My Life

Another Overdue Update

My last update was October 7 and a lot has happened since then.

At the time of that last update I was newly pregnant, but didn’t know it!  We found out a few weeks later, literally the night before moving into our new house.  The pregnancy was a complete and total surprise and shock since, you know… it took 3 years, 3 IVFs and $50K+ to get our last baby! We had actually already scheduled another IVF attempt to try for baby #2.  But sometimes these things happen.  It was a little overwhelming at first, and we had a lot of processing to do, but we are happily expecting a baby girl at the end of June.  If you’d like to read more about my thoughts on the pregnancy, you can read my announcement over on my infertility blog.

We also moved into a new house at the end of October (the night after we discovered we were pregnant).  We sold our previous home in June and lived with Tom’s parents for a few months while this house was being built.  It took us awhile to settle in (since I was experiencing some mild nausea my first trimester) and we still don’t have much on the walls, but we’re grateful for our new home.

Despite breaking her arm last week (she fell off a bed), Cora is doing well.  She goes to preschool two mornings and week and loves it.  She is talking a lot more and recently started trying to sing.  She loves Pete the Cat, pretending to ice skate, and eating raw broccoli!  I still try to limit the amount of photos we share of her online, so I won’t be posting any today.

I’ve also quietly launched a new ebook on Amazon’s Kindle store.  It’s my second book (here’s the first one) and I’ve enjoyed the process of writing it and formatting it for Amazon.  I’ll be launching it on my blog soon.  (The links you see here are Amazon affiliate links).

I’m hoping to post more often here.  Fingers crossed!


What I’m Reading Now {October 2017}

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

Reading time is rare these days, but here’s what’s on my nightstand:

Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline by Catherine McNiel.  From Amazon: “Dirty laundry, crayon-smeared bills, and smashed crackers . . . And there’s your Bible―buried under a pile of diapers. Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, without a moment of peace and quiet, you wonder if the spiritual life you crave is even possible. But God sees you. He designed this parenting journey, after all. He understands the chaos of motherhood. And he joins you in everything―whether you’re scrubbing the floor, nursing a fussy newborn, or driving to soccer practice. Catherine McNiel invites you to connect with God right here, in the sacred mundane of every mothering moment.”

Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed by Sara Hagerty.  From Amazon: “We may be “wasting” ourselves in a hidden corner today: The cubicle on the fourth floor. The hospital bedside of an elderly parent. The laundry room. But these are the places God uses to meet us with a radical love. These are the places that produce the kind of unhinged love in us that gives everything at His feet, whether or not anyone else ever proclaims our name, whether or not anyone else ever sees.”

I’m actually hosting an online book group on Facebook for this book starting this month.  The book isn’t about infertility, but the author has experience with infertility and the book group is for women who read my infertility blog.  You’re welcome to join us or share the group with friends who might be interested.

Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki. From Amazon: “Jamie Glowacki—potty-training expert, Pied Piper of Poop, and author of the popular guide, Oh Crap! Potty Training—shares her proven 6-step plan to help you toilet train your preschooler quickly and successfully.”

Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely by Holley Gerth.  From Amazon: “In her most powerful book yet, beloved bestselling author Holley Gerth inspires her readers to become the stronger, braver, truer women they long to be by sharing personal stories of her own struggles and victories. As readers join Holley on this journey, they’ll discover a freedom they never imagined could be theirs: the freedom to experience life, love, and faith to the fullest because fear can no longer hold them back.”

What are you reading?  I’d love to know!  Feel free to share in the comments.  

My Life

Long-Overdue Update!

It’s been over four months since I last posted on this blog.  Life has been hectic, but I wanted to do an update- even if it’s just for me to read again years from now.

The last time I posted we were in the thick of sleeping troubles with C.  We sleep-trained her back in May and she was sleeping through the night most nights.  But then she started teething.  And we took her to Florida.  And she got sick.  And the sleep training went out the window.

We spent several months waking up multiple times every night.  It took 30 minutes- 1 hour to get her to sleep every time she woke up.  She would only fall asleep when nursing which meant Tom couldn’t help me out much.  We were all exhausted.

In November, I randomly connected with a man on Facebook (through a local Facebook family group page) who was completing his sleep-coach training and needed a child C’s age to work with.  For free!  We started working with him around Thanksgiving and within a few nights, C. was sleeping through the night (10-11 hours), or only waking once.  She no longer needs to be nursed to sleep, and she is on a consistent schedule.  Life-changing!

C. started walking the day before her first birthday.  Once she started, she really took off!  We can’t contain her now!

Photos by Bree Kehler Photography

My Life

What I’m Into – September 2016

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

What I'm Into-min

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer and sharing some of my favorite things this month.

Wearing Clothes That Fit

I’m 9 months postpartum and finally feeling like my body has reached the point where it’s not going to change anymore. That means I can finally buy some clothes that fit. When you add together my fertility treatments, pregnancy, and postpartum, I feel like I’ve been wearing uncomfortable, unflattering clothes for the last two years. I splurged and ordered a Stitch Fix box. I’d had so-so results with the last 3 boxes I ordered, but this one was amazing. I ended up keeping all five pieces! Hopefully I can do a round-up post soon and share what I got.

But I still needed a few more pieces, and I didn’t want to break the bank. My friend suggested to me, and I’m so glad I tried it. I got three great tops for under $20 total. I’ll try to do a round-up post for this soon, too.

Zheng Gypsy Tea Chai Tea Sampler

I picked this up at Cost Plus World Market and I’m obsessed. I’m going back to buy another one as soon as I finish the one I have. Each of the teas are soon delicious, and they all pair well with chocolate. I love the little tin, too. I’m going to keep it and re-purposed it. Bonus points that the tea is Fair Trade and organic.

Amazon has it, too.

Baby Einstein You Tube Channel

Before I had kids, I always told myself, “I’ll never use the TV to babysit my kid.” Well, never say never. I want to laugh at my former self for being so naive! Sometimes turning on the TV for a few minutes is the only way I can use the bathroom without CJ screaming or take five minutes to eat a sandwich. I discovered the Baby Einstein You Tube Channel, and if I’m going to let her watch TV, I don’t feel too bad about letting her watch this. They don’t have flashy, high-speed animated videos. Instead, music set to videos of children’s toys and colorful shapes. I’ll put one of the shorter, 5-10 minute videos on, and CJ is mesmerized. It gives me a quick minutes to eat, load the dishwasher, or just have some peace!

Sacred Ordinary Days Podcast

I’m taking a break from all the blogging / business podcasts I’d been obsessed with for the last two years. They were all starting to sound the same to me. I forgot how I found it, but the Sacred Ordinary Days Podcast is like honey to my ears. I love the emphasis on slowing down and incorporating the liturgical calendar into everyday life. Also, I want their planner so bad! Such a brilliant idea.

On my Blogs

On the library blog, I shared some free social media images I made for Library Card Sign-Up Month.

On my infertility blog, I shared a quote and some thoughts about God’s timing.


Photo courtesy of UnSplash

Pregnancy & Parenting

Fed is Best {World Breastfeeding Week}

This post originally appeared as a guest post on Minimalist Nutrition as part of a World Breastfeeding Week series, but is no longer available there.  

“I just wanted to let you know that what you’re doing is beautiful and courageous if anyone ever gives you a hard time for doing it in public, you shouldn’t let them,” our waiter declared.

I smiled awkwardly and said, “Thanks,” as the young man placed my food on the table in front of me.

He continued on, “I mean, I just don’t understand why people get so upset. It’s only natural and it’s beautiful. I hope no one ever makes a big deal about it to you.”

I was sitting in the back of the restaurant, facing a wall, and nursing my daughter while using a cover. I’m pretty sure no one had even noticed I was doing it before our server loudly proclaimed his approval. He didn’t seem to notice the irony of the fact that he was making a big deal out of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated the kindness he was trying to show me. I agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful. I believe women should be able to nurse in public (without covers, if they so choose) shame-free. I follow people whose social media posts are peppered with tags like #normalizebreastfeeding and #breastfeedingisbeautiful. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to exclusively nurse my daughter for over seven months now.

But I’m also friends with women who, for various reasons, have been unable to nurse their babies. Some have medical conditions that left them with an inadequate milk supply. Others struggled with babies who never could latch properly. A few have had to bottle-feed because the medication they require for their own physical or mental health could be harmful to their baby when passed on in breastmilk. The sadness they feel at not being able to nurse has only been compounded by the guilt our “breast is best” society has placed upon them.

Would the server have gushed about how beautiful and courageous I was for feeding my child in public if I had been using a bottle? I doubt it.

Many of my bottle-feeding friends have shed tears over not being able to breastfeed. Some endured weeks or months of painful, futile attempts to do so. They’re spent a lot of money and countless time on visits to doulas, doctors, and lactation consultants. They’ve been lectured and guilt-tripped by their pediatricians, their families, strangers in the grocery store, and strangers on the internet. But ultimately, it came down to the fact that if they wanted their child to eat they needed to bottle-feed.

Don’t these mothers deserve our applause and support, too? Aren’t they just as courageous (or even more so) as those of us who nurse?

After all, it seems to me that feeding your child by whatever means necessary is the most natural thing for a mother to do.

So let’s continue to advocate for breastfeeding rights and normalization. But let’s also advocate for the mothers who bottle-feed, both by necessity or by choice. As long as our babies are well-fed and well-loved, that’s really all that matters.

#normalizeallfeeding #ALLfeedingisbeautiful