Thursday, August 17, 2017



(Making herself at home while we have the pool water checked)
  1. Our pool levels were perfect! For the first time this summer, I didn't have to change anything. And then it appears our pump stopped working...
  2. I worked from home with the girls there with Granny and Dan came home from work early and I was still able to get a decent amount of work done. This bodes well for my working from home future plans once baby girl is outside the womb.
  3. After an hour and a half of trying to get Cora to go to sleep and stop screaming unless held in my arms, Dan took over and somehow got her to sleep within minutes. 

  1. I used a Christmas gift card from my mom to get a prenatal massage. When I opened that gift card I pictured a facial/regular massage combo and found out I was pregnant the next day. Ha!
  2. Weather cool enough to enjoy a little evening fire in the fire pit.
  3. A last minute dinner that prevented the takeout monster.

  1. Our friends Silo and Edie turned 2 and 4 and we celebrated with a breakfast taco truck birthday party! It was lovely to catch up with some friends.
  2. The motorized scooters at Menards. We had a few things on our shopping list that were located in opposite corners of the store, plus due to Dan's tendency to peruse, we were in the store for an hour. I would have lasted for about 10 minutes standing, but with the scooter, I was good to go.
  3. Granny made salmon patties for dinner with fried zucchini. 


  1. The lovely ladies that work in the 2's and 3's room in our church. Cora recently upgraded classrooms and hasn't done well with the transition. It takes a special person to accept a screaming red head with open arms. 
  2. Team yard work. I helped by sitting in the chair and growing a baby and occasionally pushing Cora in the swing.
  3. My mom brought Ina over some new outfits to pick from for the first day of pre-school and then we shopped for backpacks on Amazon. Ina is pumped.

  1. Baby girl is visibly moving. She rolls from one side of my belly to the other, which anyone could see from across the room. Ina loves to sit next to me, sing a song to her, and watch her move.
  2. I saw Danielle's text about 'meet your teacher' night 20 minutes before it ended.  I quickly threw some clean clothes on and brushed Ina's hair and we rolled in with 3 minutes to spare. I am so thankful we didn't miss it, because Ina was literally jumping for joy as we walked through the school and talked about what preschool would be like with her new teachers. They even gave her a free book, which is clearly Ina's love language.
  3. Our unicorn wall decal arrived. Woohoo!

  1. My aunt came to paint the nursery wall! Teresa and my grandparents, along with my cousin, were there as well. With so many helping hands, even a DIY ombre wall comes together within a few hours. I will hopefully show the finished project next week!
  2. Although Ina loved the baby's room, she didn't want to make it her's. We were all a little worried about that.
  3. Dan was helping a friend all night long, so I was single momming it, which doesn't happen very often. This reminds me how thankful I am to have his help 99% of the time.

  1. The baby is still doing great. My midwife did check my dilation today and so far just a "finger tip." Although that was my dilation the day before I went into labor with Cora, I have a feeling that we are in this for 2 to 3 more weeks at least. 
  2. Dan fixed the pump on our pool! Yay, now we can vacuum it again. (I never knew I would use the words yay and vacuum" in the same sentence.)
  3. Cora went to sleep without much of a fuss last night. The child who has slept pretty much perfectly for the last 6 months has decided to pick the two weeks before a newborn comes home to take 2 hours to go to sleep. Sigh.
I hope you have a great weekend! <3

Thursday, August 10, 2017



  1. Cora's two year check up went well. Her weight made a little dip off the trend line, but she is still growing well length-wise. She eats quite a bit, but we can't seem to keep any meat on those bones. The pediatrician said she wasn't too concerned and she expects her weight to bounce right back up at her next visit. I have absolutely zero experience with this issue, so hopefully that is the case.
  2. Granny and Ina made dinner! Well, it was mostly Granny, but Ina helped a little, or as she pointed out, "quite a bit."
  3. The cooler weather. After dinner we went outside and sat in lounge chairs while the girls played on the swing set and I actually was a little cold..
  1. Waking up on my own. Not to use the bathroom, not to a child screaming, not to the baby kicking, but just because I was ready to wake up. Glorious.
  2. Knowing the right people who can help in my unicorn nursery madness. 
  3. A play date with my high school friends and their kids/sibling's kids. Liz has a bounce house, which made Ina and Cora scream with delight and they jumped their hearts out while I caught up with a few of my high school girl friends.
  1. A member of Dan's family has breast cancer and just came home from the hospital with a whole bunch of new medications. I was able to help her sort through all of her meds, figure out what she needed and didn't, and get her pill box set up for the week. Those six years of school have to be good for something!
  2. We made it safely to my aunt and uncle's lake house as we drove through some not so fun storms.
  3. See Ina and Cora with their cousins. Even if there is some arguing, it just warms my heart.

  1. Even though there was a forecast of all day rain the day our family was at the lake, the clouds held back and we even had a few moments of sunshine! The water was just warm enough for swimming. Even Cora took a little dip. 
  2. Boat rides. There is nothing like them.
  3. Ina and Cora both were brave enough to tube - even if Ina's braveness stemmed from aqua beads bribery. We had such a fun day with family. I wish we could do that every day!

  1. Being able to work from home the day after pulling in the driveway at 11 PM. Woof. 
  2. Granny bought steaks for dinner and Dan grilled them So delicious!
  3. I started a new book - finally finishing the series I started when pregnant with Cora. Ha!

  1. I had a little pampering session of getting my hair cut and curled, my eyebrows waxed, and a pedicure. During the pedicure I just read my book, relaxed, and felt the baby kick. It was lovely.
  2. My aunt and cousin took Cora and Ina to the Royals game. Ina and my cousin even got on the field before the game and met some of the players! Cora colored and played at the children's spot, but I heard she really enjoyed the chanting, "Let's go Royals!"
  3. A rare night at home without kids. We ate leftovers for dinner and lounged around in a clean and quiet house.

  1. My group at work beat our revenue record for the month of July and we had a little party with cupcakes and t-shirt making to celebrate. There is nothing like seeing the creative side of scientists.
  2. The ultrasound was great! Baby Girl is perfect in every way and already is predicted to weight 6 pounds and 11 oz. So, if she goes to 41 weeks I will have another 9 pounder on my hands. 
  3. The girls' cousins (different cousins than the weekend!) came over last night and hearing them all laugh together was amazing. Ina now seems 5 years older.

What a great week filled with lots and lots of rest, celebration, and family time! <3

What are you thankful for? 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Month Before Baby To-Do List

Well, we officially made it. I don't know where the time went, but somehow I am 36 weeks (and 2 days!) pregnant, we are a month away from Labor Day, and baby girl is practically full term and welcome to join us at anytime.

Having said that, I know she will likely follow Cora's lead and wait until a week after my due date to make an appearance, so I feel confident that I have plenty of time to get this list tackled. Right? 

Here is a list of things I need/want to do over the next 4 weeks. While I want to get everything ready, I also know I need to be realistic about what my 9 month pregnant body can do while caring for two other children. 
  • Purchase all the baby essentials. As this isn't my third rodeo, I know exactly what we will use on a day to day basis during the first few months. For me, this includes diapers, wipes, Desatin, sleepers, and pacifiers. Everything else is incredibly optional. 
  • Pack hospital bag - or at least make a list of things to gather in less than 10 minutes. The problem with having a minimal maternity wardrobe is that nothing can stay packed for long...
  • Pack diaper bag with one or two going home outfits and a few blankets
  • Gather nursing/pumping gear. 
    • Order new pump (I don't absolutely need a new one, but my insurance will pay for an upgrade)
    • Wash boppy(s)
    • Buy nipple cream, nursing pads, and milk freezer storage bags
    • Make sure to have multiple water bottles at the ready for intense increase in thirst...
  • Install car seat - Dan
  • Nursery - technically we have some time for this, as the baby won't be in the nursery for the first few months, but there is something about being pregnant that makes me feel like the nursery has to be complete.
    • Install curtains
    • Optional: paint nursery wall (my aunt offered to do this!)
    • Optional: decorate nursery walls (I went from not wanting to decorate the nursery to pinning unicorn nursery images in a matter of seconds. Oh nesting.)
    • Put up wall unicorn decal (I know!)
    • Make tassel garland and possibly a mobile/puffy thing hanging from the ceiling.
  • Food prep
    • Bake and freeze lactation cookies - this is my favorite recipe
    • Freezer Meals - no recipes sound good right now, but I am hoping some inspiration will come to me.
    • Frozen muffins/pancakes/snacks
  • Set up bathroom packs. (Warning - this bullet is all TMI.) When I got home from the hospital after having Cora I found myself in the bathroom without anything I needed, most of which was packed in a bag somewhere in the car. This time around I am going to have the master bath and main level bath set up with:
    • Pads
    • Squirt bottles
    • Tucks pads
    • Lidocaine spray
    • Witch hazel pads
    • On this note, I also need to make sure I have stool softener and ibuprofen ready.
  • Finalize plan for girls. If I go into labor while Granny is still living with us, this is a no-brainer. However, if later, things would be up in the air.
  • Other things I have already done (listing these out to make me feel like I have accomplished something):
    • Had my eyes checked/stocked up on contacts
    • Upgraded my phone
    • Filled out my paperwork for short term disability through work
    • Ordered some comfy lounge clothes. I am so, so over my maternity clothes, so I bought a few new tanks and shorts, lounge pants, and a hoodie from Old Navy. 
    • Ordered nursing tank and bra from Kindred Bravely. I also already own these PJs (size up!) and want another pair they are so comfortable) 
    • Assembled crib
    • Purchased a Rock N Play - not optional
    • Bought a used Lazy Boy recliner for late night nursing sessions. Also not optional. We have rocking chairs in both Ina and Cora's room, but we still use them regularly, and honestly after sitting in this one I wish I had it for the first two times around.
    • Cleaned car seat - oh man - the things that were underneath the pads - some unrecognizable. I also called to see when the seat expired and found out that belt was recalled. Sorry Cora....
    • Scheduled a massage, hair cut, and eye brow wax and had a pedicure! We all know this won't be happening again for the next year. 
    • Steamed pump supplies, bottles, and pacis. 
    • Organized all available old clothes by size.
Although I have already done a lot (with my mother in law's help!), there is still a lot to do. What am I missing? 

I have an ultrasound today and I am so looking forward to seeing baby girl up close!

Have a good one! <3

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Good morning and happy almost weekend!

Here is what I have been thankful for this week:

  1. Our blackberry bush that provides just enough berries for a daily taste.
  2. Ina is officially enrolled in preschool. After what seems like 26 steps, I have submitted all the paper work and she has been approved, assigned a teacher, and a start date! She is so, so pumped. Now I am on the hunt for a perfect back pack. 
  3. Granny made dinner - so nice to get home and have dinner on the table!
  1. My mother-in-law landscaped my backyard. She trimmed bushes and cut down weeds that haven't had my attention in years. I gave her a huge hug and had to fight back tears of joy. I actually can look at (parts of) my yard when I go outside. She can stay as long as she likes.
  2. Cora wearing pig tails. It takes all sorts of wrangling and phone bribing, but occasionally I get her to sit still long enough for me to attempt to make a part down the middle of her head.
  3. BLTs. Seriously, I think they are proof that God loves us. 

  1. My mom saved the day by buying some sprinkles when the donut shop forgot to sprinkle our donuts for Cora's birthday party. I mean, who has a donut birthday party without sprinkles? Chalk that up as my biggest first world problem of the month.
  2. Cora was spoiled beyond belief by our friends and family. We had a lovely time seeing everyone and watching the kids play. Kid birthday parties are so fun! Also thankful to my friend Chessa who took some fantastic picutres!
  3. My gym friends still like me even though I stopped going there. Ha! They had a little party on Saturday night and it was fun catching up with everyone that I used to see every single morning.

  1. After church and lunch, I sat down on the couch for a few hours and did nothing. Nothing.
  2. Spontaneous swim dates.
  3. A very nice couple from our church gave us a beautiful changing table for the nursery and Dan and I picked up a Lazy-Boy rocking recliner (another FB market place purchase!), so my nesting urges are being met! Now I only have 99 other things to do..
  1. My sister and her family took the girls to the aquarium for Cora's birthday. I think they had a great time and Jessie said they were well behaved. Whew. 
  2. The smell of summer rain.
  3. Listening to the girls giggle uncontrollably when 'wrestling' with Dan.
  1. Getting started on baby clothes sorting. I now firmly believe that every pregnant woman should have her mother in law move in with her the month before she is due.
  2. Dan made dinner, so even after the dishes were done I had enough energy to whip up a double batch of our current favorite muffin
  3. Ina and Cora starting to, every once in a while, share toys on their own. Ina is currently better at this than Cora, but I suppose that is to be expected due to their age difference.
A post shared by Racheal (@runningwithrach) on

  1. A new iPhone! I was past due for an upgrade.
  2. The crib (that Danielle and Kyle graciously lent us) is assembled! Cross that off the list. 
  3. Ice cream for dinner. It happens.
Have a great day! <3

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thankful + This Week's Meals

Good morning! Here is what I was thankful for this week:

  1. My mom came over and watched the girls while I worked from home and she figured out a way to make Cora want to stay in the pool for more than 3 minutes: play Ring Around the Rosie. For some reason, although she doesn't put her head underwater, Cora loves watching others "fall down."
  2. Fresh garden tomatoes. So good.
  3. Ina told me I was the "best mom ever" because she got to spend her chore chart money on Amazon. Disney Princess Aquabeads FTW. 
  1. Dan's grandma watched the girls and then Dan picked them up. For some reason, picking the girls up from daycare exhausts me in this heat. It was so nice to just have to get myself and my bags out of the car and into the house. Oh, third trimester problems.
  2. Family pool time. I could really type that everyday, but it is just so nice to spend time together as a family (even Granny joined us!) and Cora stayed in extra long tonight due to the warmer temps. 
  3. Leftovers for dinner = more time spent in the pool.
  1. My friend/neighbor Kim stopped by for a dip in the pool after she ran 14 miles in this crazy heat and let Ina swim with her. Then we joined us for breakfast! We welcomed her by spilling not one, but two, drinks across the table. 
  2. Dan replaced our garbage disposal! It broke last week and not having a garbage disposal doesn't work very well for my family. Ina did point out that because she helped by standing in the sink to put weight on it and that I helped by getting Dan a few tools and wiping something up, that it really was a team effort and "we" replaced the garbage disposal. Go team!
  3. Our friends came the Nybergs over for dinner and brought some other friends, The Hicks, that we had not seen in a very, very long time. It was so good to have a chance to chat. Also loved getting to see the kids play together, particularly the younger ones. Hearing Cora yell/sing from the swing set, "Edie, come here..." (without pronouncing the "r") was just the cutest.
  1. Our fantastic church. The music, the people, the sermon...everything. There have been times in my life when going to church felt like a chore and now I look forward to church time more than anything else in the week.
  2. Listening to Ina laugh with giggle with pride when she figured out she could swim to the bottom of the pool. Time to buy some more diving toys.
  3. An afternoon/evening with no plans except to make dinner. 

  1. Even though I have some trying times with Ina, I have to remind myself that she is a very sweet kid with an incredibly tender heart. She saw a picture of our neighbors' dog on Instagram, and then asked if she could write them a note. I had to help with the spelling of their names, but the rest was all her. <3
  2. My family still loves me even though I broke down in tears while discussing a recipe. A recipe! Pregnancy hormones are my enemy right now. 
  3. Cora's early water table birthday present from G. There were times when I didn't know if the family would get it put together without a meltdown, but we made it through and had lots of fun playing in the water and enjoying the cooler evening outside. 

  1.  On the morning of Cora's 2nd birthday I walked into her room and the first thing she said was, "I love you Mommy." 
  2. Someone else baked Cora a birthday cake because I forgot that I should do such a thing.
  3. Cora finally decided that she could ride the mini carousel at about the exact same time Ina had used the $10 in quarters we had on bouncy balls...
  1. The baby is still doing well. I love hearing her little/strong heartbeat.
  2. My grandpa had a successful gallbladder surgery! He has been in the hospital since Sunday and hopefully gets to go home soon. We went to visit him last night as soon as he was out of surgery and he had pictures of his gallbladder to share with us, so Ina and Cora also had a little anatomy lesson.
  3. Facebook Marketplace: how I am getting baby supplies that I prematurely sold a year ago. Yesterday a lovely girl who I have several mutual friends with dropped off a like new Rock N' Play for half the price of retail and the process was so much easier than Craig's List. 
Plus, what we ate this week, because I actually kept track and discovered we ate pizza for dinner 3/7 nights. 

Thursday: chicken pot pie. Dan's absolute favorite meal and some pie crusts were taking up too much room in the freezer, so I caved and made it. No, it is not the healthiest, but yes, it was absolutely delicious. 

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: smoked chicken quarters, broiled potatoes, corn on the cob, cottage cheese salad, and cucumber salad. Summer meals are the best because everything can be done beforehand, but please, someone remind me that if Dan is smoking the chicken it needs to start at least 4 hours before we plan to eat. At 6:30, when the chicken still wasn't done, I gabbed a sleeve of crackers and a jar of peanut butter and was immediately swarmed by 4 hungry babies whose energy reserved were cashed from swimming.

Sunday: homemade BBQ chicken pizza using leftovers from Saturday night (even the corn!) and this crust

Monday: oven baked chicken and rice with cucumber salad (so easy, it is a keeper for sure!)

Tuesday: out to eat for Cora's birthday at Funhouse Pizza (everyone in my family's favorite restaurant except me. It is okay, just not my favorite).

Wednesday: cold leftover pizza eaten in the back of the mini van picnic style while parked in the hospital parking lot.

I hope you have a great end to your week! <3 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Happy 2nd Birthday Cora!

Two years ago...

And just like that, she is a walking/running, talking/screaming, nose scrunching, belly button loving, two year old.

A few things that two years means for us:

- So many words. Cora repeats whatever we say, for better or worse. She also says full sentences without being prompted (I think I have counted 7 words in a row!). She can pretty much say her ABC's and count to 10, but isn't necessarily consistent on those.

While she does talk a lot, she hasn't perfected all of the pronunciations, which has been entertaining to say the least. Currently when she says, fork, frog, fox, or firework, it comes out sounding like a colorful 4 letter word and princess sounds more like a body part that shall not be named. Hearing those challenges even the most mature to keep from letting out a little giggle.

She has very recently started randomly saying, "I love you mommy" and giving me a big squeeze completely unsolicited, which pretty much makes my heart melt into a million pieces.

But by far, her favorite word is...

-NO!!! I have tried to redirect. I have tried to give her choices. I have tried to not accept it, to ignore it, to say, "Yes!" or "don't say no" but still...she loves to say it. Sigh. I have read that this is a phase and I am ready for this specific one to pass.

-As Ina says, Cora has a, "red headed attitude." She is mostly pleasant, but when she isn't, she is very upset. We have found what works best is to go to "the red chair" to calm down (both of us!) and that mostly works.

-Two of everything. If she has one of something, she would prefer two, one for each hand. She loves her stuffed animals, dolls, and trinkets and now has a regular rotation of what she likes to tote around.

- Reading. She loves books and anytime she finds me sitting, grabs one, comes up to my lap and says, "Momma, read it." However, she often will grab a book and sit on the floor by herself to flip through the pages and look at the pictures. She loves lift the flap books, Goodnight Moon, The Pout Pout Fish, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and so many more.

-TV shows - I wish I could say we never watch TV, but I am a tired pregnant momma and sometimes it is the easiest way for me to get ready or cook dinner. Her current favorites are Paw Patrol and Wild Kratts, but she also loves the movie Trolls.

-Singing - as soon as I turn on the radio in the car her little head starts bouncing and she hums and or gets in a word every now and then. She also loves for us to sing songs and for her to sing along.

-Cora is a Momma's girl to the core. She is happiest while on my lap or in my arms, but has really grown to love cuddling with Dan as well. Although I don't think she fully grasps the concept of a new baby coming soon, I can tell she knows something is different because she is even more at my side and not happy when I leave.

-Food: her eating is hit or miss. She loves everything or nothing and I try not to get too worried about it, but she will almost always consistently eat pizza, fruit, and peanut butter.

  • Diaper changes
  • Having her hair brushed or put in a pony tail.
  • Being cold/wet
  • Not having access to her belly button when wearing a romper or onesie
  • When Ina is holding something she wants, so pretty much any time Ina has something in her hand.
I so look forward to the next year and what it will bring.

We love you to pieces Cora Lee! Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Third Trimester Update

34 weeks and growing!

I don't feel like I have much to report, because everything in this pregnancy is going about the same as the last two, with the exception of more painful varicose veins (to be expected with the third) and some dizziness that comes and goes.

Because of the above two reasons, I have stopped going to the gym and am limiting my exercise to taking care of two children (which takes a lot of physical energy), climbing up and down the stairs (I do at least 20 times per day) and swimming in the pool (which has been fantastic!)

Even though I love the outcome of pregnancies, being pregnant isn't my favorite. I think it is because I typically feel so great, energized, comfortable, and pain free. So, when I am not all those things, it isn't very fun. However, I know that this is very temporary and incredibly worth it, so I am doing my best to just roll with it for the next few weeks without counting down the weeks/days all the time and limiting my complaining to Dan. Picturing baby snuggles and coos is very motivating.

Ina is so, so excited about having another baby, which took some time, but was worth the wait. She talks about her new baby sister often and has a complicated yet detailed plan of what actions will need to be taken if both Cora and the baby's diapers need to be changed at the exact same time. I for one am happy that someone is planning all this out other than me.

I don't think Cora truly understands what is going on, although she does kiss my belly when I ask her to give her baby sister kisses. However, when asked if she loves her baby sister, she quickly crinkles up her nose and squeals, "NO!"

Dan is generally the most excited out of everyone, until we are having a trying parenting moment and look at each other and /ask, "What were we thinking?" However, he more often randomly asks, "Can't we just have one more?"

Then it is my turn to scream, "NO!"

My walk has already developed a significant waddle, which worsens as they day goes on. Multiple strangers have acknowledged my pregnancy this week, which must mean I have officially popped.

I am generally sleeping well, but have to switch sides about 10 times a night, which can take some effort. If I do happen to fully wake up, then it is difficult for me to go back to sleep, so I am usually awake from 2 to 4 am every night.

My appetite has been pretty typical, but unlike my other two pregnancies, my energy and motivation to plan for and cook meals is still high. I think this has a lot to do with having a CSA.

Baby girls moves a lot and really loves when I drink ice water or eat dessert.

I painted the "nursery." I am using quotes because I feel like calling the room a nursery right now is a bit of a stretch. We are going to put a crib up, order some black out curtains, move in a recliner, and possibly look for a changing table on Craig's List and call it a day. Once baby girl is a little older, we might decorate the room a little more. I hope that the lack of benefits she has from being the third child are compensated by having two loving older sisters.

I don't know if I have said here or not, but Dan and I have agreed on a name. Yay! It takes the two name southern theme to a whole new level but we love it.

I am seeing my midwife every 2 weeks now and starting at 36 weeks I get an ultrasound (just to make sure everything is going well after what happened to Ina) and then start once weekly appointments. My midwife is one of my favorite people ever, so I love this stage of the pregnancy for that reason.

Also, just a PSA to anyone who thinks otherwise: maternity leave is not a vacation.

35 weeks pregnant with Ina
8 months pregnant with Cora

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Good morning and Happy Thankful Thursday!

Here is a list of things we have been thankful for lately:

- Granny closed on her house! We went out to eat last night to celebrate! The likelihood of this happening became questionable for a little while, so we are all thankful that door is closed. Literally. She now has a makeshift room in our toy room (we have a bedroom, but it
requires stairs) and the girls could not be happier. Her new house will open up in around a month, but until then we are soaking in all the Granny time we can get.

- Inbox zero on both my work and personal emails. Getting stuff done is the name of the game.

- Nesting is kicking in (see above). I have started to randomly pick closets to clean out and things to organize. However, don't let that fool you, there are still plenty of areas in the house that could use this type of attention and I would need to "nest" for the next two years to get it all done. However, a little here and there feels nice and I am thankful for any forward progress.

-Meeting Danielle and the kids at Costco for lunch. Danielle texted me last minute to see if I wanted to join them, so I popped out of the office for a few minutes. Ina and Cora were both so, so excited to see me in the middle of the day and Cora kept on squeezing me really hard. However, when I had to leave to join a meeting, it was melt-down city. Ina started it and Cora followed suit. I felt so bad leaving Danielle with such craziness. (picture taken when Ina found out I wasn't joining them for the shopping part of the trip; yes, I did get pizza sauce all over my white shirt)

-Our small group summer study is over. We ended Financial Peace University with a bang at our friends' house who then hosted a delicious dinner afterwards. Of course we love hosting, but it was nice to have a break from the typical "before small group" duties and on Sunday while Cora was napping and Dan was mowing, Ina and I played with legos and then swam. Ina has brought up the fact that I "never play with her" a few times here and there, so I have tried to make more of a point to do so.

-My grandma was kind enough to let my mom borrow her car so that my mom's car could be fixed from when Dan backed into it a few weeks ago moving his mom. Got all that? Also thankful to have an emergency fund so that things like fender benders, while still not fun, are a minor annoyance instead of a full out emergency.

-Senior scientists at work helping me with topics I have no clue about (re: chiral enantiomers - it has been quite a few years since organic chemistry).

- Our pool - swimming/floating/lounging all summer long. Cora, however, lasts in the pool for about 30 minutes, an hour tops, before she is saying, "All done!" or "I want towel!" or "I watch Ta Troll!" (Paw Patrol) so we have to plan our swimming time wisely.

- Dan and I came to a compromise on two pretty big areas of contention for us (not huge things, but things that often start petty disagreements). When we finished the discussion it felt like a win-win situation and that both issues were resolved for the most part. It's almost like we are mature adults or something?

That is all I have for today! I hope you all have a great end of the week and weekend. Danielle is going camping, so we have various family members stepping in to watch the girls, which I am also so thankful for!


Friday, July 14, 2017

The Last Three Weeks

Good morning and Happy Friday to you!

(She really is a belly button girl...)

It has been awhile, huh? I wish I could say I have disappeared from the blog because my time has been consumed by other things, and in some ways it has. But mostly I am just pregnant and tired and I sleep in past my normal before-the-girls-wake-up blogging time.

I feel zero guilt, because come September, nine hours of sleep will not be happening, so I am soaking it in while I can.

The time has flown by though! A few things we have been up to:

- Swimming, constantly. The girls know as soon as we get home from work/daycare to grab a popsicle out of the freezer and head for the backdoor to change into their swimsuits. We have been swimming so much, in fact, that Ina's hair has turned green on the ends, which many people warned us about. I haven't really looked into preventative shampoo, because I think the green is kind of cute. Chlorine is like an easy way to get mermaid hair, right? Does that make me a horrible mom?

The pool is the only place I feel 100% comfortable, so I am more than happy to make swimming a nightly event.

- Moving Dan's mom. She is moving to our rental house just a mile down the road, which is so exciting. However, because she sold her house so quickly, she had to be out of there before our rental house was open. Thankfully, my mom has let us store the majority of her stuff in her garage, which is now full. The move is almost complete, but we will soon be doing it all again into the rental house. Something to look forward to. Ha!

- We enjoyed 4th of July! Ina was bit by the firework bug this year and was severely disappointed when we blew our way through our fireworks budget in a matter of hours. Next year I might have to allow for more than poppers and sparklers...

- Speaking of budgets, we are finishing up Financial Peace University this week. Going through it a second time around has been particularly interesting and I have picked up on lots of things I didn't think about the first time around. I am so thankful for our small group for doing this study!

- We finished up Ina's t-ball season. While I loved seeing her play a sport, I do appreciate not having to get home just to rush through dinner and out the door again. I know those days are sometimes inevitable when your kids are involved in things, but I do love our family time at home.

- A few things we have been eating lately:
  • BLTs once a week, as soon as we get tomatoes from our CSA
  • Smoked chicken legs, also once a week with CSA veggies (corn on the cob, beets, roasted carrots, etc.)
  • Tacos carne asada
  • Coconut curry chicken (an easy staple in our house that the whole family loves to eat)
  • Paleo chocolate zucchini bread (I have made that recipe at least 5 times)
  • Homemade pizza using this dough recipe. I love that I can make enough for two dinners and freeze half of it. 
That is all I have to share for today! I have a mid-wife appointment this afternoon and this weekend is looking very chill. I hope you have a good one! <3

Thursday, June 22, 2017



Here is what I noted this week when attempting to look at the bright side of things:

  1. A night with nothing to do but swim and eat an easy dinner.
  2. Having friends and family who are willing to help my mother in law move. We are so blessed.
  3. A toddler nose that easily crinkles. 

  1. No gestational diabetes! As Cora was such a big baby (9 pounds; 4 oz.) I was a little worried that perhaps I just went un-diagnosed with her, but am thankful for the good results of the test.
  2. Our town's pool store and their willingness to test our pool water often. I actually told the girl working there that I loved her when she told me she would test it for free once a week. I keep telling myself that I have taken enough chemistry classes to figure all this stuff out. Also, if a high school boy can maintain a pool, then so can I. (Ask me if I still think this at the end of the summer.)
  3. Little goggles and the big joy they bring my girls.

  1. A good family friend bought Ina a light up wand at her cousin's dance recital. She asked for one and I told her no (partly because I had left my wallet in the car, partly because I am trying to teach her she can't have everything she wants/asks for, and partly because we don't need any more toys), and she was upset at first, but was able to pull it together. On our way out the door he walked by and handed her one. So sweet. 
  2. The people sitting behind us at the outdoor wedding were amused instead of appalled when I used the bag of candy I had grabbed out of the pantry earlier to entertain Ina and Cora during the ceremony. What I didn't think about was that the bag only contained chocolate and it pretty hot out. Cora and Ina also sort of get competitive when they see a limited amount of something they both want. This all resulted in Cora attempting to shove as much in her mouth at once, and chocolate all over her face, then all over her hands, then all over my hands, hair, and dress. Also thankful for the very short ceremony and baby wipes.
  3. Watching our community's fireworks show from the bedroom widow and listening to Ina and Cora both squeal at the beautiful colors. Cora heard Ina say, "Awesome!" and then she quickly repeated it with every explosion. Ten minutes to remember indeed.


  1. All the wonderful fathers I am blessed with in my life. 
  2. Apple fritters. 
  3. A pond full of unlimited fish, which helped my impatient 4 year old at the time, but only fed her unrealistic expectations of what her fishing success would be elsewhere.

  1. Purplish-pink flowers blooming by my back door.
  2. Chore charts and the positive reinforcement, hard work, and money lessons they produce.
  3. A beautiful, beautiful, beautiful double rainbow at Ina's t-ball game. 
  1. A very small baby tomato on Ina's tomato plant.
  2. .Swimming + grilled food + t-ball game + more swimming = SUMMER (and wet swimsuits, which aren't the most fun to put on).
  3. Water aerobics and the endorphins that follow an elevated heart rate. Oh how I have missed those.
  1. Reading a fiction book! I checked out The Shack from the library, and am enjoying it so much I had a hard time listening to my bedtime of 9:30. However, the massive amount of pool time has helped me sleep. I keep telling myself that I won't let myself read fiction books if I don't get a proper amount of sleep. Rules are rules. Ha!
  2. My one year ago self that made a huge batch of Mexican beans and froze the leftovers - they were perfect for a quick cheesy bean and rice burrito before t-ball and had zero taste of being left in the freezer for a year. 
  3. After three nights in a row of games, we were still all in one piece and only had a few minor melt downs. Ina asked why we had three games scheduled back to back and I told her that "they" were really trying to test our commitment to sports. I think that we failed the test, particularly after being disappointed that the past two games have lasted over an hour instead of the promised 45 minutes. In 4-year-old world, those 15 minutes matter. 
What are you thankful for? 

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Good morning! I hope you have had a fantastic week! <3 We have so many things to be thankful for:

  1. There is a tiny human growing inside my belly. She started out as two half cells and is now over two pounds! The design of the human body amazes me. 
  2. We had an incredibly laid back evening but still managed to get a lot of stuff in. Dan mowed while I played outside with the girls. We weeded our small garden area and planted Ina's tomato plants while Dan cooked dinner. After dinner we sat on the couch and watched some Batman together before the girls took a bath and red books until bed. Why do some evenings feel so rushed and others go so smoothly? I need to start keeping a log of the extremes. 
  3. The construction next door and the entertainment it brings. We are sad to report that the empty lot next to us is quickly being filled with two houses. However, watching the machine that is this construction crew is very interesting. Would it be creepy if I just pulled up a lawn chair?

  1. The girls went to Deanna Rose farm with Danielle and fed baby goats. Just looking at the pictures she sent makes me want one in our backyard. 
  2. My nephew Kauffman turned seven! Seven! He was my first baby love and will always hold a special place in my heart. We celebrated at my sister's house and even though only half the family could attend (Cora had a fever) it was a good time.
  3. My mother-in-law's house sold! We have been praying for such good news, and were surprised it happened so fast!
  1. My pharmacy school girls...and their patience with me showing up 20 minutes late because I went to the wrong restaurant. Forehead slap.
  2. Watching Ina fearlessly run through the sprinkler and pretending for a few minutes that I wasn't seven months pregnant and it didn't hurt to stand/jump/run so I could have some fun with my squealing daughter.
  3. Getting a small area of the garage cleaned out for more optimal storage. Baby steps...
  1. After rocking a fever for two days, Cora is all better! 
  2. Danielle's husband Kyle started playing the drums at church. We brought the girls into the service for the last song and they were so excited to see him up there on stage. Cora kept on pointing to him and squealing, "KYLE!" and then looking at me to make sure that I realized who was up there as well. 
  3. Having a house full of people I love.
  1. Really close third trimester parking at my office. 
  2. Danielle made Indian food on Saturday and gave me some leftovers which I took for lunch. She made butter chicken and paneer saag - and even made her own paneer. It was so, so delicious!
  3. Popsicles in summer.

  1. A morning of making muffins with Cora while Ina slept in. I used to always include Ina in whatever I was doing in the kitchen, but with two of them it is often easier to just let them play while I cook. However, it was fun to re-live the days of teaching those baby hands how to measure, crack an egg, stir, and (of course) taste test the chocolate chips. 
  2. Ina decided to walk home from daycare, which is almost a mile, so I creepily drove beside her the entire time, which prompted many concerned citizens to make sure I wasn't a creepy person trying to pick up a cute four year old girl. While I felt bad about this I was thankful there are so many protective people out there. 
  3. We have (very cold) water in the pool! We have been spending a lot of our free time prepping and putting together an above ground pool in our backyard. With all the steps required, it has been hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even with water in it, there are still many steps to complete before the project is final, which I am sure is an indicator of the maintenance work that is yet to come. Ha!


  1. 79 cent ice cream cones from the gas station. I needed gas and had been craving a cone all day. When I saw the sign I knew it was meant to be!
  2. So many old friends at t-ball games! With our kids all the same age, sometimes they feel like high school reunions. 
  3. Grabbing dinner on the way home from Ina's scorcher of a t-ball game, quickly changing into our swim suits, and playing in the pool until bedtime. After a day at the zoo, the girls were more than happy to go to sleep, which made the bedtime routine a breeze. We love summer already!
Have a good end to your week! <3

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Good morning friends!

This week has flown by, but I was happy to document three things I was thankful for every day.


  1. The book, One Thousand Gifts, which inspired me to re-start these lists and so, so much more. The book literally haunts me and is the most honest, beautiful, thought provoking, gut wrenching, and convicting book I have read. I want to send a copy to everyone I know.
  2. The library summer reading program and Danielle for keeping track of the girls' progress. Oh, and Gunner for reading to Ina. Bless their hearts. 
  3. Our CSA for yet another beautiful bunch of veggies. But I wonder, what do I do with a green tomato other than fry it? 
  1. My mother in law for driving all the way up to our house to give Dan and I a few hours to ourselves.
  2. Wrapping up a challenging analysis at work and the fulfilling sense of purpose it brings.
  3. Our church - not only the work that has been done for the past 20 years, but the bright future ahead and what that means for my family. God is doing things there and I am so excited to be a tiny part of it.

  1. Family coming to Ina's first t-ball game! Side note: on Ina's first game - she was the first to bat and therefore the first to score a run which of course resulted in many cheers. She stood on home plate wearing a huge grin and taking in all the praise for a solid minute before the coach had to usher her away because the next kid had to bat. 
  2. Dinner with friends who not only bring dessert, but also get their hands dirty when our project work was not complete when the dinner bell rang.
  3. Working with Dan as a team to build something and put tiny pieces together before they are spread across the back yard by little fingers.

  1. Morning cuddles with Cora before the rest of the family was awake. That child would lay completely still in my arms as long as I would let her. 
  2. Ice cream trucks at church that lead to chocolate covered kisses and sticky, sticky fingers.
  3. Hearing Cora and Ina squeal together as they chase each other around the house.

  1. Corn on the cob.
  2. Strawberry juice dripping down Cora's chin, because despite her determination, she can't fit an entire strawberry in her mouth at once.
  3. I walked into Auto Zone fully prepared to fork over some cash for a new car battery, only to find out the old one was still under warranty. 

  1. The ability to work from home. My selection of work appropriate clothes that fit is dwindling. 

  2. T-ball friends and their families. Sitting at Ina's t-ball game, I really did get a sense of being a part of a "village" raising children. Everyone cheered for everyone's kids. Cora enjoyed lots of snacks that other moms/aunts/grandmas brought. We saw three families from our small group and some stopped to watch Ina play as they were leaving. I could get used to this.
  3. Progress on our outdoor project - she's coming along!

  1. Coming home to a sparkling clean house. I finally hired a nice woman to help me out, because while God gave me plenty of gifts, cleaning showers isn't one of them. I can scrub on that thing for hours and it still looks like it did when I started. Now that the house is clean, how long do you think I can keep the kids outside? 
  2. Our friends Brad and Chessa for volunteering to watch the girls while Dan and I celebrated our anniversary. We dropped them off hungry and ready to play and came back to them playing games and reading in their pajamas. 
  3. Nine years of marriage. Wowza. The road has been bumpy and windy, but we are still on it together!

Have a good end to your week and weekend! <3
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