Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Fun

I can't believe how fast she's growing. Time is flying by and my sweet little baby is surprising me more and more everyday by how big she is and how much she knows. Friday night as I laid her down in her crib, I said, "Goodnight Emerie, I love you," to which she responded, "I wuv you!". And then I melted into a puddle on the floor. She came up to me last night and hugged me and said what sounded very much like, "I wuv mommy." That girl. She couldn't get any cuter, and she couldn't have us wrapped more tightly around her finger if she tried.
We went hiking this weekend because it was a fee free day for the Shenandoah National Park. My sister, Holly went with us. We hiked Jones Run Falls again but there wasn't a huge waterfall this time because it hasn't rained much in the past month! It was still a fun hike though, with good weather and great company. We passed a lot of people with dogs and Emerie made the "woof woof" sound at them.... we also passed a very large doberman and she yelled, "Neeeeeiighh!". It was hysterical. She thought it was a horse because it was really tall and had pointy ears like a horse. The owners of the dog laughed and said they agree he's like a horse. Silly girl.
 Crossing her first stream, wasn't a lot of water in it but she kept pointing at it yelling "wawa!"
I also made those Snickerdoodle Apple Pie Sugar Cookie bars this weekend and they are all gone. They were super easy and so delish. Go quickly to the store and get the ingredients to make them. Yum. Here is my post on where I got the recipe. :)
Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, September 27, 2013

5 on Friday!

So glad it's finally Friday! This has been a crazy week!! I didn't feel so hot mid week and I didn't get much sleep Monday night, so the rest of this week I've been trying to catch and up and today is the first day I feel like I have some energy. I'm linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday.
{ONE} This weekend we are going hiking in the Shenandoah National Park.... we are going to hike Jones Run Falls. I've hiked it before and it has a beautiful waterfall. I think we are going to take Emerie so hopefully hubs can handle it! It's a fairly long hike but the weather is supposed to be beautiful! These pics are from the last time we hiked there...
{TWO} I'm hoping to try these easy apple pie snickerdoodle cookie bars next week. They look so yum! Phil's Nan cans apple pie filling so I am going to probably use that instead of store bought.... but I can't wait to try it. After my pumpkin chocolate chip muffin success, I realized that I enjoy baking more than cooking dinners. Sugar and carbs. Who doesn't love the end result of baking more?
{THREE} My youngest sister and her husband are moving this weekend (did I mention I'm going to be an aunt?? :)) and we are going to go down and help them move. Well... hubs will help them move, I will distract everyone with the adorable toddler. Girl never stops talking and it's unbelievable how many words she knows already! :) 
{FOUR} Halloween costumes are everywhere and I don't know which one to get for Emerie. I saw a cute Minnie Mouse one and she looooooves Mickey but she absolutely hates things on her head so I know she wouldn't wear the headband. Would she really look like Minnie without the mouse ears? Haha. Doubtful. In fact I don't know of many costumes that don't come with a hat or headband it may be hard to find a costume this year. Last year she was this sweet little lady bug!
 {FIVE} I've really enjoyed my women's Bible study on Monday nights and this Tuesday night we begin life groups. It will be fun to go to a life group with hubs (this is the first one we've joined). I'm looking forward to getting to know the others in our group and making new mutual friends.
Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Faith, food, and family :)

I have loved starting my week off with a women's Bible study on Monday nights. It has been a blessing to get to know some of the women at our church and to spend some time in fellowship with others. I thought that I would have to make myself go because lets face it, who wants to go back out on a Monday night? But it really has been something that I look forward to. So thankful for that. Hubs and I have been more intentional about getting involved at church and meeting new people. We met an older couple at a class that we took and they invited us to a fundraising dinner (for a local women's health clinic that seeks to empower and education women throughout their pregnancies). Pam Tebow (former NFL star Tim Tebow's mom) will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. We are looking forward to meeting new people and supporting a clinic that helps take care of women and babies! Ever since I had Emerie, my momma heart is yearning to reach out to other moms and their sweet blessings.
On another note, we had a good weekend. We cleaned the house on Saturday since it was rainy and on Sunday I spent some time with one of my sisters. I also made this yummy soup in the crockpot. I used a variation of a recipe that I found online for Olive Gardens Pasta E Fagioli soup.... Love a good stew/soup on these cool fall days we are having!
Emerie had a great check up at the doctor's on Friday... although I do not recommend going to the pediatrician with a 16 month old alone, when the doctor is 1 hour behind, it's nap time, and they need 4 shots. Yikes. Checking out wasn't pretty. Although this sweet girl is... the more teeth she gets, the more kid-like she looks. Slow down please.

Friday, September 20, 2013

5 on Friday!

Today is a special Friday for me because I am home with my sweet little Emerie. My babysitters aren't able to watch her today and she has her 15 month check up with the pediatrician today so I took a sick day. :) Today I am linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday.... and I'm making this the thankful edition.
{ONE} I am so thankful that I got to see my old college roomie and one of my best friends last Sunday. Her and her hubby and kids were passing through our town on their way home from a trip (we live 3 hours apart) and they stopped by so our babies could finally meet! It was like we had never been apart!
 {TWO}I am thankful that I get to stay home today and spend some quality time with Emerie. I miss her during the week and enjoy getting to spend one on one time with her.
{THREE} I'm thankful for the courage to live more intentionally and become more involved at church. Since I made that decision I have joined a women's Bible study, a Sunday School class, and hubs and I also joined a life group. We are so blessed to have found such a great church!
{FOUR} I am thankful that through prayers and physical therapy my neck has healed! For the first time since February it hardly bothers me anymore. I've been doing the exercises that the physical therapist taught me and going to PT for a month now. So so thankful for healing.
{FIVE} I am thankful for a baby that is growing and thriving... she fed herself for the first time this week and though I am thankful that she has the ability to learn new things, I am also a little sad because she's turning into a little kid and I'm not ready for that!! Slow down!
Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nursing Past One Year

Emerie will be 16 months on Monday. I can't believe she is getting close to one and a half. She is definitely a busy girl with little time to be bothered with things like nursing.... though I am happy to say that she is still nursing. I can't believe we've made it this far. My goal was to nurse her until she was one. When that day came and passed, I decided that I would keep going with it and see if she would wean herself (like the magazines/books say most babies do). She hasn't yet and I'm fine with it. She doesn't nurse very often now.... she will nurse in the morning when she wakes up and she likes to nurse when I get her home from the babysitter.... I love that time with her because I've missed her all day and it's nice that we have that quiet time together before she tears the house apart with her mess of toys. She really doesn't nurse before bed any more (though occasionally she will) so we are down to twice a day. I can easily see that becoming once a day, then not at all. She isn't a huge fan of whole milk, though I do give it to her in her sippy cup with her meals sometimes. She eats lots of calcium and Vitamin D rich foods like cottage cheese,  yogurt, and cheese sticks since she doesn't drink a ton of whole milk. I don't feel like it's weird to nurse her at this age, even though she sees me and yells "mommy meeelkkk!!" (and the proceeds to pull on my shirt) but I feel like it's weird to other people. I've been asked how long we plan to keep doing it and the truth is I'm not sure. I don't think she will nurse past 18 months. I'm not going to be nursing her when she's five or anything... but to me she is still my baby and I know I will miss this when we are finally finished with this part of the journey. So what about you other breastfeeding momma's out there? Do you feel like it's weird to nurse a baby/toddler past a certain age? Love to hear your thoughts! :)
In case you missed it, here is the previous post I wrote on breastfeeding.

Have a great week!

Friday, September 13, 2013

5 on Friday!

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Darci and friends for another 5 on Friday. It's been a busy week and I am so glad the weekend is here!
{ONE} The weather is finally going to cool down... we are looking at the 60's and 70's for the next week and I am so relieved. It has been so hot standing outside on the playground during recess. The kids complain and want to go back in after 5 minutes! It's going to be beautiful weather for hiking this weekend and I hope we get to go again. My college roommate, hubby and kids are going to be traveling through our area on their way back home from a trip this weekend and I'm hoping they can stop by!
{TWO} Emerie dropped a toy on my face (I was laying in the floor with her while she was playing) and it felt like it broke my nose. I think my reaction scared her. Haha. I jumped up and yelled out ahhhh!!! I also applied ice immediately, to which she kept poking and saying "cold! cold!". Hopefully I don't wake up with a black and blue face. :(
{THREE} I found a quick and easy chocolate chip pumpkin muffin recipe I may try sometime next week. It's only three ingredients... a can of pumpkin, spice cake mix, and chocolate chips. I found the recipe from The Easley Family blog. Yum.
{FOUR} I finished a free Shutterfly photo book last weekend. It arrived on Thursday. I love seeing sweet pictures of my squishy baby.... I also love watching my toddler look at the pictures of herself and say "aww baby doll." Yes, baby doll indeed! The album was just birth through 6 months. I'm working on 6 months to 1 year this weekend. :)
{FIVE} I am loving these fleece Carter's pajamas on Em. She is wearing a size 18 months now. Can't believe how big she is getting. She looks so adorable don't you think?
Can we just talk about how cute this picture is? First of all, those post bath curls and second... shes holding her two favorite things, a book and a dog! :) 
Happy weekend!

Also... I'm planning to do a post on breastfeeding past one year (and how I never imagined I would still be doing it at almost 16 months!) so check back soon. You can read my previous post on nursing here. :)

*If you are reading this through Bloglovin' and the pictures didn't show up, feel free to visit my blog here!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wonderstruck Wednesday

I went to a women's Bible study at church Monday night. I haven't done a Bible study at church in a long time but I know that God is trying to grow and stretch my faith so I signed up for it. The theme of the study is based on awakening the wonders of God in your life. We are using the book Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg. It's about noticing the blessings in your life. I definitely see this as a theme in my life right now. I've been doing a devotional at home by Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts) and it's basic theme is being appreciative of God's blessings and finding contentment in everyday life. In her book, One Thousand Gifts, she details how she grew closer to God by counting the gifts in life... the big, the small.... and she writes them down. I've been using the One Thousand Gifts devotional to count gifts in my life. It has really made me appreciate and think about the small things in life that get overlooked. Everytime I see something beautiful it sticks out in my mind because I want to remember it to write it down in my devotional. I think life can become overwhelmingly competitive. Someone is always going to be richer than you. Someone is going to travel more. Dress better. Run faster. Laugh louder. And it's easy to get caught up in the "I wish I had..."  and it can even lead to resentment. Our purpose in life is to bring others to Christ. To be the light. To help those in need. To show people God's love and mercy. It's easy to lose sight of those things. It's easy to get caught up in wanting more, but God is calling us to love more. I got an email today that made my heart happy... The Compassion International workers in Guatemala notified the child we are sponsoring that someone had chosen her. That someone is praying for her and thinking about her. We are excited to play a part in her life. Though it may not seem like much, it is a lot to her and her family. That's a gift. And while it seems like we are a blessing in her life, she is really a blessing in ours. I hope that our lives can teach Emerie about God's love and mercy. I hope we can teach her compassion for others. God is opening my eyes to so much right now and I hope that I can share more as it unfolds. Have a blessed day!
The view from my hiking trip on Saturday left me feeling wonder struck. Maybe I'll start a weekly Wonderstruck Wednesday post! I'll be back for my favorite 5 on Friday weekly post... I promise it won't be as serious as this one! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

We were chased by a bear cub, how was your weekend? :)

You guys. I had so much fun on Saturday. Hubs and I took Em on her first hike and we were sort of chased by a bear cub. I am not kidding, not even a little bit. We saw the Momma and a cub take off through the woods and we kept hearing a rustling sound (though we thought the bears were gone). We stopped to listen and another cub rounded the corner of the trail were were on and was running straight towards us! I took off in a sprint down the path and hubs wasn't far behind me. We ran for a little while to try and put some distance between us and the cub. We didn't want the momma bear to come after us for being near her baby. The cub must have gotten separated from it's momma because we could hear it squalling (screeching? it was a strange sound) but we didn't realize it was right around the corner from us! Oh my word. It was somewhere between scary and hilarious. Emerie kept saying "bear, grrrrr" and it was too cute. She also giggled hysterically when hubs started running because she was in the pack on his back! She thought it was fun. It will certainly make a good story to tell her when she's older. We hustled down the trail and saw a few more bears running through the woods. I had a death grip on hubs' arm as I whisper yelled that we needed to get back to the car asap. Luckily those bears didn't see us or chase us. :) After we hiked we stopped at nearby overlook and the views were amazing. Such a beautiful blessing. Here are a few pictures from the day. I didn't get any of the bears... I was too busy hauling my tail down the trail! Haha. There is supposed to be a waterfall at the end of the trail we were on but we never made it that far!
My little hiker had a fun adventure and we can't wait to take her on more hikes.... although we won't be hiking that trail again until winter ---when the bears are hibernating. :) Have a great Monday friends!

Friday, September 6, 2013

5 on Friday!

So excited that it's finally Friday! Even with Monday off, it's been an exhausting week. I can't wait to spend time with my sweet little fam and recharge this weekend.
Linking up with Darci and friends for another 5 on Friday. :)
(ONE) We are going hiking this weekend and I am excited to go exploring again. We are taking Emerie along (hopefully she cooperates). Hubs will be hiking with her in the backpack carrier. She is not a fan of baby wearing so we will see. It won't be a long or hard hike. I'd hate to be stranded six miles into the woods with a screaming toddler. Haha! Pictures to come!
(TWO) Emerie is so much fun right now. I'm sure I've said that in like every post but oh my word, I love this age. She is learning so much so quickly and she is so funny! She makes me laugh constantly and I just want to kiss her little face right off.
(THREE) I am loving the fall recipes on Pinterest (because I love all things cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin). I haven't tried any of them yet but hopefully I will in the next few weeks. I would love to make donuts but I don't have a donut pan... Is it worth investing in? Who am I kidding, we're talking about donuts. Of course it is!
(FOUR) On a completely opposite note, I am jealous of all you people out there who are living the Paleo lifestyle right now. I don't know how you do it! I have been thinking about my eating habits and would love to attempt clean eating. Though it seems like a lot of work and huge lifestyle change that I don't see myself being able to commit it. No sugar? Coffee creamer? Ice cream? Pasta??? How would I live? :)
(FIVE) I'm in the process of making a photo book on Shutterfly. The code that I have for a free book says 20 pages. I attempted to put together a scrapbook of Em's first year.... I got to 7 months old and was at 31 pages. Eeek. I've got a lot of work to do to cut it back and get 5 more months in! :)

Have a great weekend friends!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Beautiful Weekend

Isn't she beautiful? I know that I am biased but seriously? Those lips and blue eyes. I love her so much.
Anyway....We have had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I love three day weekends.... they are so much more relaxing and less hurried than normal weekends. We spent Saturday running errands and then we went to dinner with family. My older sister planned a surprise anniversary dinner for my parents. We invited their best friends and our extended family to meet at the restaurant to help us surprise them. They were shocked when they arrived and found a room full of people there to celebrate 40 years of love. :)
 Mom (and my sisters) and Dad coming in.
The happy couple (and my sisters again).
Sunday we went to my grandma's house for a cook out and hung out with family again. Monday was less eventful... we cleaned the house and then we took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and let Emerie run around. She will never hold still for pictures... she doesn't want to be held, she wants to run and explore. I don't blame her. 
Hope your weekend was as restful and family filled as ours was!