A Modern Day Fairy Tale: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

Oh 2012...what a BIG year this has been for our family! Time for a look back:

January: We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. Matt started recruiting school...the beginning of a whole new adventure for our little family. Hard to believe that's been almost a year ago already!

February: Matt graduated recruiting school and the adventure officially began...for real!

March: March was a month of goodbyes. We had to say goodbye to the many friends we'd made during our time in California, the therapists and teachers who had become like family and made such a huge difference in Shaun's life, and ours. We had to say goodbye to California, the place that had been our home for so long and where our little family truly began. It was a bittersweet as we left our old home in California and moved into our new house here in Indiana.

April: Matt officially started work as a recruiter, and the long hours began. Shaun's struggles to adjust to the move truly began during this month.
May: To be honest, I don't remember many particulars of May, but I believe this was the month Shaun started at his new school. He was placed in an inclusion preschool classroom and it did NOT go well. His struggles adjusting worsened and we unfortunately saw a lot of aggressive behavior. It was the beginning of a rough few months for us! But on the bright side, I also became a Blessings Unlimited consultant in May!

June: Our first summer in Indiana, and boy was it a hot one! But Shaun managed to find ways to stay cool and have some fun anyway!

July: Shaun experienced his first time making homemade ice cream the right way (you know, hand cranking it!). It's a tradition in my family, and he loved it!! No fireworks for the 4th of July this year...we were in a drought and had a burn ban! No fun at all!!

August: Shaun turned 5 years old! Which of course meant a party, and much of our family's first time seeing our new home in person (actually, for the majority of them, it was the first time seeing ANY of our homes in person). Shaun also started his third and final year of preschool. This time he was placed in a separate special education only class. I also celebrated my 25th birthday as well!

September: Shaun experienced his first chowder (a family tradition in my hubby's family). He also got a pet turtle, which unfortunately we had to let go because he refused to eat. Shaun was heartbroken.

October: We made the decision to start trying to add onto our little family- a decision that had taken a LONG time to make!! And of course, how can we mention October without mentioning Halloween!? Shaun made an adorable Mario!!

November: The positive highlight for the month was the Marine Corps ball. Aside from that, November was a difficult month for our family. After making the decision to start trying for baby #2, we were ecstatic when we had a positive pregnancy test right away...and devastated when that pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage.

December: Our sad November was turned around with a truly blessed December, when we once again got another positive pregnancy test. This time, everything seems to be going incredibly well, and we truly could not be happier. We are ending the year on a positive note, and can't wait to see where 2013 will take us!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Shindigz Party Supplies

Last month, I was contacted by a wonderful party supply company called Shindigz letting me know of their awesome new military discount offer. As a military wife, I always love finding companies that are military friendly, and Shindigz most certainly is that! All military personnel and family members get 20% off! How awesome is that!? Plus, they have a wonderful collection of Welcome Home party supplies that are just perfect for military homecomings! From personalized banners to patriotic decor...they have everything you need to make that homecoming even more special!

But this isn't just a site for the military! Shindigz offers a variety of party supplies and decorations. From birthday parties, to school dances, to weddings- they've got you covered! At the time I was contacted, my sisters and I were in the midst of planning a 25th Anniversary Party for our parents. What great timing! The company generously offered me a gift card to buy some supplies for that party in exchange for this review, and I got lots of great goodies-tablecloths, balloons, confetti, plates, napkins, beads and even a personalized banner!

Unfortunately, due to hubby's schedule (always working) and my son getting a stomach bug right before, we were unable to make the three hour drive to be there for the actual party! How disappointing! But my mom and sisters generously took several photos of the decor for me, and saved them afterwards so I could see them firsthand for this review as well. As you can see, in our family, we keep celebrations fairly simple, but for such a special occasion, it was nice to have a little something extra!

If you've ever shopped for a party, you know that decorations can be ridiculously expensive. One of the first things I noticed was that Shindigz's prices were very reasonable. Of course, it helped that the 25th Anniversary Napkins and Plates were on sale anyway, BUT regardless, the prices seemed great anyway! And they shipped out very quickly! We were a bit concerned on the timing- especially with ordering the personalized banner- as the party was just about 2 weeks away when I was contacted, but it came in PLENTY of time. (I'm sure it didn't hurt that the company is located in Indiana anyway). And the quality was wonderful! The plates and napkins were thick and just gorgeous. The banner was perfection. I'd had everything shipped to my mom's house, just in case (thankfully), and her mailman left the box with the banner halfway out of the mailbox...in the rain, but with it's thick vinyl material, it had no damage whatsoever! I was thoroughly impressed with the high quality! With the prices and that type of quality, I can definitely see myself ordering party supplies from them in the future!

And as I said, it's not just your typical party supplies either. They also have some wedding decor and even backdrops and decor for school dances. I actually found out later that this is the same company my old school used for our high school dances, which were always done so nicely as well!

Disclaimer: I received a gift certificate to purchase the above pictured products in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Frugal Fashion {Christmas Edition}

It's always fun to dress for the holidays, isn't it? In both my husband's and my family, we don't get super fancy...but I still can't resist adding in a little sparkle and shine for the holidays!

First of all, I have to start by saying that this picture does NOT do this outfit justice! It was really pretty in person, but with the flash, it just made it look odd! Darn! I've included another picture so you can see...it's very small though, the only one I could find!!

Dress: Mark (Avon). A Goodwill find. $4.
Leggings: Not 100% sure where these came from, but I'm fairly certain they were given to me. $0.
Leg Warmers: From Plato's Closet. About $3.
Boots: Plato's Closet, about $8.
Necklace: Stella & Dot. Sent to me from my wonderful blog sponsor Erica! Cost to me: $0.
Total Cost To Me: About $15.

I somehow managed to get through Christmas day without a single photo being taken of me! But the above is the outfit I wore (minus the jeans).
Tank Top: Forever 21. A Plato's Closet find from their grab bag event. This one still had the tags on! About $1.
Sweater: Charlotte Russe. A yard sale find. I want to say I spent about $1 for this.
Necklace: Same Stella & Dot necklace. $0.
Jeans: Banana Republic Skinny Jeans. Plato's Closet. $2.
Boots: Again, same boots from the above photo. About $8.
Total Cost: $14

Friday, December 28, 2012

Life Via Instagram {12/28}

I hope everyone had a great Christmas...ours was great! We weren't sure we were going to be able to actually go home for the holidays this year...Matt almost had to work! But thankfully he ended up with the days off and we were able to make it! It was still an odd Christmas though...our first living in Indiana...meaning no cross country road trip from California!! And unfortunately, the first year on both sides of the family that not EVERYONE was able to make it. But a great Christmas overall. Of course, I didn't get many pictures to show that...ooops!

The snow we got last week melted off pretty quickly, so we didn't have a white Christmas...but the day after Christmas? Well, that's a different story! We had so much snow we were under a blizzard warning!! Crazy! I'm not sure the official total, but I'd say there's at least a foot out there!
Thankfully, we made it back home before any of this started, but Matt did still have to be at work at 5 that morning...before he left there was nothing on the ground, but just a few hours later...well, you see! He made it home safely, but did get stuck a few times! I believe the roads are mostly clear now...I hope. I'm ready for post Christmas deals!!

A cute little project for the nursery...No, we have no idea if we'll be having a boy or girl yet...or how we will decorate the nursery, but I'll decorate around them if I have to...aren't they cute!?

Sometime last month, I found these picture frame sets at Target for $8...I bought 2! And I finally got around to putting them up! I still need a few more photos for the 5 x 7 frames, but we needed a little something on this wall, and I think it turned out quite nicely!

And one of my wonderful Christmas gifts...this red table for my kitchen. (From Target.)
Have I complained much about the lack of storage in my kitchen? Well, this adds a little extra anyway- with my basket of snacks. I think I might put a few of my vintage Pyrex bowls on here as well, which will free up more cabinet space AND let me show off at least a bit of my collection anyway!!
Aside from this table, I also got a little mini vacuum from my older sister (which I helped pick out...and am in LOVE with), a cardigan from my little sister, some flameless candles, towels, and cash...which I hope to spend a bit of at the Bath and Body Works sale soon!!

I just realized this will be my FINAL instagram post of 2012! Wherever did the year go!?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tagged! (Origami Owl Review)

Earlier this month, I shared with you a review on Origami Owl's super popular Living Lockets from my lovely sponsor, Francisca- an Independent Origami Owl Consultant. Around that same time, I was contacted on behalf of the company to review their Tagged collection, the new military dog tag inspired style! Having already fallen in love with the Living Lockets, I was excited to try out this new line as well. Here is a little bit about this line, straight from the company:

Origami Owl, a social selling brand best known for its unique line of customizable jewelry, and its flagship line, Living Lockets™, is proud to present its newest collection, TAGGED™. Building upon the brand’s popular customizable jewelry theme, the new line encapsulates the art of expression. Made in the USA, this versatile handcrafted collection combines solid fine pewter Tags with Earth Elements to create a statement about who you are and what you believe in.

The TAGGED collection includes a variety of elements that combine to make a statement that is entirely your own. Choose from Inspiration Tags, including words like Blessed, Love, Inspire, Believe, Gratitude, Happiness, Faith, Hope and others. Then, select Empowerment Tags to make a complete statement, such as I Have Love, I am Blessed, I Have Faith, and many more. The line features thirteen natural stones, called Earth Elements, which represent birthstones and are also known to have specific healing properties. Accent Tags feature a variety of pieces, such as a signature heart, a beautiful star, a delicate cross, and others. These are the perfect accent piece for your creation.

For this review, I received the I Can Empowerment Tag, Hope Inspiration Tag, Origami Owl Accent Tag, purple earth element tag, and the ball chain, as pictured above. Of course, the first thing I noticed was that the tags had the same great quality as I'd seen from the living lockets too. The tags are very simple, but absolutely gorgeous. I believe I've said before that I am a fan of statement necklaces...but some days (and with some outfits), a simple piece of jewelry is needed, and the Tagged collection is perfect for that! I've found myself wearing it almost daily since it came. It's truly the perfect everyday necklace... particularly for someone like me who enjoys those little words of inspiration on a daily basis. Plus, I have already received many comments on it, and who doesn't enjoy that on occasion?

With their dog tag inspired look, these would make a great gift for a military wife, mother, daughter, friend or service member. They have that great dog tag look and inspirational messages without being TOO over the top...so even those not affiliated with the military can enjoy them as well! Of course, the holidays are already over, but there are still many gift giving occasions- birthdays, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, baptism...or even just because! With their MANY options for customization and stunning options, these are a great gift for any woman in your life, for any occasion. And of course, there's no harm in spoiling yourself either!

Want to order? Contact your consultant!

I received the products mentioned in the post above for free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Frugal Fashion {12/22}

Time for another Frugal Fashion post...past time really, as I'd originally planned on this being a weekly thing. But between pregnancy blah-ness, a horrible cough and a stomach bug...well, taking a photo of myself was the last thing I wanted to do! But the cough and bug have finally passed, and the blah-ness comes and goes so time to get back into the swing of things!

Top: American Eagle- gift from my mother in law. (Whom I'm sure got a deal on it as well! She's a bargain shopper too!) Cost to me, nothing.
Cami: Maurices clearance, $4.
Jeans: American Eagle, Plato's Closet find during their grab bag event. Little over $1.
Boots: Plato's Closet. $8 after military discount.
Scarf: Stella & Dot. Sent for me to review, from my lovely sponsor Erica!
(As an added noted, the eyeshadow I was wearing here was free from Victoria's Secret as well...thanks to their Secret Rewards card!!)
Total Cost: Just over $13!!

I also wanted to share a website today that I've recently become addicted to. I don't usually share these type of sites here, but this is all about frugal fashion, so I figure it's appropriate! The website I'm talking about is ShopLately. If you've seen websites like Totsy, etc...it's similar to those. They have daily deals, new ones coming in every day. And they have the BEST referral program I've ever seen. When you sign up through Facebook, you get $5 credit to start. Because they often have deals $5 and under, there's already a shot for some free jewelry and accessories! You just pay shipping, which is only $2.99 anyway! To make it even better, for every friend that signs up via Facebook through your referral link, you get $5. (Up to $50, I believe!). That's just for signing up, they don't even have to make a purchase...BUT if they do make a purchase $15 or more, you get an additional $15 credit!

Using my sign up and referral credits, I was able to get both items pictured above for just $2.99. And that's $2.99 TOTAL! Wow! How awesome is that? And because one of my friends has already made a purchase (and I didn't use all my credits anyway), I still have $22 in credit in my account! Hello, free jewelry!! (And even if you choose not to pass it on to your friends, they still have some great deals...that $5 credit can go along way!) So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!! (Just remember you MUST sign up through Facebook to get that credit!)

Any frugal outfits you'd like to share? Or fashion deals, etc? Feel free to share your links in the comments!!

(Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. ShopLately did not ask me to post this, I personally wanted to share this great deal with all of you. No affiliate links are used...though my referral link is posted above!)

pleated poppy

Friday, December 21, 2012

Life Via Instagram {12/21}

Did I miss the end of the world? That was today, right?

Silly Mayans.

Well, since we're all still here, how about a recap of what was NOT our last week on Earth!?

That excited little blur of a Shaun can only mean one thing...that's right:

If you've followed long, you probably know of Shaun's love of snow. He used to stare out the window in California with tears because he wanted it to snow at his house. We've had a light snow, that didn't stick once since we've moved, so this was the first REAL snow. He was ecstatic!!!

Did you miss our little announcement yesterday? If you did, you should go take a look...it's super cute! But as you can see we are expecting another baby! This is the first photo of our newest addition. Okay, nothing really to see yet, but better than nothing!

And the beginning of the nursery! One of the Navy recruiters had all this barely used nursery furniture in his storage unit that he needed to get rid of, so he sold it to us cheap...$200 for EVERYTHING! That's the crib, changing table (and pad), glider and ottoman and night stand. What an awesome deal, right? We've already got a great head start on baby things- a few clothes (including a super cute Christmas sleeper!), boppy, sling, nursing cover, carseat canopy...at this rate we'll have everything bought in PLENTY of time! (Though to be honest, I have no idea how I'm going to choose the decor!)

When we went to Once Upon a Child to try to find Shaun a new Christmas sweater, we also stumbled on this cute little t-shirt from Old Navy. ACDC is daddy's favorite band, so I couldn't resist!!

Our gifts are all ready to be taken home to see family. Unfortunately, we're not 100% certain at this point that we'll actually be able to go home (Matt may have to work, ugh!)...so we'll see what happens!! Either way, we're READY!!

This is what we woke up to this morning. Pretty...even if it is COLD!

We found this cute Christmas Story 'Oh Fudge' stress bar at Target a few weeks back. So, when Daddy used a bad word, Shaun had to teach him a lesson! :)

Anyone watch the Jeff Probst Show? If so, you probably saw this story. I know I've mentioned the church camp I went to as a teenager many times. Jen was actually my roommate my first year there (and actually the first person I met there, period!), and such an inspiration to all! It was great to see her story, it really is quite amazing!!

This is Shaun's drawing of the PBS logo. I've never seen a child so into logos! 

life rearranged

Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Addition To Shaun's Santa List!

That's right, we are happy to announce that we are pregnant again! We weren't sure if we were going to announce it just yet, after the miscarriage last month, but we've had a string of bad news lately it seems, and wanted to share something positive. Plus, I know if anything does go wrong, we are going to need a ton of prayers, but so far everything is looking great! We had our first ultrasound on Tuesday, and while it's still too early to see anything else, we did see the gestational sac and took great comfort in that. My HCG levels are also going up quickly, as they should, so at this point in time, everything seems to be going very well!

Thank you so much for all the prayers after our miscarriage last month, and please continue to keep us in your prayers during this time! God is awesome, what a perfect Christmas gift for our family!

Monday, December 17, 2012

On Autism & Violence

If you've been watching the news, you've probably heard the rumors that the Newtown shooter (whose name I am purposely refusing to repost), may have had some form of Autism. Sound familiar? It was just earlier this year when the same was said of the Colorado shootings.  As a mom, my heart breaks for those children killed, and those loved ones left behind. As an Autism mom, my heart also breaks again for our children who are once again being placed under a category of mass murderers.

Children and adults with Autism already have to fight so much harder than anyone in this world should have to. They have to fight to live in the world that can be overwhelming and sometimes hard for them to understand. They have to fight to prove that they are capable of accomplishing amazing things. They have to fight to gain the understanding and respect that they deserve. They have to fight against bullies. They have to fight against false stereotypes that tell us they lack intelligence. As parents, we have to fight for the services they need and to gain that understanding and respect they deserve as well. And now we have to fight against the fear that such stories cause- that Autism is somehow associated with mass murder!? It's complete nonsense.

In the past, I have shared our struggles dealing with Shaun's aggression. I have to be entirely honest when I say I had debated long and hard before making any of those posts in fear that I would somehow give the idea that individuals with Autism were violent in nature. In the end, I decided to share because the truth is, for some within the spectrum, aggression is the reality that we have to deal with. Aggression and these acts of violence like what occurred on Friday are two entirely different matters, and something I felt the need to address today.

When my son gets into these aggressive behaviors, it is in the moment. His schedule changed, or something did not go as he believed in his mind that it should go. His Lego creation fell apart. The iPhone died in the middle of his game. Sometimes the cause cannot be determined- sensory overload perhaps? Regardless, when things go wrong, he gets upset. Most of us know how to deal with our frustrations, or at the very least, know how to express them. For many with Autism, even those like my son who ARE verbal, that is not nearly so easy, which leads to meltdowns, and yes, even aggression. It is a matter of not knowing what else to do, in that very moment. He does not meticulously plan every meltdown, every bite, every thrown toy. He doesn't contemplate in his mind how he is going to hit mommy or himself. He does whatever he can to get that frustration out, in THAT moment. When these moments pass, he is back to his sweet, loveable self. Most moms who have a child on the spectrum that deal with similar issues will tell you the same thing.

Events like what happened Friday in Newtown, or in July in Colorado are not acts that took place in the moment. Obviously, we know in Colorado, it was a well thought out plan. We're still learning the details from Newtown of course, but we can at least see that there was forethought given to get into a vehicle and make his way to that school. He was dressed for battle. That is not the mind of someone who is acting in that moment.

Could the shooter have had Autism? Honestly, I don't know. What I do know is that we cannot blame Autism for his actions. The reality is that individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities are far more likely to be the victims of horrible crimes than the one carrying them out. Bullying, abuse, sexual abuse...all are far too common, and all committed by 'normal' individuals.Why isn't the media going crazy with that? 'Normal' people commit violent crimes far more often, so why is it even a factor? To make it so is unfair to my son and millions of others like him. Let's take a look at this from another perspective...if they had reported that the shooter were of a specific racial background and stated this was likely a factor, would we stand back and take that? Absolutely not! We'd be up in arms! How is this any different? You don't choose your race, you don't choose to have Autism. All people who are of any race are not the same, and all individuals who may or may not have Autism are not the same. Let us instead place the blame where the blame is due- solely on the individual who walked into that school with the mission of taking those lives. Autism or not, HE is the only one to blame, period.

I am going to close this out with some words from the official release from the Autism Society of America on the subject because they truly say it better than I ever could:

This morning, many national media outlets are rep
orting that the shooter was autistic. While as of yet, this has not been officially documents, many newspapers and television outlets are stating that the individual who shot the children and teachers was autistic. And, in such reports, there is an implication that autism might have had an impact on the person's mindset in leading to the shootings.

There is absolutely no evidence or any reliable research that suggests a linkage between autism and planned violence. To imply or suggest, as some are doing, that some linkage exists is wrong and harmful to the over 1.5 million law abiding, non-violent and wonderful individuals who live with autism each and every day. Stereotyping an entire group of individuals because of the actions of one is something is wrong and can't be accepted.

We ask that people not judge any autistic person based on what is being said about the killer of the innocent children and teachers. Rather, we ask that we continue to put our nation's attention on being there for the children and teachers who were killed yesterday.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sticky Situations {A Sponsored Post}

Have you ever seen a boy so happy to be covered in mud!?
As a mom to a 5 year old boy, if there's one thing I know about- it's messes!
Crayons on the wall. A blizzard of flour. Mud puddles. Cotton candy bigger than your head. Diving headfirst into ice cream cones. Getting into mommy's makeup. Squirting a nearly full bottle of lotion EVERYWHERE! Wet silly putty on the floor. Being an artist...on himself. You name it, we've pretty much seen it all. I have often said my child is a magnet for dirt, because if there's even the slightest chance of a mess to be made, he manages to find a way to make it.

A snow storm of flour, anyone?

The before...but a 5 year old and cotton candy bigger than his head...you can imagine the after!

When you have to eat your ice cream quick on those hot summer days, you just have to go for it...face first!

Of course, these are only a few that I have pictures of. This doesn't show the various times he's decided he wants to be green and colored himself with a marker...right after bath time! Or that time (okay, times) that we had BLUE popcorn...messiest food ever! And you know, that whole 'm&ms melt in your mouth, not in your hands' thing...total nonsense. Oh, and we cannot forget eating the Nutella straight from the jar...with no spoon! Oh yes, we know messes!

Perhaps one of our biggest messes- at least when we were away from home- involved a chocolate fountain. Sounds wonderful, right? Shaun thought so too. Cookies, rice crispy treats, fruit...all dipped in chocolate, and he wanted it ALL. What kind of parents would we be if we didn't let him indulge, at least a little? He had so much fun dipping his food in that chocolate fountain...and even more fun eating his chocolate-y goodness...his messy chocolaty goodness that is!! Oh my goodness, what a mess! Not only was it his mouth and hands, but he somehow managed to spread the chocolate love to his eyebrows and hair! Napkins? Who needs them when you have a perfectly good shirt!? (Why mommy didn't snap a picture, I'll never know!) Being our first time at this particular restaurant  we had no idea and did not come prepared so we had to attempt to lead our 'love to touch EVERYTHING' little boy to the bathroom, all the way across the place to get him cleaned up! We'll never make THAT mistake again! But you want to know the best-or perhaps worst- part of this messy, messy story- he ate strawberries, and along with that chocolate had strawberry juice smeared all over him too. Not so bad, right? Right...unless you're allergic like this mommy here! After some Shaun-y love I was ready for the benadryl!!

With every mess there's a lesson to be learned, right? So, here are a few I've learned over time- from this mess and others:
  • Carry a big bag, and make sure there are ALWAYS wet wipes handy! If it's not a chocolate fountain, it's a mud puddle, or a piece of candy, or whatever else your little one finds to make a mess with. Always come prepared for anything!
  • But most importantly, remember that sometimes it's okay to have a little mess. Kids are only young once, and they'll look back fondly on those messy memories while we as parents probably won't remember every single mess we cleaned up. So let them have their fun, and worry about the mess later!
Do you have a messy little one too? Would you like to share your stories and tips for a chance to win some awesome prizes, like an iPad mini or tickets to Six Flags? Wet Ones is giving you the chance to do just that with their Sticky Situations Contest on Facebook. How great is that!? I'm entering now myself!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating. All messes are 100% my own!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

On Losing Our Baby

This is not an easy post to write, and one I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to. But I have written honestly about deployments, I've written honestly about Autism, and I felt it was important to write about this too...the great thing about the blog world is finding stories from people who have gone through the same thing and knowing that you're not alone, and so here I am sharing my story.

Friday, November 9th, I took a home pregnancy test and was excited to see a faint positive line. That Monday, the blood test confirmed the pregnancy and we excitedly told our friends and family. We could not contain our excitement. As I had said before, from the moment you get that first inkling that you might be pregnant, it is amazing how quickly you fall in love with that sweet baby. It's instantaneous. There is nothing like it.

The next Saturday, November 17, I started to have some light bleeding (I apologize if TMI, there's really no other way to tell the story). After calling the doctor they said it could be normal but if it got worse or I started having any cramping with that to head to the ER. A few hours later, both happened and we made our way there. I tried to stay optimistic along the way. I'd had issues with UTIs, etc during my pregnancy with Shaun and prayed that baby brother/sister was just a trouble maker like big brother. After several exams, ultrasounds and a blood test, I finally got the news. My blood test had shown that my HCG level was at 7. This wouldn't even show on a pregnancy test, which meant the level had definitely gone down and I was definitely losing the baby. It was devastating.

The technical term for what happened to us is a chemical pregnancy. What a horrible term that is! It makes it sound like you weren't ever really pregnant and it wasn't a real miscarriage. But I was, and it was. This is apparently extremely common, and most women might never even know they were pregnant or miscarried to begin with because it's so early.

Calling it a chemical pregnancy, or knowing that I was only 4 weeks along might make some people think we're over reacting, or that it's not that bad. Would it have been harder had I been further along? Perhaps. Probably in fact. But it doesn't make the loss any less real. Not only do you fall in love the moment you see that second line, but you also start thinking of the new life...no matter how far along in pregnancy, it's a tough thing to deal with.

But I also feel incredibly blessed. I will talk more about our decision to try for #2 at another time, but for now I will say that it was a tough decision for me and I had a lot of doubts if it was really what I wanted. But once we had that news, those doubts were replaced and I knew that it was the right time and that it would all work out. And losing this baby solidified that decision.

As a family, we've survived a lot, and we'll survive this as well. And someday soon I am confident we will welcome a new little one into our family, and it will be just the baby God intended us to have.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Lately there have been many jokes made about the world coming to an end next week. Does most of the world truly believe this is going to happen? Probably not. But the reality is, life could truly be over when we least expect it. We don't go to a movie theater or a mall with the thought that we will never return home. We don't kiss our children goodbye and put them on the school bus or drop them off at school believing that this will be the last time we do so. Tragedies like the events today in Connecticut prove that while we never expect these things to happen, it doesn't mean they won't.

Having a child who is the same age as these children affected, this story hits entirely too close to home. It is absolutely heartbreaking and horrifying that someone could commit such a horrible act against BABIES. I cannot imagine what these parents must be going through. I know when they sent their children off to school they never could have dreamed that this would happen. Life is too short...for these poor kids, it was tragically too short. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, and as hard as that is to think about, the good news is that we have today. Today I will snuggle my baby boy a little closer. I'll keep telling him I love him 100 times a day. I will tickle him until he can't speak and enjoy those precious giggles. I will put off the dishes and give my son the attention he asks for. And most importantly, I will pray for those parents who will not have that chance again.

Life Via Instagram {12/14}

Seems I didn't do my 'Life via Instagram' last week...not sure what happened there, but that just means lots to share this week. Actually, most of these are from last week I think. Shaun and I have been sick all this week. I'm going to blame, for the most part, the crazy weather. Hot and cold and hot again...our poor bodies can't handle it!! Has Indiana weather always been this way, and I'd just gotten used to California!? Crazy! On top of the horrible coughs and runny noses, Shaun was also struck last night by some type of stomach bug! Blech! (What's even worse is that it means that we will be missing my parent's 25th Anniversary Party this weekend...3 hours is too long a drive to risk puke in a car, especially since the husband has to work so it'd be just me!) Anyway, enough of that, onto some pictures!

I've mentioned Shaun's new found obsession with Star Wars, right? And of course I know I've talked about his long time obsession with Christmas! So when we saw this cute little Star Wars tree at Toys R Us, he just HAD to have it!! He decorated it himself! (I did redecorate later so we could add some lights and a little star.) I figure if the boys get a Star Wars tree (because you know, Daddy appreciates it too!), then mommy should get a pink tree too, right? They don't agree...maybe next year!

I have to make a confession, I've been really bad about getting my coupons organized lately. It can take me a few weeks to get them cut, and often they don't even end up in the binder after they're cut...just a little ziploc baggie I take with me shopping. This makes getting them all ready for checkout much harder, to say the least. When my mother in law came to visit last month, we scored these adorable coupon binders at Target...on clearance of course! We each bought one and I'm happy to say I FINALLY got everything clipped and organized. Since I primarily shop at the commissary, I have my binder arranged by the layout of the store. It works for me! Do you use a coupon binder? How do you organize? 

Have you seen the Carseat Canopy deal floating around? Pay just shipping (about $12) for a Carseat Canopy with the code ENBABY...Regular price is $50, so that's a pretty awesome deal if you ask me! I actually purchased this before we lost our baby, but it was on back order and just arrived last week. As we still intend on adding onto our family soon, I was still excited to get it. I cannot tell you how absolutely gorgeous and soft it is in person. The bottom photo shows the under side of the canopy, and yes, it's just as soft as it looks...maybe more so! If you haven't already, I definitely suggest heading over to carseatcanopy.com and place your order!! (You can also use the same code with Seven Slings & Udder Covers for a free carrier and nursing cover...again just pay shipping! A deal like that is too good to pass up...I ordered all 3!!)

My silly little man...he was supposed to smile! Ha!

Over the weekend, my husband requested fried chicken. Can I just say I hate making fried chicken? Because in all honesty, I'm not that great at it. I have never been able to get it crispy enough like my husband would prefer. But I'm happy to say, I finally figured it out! It was perfect! But that's not really the point of the  picture...the point is, this is why you should wear an apron when making fried chicken...flour EVERYWHERE! 

Shaun was using Siri to text Daddy. Actually, the first message he used Siri, the second message he typed...and I have no idea where he got 'OMG' because I NEVER use that! So silly!!

On Shaun's wishlist this year- the Wii U...which unfortunately is out of budget, so he took matter into his own hands! If only it were that easy, right?

Our little tree is filling up with gifts! (There are actually a lot more than it looks...just lots of little packages and everything is bunched together so it's not in the way...we didn't have an ideal place for the tree!)

I may have a little bit of a body spray addiction, but is that really such a bad thing!?

I won this wonderful Boppy from a giveaway over at Sippy Cup Chronicles. Again, this is a giveaway I'd entered before our miscarriage, but regardless, I know it will be used before too long, and I was thrilled to win. This is actually on my list of baby must haves...we used it ALL THE TIME with Shaun...aside from nursing, it was also great for propping him up on the floor (or playpen) and a little added support when he was learning to sit on his own!

A project that had needed done for ages...organizing all my cleaning supplies above the washer and dryer! I had to lower this bottom shelf, which I'd thought would be much harder than it actually was...so glad to have it done now!

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned our struggle with getting Shaun to agree to get rid of the Thomas bed...which he honestly hasn't slept in in ages!! He can't seem to part with it but we really don't have the room, so as I was taking it apart, I came up with a compromise- I moved the front, toy box piece into his bedroom...It's not ideal, but he's happy and it freed up space so I'll take it!!

Loved seeing this in my Dayspring Christmas countdown...one of my very favorite verses!

And speaking of Dayspring...after contemplating this lovely tabletop mirror since it came out, I finally purchased it!! I have the jewelry tree from the same collection, as you can see, so it was a perfect addition!! Seriously, gorgeous!!

In my last Instagram post, I shared the bird cage card holder I'd bought. (Once again from Dayspring!). When I purchased it, I honestly had no idea where I was going to put it, but I realized it worked quite nicely on my bedroom with the other bird decor!! Still loving it!

Oh, and while you're here, don't forget to enter the Scentsy giveaway I have going on for a chance to win a plugin and bar! The Origami Owl winner has been chosen and notified, so please be sure to check your emails and see if you've won! (And check your spam folders too, just in case!!

life rearranged