February 26, 2017

2017 Bucket List

I used to create a bucket list every season, we would typically get out and do something on said list each weekend and Andy and I both loved that. Having a baby in the winter has made getting out a little more difficult. Instead of making a bucket list for each season, I've opted to make a bucket list for the year.

1. Ride in a biplane
2. Go kayaking
3. Climb Mt. Adams
4. Run The Dirty Dash
5. Go parasailing
6. Ride my bike around Crater Lake
7. Visit all the lighthouses in Oregon
8. Go backpacking overnight
9. Climb one of the sisters
10. Run Color Me Rad
11. Run a half marathon
12. Go to the rock slides
13. Visit the High Desert Museum
14. Climb Mt. Jefferson
15. Climb Mary's Peak
16. Visit Seaside
17. Go crabbing
18. Go trapeezing
19. Go to a Mariner's game
20. Climb Mailbox Peak
21. Crawl through the lava cave
22. Go 4 wheeling at the dunes
23. Camp at the ocean
24. Swim at Belnap Hot Springs
25. Go on a vacation
26. Go snow shoeing
27. Go standup paddle boarding
28. Do a 50 mile bike ride
29. Hike Multnomah Falls
30. Hike Silver Falls
31. Visit national cave in Southern Oregon
32. Hike Blue Pool
33. Go whitewater rafting

February 23, 2017

Thursday Thought

It's been awhile since I have shared a Thursday Thought. Bubba is sleeping, Andy is working on the car and I have a few minutes to myself to just write.

One thing I love is a good quote. I can't recall when I came across this one, but I sure love it!

"You have the potential to become anything to which you set your mind. You have a mind and a body and a spirit. With these three working together, you can walk the high road that leads to achievement and happiness. But this will require great effort and sacrifice and faith."
 - President Gordon B. Hinckley

Your mind is very a powerful tool, maybe it should be referred to as a weapon. Anyways, your mind is strong. It is powerful! It can help you to keep going during difficult times or it can cause you to give up. What's the difference between perseverance and giving up? You decide. It seems like a trick question but the real answer is that you decide. You can do anything you set your mind to, even the impossible. The impossible doesn't come without a price though, it requires work. Sometimes that mean doing something outside your comfort zone. 

Where do you want to be? Who do you want to become? What's holding you back? What are you going to do about it?

February 16, 2017

The Magnolia Story

One of the things I look forward to when I go to the gym is watching HGTV. My favorite show on HGTV is Fixer Upper. I just love Chip and Joanna, they are so funny! Now you might be scratching your head wondering why I don't watch HGTV at home, well we don't have cable.

Just before Christmas, I learned that Chip and Joanna had written a book and I had to have it (it was literally one of four items on my Christmas list). I received the book for Christmas and read it in a few days.

Their book is Amazing! I would say it's in my top ten. It really is that good! The Magnolia Story lets you step inside the lives of Chip and Joanna. You learn how they met, how they started doing what they do and how they landed their television show. You also learn about their financial struggles, newlywed problems and their relationship with God. All of this is interlaced with hysterical predicaments the two would find themselves in.

I read portions of the book out loud to Andy and we both found ourselves laughing. We also felt very motivated and inspired to go after our dreams after reading their story. This book is a must read!

February 15, 2017

Resouces For New Moms In Eugene & Springfield

Having a new baby at times can be hard and challenging. It's even harder though when you don't have family nearby. As a new mom I have discovered a lot of resources that are available for little to no cost to new mamas. I frequently find myself sharing the things I have learned with other new parents, so I thought I would share my findings on the blog.

1. If you create a baby registry with Target, they will give you a free goody bag and 15% off of the remaining items on your registry.
2. Shop second hand (yard sales, Offer Up, eBay, Craigslist) before the baby comes. People will often give a first time pregnant mom good deals. We scored on a crib for $15.00 and it retails for over $170.00 We picked up a Rock 'N Play for $10.00 and it retails for over $70.00.
3. Daisy Chain is amazing! You have to go in and sign up in person before your baby is born and notify them once the baby comes. During the first two weeks after your baby is born they will send a lactation consultant and doula to your home to help you for a total of 10 hours. Everything is completely free and is not based on income. They even have a thrift store and you can take whatever you want for free as long as you are signed up with them.
4. Sign up with the formula companies (Similac, Enfamil and Gerber) they will send you coupons and free formula in the mail.
5. They're are always coupons online for diapers- use them! Diapers are expensive.
6. Parenting Now has all kinds of parenting groups. The classes cost money but scholarships are available. It's nice to be able to talk to other parents going through the same thing you are.
7. All My Children has a sale once a month where everything is $0.25. You have to dig through these big storage containers but they have some really nice stuff for cheap.
8. The Itty Bitty Boutique Sale is a must! The sale happens every six months out at Camp Harlow. First time parents can shop the night before the sale opens but you must register before hand as space is limited. They have everything from strollers to toys to clothing. It is super organized too!
9. The Springfield Library will give your baby two free books. The library also has story time for babies once a week.
10. If you live in Eugene you can sign up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. They will send you kiddo a free age appropriate book each month until the age of 5. That's 60 free books!
11. There is a non profit called Hike It Baby. It is a group of mama's who get together to go hiking with their babies. I haven't tried it out yet due to my baby being so young but look forward to it in a few months. The cost associated with this group is $10.00 for a year.
12. Another program in the area is called Well Mama, they offer free support to mom's struggling with postpartum depression.
13. WIC is also a really cool program. They will send you vouchers for food (beans, milk, cheese, cereal, etc). This program is based on income.
14. The great breast pump ordeal- When I had Bubba I was given a prescription for a breast pump. The problem was nobody in town would accept our insurance and I didn't want to spend over $300.00 for an electric pump so for 6 weeks Bubba was exclusively breast fed without the aid of a pump. At six weeks old he was re-admitted to the hospital for seizure like activity. As I was talking with one of his nurses about breastfeeding she said the hospital had a pump I could use. I told her I had never pumped before and explained why and she seemed surprised. Not only did she teach me how to pump, she told me I could keep the parts to the pump and suggested looking on Craigslist and Facebook to see if someone was selling a pump for cheap. She suggested using my new parts and a used motor. We found a pump that had only been used for 1 week for $35.00. We threw out the parts that the previous owner had used and attached my new parts-- good as new! We will be forever grateful to that nurse. Moral of the story- when you have your baby ask your nurse to teach you how to pump and keep the parts just in case nobody will accept your insurance for a pump.
15. Lansinoh nursing pads are the best in my opinion and are cheapest on Amazon.
16. A wise friend advised me to take everything home from the hospital that I could, you're paying to be there might as well. I took home things like lanolin, soothing gel pads for nipples, thermometer, extra pads, diapers, wipes, etc. 

Products we can't live without:
1. B.O.B stroller (found it on Offer Up for a fraction of the price)
2. Rock 'N Play (found at yard sale for $10)
3. Baltic amber anklet (Etsy- it helps with drool)
4. Medela breast pump (see story above)
5. Ergo 360 (eBay)
6. Pacifier (I didn't plan on giving Bubba one of these, so glad I have though)

February 9, 2017

Beautiful Boy

Just before Bubba was born we watched the movie Mr. Holland's Opus. I had seen the movie many years ago in a sign language class but Andy had never seen it (the movie is super good and we highly recommend it). At the end of the movie Mr. Holland signs John Lennon's song Beautiful Boy to his son. Andy and I were so touched by the words of this song. Once we brought Bubba home from the hospital we found ourselves singing this song to him. It has since become Bubba's song.

Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster's gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way, it's getting better and better

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we'll both just have to be patient
'Cause it's a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes, it's a long way to go
But in the meantime

Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way, it's getting better and better

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Darling, darling, darling
Darling Sean 

*We change the name Sean to Bubba's name

January 21, 2017

Bubba At 2 Months

You're 2 months old today, Bubba! It's kind of like a birthday of sorts for you!

You love to take baths, you just don't like getting out of the water. You enjoy riding in your stroller and going on walks. You love laying on your changing pad. You like to kick your legs and are learning to hold your head up. You hate dirty diapers and aren't afraid to let us know when you need changed. You love looking at lights and other shiny objects. You like to coo and smile. We just love you!

January 18, 2017

Maternity Photos

I believe we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and each and everyone of us was created in his image. Our bodies are a gift from God and as such should be treated with the utmost care (diet, exercise, sleep, etc). Sadly society has decided that it is okay to pick people apart about the way they look, this problem only seems to be getting worse. Over the years I have heard: I am too fat, I have a tummy, I need to lose body fat, I sleep too much, I look anorexic, I need to eat more, I need to have plastic surgery, I need to dress more feminine and I need to wear makeup everyday. These kinds of comments have come from friends, family members, coaches and strangers alike. For the most part I have been able to let these kinds of comments roll of my shoulders. Other times I have heard these kinds of comments repeatedly and they have caused me to feel a little more self conscience about myself.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was excited but I was also nervous about the changes that were taking place in my body. I hoped to not get stretch marks, varicose veins and had dreams of putting on only 25 pounds. About this same time the prying questions began: How much weight have you put on? Do you have stretch marks? Lets see a belly shot. Next thing I know my pregnancy is being compared to my peers who are pregnant- this made me feel sad and at times very hurt. I don't believe that these people were truly concerned about me, they were concerned about my image. It wasn't too long before I began to feel self conscience about my ever changing body. I give props to those who are able to take a belly photo every week and post it online for the world to see. I am not one of those people.

As my pregnancy progressed, I found myself debating whether or not I wanted to have maternity photos taken. If I did have them taken, would I share them with others? In the end I decided that I did want to have some photos taken but I wouldn't share them with people.

As I have reflected on my pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum my feelings about sharing my maternity photos have changed. My body is amazing! It created a new life and brought a little one into the world- that in and of itself is miraculous! I find pride in my stretchmarks, they are a symbol of what my body has been through. Those extra pounds on my body and that little pooch- they will go away with time. I am more than my body. My body doesn't define who I am. It's what's on the inside that counts. Am I the person God intended me to be? I am sure trying and that's what matters most.

About two weeks before my due date (3 weeks before Bubba was actually born), our talented friend Kirsten took some maternity photos for us. We love how they turned out!