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Saturday, April 26

Easter 2014

This year's Easter celebration was {obviously} my favorite yet. We honored our tradition of attending church on the town square, then headed to spend the day with family. We had lunch with my parents and helped my niece and nephews hunt for eggs while my siblings and their spouses doted on little E. He even got an Easter egg from his Mimi with a little start up cash for his piggy bank. ;)

After lunch with my side of the family, we headed over to K's sister's house {which is conveniently right down the street from my parents} for more egg-hunting with nephews. Again, E got lots of sweet attention, and we spent some time outdoors enjoying the glorious sunshine and cool spring breeze. 

And as much as I love Easter because it is a day of family, the true reason for the holiday is so much more important. Praise the Lord that Jesus, the Son of God, was obedient to His Father and suffered torture and death in order that all of us may live in heaven one day. For that I am truly thankful.


copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Monday, April 21

Life Lens // Little Moments

A few snippets of our life lately and sweet little moments, some via iPhone and the VSCO app, some via our DSLR.

{So. Much. Sweetness.}

{In love with our Stokke Scoot! Perfect for afternoon walks around the neighborhood on pretty days. And outings for lunch in the city. LOVE this place. We also made some bone broth with fresh oregano from the garden. So so good.}

{Date night in Athens with my one and only. We saw this band and this one. So so good. Also, the Georgia Theater rooftop is my new favorite place.}


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Thursday, April 17

Baby Talk // My Newborn Favorites

There is no shortage of lists out there that tell you what all you "need" for your first baby. It is completely overwhelming, in my opinion. Luckily I have an amazing support group of mama friends that not only gave me the low down on what I really may need but were also generous enough to let us borrow some of the more ahem costly items that their babies had outgrown. Coupled with our commitment to registering for only what we thought we'd really use, we were able to keep our 'baby stuff' to a minimum. And while some things really are superfluous, there were items that we originally thought unnecessary that we ended up purchasing and use often. While I know our 'necessities' will change as Elliot ages, here is a list of my current personal essentials, pared down to what we use the most.

Sleep Sheep Sound Machine: gifted to E by his Mimi, this sounds machine works wonders at night. E responds well to the "S's" {side, swaddle, shush, sway, suck}, and I love that it has a timer. Added bonus is the soft material and the fact that my iPhone speakers are no longer working overtime. 

Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets: our favorite light-weight blankets that also make great swaddlers

The Honest Company Body Oil: we use this after bath time to keep little man's skin soft and smooth. I try not to put too many products on him so his skin will stay healthy, and this sweet smelling natural oil is my favorite.

Pee-pee Teepees: filed under 'things I was sure we didn't need,' I use with every diaper change. After being whizzed on and cleaning up the wall behind the changing table at 3am one to many times, I broke down and bought them. Definitely a good investment if you ask me. 

Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm: we use this with every messy diaper because it  is filled with delicious smelling herbs and works so well to prevent diaper rash naturally.

Aden + Anais Stroller Blanket: a slightly heavier blanket that is oh so soft and snug

Summer Infant Organic Cotton Swaddle Wrap: soft organic cotton and so easy to use at 3am when you're just. so. tired.

Bum Genius Flannel Wipes: we wet these with warm water and use them in lieu of pre-moistened wipes to keep little man's bum free from rashes. 

4moms Infant tub: this is something we borrowed from my girl Kindredly. Is it necessary? No. Does it make my life easier and bath time more enjoyable for E? Yes. Is there another less costly tub that would work as well? Probably. Nonetheless, I love this tub. '

Books: because E loves hear our voices and loves to look at the pictures, and I love reading stories to him already. 

What are/were your newborn essentials?

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Wednesday, April 16

Sunday Truths // Fasting

{Write hard and clear about what hurts. -- Ernest Hemingway}


Fasting hurts. It’s tangible and practical repentance, and repentance must change how we live our lives. We turn from the things that give us false comfort, and only have God.

When I read this commentary I was at a vulnerable and emotional place. I was grieving for the type of birth experience I had longed for, mourning my battered and bruised body, and wallowing in self pity. I had just seen a beautiful photo of a friend who had delivered her second baby girl only a few weeks after I had Elliot. Minutes after giving birth, she looked amazing -- perfect hair, perfect makeup, tear-filled eyes holding her baby. It is a stunning moment and a stunning picture. And deep down in the corners of my heart, I was resentful. And jealous. I was certain that she had a Cesarean.. or an epidural.. or something that made her delivery less of a difficult feat than mine. My heart asked why that couldn't have been me. Minutes after delivering Elliot, I was red, swollen, and sweaty with countless broken blood vessels in my eyes and on my neck and chest. There are no pictures of us from those first moments. Partially because the midwife decided to give me a strong pain medication that knocked me out. {I only have fragments of memories from delivery until waking up in  the mother/baby room.} And while I'm still struggling to work through my experience, my resentment and jealousy are not the response that the Lord requires of me. 

This is just one example of my tendency to constantly compare myself to others, even my friends. It's such a damaging and dangerous habit. And sometimes I'm the one who looks better... but it is a false comfort. Through this whole experience I think the Lord is teaching me not only about patience and trust, but about finding my true self worth in Him and Him alone. If I value who I am in Christ and find my comfort in only that, the things and people I compare myself to will cease to matter. In fact, I wouldn't compare myself at all.

So as a tiny act of obedience I am fasting from my social media vice, Instagram, for seven days, hoping that the Lord will begin to change the black corners of my heart and begin to bring me to a place of finding my worth in Him alone. 

 God’s grace and mercy reach even the blackest hearts. And I’m with Paul when he said he was the foremost of sinners. I don’t gouge eyes, yet pride, envy, and wrath are always within arm’s length for me. “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life." (1 Timothy 1:15-16, ESV)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The basis of this study is the story of Jonah, and the basis of this commentary is Jonah 3:5-10
{Italicized writing is taken from She Reads Truth}

Monday, April 14

Monday Musings

Since the vast majority of my days lately are spent at home in workout clothes or pjs, I've been perusing the internet for inspiration of all sorts and finding comfort and happiness in the littlest of things {pun intended}. 

This jumpsuit{despite the fact that my ten year old nephew shops at this store...} I'm thinking of wearing it for an evening wedding in May. Loose waves, simple jewels and killer heels. Thoughts?

This herbal tea. Because I love love love peppermint tea... and I can't drink it right now. This rose infused substitute is definitely making my afternoons more enjoyable.

Paleo margaritas. Enough said.

These sandals. Because they are so comfortable that I may just order a second pair {the coral caught my eye}. I mean, they are made from a yoga mat.

Name rings. One for the first man in my life, my amazing husband, and one for the second, my sweet sweet son.

This little boy. Today and always.

It was a beautiful weekend in my neck of the woods --we had dinner with my parents {grilling out grass fed steaks... yes, please!}, spent some time in the yard planting pretty things, and made it to church with E to celebrate Palm Sunday. Here's to a great week as we move towards Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and the amazing gift he extends to us.


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Wednesday, April 9

Motherhood // Thoughts of a New Mom

A few thoughts from the last few weeks of being a mom...

-- Mothers should automatically grow a third arm that can be taken on and off as needed for maneuvering around with a newborn.

-- Nothing can prepare you for life as a first-time mom, not even all the baby books in the world.

-- The mamaRoo is a total life-saver {thanks Les!}

-- The first few days of breastfeeding are tough, but it is so worth pushing through to get to the sweet spot.

-- When your baby's diaper leaks every.single.time he urinates, just laugh, change his clothes and move on. Even when he pees on the wall and it runs down behind the changing table...

-- It's okay to tell friends and family that you need a day at home alone.

-- Brussels sprouts and breast feeding don't. Place them in the same category as broccoli.

-- Someone should teach a class on how to do anything and everything one-handed, specific tasks include putting on makeup, working on the computer, preparing breakfast {or any other meal for that matter}, and getting dressed.

-- The whole 'it takes a village' philosophy is so. so. true.

-- I never realized how much I love uninterrupted sleep at night.


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Sunday, April 6

Sunday Truths // Priorities

With the obvious new shift in our lives, husband and I have been talking about priorities a lot lately. Even in the last month or so of my pregnancy, we began a few new practices that have helped us to refocus, connect with each other, spend more time in the Word, and unplug. It started with an article we read about how we all feel the need to be constantly entertained, constantly doing something. Sitting in traffic checking Instagram... browsing Pinterest and watching TV at night... mindlessly perusing the internet while feeding my baby... checking our email at meal time... etc. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Not that there is anything wrong with social media or technology, we just feel like we need to make a more conscious effort to unplug from it all on a regular basis. So we challenged ourselves to sit for even just a few minutes every day in silence. No radio, no cell phone, no computer. Even if it's on the commute home, just to be still and present wherever we are. I have to say, it is tough. The tendency to reach for my iPhone is a constant reminder of how bombarded we are with it all. And especially now that we are parents, we are trying to soak it all in. Sleepless nights and all, we will never be able to relive this sweet time with our son. That being said, here is a small list of things we have started doing in order to unplug and refocus our priorities onto our family and our faith. 

1 - No social media on Sundays: We both limit our cell phone use to calls and texts on Sundays, even keeping those to a minimum and don't post or check in on Instagram or Facebook. 

2 - If we are anxious or worried about something we talk to each other about it once, pray over our worries, and {try to} let it go. We don't talk about it much more but instead encourage each other to submit our anxieties to the Lord and be present in the day He has given us today. 

3 - Sit for a few minutes in silence, unplugged from everything, and meditate on a verse of scripture or simply talk to the Lord. 

4 - {This one is primarily for me} Instead of feeling lonely and isolated, look at the middle of the night feedings as special one on one time with Elliot, separate from the busyness of the day and the company of family and friends. See it as a time that is just the two of us, a time of my caring and providing for him.

5 - I've mentioned it before, but take a walk around the neighborhood most days of the week, daily if possible. Leave all technology at home and spend thirty minutes together as a family, enjoying the weather and the lovely spring greenery, and talking about whatever comes to mind.

Here's to soaking it all in and being present wherever you are.

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