all. It's Friday. And you all know what that means. Another Friday. Another fun link up. Oh hey, Friday! So, let's share our 5 for this week, shall we? And because I literally can't think about anything else, today is going to be all things fall...Fall, fall, fall, fall, fall. Fall.

1. A Whiff of Fall
I found my way into the Bath & Body Works near me this week. And headed straight for the 'pumpkin' area of the store. Yes, they had an entire area dedicated to their pumpkin scents. They haven't brought out the rest of their fall line yet (the rest debut next week, so we know I'll be going back), so they were really highlighting the pumpkin ones since they are the first to arrive. However, I went for the pumpkin anyways, so I was pretty excited to see it all on display in all its orange, spicy glory. I walked away with these little gems, and can't wait to start lighting them up this weekend.
Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin 3-Wick Candle - Home Fragrance - Bath & Body Works
Spiced Pumpkin Cider 3-Wick Candle - Home Fragrance - Bath & Body Works

Warm Caramel Cider 3-Wick Candle - Home Fragrance - Bath & Body Works
2. A Bite of Fall
The hubs and I pulled through the Dunkin Donuts drive-through last night. And offhand, I asked if they happened to have their pumpkin donuts in yet. And they DID! Best. Night. Of. My. Life. I told the lady at the window that she'd made my life and she just laughed and laughed. Wish every problem in life could be solved with a pumpkin donut. I took a picture of our pretty box of sweets. I'll let you guess which ones are the pumpkin donuts (hint: they're absolutely not the ones in which a big bite has been taken. no ma'am. i would never do that...)

3. Fall Decorating
We've decided to go ahead and decorate our house for fall this weekend. Partly because we are fall obsessed. And partly because this is our last Saturday off together until the end of September (boo). Yes, I am aware that it is still technically August. However, September 1st is Monday. And once September arrives, it is fall. So, this Saturday it is. Anyone with me? Bueller? Bueller?

4. The Fall Wardrobe
I've worn my white pants once this week. And may try to get one more wear in before Labor Day. After that, they will be packed up until next spring. Along with my linen pants. Mint green jeans. White shoes. Flowery dresses and skirts. White leather handbag. And anything else that screams summer. While I'm not quite ready to do a complete closet 'switcheroo' (since it will likely stay very warm here until late September or early October), I am definitely ready to transition to a more fall-like wardrobe with darker colors and richer fabrics. So ready to toss the flip-flops in favor of boots, and start throwing scarves and cardigans on over tees and tanks. A fall wishlist to come in the next week or so.

5. The Fall Calendar
Our calendar is already starting to book up, as it does every year once the fall season (and holidays and such) start to approach. This year, especially since our time with B is so limited, I want to be very intentional about the activities that we take part in and the things we plan. I want to make the most of our time together, and make a lot of wonderful memories. Last year at this time, I was working full-time, Caleb was in daycare every day, and B was in San Antonio, Texas completing a one-moth orthopedic rotation out there. Though we don't get a lot of time together now, at least we aren't separated by several states this year. And I am ever so thankful to get to be at home with Caleb every day instead of rushing off to a job that I hate every day. God is good!

If you'd like to be part of the link-up today, pop on over to visit Karli of September Farm and Amy of The Farmer's Wife

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend, and a very happy Labor Day holiday. See you in September!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Caleb Update {15 Months}

Although I haven't been doing monthly updates like I did for the first year of Caleb's little life, I will write posts now and then to update you all (and for my memory's sake) on what our little man is up to. He's growing and changing every day, so I don't want to forget any of these sweet moments before they are gone.

 An Update on Caleb Monroe {15 months}:

At 15 months, Caleb is the sweetest little ball of energy you will ever meet. He is my sidekick in every sense of the word, and goes everywhere I go. I love having a little buddy with me all the time. He is a Mama's boy through and through, and is still rather emotional when it comes to Mother's Morning Out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He cries when I leave him as well as when I pick him up, which tears my heart up just a bit. However, I know that he is happy and playing well with the other little ones while I am gone, so I feel confident that enrolling him in this program was the best decision. Other than those 3 hour periods twice a week, Caleb and I are together every day, all day. He is truly my favorite person in the whole wide world.

Caleb weighs about 25 pounds now. He won't have a doctor's appointment until his 18 month check-up, but when we were in the doctor's office a month or so ago, he was at 24 pounds, so 25 is an educated guess. He is wearing size 12 month, 12-18, month and 18 month clothing. I've found that the size he wears really depends on the brand, as some run smaller while others run larger. His long torso and upper body fit best in 18 month clothing right now. Although he is still wearing a lot of his 12 month t-shirts and shorts, I am glad that fall is arriving, because I can see that he won't be fitting it much longer. He is almost completely out of pjs that fit, as those seem to get tight faster than anything else, so we are just waiting for cooler temps before we bust out some of the cute fall sets waiting in his drawers.

As far language goes, I think he is pretty average. He "talks" all the time, but doesn't say a whole lot of intelligible words. His known words as of right now include: Mama, Dada, Ellie, hey, milk ("meh"), more ("mah") (when he wants more food), bottle ("baba"), pacifier ("pah-pah"), and water ("wah-wah"). He's said 'red' once, but we haven't heard it again, so not sure if I can count that one. We are working on more, but the words listed are his only intelligible words thus far. The rest of the time it's just his own little Caleb babble. His absolute favorite thing is to run around saying, "Mama!" at the top of his lungs. He loves it when I say, "Yes, buddy?" and waits for me to answer before he runs off, just to come right back. He's very perceptive, and always responds quickly when I ask him to do something. He doesn't like being told that he can't do things, and doesn't always listen when he is told, "No."

Additional Updates on My Mini-Man:

-Runs at full speed all around the house. He pushes his trucks and popcorn popper, and loves chasing poor Ellie all over the place.

-Has curly, curly, curly hair. But only on the back of his head. His bangs are relatively straight. The baby fine curls on the back of his precious head have remained untouched, and are just the sweetest thing ever.

-Despite leaving the curls alone, the bangs just had to be trimmed, so Dosh trimmed them up for him. And now his hair looks a little wonky, with the short bangs and curls in the back. A full-on cut is much overdue. But I just can't...

-Seems to be a bit more picky about food now. Throws whatever he doesn't like or want to Ellie or onto the floor. Waiters love us. 

-Not picky about dessert. Lord no. This boy loves sweets. His favorite sweets right now are chocolate milk, cookies and ice cream. Just like his Mama. Love. Love. Love.

-Is trying to jump...Although his feet don't actually leave the ground. It is so flipping cute. His chunky little legs just go, go, go. I found him trying to jump on our bed the other morning and took a little video. He was so proud of himself.


-Makes the funniest "uh-oh" face. Hilarious. He knows we think it's funny. So he does it all the time.

-Is ALL boy. He is at full speed, and full volume, all day long. He is constantly climbing, jumping, making messes, throwing his toys, and is just generally a busy, busy, busy little guy. This is evidenced by the bruises and scrapes all over his body. I try my best to keep him unscathed, but I'm pretty sure his teachers must think I beat him or something. Sigh. I mean, how do you bump your nose and forehead? No idea.

-Gives the sweetest hugs. When you ask him for a hug, he comes over with his arms wide open and it is so sweet. He's pretty good about giving them to family members when asked, but is always quickest to come running to give me one.

-Loves to help. When I make the bed in the mornings, he comes toddling in to hand me the throw pillows. He proudly picks them up (they are as big as he is) and holds them up to me with the sweetest little grin on his face.

-Started Mother's Morning Out on August 12, 2014. So proud of my big boy. My mama heart still aches a bit over this milestone.

-Had his first bout of roseola. Hoping we never have to see that again, as a sick baby is a sad baby.

-Has the chunkiest feet ever! He was measured at Stride Rite and wears a 6.5 extra wide. Shoes are so hard to find. Right now, he's wearing shoes that seem a bit too long for him, but fit him in width. I am anxiously awaiting the next TOMs sale on Zulily as these run a bit wider and fit him the best.

-Is loving the big bathtub in our new house. He adores playing with the big faucet, throwing his toys all around, and splashing all over. Sweet little guy cries when bathtime is over in the big tub now.

-Loves playing hide-and-seek/peek-a-boo. 

-Waits for Daddy to come home every single night. If he's still awake by the time B pulls in the driveway, Caleb can always hear the garage door open, and gets oh, so excited. He runs to the door and starts saying, "Dada" over and over in the most excited voice. B must feel like a rockstar coming home to that welcome:)

-Finally has a few more teeth that are just about to break through. Until now, he's had just two little bottom teeth for the past couple of months. But, it looks as though he will soon have a mouthful. Which could also account for the restless sleeper he's been over the last couple of nights. Goodness.

And there you have it. Caleb at 15 months. He keeps us busy, and he's the light of our lives. I never knew I could love someone as much as I love his sweet little self. He truly is my biggest joy. There are days he makes me want to run away to Mexico too, don't get me wrong. But for the most part, it's just such a privilege being his Mommy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Golden Weekend {Weekend Review}

Well, it's Wednesday. Just two days away from another weekend, and yet, here I am with a review of last weekend. Mama's on her game this week. 

But, really. Sometimes life just gets in the way. And as much as I love this blog (which is a lot), sometimes real life - and things like a crying baby and sleep - have to take precedence. I was up super late Monday night trying to finish up some work projects for B's dad and just didn't have time to get a post up for yesterday. I am still working part time for him and it's worked out nicely so far. The additional money the job brings in every couple of weeks is much needed, and the fact that I can work when I have the time is such a blessing. B's dad keeps saying that he really needs me full time, as he is incredibly busy. Which is true (hence the reason I was up so late on Monday), however, he knows that there's no way I could go full time right now. I wavered on looking for a full-time position when we moved, thinking that maybe I should try to contribute more financially to our little family. But the truth is, with B's insane work schedule, there's truly no way that I could also be working full time right now. Caleb needs at least one parent that he can see consistently since his Daddy's hours are so unpredictable. I digress....

Long story short, the week has gotten away from me. So, I am just now posting about our very wished for "golden weekend."

Caleb and I celebrated the start of the weekend (and payday) by doing just a bit of what we do best. Shopping, of course. We got up bright and early to head out. Caleb was super snuggly that morning, so of course, I took a picture of his sweet self. Yes, he does have a bruise on his eyelid. And no, I have no idea how it got there.

We hit up Oshkosh to get the little man some new shoes. We came away with a bunch of cute things, including these boat shoes

, Brown, hi-res
, Color, hi-res
, Green, hi-res

The best part? We got all of the above, along with a couple of other shirts and a pair of slippers for less than $40. I used some OshKosh cash we'd earned, along with coupons. That, my friends, is a deal. And I'm a wee bit jealous that Caleb gets a whole new wardrobe every season. I mean, I'd love a whole new wardrobe every season, am I right?

Side note, I'm also a little jealous of these cute little things that our headed Caleb's way as we speak. They were on sale at good old Nordies, so I went ahead and grabbed a pair.
'Paseo - Tiny' Mid Bootie (Baby, Walker & Toddler)
After swinging through a few more stores for the mini, we hit up Chickfila for lunch and then headed to Target. Where I was able to find a couple of fun things for myself. I grabbed the cutest plaid button-up, which I can't wait to wear when the temperatures drop in a couple of weeks. I couldn't find my exact shirt online, but this one is very similar (mine buttons all the way down, unlike this one).  I bought a size up, so it would be loose and comfy, and plan to pair it with leggings or skinnies and boots. I also grabbed these. I almost walked right past them, but then decided on a whim to try them on. And. Fell. In. Love. They are so, so, so comfortable. And so much cuter than you'd think when looking at them. Just trust me. Buy them. I think they're a fun twist on a sneaker, while still looking cute and stylish.

Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Dedra Flat - Animal Print
After our shopping, we headed home to relax for a bit. B actually ended up working late on Friday night, assisting with a high school football game as the doctor on call, so after dinner, Mr. Caleb got his biggest dream. A Chickfila milkshake all to himself. He got a small, but it still looks so big in his little hands. Love.

We were excited to welcome Daddy home for the weekend on Friday night. He didn't get home until around 10 pm, but Caleb was still up. Guess the milkshake had really kicked in. I didn't mind that night, as B was glad to get to see him and spend time with him. But you better believe I made a mental note: Never give a toddler an entire milkshake if you want them to go to bed on time.

We all, Caleb included, slept in until after 8 am, and it was glorious. It was so nice to get to actually wake up with my husband and have breakfast with him - it's the small things, right?  B whipped up blueberry biscuits for breakfast, so that was nice. I seem to fix every meal, every day lately, so any assistance in that area is always much welcomed. 

After lunch, we had some errands to run, so we hopped to it. We also grabbed lunch at Truett's. Which is the parent restaurant to Chickfila. So, yes, at this point, I had been to CFA 3 times in two days. I'm telling you, I should be given stock in the place. But, it's our favorite place to go as a family, so to Truett's it was. Caleb had the very best time, so it was worth it!

After a trip to the grocery store, we headed home and B got started on some outdoor work while Caleb and I took a nap. I haven't been sleeping well lately, so I attempted to catch up on my deficit by resting quite a bit this weekend. Around dinner time, B came on in and we grabbed a pizza for dinner before cuddling up with a movie in our bed for the night. I let B choose. He narrowed it down to a few, and among them? Notting Hill. Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant? Always a win.

Our little family headed to church together for the first time in a couple of weeks. It was so nice to be back in a pew with my sweet hubby. The sermon was good, and we left feeling refreshed for another week. 

After church, we drove out to meet with B's dad and girlfriend for lunch and a boat ride out on the lake where she has a house. It was overcast and very grey when we headed out, so we didn't think we needed sunscreen. Big mistake. The sun came out and the skies cleared up quickly, so we ended up bundling Caleb up like a little eskimo to keep the sun away from his pale, perfect baby skin. Can you spot the little camouflage baby? Despite the rocking of the boat, the waves, and the lake spray, he slept like a rock. 

After our lake jaunt, we headed back home where B whippped up a pork tenderloin for dinner, while I made mashed potatoes. We didn't think Caleb would eat anything, aside from possibly the mashed potatoes (have I mentioned how picky he is lately?) But the kid downed more pork than I did. Toddlers. So unpredictable.

Sunday night, we were all in bed and snoring by 10:30.

And that, my friends, is what a golden weekend looks like. We may try to actually make some fun date night plans in the future, but this time around, I was just glad to be able to spend some time with my husband. I still love holding that man's hand.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grace Through Weakness

So many are hurting right now. When I watch the news, my heart feels heavy with the pain that surrounds us. Tears burn my eyes as I think of dear friends and loved ones who are struggling with different things right now and as I contemplate the struggles of our own that B and I are faced with. Sometimes, I can't help but look to the heavens and ask, "Why?"

There are times I think I'd like to play God...

cattedrali:  2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient

If I could, I'd give my husband and I a comfortable paycheck. We'd live in a beautiful home with a modest mortgage. We'd both driver newer cars that we paid for in cash. We'd have the nicest clothes. Shopping would be something we'd do any time we wanted, just for fun. Price tags wouldn't be something we would check before making purchases. Credit cards would be paid off every month. Vacations would happen a few times a year. I'd heal all of my loved ones' sicknesses and diseases. Patch up broken hearts for my friends. And give myself, and all of my sweet blog friends who've dealt with miscarriages and infertility the precious babies they so desire. I'd have every little thing I've ever wanted.

Macaroni and donuts would have no calories, and heart disease wouldn't exist. Rain would come a few times a year - just enough to remind us that sunshine is something to be thankful for. Snow would fall without the perils of ice and freezing temperatures, and no one would be homeless and alone in the cold. Babies in Africa would be well-fed. Christians in Iraq would be left to worship in peace and American journalists wouldn't have to lose their lives for doing their jobs. Every child would receive an equal education, and opportunities to achieve their dreams. Puppies would never grow old, and death would be a thing of the past. I'd create every little happiness possible.

And after all that...What need would I have for God?

After all that, I have a feeling I might think I don't need God at all. I have a feeling I would start to believe that I could do life by myself. That I was sufficient. That I alone, was enough. Which is so, so far from the truth. Because I can't do life without Him. So, no. No, I don't think I want to play God after all. If becoming too comfortable means that I don't need God, I don't want to be too comfortable. If having every little thing I ever wanted comes at the expense of giving up my relationship with my Savior, then I'd give it all away.

Instead, I'll take the challenges that come in this life. I'll accept them, and know that along with joy and beauty, there will be pain and hurt. There will be equality, but there will also be injustice. There will be happiness, and there will be the nitty-gritty. I'll wake up each morning knowing that I need my Savior. I'll continue praying for friends who are going through hard times. I'll continue relying on Him to provide for our little family. I'll fall to my knees every time a family member gets sick. I'll let the tears flow when I hear about the atrocities taking place around the world. I'll mourn the lives lost - lives that were put on this Earth, so carefully crafted by the Father, and lost for a purpose we may never understand. I'll continue to let my heart break for the things that break the heart of Jesus. 

And through it all, I will know that there will be a loving Savior by my side. I'll continue letting go, and letting God.

I'll take Him any day.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.""

2 Corinthians 12:9

Back tomorrow with a review of the 'Golden Weekend' we finally got. Happy Monday.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thankful Things {Oh Hey, Friday}

I've spent a lot of time complaining this week. And yes, while I do have to admit that this new chapter in our lives is not the easiest, I also don't want to get wrapped up in a "poor me" attitude. Self-pity does the soul no good, only harm. And ain't nobody got time for that.

In the spirit of starting fresh, today, instead of lamenting over all of the challenges my little family is facing right now, I thought I'd share 5 things that I am thankful for. Because there are SO many things to be thankful for. In fact, just the fact that I am breathing, thinking, and putting thoughts into words right now is something to be thankful for. So, here we go.

1. Tiny little hands

Question: Is there anything more precious than the feel of your precious baby's hand resting on your arm? 

Answer: Lawd in heaven. No.

Caleb has been super snuggly lately. Since preschool started, he's been a bit more clingy than normal, and even turns down evening snuggles with Daddy sometimes in favor of being rocked by Mommy. I don't mind one bit. I watch my baby grow a bit more each day. Such a big boy now. And my heart already bleeds for the day when he won't need me anymore. So I will take every. single. snuggle. I can get. I live for the feel of those tiny arms wrapped around me and that curly-topped head on my chest. Sigh.

2. Payday
Can I get an, "Amen." I'd like to say that B and I have our finances totally figured out, and have this much saved and that much put away for a rainy day. But, in all honesty, right now, we live very modestly and are always happily anticipating payday when it arrives. Let's just say, today was payday. Definitely something to be thankful for. 

3. Fall. Fall. And more Fall.
It's going to be 95 degrees here in GA today. So, while physically I will be holed up inside to keep from melting away, mentally I will be in my happy place. Where apple cinnamon candles abound, pumpkin spice lattes come in red Starbucks cups, and red and yellow leaves litter the front yard. 

I told you I would be mentioning fall eleventy billion times before it even arrived. I don't lie. But seriously. Who wouldn't be exited about adorable sweaters and hot chocolate/coffee/ciders? Come on, Autumn.

Comfy coffee mugs | #warmandcozy

4. A Golden Weekend
I hesitate to even write this, after what happened last weekend. But, I'm going for it. B IS OFF FOR THE WHOLE WEEKEND! I am so, so thrilled to have my husband to myself for 2 whole days. Oh, how glorious. Do we have plans? Nope. Am I happy about that? Yep. Ecstatic. 

(Check out my post yesterday on learning to say "No.")

5. Keep on Keepin' On
My husband encouraged me to watch this sermon by Pastor Charles Stanley. If you haven't heard a sermon by Pastor Stanley (or his son, Pastor Andy Stanley), you are missing out. They are such gifted speakers, and really know how to dig into the word in ways that make it so relevant and relatable. I wasn't thrilled to discover that this video was 54 minutes long. But, let me tell you - I had a completely new perspective on my life after watching it. And in fact, it is what inspired today's post. Life can be tough. But if we can remember that God will never fail us, no matter what challenges we face, it's a lot less tough. 

Per the usual, today I am linking up with sweet Karli of September Farm and Amy of The Farmer's Wife for their super fun Oh Hey, Friday link-up.

Off to enjoy a day with my sister and my little man. Hey, it's payday, remember?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Yes-Saying People-Pleaser

No pictures today. Just words straight from the heart. Grab a cup of coffee, curl up, and settle in.


I've always been a people-pleaser. My whole life. I've always wanted to make my loved ones proud, always tried to keep everyone happy, and always striven to ensure that I don't rock anyones boat too much. I don't like confrontation, and I'm not good at standing up for myself in the heat of a battle. I'm one of those people who walks away from disagreements thinking to myself, "Oh, man - I should have said THAT. That would have been a great thing to say." Bust at that point it's too late, of course.

Since B has started his residency, our lives have changed drastically. As a side note, if your significant other is considering becoming a doctor, great. If s/he is considering becoming a surgeon, RUN. Y'all. Seriously. I had no idea what I was signing up for when we began this journey. I thought long days were when B studied for Board exams for 10-12 hours a day for a couple of months at a time. It's laughable now. I would give almost anything to have him back on that schedule.

Now, he works 80-100 hours a week. A week. Sometimes more (which is totally illegal, but is something that just seems to slip through the cracks in the medical field). Let me break that down for you. He's gone from about 4:45 am (before we are awake, obviously) until 7:30 or 8:00 pm most nights. Some nights, it's been after 11:00 pm. As of right now, he's worked 11 days straight. It's rare that he get a 'golden weekend' - i.e. a Saturday AND a Sunday off. He's only had both days off once or twice since he started residency. The rest of the time, he's worked either Saturday or Sunday, or both.

What does this crazy change in schedule mean for me - and for Caleb? Well, we've been alone a lot. We schedule play dates, we visit with family, we go to the park, we go out to lunch, we shop when we can, we walk, we play outside, etc. But we are still alone a lot. After all, we can't be gone for every second of every day. With B gone so much, most of the parenting comes down to me. And it's tough. It's tough because it's just me, all day long, every day. Every decision is left to me. Sometimes, it's just me from the minute C wakes up until the minute he goes to bed. Some days, B doesn't even make it home in time to see Caleb. After long days spent minding a hyperactive, crazy toddler boy, the short evening hours are a time I want to myself. And yet, somehow, I still have to find time to be involved with my husband. To talk to him about how his day is going. To make dinner and sit with him while he eats. To make sure he knows he is loved. On the days when he is home before C goes to bed, I usually find myself tossing our child at him, and taking a few minutes to myself. Which isn't necessarily fair, as B has had a long day at work too, and throwing yet another responsibility on him at the end of his long day may not be the most fair thing in the world. But, it's his time with his son. It's my time to unwind. Most nights, I find myself up long past the men in my house. Sometimes, the only time I get to myself in a day is at 12:30 am when the house is finally quiet and the world has shut down for the night. Those times are precious to me.

Through all of this, I am starting to learn a lot about myself. You see, in the past, it's never seemed like a bad thing that I am a people-pleaser. It's never been a bad thing that I am "yes" person. Until now. Because now, unless someone is asking to spend time with us on the weekdays - when we have quite a bit of time to fit in activities and such - then they are cutting into my family time. And that's not okay. My very limited weekend time with my husband has become more precious than gold to me. We are having to start picking and choosing the activities that we take part in. We are having to learn to say, "No." And that isn't easy for me. I want to make everyone happy. But a lot of times, I find myself making others happy at the expense of myself or my family. My son deserves to spend a day or two once a week with his Daddy. My husband and I deserve some quality time together at least once a week. We need that. Our home needs that. Our sanity needs that. And so, for that reason, I am trying to grow myself a little bit of a backbone. Remind myself that my little family is my priority.  And realize that the people around me may have a transition to go through too - a transition in which they will have to learn to accept that we can't be there for every event. That we won't always get to be there. It's just part of our life for now.