Monday, October 26, 2015

A Patch Without Pumpkins

We went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday, but they were out of pumpkins. Isn't that the most ridiculous thing ever?? At least we got some cute pictures.

(Notice the very empty patch)



Sorry this one is blurry- but I had to keep it!


The best Mimi and Papa!


JM just wanting to eat the camera- Look at those teeth!

Staring at the tractor



We ended up snagging pumpkins from Kroger. I wanted a picture of JM standing next to the pumpkins.... At least we got this one.




Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2015

7QT: Treats, Crawling, and Too Much Stuff

Here's another 7QT with Kelly:

1. Last Sunday, we went on a walk to one of our favorite parks in town. The sun was setting, JM was snoozing in the stroller, and it was the perfect temperature out. It was one of those picture perfect moments when you really realize how great life is. I tried to capture a photo of it.



2. I made these treats for our bible studies this last week. It seems like anything with Almond bark is good and I really love Ree's recipes. I used Oreos, pistachios, Reese's Pieces, mini chocolate chips, and halloween sprinkles. For bible study, we talked about perseverance in prayer and we watched this. I think the girls liked the concrete points of how to go about praying about a decision, specifically our vocation.



3. My parents are in town!! They came Wednesday night and we are having a blast. The only other time they have been to Auburn was when JM was born. I was a bit busy at the time and didn't feel like I got to show them around much. It's been great to have them here. They were able to go to a FOCUS event Thursday night along with the student mass and dinner. They are getting a mini glimpse into missionary life.


4. JM is army crawling!!!!!! It is amazing how quickly he can figure things out. He has been kind of inch worming around and just today he really started to figure it out. I also bought him this adorable hat, if it ever actually cools down here.


5. We have officially put away the baby swing, bouncer, and boppy (I never really used that thing anyways) and have switched it for a jumper and high chair. I am crying a little bit on the inside (and maybe the outside) about it, but also I don't know what to do with all of this STUFF. I told my mom today, I feel like I spend so much time daily just moving STUFF around- laundry, dishes, making the bed, getting toys out for JM, putting them away, trying to straighten up the kitchen, living room, and dining room table again and again. (and I only have a baby!! What is going to happen when I have a toddler???)  I just keep rearranging everything to seem like it's not as cluttered. I think our apartment really needs to be KonMaried. (can that be a verb?) I started reading the book last time I was at Barnes and Noble and I can't stop thinking about what she said about how much energy we spend cleaning, taking care of, and picking up our stuff. I just want it all gone and not just organized or hidden!!!


Moving on from that rant...

6. Baby food?? JM is quickly approaching 6 months. We have yet to decide or look much into starting baby food. I like the idea of Baby Led Weaning, but am a little nervous to fully commit. Any tips?? Where do I even start researching??

7. To answer the Link-toberfest question, my most popular quick takes was this one. It definitely has to do with the fact that Kendra gave me some credit for a Halloween costume idea. (Thanks, Kendra!) I am really eyeing some of these prizes and I have never ever ever won anything through blogs so I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Go Royals!

JM's 5 months old!

I hope ya'll are having a great weekend! We will hopefully be watching the Huskers win and carving some pumpkins!

Emily

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Baby in Savannah

As I mentioned before, we took our first family vacay to Savannah, Georgia! I figure I better write about it quick before it becomes another story untold like my partially written birth story. Oops.

We spent three days and two nights there. We got a later start than we planned on Thursday and we forgot about the time difference. Dang.

JM did really well in the car considering he started cutting his second tooth. We were just a bit outside of Savannah, stuck in traffic, and I was sitting in the back seat keeping him company when we heard the worst noise you can possibly hear when a baby is sitting in a carseat.... I instantly remembered Drew and I's last conversation at our pit stop.

*Me wrestling JM in the front seat trying to change his diaper as he was trying to roll over*
(Anyone else steer clear of gas station baby changing tables?? I just can't do it.)

Me: I can't get this diaper on. He keeps moving.

Drew: Yeah, that doesn't look right.

Me: It'll be fine.

....................

I've talked enough about poop on this blog, but let's just say it was another one of those times when zero poop ended up in the diaper and the rest pooled in the corner of his carseat.

ANYWAYS back to vacation:


Day One: After settling into our hotel, we took a walk around the Historic District, scouted out the area, and ate the best burgers and onion rings ever!!! The weather was perfect and we were able to sit outside which is so helpful since we have a pretty big stroller that gets in the way in tight restaurants.


After dinner we stumbled upon the City Market, a strip of restaurants, bars, and shops with live music outside. You can walk around with drinks too, which is perfect when you have a baby and can't go into bars. The candy shop was amazing.... After walking around for awhile we headed back to the hotel. We don't have cable at home, so watching HGTV was a pretty sweet treat.




Day Two: We walked down to the River Street and had brunch at Huey's, a New Orleans style restaurant. (kinda funny considering Auburn is way closer to New Orleans than Savannah) But it was SO good. I will be dreaming about the Bloody Mary and the beignets for a long long time.





We made a pit stop so I could change my clothes.. I am so ready for fall, I keep dressing like it and then end up sweating all day.

Everywhere in Savannah is beautiful. I can't get over the Spanish moss on the trees, the historical buildings, and all the parks. There are little squares that are scattered through the whole city that are basically little parks.


We walked to Forsyth Park and JM went swinging for the first time. He LOVED it.



We stopped at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to pray. It is really beautiful and was filled with so many visitors. It is really neat to see the beautiful of churches that draw people in.



We walked around the rest of the afternoon, stopping in shops and places along the way. One of my favorites was this cute bookstore. They had a precious kids section and I was able to let JM out to squirm a bit. He was a champ being carried or in the stroller all day.




After a rest stop at the hotel and a nap for Drew while I attempted to keep JM from rolling off the bed, we went to dinner at Vinnie Van Go-Go's at the City Market.  The pizza was amazing. We ran into a few people from Savannah and they said this was their absolute favorite. We had some drinks, listened to the music, and may or may not have visited the candy store for a second time.

Day Three: We drove to Tybee Island and had a phenomenal breakfast at The Breakfast Club. The line was out the door and wrapped around the building, so you know it has to be good.



We walked on the chilly, windy beach so JM could see the ocean. He was thrilled.



And then we sadly headed back to Auburn.

***

We had a great time together as a family. It is definitely different with a baby. It's a weird in between where he is too young for kid stuff (museums, playgrounds, etc.) but we can't always what we would have done before having a babe. My thought process now is about whether or not there is room for the stroller, is there a diaper changing table in the bathroom, and will people stare at me if I nurse here.

JM has also lost the ability to sleep anytime anywhere. He is so distracted by anything that we had to head back to the hotel at a decent time both nights.

We also are sure learning how to wrangle a baby while eating. He wants everything. in. his. mouth. I'm looking forward to when he is sturdy enough for highchairs.


My sweet friend Brielle, gave us some awesome tips for the trip. I was so bummed we didn't make it to Leopold's Icecream... hopefully we will go back!


Hope your week is going well!

Emily

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mission Monday {1}: Incarnational Evangelization

I am thrilled to be linking up with Meghan for the first Mission Monday.

This link-up is for students, missionaries, or parishioners who are living out Jesus' Great Commission.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

~~



I am an affiliate missionary, which basically means I am a part-time missionary. I am able to be at home with JM, doing most of the typical stay-at-home mom stuff, but also be directly a part of FOCUS' mission. I lead a bible study for sorority girls and disciple two students weekly. Our campus has five weekly events (on top of mass) that I try to attend. I also make treats every week for our bible studies and cook breakfast for our team on Fridays.

This is just a tiny sliver of what Drew does as a full-time missionary and the team director.

Even if I chose not to be an affiliate and was "just" a SAHM, I would still be a part of the mission. The really neat part of being a FOCUS missionary is incarnational evangelization. Jesus was incarnate, God in flesh. He lived life next to his disciples. He went fishing and camping. He traveled from city to city with his disciples. He didn't just preach to the people, He also lived with them. He built relationships with people.

That is what we try to do as missionaries. We don't preach from street corners, travel door to door, or get in heated debates with strangers. We build relationships with students. We find what we have in common, we relate to them, and share our lives. We guide students to have a personal encounter with Jesus and we show them how to live with Christ at the center of their lives. And then we teach them how to teach others.

We have a special role as being married missionaries. A majority of missionaries are single. As a married couple, we get to show students what a Catholic marriage looks like. Some didn't have a close family growing up or are new to the faith and haven't seen how to live faith as a family. Others were too little to remember seeing their parents raise their siblings. We have the opportunity to give insight into the vocation of marriage. 

We get to invite students over for dinner. They come over to hang out and play with JohnMark. Last year around Christmas we had a huge puzzle on our kitchen table and students would bring friends, chat, and do the puzzle. We go to their philanthropy events, tailgate together, and go to mass. Students babysit for us. Girls run errands with me and guys play darts with Drew.

But it's hard. It takes balance, that Drew and I are still trying to figure out. Missionary life doesn't have normal working hours. We don't have clear times of working and not working. Our mission flows into everything. Our schedules revolve around students' schedules. It consists of hectic beginnings of the year, having continuous guests, and inviting fraternity men and sorority women over to hang out weekly. It means sometimes we have to drop everything to be with a student who needs us. It means rushing through dinner to get to bible study on time and quickly passing off JM so one of us can leave to make it to holy hour. It means getting home well after 10pm and having days with no down time.

However, sometimes we need time together just as a family. I used to be able to go to the daily holy hours, daily mass, and nightly events. It was a win-win as we got time with students and each other. Now, we have a squirmy baby who make holy hours together impossible and is asleep for the night as most events start. We spend much more time apart this year than before JM was born.
We are still learning when to step back and just have family time and when to invite others to be with us. We are learning to be more intentional with the time we do have together. Wednesday nights are date night, Friday afternoons we talk about our prayer lives over lunch, and Sundays we do our best to observe the Sabbath.

As the year goes on I am sure we will run into more struggles, but hopefully we will figure out more ways to invite students into our family and home. Any tips from other mom missionaries? We are always open to more ideas!


Emily


Thursday, October 15, 2015

7 QT: Showers, Dresses, and Birthdays

I am pretty sure about half of my posts are Seven Quick Takes now... but I can't pass up Link-toberfest hosted by Kelly!

1. This weeks question: Who is your favorite blogger that you discovered through Seven Quick Takes?

I have been following blogs since I was a junior in high school, about 7 years ago. I wish I could remember how I first started diving into blogs. I am positive I found a few of my regular ones through 7QT, but honestly I can't remember where I picked up most of them! Jen, Kendra and Hallie were some of the first. AND meeting Lindsay really got me reading her blog.

Most recently I have started following Stephanie at Blessed to Be. (We had the same due date and our sons have very similar names!)


2. Megan and I threw our sister-in-law, Preston, a baby shower last weekend! It was a blast! I am going to post more about it later, but here is a sneak peak at the precious Story Book themed shower.




3. Megan went wedding dress shopping!!!!!!!!!!! She wrote about it here. Oh my goodness, she picked the most beautiful dress ever. It is almost funny how different it is than anything I ever imagined her in, but it is SO perfect. When she came out in the one, we all instantly knew it was perfect. So cliche, but true.


4. My birthday was on Tuesday and I turned 24. Somehow I feel like I just skipped 23, it went so fast. Last year, I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy and so so sick. Like, I passed up my birthday gift of a manicure and pedicure sick. Drew attempted to plan a day and after running to the bathroom multiple times on our first stop, we gave up and went home. I remember thinking, my next birthday I will have a 5 month old baby and it will all be worth it!



Let's just say this one easily passed up the previous. My family was so sweet to celebrate when I was home. It was the first time I was with all my siblings and parents probably since I was in middle school.

My day was full of visitors and fun gifts! Drew hid a few presents around the apartment and texted me throughout the day telling me where they were.


5. After a pretty eventful flight to Nebraska, the way home was a breeze. My dad was flying for work and was able to take the same flight as me! It was so nice to have extra hands. He travels every week for his job so he is a pro. Poor guy stood in line to wait for me to check my bag, passed up his opportunity for TSA pre-check, and even took a middle seat so I could have the window. That is true love!




6. I briefly mentioned it in my last post, but JM has been changing so much. His newest trick, getting up on his hands and knees and launching himself forward. Noooooooooooo. I'm not ready. He also is started to get a really good belly laugh and it's the best.


7. We are going to take a little family vacation! If we ever travel, it is always duel purpose. Mostly visiting family, mission partners, or weddings. But we are going to Savannah just for fun! Has anyone been there? Any suggestions for places to go?

Have a great week! And I promise I will eventually post more than just 7QTs.

Emily


P.S. My dear friend, Brooke just started a blog. Check it out!

Friday, October 9, 2015

7QT: Planes, Layovers, and Blowouts

Linking up for another Quick Takes! To answer this week's question for Link-toberfest, this is my 5th 7QT!


1. This week I traveled back to Nebraska (where I am from) for exciting family events: baby shower for my sister-in-law and wedding dress shopping for Megan! Drew stayed back which means I flew alone with JM. He flew when he was 6 weeks and 3 months old, but Drew was always there to help.

2. I was most fearful of a blowout on the plane. I like to sneak and quickly change diapers in the seat, and with a blowout... that would just be scary. I still don't understand how those tiny bathrooms have space for a changing table and you + baby.

3. We were going through security, in the special stroller/wheelchair lane, and I was feeling like super mom. Shoes off, diaper bag on conveyor thing, pick up JM, detach car seat, turn upside down and on it's way through the scanner, pushing stroller and holding JM, when the kind lady in front of my informs me, "Ma'am his pampers is leaking."



4. UGH. My worst fear is coming true. And it's not a typical up the back, it's the big down the leg kind. Finish security, awkwardly holding him so I don't make the mess bigger, take the train to the gate, go to the bathroom and frantically give him a baby wipe bath and change his clothes. I make it to the gate with 15 minutes to spare. Phew.

5. The next task I was nervous about was folding the stroller for gate check/holding up the boarding process. I was strategically planning how I was going to do it when I was in line for Family Boarding. I get to the lady scanning boarding passes, "And your son's boarding pass?" What?? I've already taken two trips with JM how did I forget he needs a boarding pass too??

6. By the time I go back to the counter and get his boarding pass they are well into boarding Bs. The gate check was a breeze. Then came choosing a seat. Normally, I would choose and empty row and let the other passenger choose or be forced to sit with us, if there weren't other seats left. This time, there were no empty rows left. I had to choose the victim. I scan for the baby-friendliest looking person. I spot a young lady who smiles at me. Bingo. I sit down and freeze. She has a baby too. I already committed to this seat, but could this be the perfect storm with two babies in one row? It was actually perfect because no one would dare sit between two moms with babies! She was so understanding and both of the babes slept most of the way! (I even changed JM's diaper on the seat between when she was sleeping so she didn't notice. Score.)

7. The rest of the trip was thankfully uneventful. I did meet a sweet nurse who used to work in Omaha. She offered to give me her seat at the gate. I declined, sitting on the floor next to her, I noticed her very Catholic tattoo on her foot. We had friends in common, she offered to hold JM, and sat next to me on the last flight. We even read some of the same blogs.

7+1. This is the second time JM and I have been away from Drew. It is hard on all of us. This time it seems like Drew is missing so much!



JM's first time in the jumper, 



JM getting his toes in his mouth, and he is cutting his first tooth. HELP!!  My baby that has been sleeping through the night for two months has been up multiple times these last two nights. I have heard about the 4 month sleep regression. Is that what this is?? What do you do when they start cutting their first tooth?? I will take any and all the advice. Thank you.

Also, props to all the moms who fly alone with multiple kiddos!


Emily

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Stitch Fix

Is there a better feeling than pulling on the most comfortable pair of jeans that just fit perfectly? After you've had a baby? Right at the beginning of jean weather?

Yes!

When you have them mailed straight to you and didn't have to do any hunting online or in store!

Would I be a real blogger if I did Stitch Fix and didn't blog about it? I finally caved and followed through ordering my first fix! I filled out my style profile over a year ago, but never got around to doing it. If you're familiar with the company you can skip this paragraph. Basically, you fill out a style profile about what you like to wear and what you want, pay $20, and get a box of five items mailed to you! Then, you can choose which items you would like to buy and which you want to send back. They getcha with 25% off your entire order if you buy all five items. But the $20 you've paid to have the box shipped goes towards your purchase.

I specifically asked for dark skinny jeans and a dress I could nurse in. (Why are those so impossible to find??)

Having my husband, Drew, take these pictures was a whole other experience in and of itself. (He just said, "you're welcome for the good blog material.") He claims that if he had a good camera he could be a photographer..... I'll let you be the judge of that. I think I'll stick to Abby's photography. Please excuse these terrible photos and awkward poses. And our neighbor's AC unit. I am sure the passerbyers got a kick out of the scene.

The anticipation was killing me! I think half the excitement is waiting for the box.




Item #1: Denna Skinny Jean from Kut From The Kloth

Basically, super plain skinny jeans. My favorite! They have a bit of a higher waist and are SO soft. So excited about these. 



Item #2: Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse from 41Hawthorn

What do you think about this?? I wasn't super excited about it, but seems like a good staple. If I didn't have my photographer giving me a super short time frame, I would have attempted to put some accessories together.


Item #3: Wakeman Crochet Open Cardigan from Honey Punch

I thought this was fun! Thinking it would be good for the nice fall we have in Auburn.


Pause for some bug killing.



Item #4: Rutland Knit Tank from Papermoon

This tank is sooo soft! I love the cute detailing and I think it would look good with some girlfriend jeans and maybe the crochet cardigan?


Item #5: Kary Drape Front Knit Dress from Gilli

A dress I can nurse in!!!!! I was so anxious to get out of maternity clothes, I wasn't even thinking about the new challenge of nursing friendly clothes. I just want to wear my old dresses! Anyways... I spent too many hours searching every store in the mall to look for a dress for JM's baptism. Having this dress mailed to me without the hassle is priceless.  

----

What are your favorites? Overall, I'm really excited to freshen up my closet. I am itching to KonMari our apartment and especially my closet. Maybe now that I have some new favorites, I can clean out the old. If I learned anything from this experience, it's I feel super weird posing for pictures and I have surprisingly little to say about fashion. If you are interested in ordering your own fix, please feel free to use my referral code

Let's end on a not so awkward note! 



Emily