Saturday, November 30, 2013

product review: easy canvas

if you've been following along my blog - its no surprise that isaiah and i LOVE pictures. it seems like we get them taken all the time, for any occasion or new season - why not?! i use anything as an excuse for pictures :)
only, it hasnt been as easy to find a great canvas company as it has been to find a photographer. so when easy canvas came around - i was ecstatic! i didnt have to look any further! i had finally found a GREAT company with even better pricing.

their customer service is beyond helpful with a great response time and its the same with their shipping. i was so happy that this arrived in the mail so fast so i could get it hung on our wall! we had just painted our master bedroom and this went up immediately. its still the only picture hanging and i wont be surprised if i move its placement around a few times because i was just that antsy to have it hung!

it makes me so happy to see this picture every time i walk into our bedroom :)

another bonus is that easy canvas has THE BEST sales going on! sign up for their email alerts and you are guaranteed to find a deal that suits your budget and your needs. i am so excited to finish re-decorating and order more canvases for our home! 

thanks easy canvas!

{all opinions are my own}

Friday, November 29, 2013

yay for holiday decor!

i hope you all had a wonderful turkey day :)

when we wake up from our thanksgiving food coma, it is time to DECORATE!!!

there won't be any black friday shopping going on this year for us, because we have a new baby and i am avoiding those crowds like the plague. rude people + germs + a stroller gives me serious anxiety. plus thats what the internet is for. online shopping! aaand have you heard of cyber monday? genius.

isaiah and i wanted to start the tradition of going to get a real tree every year with crue, perhaps making that happen on black friday every year. but this year we are cheating. were going to stick to our fake tree for the following reasons:
1. we already have it 
2. we already have all the ornaments for it 
3. the dogs leave it alone 
4. no pine needles to vacuum every five minutes 
5. no watering the thing, or lack of watering it and killing it before christmas even comes. 
6. i rather spend that moolah on things for cruemanji.
7. avoiding the outdoors with a baby since its been 20 degrees ON A GOOD DAY.

maybe next year i'll feel a little more courageous and be a little bit braver. 

i am so excited to start playing christmas music and see the holidays this year through cure's eyes. it may be like re-living my own childhood. maybe? i can't believe last year i was just 2 weeks into knowing i was preggo, and this year we have a 17 week old baby boy to share it all with!

i maaay or may not have jumped the gun a tad bit early this year and put this new bedding in our room the day before thanksgiving. sleeping while im hot is definitely one of my top 5 annoyances, but i couldn't pass up these flannel sheets. they are so perfect for the holidays! and the duvet cover? winter swoon.

the first night it took me forever to fall asleep and get used to them. but now i am hooked. (probably because i turned on my fan and a little a/c unit to stay cool!)

are you starting your christmas decorations today too?! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

a thankful thanksgiving.

i am thankful.
my heart is full.

i am thankful for my son; my greatest accomplishment
his morning coo's and happy smiles
to watch him cross milestones- thrive & grow
i am thankful that i was able to carry him for 9+ months
to experience pregnancy, to watch those baby kicks move across my tummy.
i am thankful that he is healthy
and sleeps through the night.
i am thankful to hear his belly laughs
that i can soothe him in the midst of a cry.
to be the mother of this sweet boy.

i am thankful for my husband; for none of this would be possible without him.
that i was lucky enough to marry my best friend
i am thankful for his hard work and dedication,
the reason i can stay home with our baby.
i am thankful for his smile and calm nature.
his morning emails and good massages.
i am thankful for our date nights & spontaneous outings.
i am thankful for his patience.
& his annoying tickles when im a grump.
that he's an amazing husband AND dad - all in one.

our dogs
lambeau & lucy. 
our fur babes, our first 'babies'.
the ones who taught us how to wake up in the middle of the night and prepare us for a human baby.
the warmth they provide from their snuggles.
i am thankful for their loyalty.
the unconditional love they have for isaiah and i as their owners.
how they made us a family before we knew we would be a family.

my family
my mom & dad
the gunthers & the vreelands
the grandparents & great
im thankful for their support
that they taught me to have a voice of my own
make my own choices, choose my own path.
im thankful that they get to watch me with my family now.
to keep growing & becoming.

the seasons
i am thankful for the red colorful leaves that comes with october
to be able to dance in the rain with its fresh scent & look for rainbows
the ocean breeze
the bright sunrise reflecting on the fresh snow
to watch crue's eyes light up as he sees his first snowfall
to take our son sledding for his first time
the sunset against the sea from a ships balcony
i am thankful for cruises, for our family vacations
i am thankful to create these memories.

i am thankful to know God
to have hope that i will one day see my lost loved ones again
i am thankful that he teaches me about faith
to believe in miracles and to keep going
for without him i would have nothing.

i am thankful for a camera of our own, and photographer friends to capture our memories
i am thankful for sales at j.crew and gap that make it possible to afford those things.
i am thankful for this blog and the friendships it has created
the wonderful ladies i have come to know.
i am thankful for our cars that take us from place A to B
and help us avoid getting stuck in the minnesota snow.
i am thankful for the 24 ladies who were also due in july
the things we have taught & shared with one another
i am thankful for caribou coffee & chipotle
tasty treats that fill my belly.
 i am thankful for my little cousin
who is the most wonderful godmama to my son
i am thankful for the home that we own, the roof over our heads
and everything inside of our home.
whether it be our dining room table, my little mermaid dvd or even our toaster.
the simple things that we take for granted.

i am thankful for my life.
and each person or part that fills it.

happy thanksgiving

Friday, November 22, 2013

i love what i do.

& this video reminds me of that.

did you cry as hard as i did?!
happy friday

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

engagement pictures : take 1

if you've been around for a while - its a no brainer that isaiah and i love having pictures taken. we love having those memories to look back on! one of our favorite things to do is go through our old photos and have those feelings come flooding back in to our hearts.
were in the middle of re-doing our master bedroom and decided to do a gallery wall so we can get some of our favorite pictures from the past to present out there! over the last 3 years there are endless amount of photos, its not going to be an easy job. but im so excited to get them off of our computer and into our home - finally!

it made me think that while ive shared some photos here on the blog, i havent shared even half of them! i better catch up. especially since we just had another session with crue!

these pictures were taken in october of 2011, whoa! they were our first set of engagement pictures with the photographer we initially hired to do our wedding. after getting these back, i decided i hated over half of them. literally. it was such a bummer. all of his work online was incredible and he was so much fun to work with but what can ya do. needless to say we cancelled everything and went with a new photographer, which means i'll have another engagement session to share with you guys later on!

{related posts}

if you love pictures as much as i do, stay tuned for some more photo dumps!
do you love having photos taken? how do you display them around in your home?!


Monday, November 18, 2013

three month favorites

i can not believe we are 15 weeks into this mom thing! to tell people that my baby is 3 months old now is just absurd! where does the time go?!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

1. the toy is worth the money itself! the bebepod has wider leg openings and seems to fit better for chubby babies, not that crue has a problem in that area - i just like this entire package vs. the bumbo alone (i know they sell trays separately). isaiah loves having this in the morning when hes up with crue so he has his 2 hands to get things ready while crue hangs out and plays. crue LOVES this toy, so i toss it in my diaper bag often and bring it along with us on the go too. 
2. now that crue rarely nurses, we have used a lot of bottles in this household! we are constantly washing them and drying them. this rack is the bees knees. (our favorite bottles are born free and tommee tippee)
3. the ubbi diaper pail is the king of all diaper pails. i have nannied and babysat for many families, seeing my fair share of diaper pails and having my share of stinky smells lingering around. NO THANK YOU. i knew long before we were pregnant that i would not be using a diaper genie, ever. my sense of smell is outrageous and i never want to go into my child's room to smell poop or pee. were 3 months into using this pail and i have never questioned smelling anything! it doesnt require any special refill bags either. pure perfection. (did i mention it comes in the cutest colors?! it does.)
4. we introduced crue to sophie and it may have been love at first sight. he just began teething and he has a grand ol time showering her with love by chomping on her ears and feet. if she wasnt so expensive, i'd contemplate getting a 2nd one to have in my diaper bag all the time.
5. you always hear of dryers eating up baby socks. not in this house! i have our bag just draped over crue's hamper and in goes the socks at the end of every night. i just toss the bag in with our load of whites and bing bang boom. done. all socks remain friends :)
6. THIS. he looooves the o'ball rattle. it is by far the best creation. they have a football shaped one too, but i like that this one has the beads inside of some holes so it makes noise. this was the first thing we gave to crue after he found his hands and it has been so much fun watching him pass it back and forth between hands, bring it up to his face and shake it around. when he kept trying to get this in his mouth is when we decided to introduce sophie. 
7. we got this as a gift and my oh my i love it. its really plush and so soft. better than any blanket that we lay on the floor. i noticed that its really helped crue to roll over because the tummy time mat we have is really slippery and he gets a better grip on this lamby. i dont mind laying on it myself either ;)

8. our babyhome emotion stroller. i am really happy with it. its a lightweight stroller that folds easily and is compact enough to fit in the trunk of either car. this specific stroller of ours was a gift from my dad because he didnt want us traveling with the stokke and im glad we got it. it connects with our carseat and is SO easy to maneuver around. i drive my car like a nascar lady and thats exactly how i drive the stroller too! so heck yes for easy wheels, quick turns and being able to control it with one hand :) i will admit that what i dont like is that there isnt a cup holder. of course thats sold separately but i just didnt buy it. yet.
9. this calming seahorse was amazeballs for crue when he was in a wonder week. he is much better now at being able to entertain himself and contently hang out for longer periods of time but when he couldn't - this was a lifesaver. i brought it along on plenty of errands with us too. the seahorse lights up and plays calming lullaby music - crue spent so much time focusing on this! its definitely been known to put him asleep a few times too ;) 

i posted about our newborn favorites here


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

talking in numbers.

o1. very happy baby
o2. the number of nights we've been away from home, as a family!
o4. the number of hours i've been away from crue
o6. ounces per feeding
o7. the least amount of hours crue will sleep at a time. this can go anywhere from o7-11!
o8. pumping sessions per 24 hours
1o3. days old
endless. amounts of love 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


crue is 100 days old!

& exactly one year ago,
i got my first look at not one, but TWO pink lines on that stick!

november 10th rocks.


Friday, November 8, 2013

babies dont keep.

i am so thankful to have this growing healthy sweet baby boy. 
but it is so bittersweet to watch him grow.
every day that he reaches a new milestone or does something for the first time, i could cry for joy.
and then i can usually find myself gasping at the wonderment of how he is so big, so fast!

mother oh mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth
hang out the washing, make up the bed
sew on a button and butter the bread.

where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
shes up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

oh ive grown as shiftless as little boy blue,
lullaby rockaby lullaby loo
dishes are waiting & bills are past due
pat a cake darling, and peek - peekaboo

the shoppings not done and theres nothing for stew
and out in the yard theres a hullabaloo
but im playing kanga, and this is my roo.
look! arent his eyes the most wonderful hue?
lullaby rockaby lullaby loo

the cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow
but children grow up, as ive learned to my sorrow
so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep!

im rocking my baby
and babies dont keep.

- ruth hulbert hamilton

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013


my sweet crue mcgoo

weight: ohhh i dont know. no doctors appointment this month. but as of 10/11 he was 10lb 13oz, so my guess is definitely 11+lbs now!
height: 24+ inches. i should measure him today.
head: BIG!

- this boy is a dangerous one. he loves having something soft up by his face. he'll pull blankets up, his hats down or nuzzle with his stuffed animals. 
- at night he sleeps swaddled (nothing near his face) and i am dreading the transition to un-swaddling. lord help me. perhaps being so overdue & having no room in my belly had something to do with it, but being swaddled immediately soothes him and makes him happier than a clam. 
- we just set our clock backs on saturday night, the same day he turned 3 months and i wasnt sure how daylight savings would go.. but there is no tricking this boy! he slept 9 hours straight. friday the 1st we stayed at a hotel downtown because isaiah was speaking at a huge event in front of 500+ people & crue slept 11 hours straight! i am betting i will have to drag him out of bed for school, like my mom did me ;)

- about 30oz of breast milk // 5 or 6 bottles a day
- acts like the boobie is so last month  =/
- i am pretty much exclusively pumping. im pretty bummed about his nursing strike so i make an attempt to nurse him 1-2x a day, and it just doesnt last very long. it is what it is.
- im having a heart attack thinking next month he will be 4 months old and our ped could tell us about starting solids. there is so much hype about yay or nay. "dont do it because it'll make your kid obese, yes do it because it helps prevent food allergies..." ay yi yi. i just cant see myself being ready for that yet. {to each their own -- no judging here!}

- he is seriously the happiest baby on the block. he pretty much only cries when he is fighting a nap and is overly tired, which usually happens on the weekends while were out running errands. the boy doesnt want to miss anything! 
- i've noticed him become a bit more clingy over the last month and wants more attention from isaiah or i. been able to recognize us more apart from others and can decide when he doesnt like being held by someone he doesnt know. however, after the event on friday, he was held by about 6 brand new people and did great! 

- DADDY. are we surprised? im not. 
- test driving cars. he is the perfect angel every single time and we havent heard a single peep outta him while doing so! which is awesome, because test driving cars is no quick task.
- bath time. its really relaxing for him. 
- chewing on his hands.
- blowing bubbles. 
- the fox song.

- size 1 honest diapers. we're finishing up our last package and then we'll be moving on up to size 2.
- he is still fitting into and wearing some newborn clothes, but he officially just outgrew all of his newborn sleepers :( ::sniffle sniffle::
- 0-3 month outfits

- he found his hands
- he is teething
- he makes more sounds 
- blabbles and coos
- gives THE BEST belly laughs
- had his first halloween
- took his first road trip (2.5hrs) to visit great grandma
- slept away from home for the first time
- first hotel trip
- holds the bottle on his own & is able to take it out of his mouth and put back in again
- rolls from tummy to back

- i gained 2lbs. and then went down 3. still not at my pre-pregnancy weight. 
- i can NOT believe how much my entire body has changed. even my shoulders are more broad. seriously? 
- i am so fed up with my boobs. i cant wear any of my pre-pregnancy winter coats. my sweatshirts are all wonky. my vests dont zip up anymore and ive tried on about 1000 flannels from 100 different stores and they all look a hot mess.
- love love looooove being a mama. especially a mama to crue.
- ive got baby fever like a mad woman.


we are so lucky to be your parents


Sunday, November 3, 2013

halloween as 3!

Halloween with a 13 week old is kind of awkward. We weren't sure how we felt about showing up at people's doorsteps with our baby like "hey give us candy, because he clearly wont be eating it..." and we didnt expect the weather to be very awesome for Zoo Boo, which we ended up being right on with that one because it was pretty chilly with plenty of rain. we debated trick or treating at MOA, until we realized we left our stroller in my grandmas trunk when we were out of town visiting last weekend.

so instead, when isaiah got home from work - we went and test drove more cars. we finally got home around 8pm when i decided we HAAAAAD to do SOMETHING! it was Crue's first halloween! sure he wont remember anything, but his first only happens once! and how many halloweens are we going to have before he goes out on his own with some friends and decides what he wants to be? 10? ..... 

i dont wanna talk about it.

we heard about a punkin gallery on the news that was indoors and free, so we thought sure - we will go there. crue had skeleton pajamas, we'd look at some punkins by some amazing artists, snap a few pictures and call it a day.

until i wasnt happy with doing that either and tried to make a costume in 20 minutes. id be lying if i said 20 minutes was all it took. it didnt take much longer, but during that time - crue got really hot and frazzled. so did mama. i could NOT for the life of me figure out how to make a freakin mask. A MASK. how hard could it be?? apparently, hard enough. before i knew it, it was 9pm. well shit. i dont wanna go to the gallery at 9pm when it closes at 10!

so our night was spent running around like chickens with our heads cut off, the last half in costumes. 

we have a crappy picture to show for it {i really need to get a DSLR, quick!} and big bellies from our $3 chipotle. 
at least that was a success.

i promise we will be better planners next year.