05/ 23/ 2016

That time Katy Perry made me cry.

On my way back from my parents last Friday, ‘Roar’ came on the radio. Katy was belting her little tiger heart out and I started to cry. I don’t know when I started holding myself back, but it took that dang song to make me realize I had been.

I don’t know how many times I have to preach about overcoming the fear of failure before it actually sticks. I know I haven’t lost my voice but I do know it’s playing a crazy game of hide-and-seek. I keep getting caught up in this self-inflicted comparison trap and it’s killing me. I feel like I have to be someone else. I feel like I have to create tutorials or how-to’s or write advice. I feel like I have to “give the people” something when all I want to do is write. I feel like I have to have a brand because it’s 2016 and if you don’t have a brand you might as well be dead to the internet. But the more I think about what my brand is, the more it feels like I’m trying to box myself in.

I’m done. I’m sick of quitting before I start. I’m sick of trying to think of ideas for clickable content. I’m just going to do what I do. And what I do is write. I’m not writing for you, or Pinterest, or free Blue Apron meals. I’m writing for me. For my sanity. For my heart. I’m writing about what I know and what I live and what I love.

I’m going back to basics. Word by word and hope they eventually flow as organically as they once did. I’m not going to feel dumb writing about the shallowest things like my serious lust for Kim K’s bronde hair. I’m not going to be afraid to write about the afternoons I’ve spent sitting on my couch sobbing. I can’t let the fear of what people might think hold me back.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve announced a comeback, but this time I’m sticking with it.
I’m letting go of everything I think I need to be and letting my freak flag fly.



02/ 17/ 2016

January 30, 2016

They’re heeeeerrrrreeeee!

I debated long and hard about whether I should space these pictures out between posts. But then I gave up and decided they’re best seen in spam form. So feast your eyes on my family of F I V E (that’s still so weird to me).

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Glorious, magical photos by: Madi.
More on why I love her here.



02/ 15/ 2016

Little BB Zeke

 

 

My heart is too full for words.
These are my people.
They are my home.
They are my everything.

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Thank you, Madi.
Thank you for these treasures and for always knowing how to make me cry.

If you feel taking a stroll down memory lane, here are Jude and Ezra’s videos.
BRB while I go watch all three of these on repeat and spend the rest of my day crying.



02/ 04/ 2016

Isaac Paul

I’m not the type of person to prematurely announce things. Or announce them at all, really. The internet didn’t know I was in a relationship until Cory and I got engaged. I don’t announce the births of my babies until I’ve had a few days to soak up their newborn goodness. So WHHHHHYY did I think it was a good idea to put the “super top secret” name of our third baby on our Christmas card?

Well, joke’s on me. The week we sent out our cards I thought, “but what if everyone gets their cards and then we change his name?” I chalked it up to hormones and didn’t tell Cory about my mini freak-out. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that Aksel wasn’t his name. I have never been unsure about a baby name before. Jude was always Jude and Erza was always Ezra. One of the perks of picking family names.

One night after Cory and I finished Star Wars III, I told him. He paused and said, “I felt the same thing on Sunday. I don’t know what we should name him but I know he isn’t supposed to be Aksel.” Cory told me it was such a quick thought that he wasn’t going to say anything about it. So my “lol guess what I thought the other day” story turned into a bigger deal than I thought.

We stayed up late trying to find a name we loved. We exhausted our only good family boy name on Ezra. Lyman, Bernard, Welby, and Jesper were not going to cut it. We love our ancestors but they could have done a little better on their names. I mean, come ooon guys.

We had no idea how stressful it was to find a baby name “from scratch.” I’d suggest a name Cory didn’t like and he’d suggest a name I didn’t like. We searched ALL the baby name forums. “Names that go well with Ezra.” “Names that go well with Jude.” Which was funny because Jude and Ezra were the most popular sibling names (aww yeeeah). The only thing we knew for sure was that his middle name would be Paul, after my dad. So we needed a name that would pair well with Paul and sound good with Jude and Ezra.

Cory kept suggesting Isaac and I kept turning it down because I wasn’t feeling it. Ike was a decent nickname but not one I was in love with. I loved the name Zeke but couldn’t have an Ezra and an Ezekiel in the family. Too many Ez’s going on. We met in the middle and decided Isaac could go by Zeke. We’re really into naming our kids one thing and calling them something else. I guess you could say it’s our brand.

It was a totally different experience than what we were used to. If we’re being completely honest, I was a little worried that he’d get here and Isaac wouldn’t feel right. We’d prayed about it together and individually several times and both felt good about it, but I was still nervous. But the first time I held him, all my worries disappeared.

I held him and I knew.
He was Zeke.
He was always supposed to be Zeke.

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Photo cred: Madi



02/ 02/ 2016

That third child life.

The thing about being the third child is you kind of get forgotten. Now before you go and call CPS on me, let me explain. Sweet baby Zeke had his “newborn” shoot when he was six and a half weeks. Recommended age for optimal newborn squish is two weeks. Instead of buying him a crisp, white onesie, I looked through the ones we had THE DAY OF and prayed one of them didn’t have spit up stains from its previous owners. Luckily I found one and luckily it fit. You have no idea what a relief that was. I’m not even going to tell you how many pictures I took of Jude and Ezra as newborns vs. how many pictures I’ve taken of Zeke. Just know it’s embarrassingly low. Life is so much busier now and I’ve had to accept the fact that it’s o k a y to spend more time snuggling Zeke and wrangling Jude and Ez than I do taking pictures.

Even though we went way over the suggested age for newborn shots, I’m so glad we got them done. Madi came over on Saturday and worked some serious magic in our home. Madi and I have been friends for years (thanks, Internet) and she is my go-to person for baby videos and pictures. She is so easy to work with and talk to and she always captures us so honestly. I feel like it’s a true gift to be able to hang out with a family for an hour or two and capture quiet, every day moments that reflect them so perfectly. I know I’ll be able to look back when my babies are grown and say, “Yes. This was us.” I never want to forget Jude and her homeless bangs she never wanted trimmed. Or that when Ezra smiled you could only see his cute little vampire fangs. Or how Zeke has been smiling since day one and he saves the biggest ones for his daddy.

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If preview shots can make me cry like this, I can’t wait to see the treasures she captured on film. Yeah, you heard me. These aren’t even the “real” shots. Can you believe it? I’m afraid I’m going to die from happiness when I see the rest of them. I know I’m going to die when I see the video. My heart just can’t handle all the cute aggression I have for my babies.



01/ 07/ 2016

Some thoughts three weeks in.

We’re three weeks in to this three kids deal and it’s been pretty good. Jude and Ezra have been mostly sweet to each other and always sweet with Zeke. My patience is, for the most part, good. But kids will be kids and moms are still human, so patience gets lost and voices get raised. Just trying to keep it rill up in here.

Our days are quiet and spent at home. I’m that winter mom who’s too worried about RSV and colds and sick people so I don’t really take my newborns out for the first few months. Heavens knows that paranoia only increased after having Ezra come early and needing a NICU stay. We visit our families, we go to check-ups, we might go to the store, but other than that we’re mostly quarantined. I am thinking about spicing things up and setting up some play dates soon. Because I’m rebellious like that. But also, mama’s gotta live! I’m starting to get restless and having bouts of insanity where I think I could TOTALLY handle a two year-old, a one year-old and a newborn at Costco or Target just so I can get out of the house. And honestly, I probably could, but I don’t want to be overly-confident and have it blow up in my face and scar me from ever going to Target again. The horror!!!

And what’s newborn talk without including some thoughts on body image. I’m so grateful for the closeness of my pregnancies because I really believe they’ve helped me overcome a lot in the self-confidence department. My body grew three babies in two years. It’s exhausted, overworked and in dire need of a 100-hour nap. My hips are a little wider, my stomach a bit doughier and my milk makers have adopted the theme song, “swing loooooow sweet chariot.” But that’s not getting me down like it used to. My body is a champion. I’ll admit I’m nervous about exercising again. Nervous I won’t remember how and my body will be so confused by all the aerobic activity it might actually shut down on me (jk. But also kind of not…). My least favorite part about exercise is waiting for results. Like, HIIIII I just rode a bike for thirty minutes, why isn’t my booty up where it should be?

I’m not going at this fitness venture (I hate myself for saying that) with the mindset of needing to be a size 6 and wear only smalls. Because focusing on size and numbers is the start of a really unhealthy weight-loss obsessed spiral, IMO. For me it’s all about feeling good, having energy and being able to play tag with my kids without getting winded. I’m doing this for me and while fitting into my beloved pre-pregnancy skirts and jeans would be great, I’m going to focus my attention on feeling good not worry about anything else.

And now it’s time for me to go because Jude’s eating crayons and Zeke’s waking up from his nap ready to eat. lolololol. Momlyfe, amirite?



12/ 19/ 2015

A week early but a day late.

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Isaac Paul
6 pounds 14 ounces
21 inches

 Oh sweet baby Zeke, what did we ever do without you?



12/ 09/ 2015

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I obviously can’t get over the fact my baby boy is one. It’s weird to think that a year ago we were in the hospital with our sweet little boy in the NICU. It’s hard for me to think of Ezra as a premie, but he was. One month early with lungs that needed some help and a touch of jaundice. It was so hard to see him hooked up to oxygen and medicine and food.

I remember he was having a hard time calming down after they put in his belly tube. They let me hold him and he calmed down instantly. I felt helpless all morning, but that afternoon I finally felt like I could do something for him. If holding him helped steady him, I’d hold him all day long.

The power of a mother’s love became so real to me that day. As much as I wish I could, I can’t take away the sickness or pain my babies feel. But I can hold them. I can sing their favorite songs. I can talk the monsters away and put band-aids over imaginary boo-boos. I can love them. And that’s the strongest type of magic I know.

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12/ 08/ 2015

Happy Birthday, Ezzy.

Happy birthday, my sweet little boy. I honestly don’t know how we got along before you joined our family. You are the happiest, calmest baby. You make life so much sweeter. I live for your little arm grabs and when you rest your head on my arm. I hope you always stay a momma’s boy. I’m 100% positive my heart will break the day your obsessive nuzzles stop.

As much as you love me, “dada” seems to be your favorite word. Whenever you hear him come home from work or his voice in another room, you speed crawl to him with your goofiest grin. You and Jude are the sweetest friends. You follow her wherever she goes and want to do everything she’s doing. Which is absolutely adorable until she gets mad because her “space” is being invaded. If daddy and Jude are playing, you climb right into the action not wanting to miss anything that’s going on. For as chill as you are, you love being right in the middle of everything. You started walking last night. Talk about cutting it close. You went from two steps at a time to five to seven. I love how wobbly and excited you are about it. Every time you fall you get up and start clapping. I’ve never seen a kid who loves to clap as much as you do. I never want those clapping fits to stop.

Your little “ooooh” and “wwwooowww” faces absolutely kill me. Those puckered lips and your closed eye smiles are your secret weapons. It’s like you know I can’t say no to them. Your belly laughs are as adorable as your “feed me NOOOOWWWW” screeches are unbearable. They have their cute moments, especially when you “mmmmmm!” after you’ve secured another bite, but for the most part they’re the reason for 75% of the headaches in this house. I hope you love everything in life as much as you love food.

So happy birthday angel cakes.
Thanks for being ours.
We love you forever and ever and ever.

IMG_0770 ezzyIMG_0952 IMG_1025 Photos: Kandice Breinholt 

Technically Ezra is only 10 months in these pictures, so he looks a little older (booooo!) now.
But these images are how I want to remember him in his first year.
Chunky, snuggly and so, so happy.



12/ 07/ 2015

Pass the fries. I quit.

I have never in my life said, “I am so ready to be done” in regards to my pregnancies. But this time? I’m done. I’m ready. Get this baby out of me and let my body rest. I mean that all in the nicest, most motherly way possible. Instead of whining on and on about how my entire body hurts, here are some gifs that perfectly capture how I feel right now.

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And finally, this beautiful, blurry gem.
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Because even though I really don’t have cravings I’ve been really into Big Macs this time. And by “really into” I mean this is the exact face I make when I take that first bite. There’s just something about that special sauce and dem hot, salty fries. Mmmmm.

(IDK how to make these dang gifs smaller without losing quality. If there are any computer geniuses out there who can tell me how to make my gifs smaller so they don’t take up the whole space and look weird, hollachyagrl. And if I’m the only person out there who feels gifs should be smaller than regular pictures in posts, does that mean there’s something wrong with me or you? Probably you. Because I’m pregnant and if you tell me I’m wrong, I’ll cry. I wish I were joking, but you’ve seen the gifs. It’s bad. Yay for feelings!)



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