Dear Neighbors

28th May 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Let me stop you right there, because I already know what you’re thinking:

Here we go with another letter from one of the old bats who lives in our neighborhood complaining about us. At least I can post it on Reddit later.

But you’re totally wrong.

See, I’m not much older than you.

In my day, we did exactly what you are doing now, because my day was only about five years ago.

Granted, we still spoke in mostly fully sentences and the only time you would hear us use the word gorge (or “gorg” as you spell it) was to describe the Grand Canyon or a giant plate of chili cheese fries, but I digress.

I know you probably think we are worlds apart because I’m a mom, but I’m not like other moms, I’m a cool mom.

And maybe you didn’t get that reference because Mean Girls came out when you were only ten years old but that’s alright, you get my drift.

Sure, you share the same turn-down-for-what mindset as my two year old and I go to bed at 9pm, but that’s neither here nor there.

The point of the matter is, I’m completely kick back and cool and maybe one day when I’m not 30+ weeks pregnant we can shotgun a beer together.

In the meantime, feel free to throw your beer cans over the back fence and I’ll help you recycle those bad boys.

Anything to help you guys have a better time.

Speaking of you having a good time, I’ve been noticing a lot of mid-week parties, which is cool.

Margarita Mondays, Tequilla Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesday, etc.

You know what’s totally crazy though?

On a Tuesday night I’m usually trying to put my son to sleep when you are just waking up from a pre-party nap.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good Lorde song backtracking my son’s nighttime routine, I just don’t know how I feel about Uptown Funk at 2 am rattling my nightstand lamps.

So I was just wondering if you could, you know…


Just, keep it down.

Like, pipe the fuck down already you damn children.

You’re the only 20-something year olds that live in this entire neighborhood yet you act like you’re in the middle of greek row.

We have dog walking groups with 80-year old men, kids selling grapefruits in front of their house, and tree-lined streets.

You’re not at San Diego state, you go to frickin’ Whittier college and we don’t even live close enough to your school to justify your college style antics.

I deal with a tantruming toddler all day long while carrying an extra 20+ pounds of baby that makes my woo-haw hurt when I stand and just pray that my sciatica calms down long enough for me to finally get some sleep at the end of the day.

 So when I am abruptly woken up by the screams of your youth and Nicki Minaj chanting, “hey mama mama mama” it feels like a direct taunting and I am not the woman you want to taunt.

I birth and raise children for a living:



I’m sorry guys.

That was just pregnancy talking, we’re still cool.

 I’m sure you just didn’t realize how loud you were being on the weekdays and I hope we’re all on the same page now.

And hey, if you ever need to hide your weed, you can always use my son’s play set.


Your Neighbor

*I hate even having to put a disclaimer up, but some people are insane so here we go: This was a satirical post and was in no way meant to be taken seriously. Aka, I wouldn’t let someone store weed in my son’s play set so calm down.*


Monday Bump (On Tuesday!): 30 Weeks

26th May 2015

I am officially in the 10 week countdown!

Sweet mother of pearl, this is going by fast.

Only two and a half months (or less) left until I get to meet baby B and I am so excited.

We spent our last double digit week having some fun and awkwardness so let’s go ahead and dive in.

*Note: I am actually 31 weeks. All posts will be a week behind.*


Declan and Bennett’s shared room is really rolling now.

Derek finished the toddler bed (which he made from scratch) and I found an awesome project dresser on Craigs List for $35.

I am horribly complicated when it comes to decorating but lucky for me, my husband is always up for the ridiculous tasks I present him.

The dresser which will also serve as a changing table is an easy one and he’s actually already almost done with it.


I changed the theme of their room (I’m complicated, remember?) and I’m beyond excited to reveal the finished product within the next few weeks!


At 30 weeks, Bennett is measuring around 15.2-16.7 inches long and 2.5-3.8 pounds and boy can I tell.

He is big on rolling but he’s running out of room in there which is making all of his movements even more pronounced.

It’s starting to hurt when he tumbles around, especially when he moves to one side.


We went up to the family cabin for Memorial Day weekend and it was really lovely.

Lazy weekends don’t really exist for us with Declan the firecracker, but this one was an exception to the rule.

We went to the lake, took family naps, and sat by the fire having crossword puzzle races.

It was some much needed family down time.

Not to mention D was made for the outdoors.

I see a lot of camping and cabin trips in our family’s future with my rugged little man.


The only negative thing about the weekend was that my sciatica was in full force.

I was in so much pain by the mornings that it hurt to walk.

It’s been a little better since coming home however, so I’m hoping it was just because the bed at the cabin was too firm.


I passed my glucose test (yay!) but we found out that I am currently slightly anemic.

It’s no biggie, but I’ve been consequently craving ice like a fiend and have to add an iron supplement to my daily routine.


Two and a half years ago when I was pregnant with Declan, we were at the cabin and I had a horrible craving for a shake.

There was snow on the ground but that didn’t stop me from hunting out a place to satisfy my desire.

I ended up getting an Oreo cookie shake from a small diner down the road and ever since then I have said it was the best Oreo shake I’ve ever had.

I hadn’t had it since that day but this weekend I really wanted it again.

So while it was 45 degrees outside I drove over to said diner and satisfied by craving.


I miss being able to get up quickly from a sitting position.

It’s the little things, like being able to move, that get you.


We are taking maternity photos next week and I’m really excited about it!

I love our photographer Brenda and I know she is going to capture the most fantastic pictures so I can’t wait.


More Than A Name On A Grave

23rd May 2015

Yesterday my brother’s troop made their way from a pitstop in Germany to Afghanistan where they will spend the next nine months actively serving our military.

I don’t pretend to know the circumstances overseas, I only know what he told us, what he was able to tell us.

Today, I think about the thousands of families that have watched their loved ones set off into the unknown, wondering if that would be the last time they ever got to see their face again.

And I hope you have taken the time to think of them too.

We all know a soldier.

Up until 42 years ago, the men in our country had no choice but to fight, so almost every American household has a relative that served.

Now, the men and women of our military are all volunteers, meaning they choose to put their lives on the line everyday for your freedoms and for mine.

Today is a day of remembrance.

It’s a day to be thankful for these soldiers that fell fighting for us.

That still fall fighting for us.

It is a day to celebrate them.

They fought hard so we could do just that.

They gave up their lives so that we could spend weekends with our loved ones bbqing, walk our kids through the park, and maintain all other American freedoms that we take for granted on a daily basis.

My brother will miss the birth of his first born child so that your husband doesn’t have to miss yours.

When my grandpa died I remember being so upset at the reception of his funeral.

Everybody came back to his house and all of these random adults I had never met in my life were sitting around the table eating free food and laughing.

It felt so disrespectful to me for them to be happy when my grandpa was no longer with us.

My cousin and I crawled into his closet and cried while talking about how all of these people didn’t belong there and how rude everyone was for celebrating while we mourned.

I imagine that some families feel the same way on this day.

As their hearts hurt they see countless Facebook and Instagram posts of people in their “twice a year” patriot outfits saying things like, “Happy Memorial Day!” on a day that is filled with so much sorrow.

But I don’t agree with making people feel bad about enjoying today.

As I grew, I realized that the people at my grandpa’s reception were not being disrespectful, they were praising his life.

They shared stories and showed one another who my grandpa was in their eyes, giving everyone a new perspective on the incredible man he was.

I wish now that I had listened to their stories and learned more about his humor, his triumphs, and his “Sweet Old Bob” moments that made him such a memorable person.

You’re not an asshole if you are happy about having a day off of work and want to grill up some burgers with your friends.

But while you proudly display your patriotism today and scream ‘Merica at your backyard bbq with a beer in hand, don’t forget to take a moment to really think about what this day represents.

The land of the free does not come for free.

It’s debt is paid with the blood of our own.

We all know a solider.

So take a moment to ask about a fallen one today.

Listen to someone’s story about the one they loved who fought for our freedom and died doing so.

Ask about more than just how they died.

Ask who they were, how they lived.

Let’s celebrate these men and women today by learning about them as people, not just a name on a grave.


Monday Bump: 29 Weeks

18th May 2015

It’s Monday which means it is time for a bump-date!

*Note: I’m actually 30 weeks today. All posts will be a week behind.*

*That frizz is alll me ladies and gents. My hair doesn’t get along well with snow. I also wanted to take a picture next to the lake, but I am a terrible blogger and I left my camera in it’s case until the morning when we were leaving when I realized I still hadn’t taken my bump photo.*


The Franklins hit the road on Thursday for a trip to June Lake with three other families from Derek’s work.

We took on the 5 1/2-6 hour drive with a toddler and prayed that the odds be ever in our favor.

Lucky for us, they were, and Declan did great both on the way there and back.

I magically didn’t have to pee every ten minutes as well which was great because Derek and I both hate frequent stops.


You know you’re a parent when your music selection for a road trip goes from Top Hits to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Pandora station.

The best part is that Derek and I were singing along to almost every song that played.


Shortly after arriving, it began to snow.

We knew from the weather reports that it had snowed recently and that it would be cold, but we hadn’t anticipated it snowing while we were there.

Derek’s big dreams of getting to the lake and fishing right away were squashed by the powdery white stuff and we spent almost the entire first day indoors.


The weather cleared up on Friday for a while and we were able to go fishing.

(Most fashionable fisher, I am not).

I hadn’t been since I was about ten years old so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

To my surprise, I really enjoyed it.

It was such a relaxing and peaceful time and I really loved just talking and laughing on the boat with Derek.

The fishing was awful all weekend for everyone on the lake which was a big let down, but I still had a good time.

I also learned how to cast a line, gut a fish, and drive a boat, so I would consider that a success.


I learned pretty quickly that high altitude and pregnancy don’t mix.

I’m a very active person but I found myself out of breath after only walking a small flight of stairs.

It definitely made the trip more challenging trying to hold Declan and walk somewhere and it made me feel super pregnant.

Speaking of super pregnant, I noticed that I have started leading with my belly, which cracks me up.

I stop when I notice I’m doing it, but I know it’s only a matter of time before it takes over and a full blown waddle shows up with it.


Derek and I watched the documentary “Fed Up” and it really hit me.

So I completely gutted our fridge and pantry and got rid of everything that had any form of sugar in it

So I started the week strong, craving healthy foods but ended it demanding cake.

We didn’t plan our food well enough for the trip, so even though we had a full kitchen in our cabin we barely used it.

And since I knew I was coming home to a sugarless house, it was all I wanted while I was away.

Just goes to show how seriously addicting sugar can be.

I’m glad to be home and back on track.


As everyone was hanging out around the camp site or playing poker indoors with a drink in hand, I really missed being able to have one myself.


Getting Bennett’s crib and putting the bed Derek made for Declan in the room.

After that it’s all decorating which will be easy.


To Hell With Hollywood Standards

13th May 2015


It was at an Independence Day party in my backyard at the delicate age of four that I declared to my aunt, I was going to be a star.

I of course, had no idea that declaring to make it one day would be much like proclaiming to become a princess or unicorn trainer.

All I knew was that I loved to perform and I couldn’t see myself living in a world where I wasn’t able to do what I loved.

Naturally, as I grew up I began to realize that there was so much more that went into performing than just being good.

I suddenly became painstakingly aware of the fact that I was in puberty when my choir choreographer would push me to the back of the routines because I was the heavier, glasses wearing, freckle-faced version of what she wanted representing her award-winning moves.

When I shed the weight and dropped the nerdy frames I found myself widely accepted in the performing arts world.

High school was a time where my talents were no longer overshadowed by my ghastly appearance.

I got the roles I wanted, won competitions, and was noticed by boys.

When I was 18, I decided to take my dream to the only place I could make it come true:


I auditioned for a performance school and was accepted into their highest class.

The first time I had to sing in front of everyone my teacher stopped me 30 seconds in.

He told me that I needed to choose a song with a dance beat, not a ballad that showcased my voice, and that if I followed his lead I would go straight to the top.

A week later we were instructed to act as “dancing girls” for one of the guys during his performance.

 We went in groups and were expected to basically grind on stage while he sang a Gavin DeGraw song that called for a guitar and iced tea, not young girls feeling him up.

“If you follow my lead you’ll be at the top of my class.”

Everyone knew that being at the top meant you could get a record deal from the label our teacher worked for.

I could hear my four-year-old self whispering in my ear:

You’re going to be a star.

But I also remembered not being able to imagine a world where I couldn’t do what I loved.

And singing dance beats with no real vocal challenge while shaking my ass shamelessly just wasn’t me.

So the following semester I requested to be moved to a class where they purely focus on fine-tuning vocals.

I heard through the grapevine that my instructor called me an idiot for that.

Nobody had ever willingly left the top class before and apparently a statement had been made with my exit.

My new teacher was a 40+ year old, world-renowned vocal coach/producer and it was a perfect fit.

He had a two year waiting list for his private lessons outside of school, but he “saw something in me” and became my private coach and mentor.

Per his recommendation, we created a demo to start sending out and began to write an album.

I was back on track with my dream until one night when my mentor showed me that women in Hollywood are expected to give back and that I was officially considered a woman.

My dream died with the flower he eerily handed to me as I scurried out of his private studio that night, never to return again.

That was my taste of the lime light, but as a woman we have run-ins with “Hollywood” everyday.

Our daily routine is under a microscope.

Why on earth do I need Cosmopolatian to tell me the correct way to shave my legs or brush my hair for success?

Who decided that my worth should be summed up by how tiny my waste is or whether I wear highlighter on my eyes?

If a married man walks into a Curves shirtless, nobody blinks an eye but if a married woman walks into a Ralph’s in yoga pants she might as well be naked wearing a scarlet letter.

I’m tired of the standards our society has placed on women.

Be beautiful, but not too beautiful or else you’re vain.

Be fit, but not too fit or you look like a man.

Be sexy, but not too sexy or you’re a slut.

Be kind, but not too kind or you’re a tease.

Go for the all natural look but don’t actually leave your house without makeup on because nobody wants to see Gollum from Lord of The Rings on their morning commute.

Squat your way to a nice big booty but still fit into size 2 jeans and whatever you do, don’t let your thighs touch.

I’m not sure who the editor in chief for woman worth is, but it’s time to overthrow them and start writing our own story.

I don’t want my kids growing up in a world where women are both juicy steaks and ventriloquist dummies.

It’s time to pull the hands out of our backs and start speaking up for ourselves.

Let us not be afraid to walk away when told that all we are good for is ass shaking to a Gavin DeGraw song.

Let us tear out the pages of Cosmo telling us the 100 ways to change ourselves in order to make a man happy and set them to flame.

Let us link up, band together, and stop holding one another to the same standards we wish ourselves to be rid of.

Because it’s not going to happen overnight, but the change starts with us.

I’m going to challenge you this week to go out of your way to compliment another woman on something other than her appearance.

Maybe it’s how well she cares for her children or the confident way she walks into a room.

Whatever the case, take a moment to look at other women the way you would like to be looked at and then let them know that what you admire about them.

It starts with us ladies, it starts with us.


Monday Bump: 28 Weeks

11th May 2015

Hello 3rd trimester!

What, wait?

Is this pregnancy really in its last stage already?

Bring on the awkward, uncomfortable phase, I’m ready!

*Note: I’m actually 29 weeks today. All posts will be a week behind*


We booked Declan’s birthday party venue!

This year I decided that his party needed to be at an indoor play place because:

1: When you’re two, you just want to run around and be free

2: I’m going to be SUPER pregnant

3: It’s going to be a million degrees outside

We ended up finding the perfect spot in Fullerton.

We took Declan to scope it out on Friday and he was jumping up and down with excitement the entire time we were there.

The best part is that the package we chose includes EVERYTHING. I’m talking tableware, set up, food, clean up, etc.

I literally just have to show up with Declan and a cake and then leave when we are done.

It’s going to be so wonderfully uncomplicated and I can’t wait.


*Yes, my husband felt it was appropriate to photograph this moment*

For some reason people always seem to randomly come up to me and start sharing their life secrets.

It’s happened for as long as I can remember but still cracks me up every time.

This weekend we went to the West Coast BBQ Classic at the Queen Mary and a women walked up to me and said, “Ohhhh! You get that epidural, girl!”

I laughed and she came in closer, repeating it to make sure I got her point.

“Come here, let me tell you a secret dahling.”

Then she leaned in and whispered in my ear, I shit you not:

“When my son came out, I grabbed his balls. Squeezed them so hard and said, ‘that’s what you get for making me be pregnant!'”

She then laughed meniacally, reminded me to get the drugs, and walked away.

I meet the most outlandish people sometimes.


Last year on Mother’s Day Declan didn’t want anything to do with me and was all about daddy.

But yesterday he was sick and wanted mama all day.

Even in the moments where he was feeling okay, he wanted to cuddle and play with me.

We went to breakfast with my mom, got some more work done on the boy’s room, and Derek made me lunch and dinner.

It was an awesome day.


Pregnancy pains have officially begun.

I’ve started to get pelvic pressure and some minor sciatica in my booty.

Pair those with my pregnancy insomnia and it looks like I’m in for an eventful third trimester.

And you know what, I’m just going to come right out and say it:

Pregnancy and big butts don’t mix.

They just don’t.

All of my clothes are competing with my belly and my toosh and it’s ridiculous.

I am constantly having to pull down my shirts and pull up my pants.


I bought a box of Joe Joe’s and have been devouring those all week.

But Derek and I just watched the documentary Fed Up and it really resonated with us.

So yesterday I gutted our pantry and fridge and today we are starting fresh with a highly reduced sugar intake.



I’ve been waking up almost every night around 1-2 am and it’s been almost impossible to fall back asleep.

So I have been spending a lot of time remodeling my home in my mind and coming up with meal plans.

Turns out I also have slight anemia right now too so that is just adding to the exhaustion I’m feeling from no sleep.


We leave for June Lake on Thursday for a little fishing trip.

I’ve never been but Derek goes every year and I hear it’s beautiful.

Apparently it’s currently snowing, so that will be interesting, but I’m excited to get away and relax a little.


Don’t Quit Your Day Job

8th May 2015

*This post was written by my sweet husband, Derek*

Over the last 23 months I have had the privilege to watch an amazing woman evolve into an amazing mother as well.

Andrea and I knew getting into parenthood we wanted to start off these roles ensuring our children would have the best lives possible.

We made the decision to have her stay home with our children while they are young.

This lifestyle doesn’t fit everyone. It sure doesn’t fit everyones economical possibilities and we fully appreciate how blessed we are to have the opportunity.

But in making this decision, one might say the grass is always greener on the other side. Some women who have paying full time or part time jobs would love the opportunity to stay home. Others truly love what they do and believe their way is best (there are no wrong ways when the child is loved). The title of the blog has nothing to do with your professional jobs. It is a direct prayer so Andrea and all moms continue to do what you do as a mom.

However I am writing this mother’s day post in honor of the daily sacrifices my amazing wife and Declan’s and Bennett’s amazing mother endures daily.

Many of you know Andrea from her writings and many of you envision her life as a typical mother with the typical day to day activities. But what many of you cannot see or witness is the amount of energy she miraculously comes up with to ensure our family thrives.

Andrea is constantly on the go. She is constantly finding ways to stay healthy, keeping Declan entertained, make sure we are all fed, and ensure the home feels like home when I arrive from work.

To be honest, I always knew how hard she worked every day, but I had no idea how much that really was until I started writing it down.

So let me take you into a typical day in the life of my beautiful wife:

5:00 a.m. Derek’s Alarm goes off. Andrea Prays Declan didn’t hear it.

5:15 a.m. Declan wakes up realizing dad is out of bed. Mom turns on Mickey Mouse

5:30 a.m. Andrea pulls sheets off bed to wash as Declan has taken diaper off and peed bed

5:40 a.m. Andrea somehow has managed to make Derek a lunch

6:00 a.m. Andrea spends the next half hour convincing Declan a shower would be fun. Starts laundry.

6:45 a.m.  Andrea and Declan have a snack. Declan eats his snack while mom spends the next 45 minutes back and forth trying to get ready (workout clothes and hair up…too much to ask?)

7:30 a.m. Andrea makes Declan and herself a real breakfast. She starts the second load of laundry.

8:15 a.m. Andrea packs Declan snacks and outfits for the day. Cleans up his mess and organizes his toys.

9:00 a.m. She goes to her Mommy Stroller Strides class in Long Beach. She seldom misses and busts her butt during class.

10:15 a.m. Takes Declan to the park for an hour or so. Knows a tantrum is coming when it’s time to leave.

11:30 a.m. Texts Derek if he wants to have lunch together. He usually cannot, but once in a while she gets a lucky break (not only because Derek is so awesome, but because Declan can go with Daddy).

12:00 p.m. Prays for Derek to come home on time. Makes a lunch for Declan maybe herself, which Declan will then eat part of.

1:00 p.m. Hopefully Declan is napping. If so a meal plans for the week. If nap is longer she starts a blog. She may even get ready for the day. (Andrea doesn’t believe in greeting me when I get home in yoga pants and a bun…that’s her, not me)

2:00 p.m. Goes to the store and gathers items. One handed, she strong arms Declan and picks out all groceries for the week. Declan refuses to hang out in cart, throws eggs on floor, and cries because said eggs are broken.

2.45 p.m. Cleans up mess of toys and goldfish on floor so Daddy won’t see them.

3:05 p.m. DADDY IS HOME!!!!…………hopefully.

5:30 p.m. Makes gourmet dinner. Andrea cooks every night. She makes clean eating recipes on most nights. Everything is from scratch and she sometimes has to make two dinners as Declan may not eat a Quinoa crusted chicken with sun dried tomatoes.

7:30 p.m. Drives around or reads bedtime stories to Declan to try and get him to sleep at a reasonable time.

8:30 p.m. She can finally relax and either finish the blog she started, clean up the kitchen mess from dinner, or spend time with Daddy catching up on shows.

All the above may not seem like much to everyone as this schedule doesn’t come close to portraying how much attention and how busy our son can be. He is an amazingly smart, hyper, loving, fun little monster and Andrea handles him mostly with ease (she is human…I think).

However the thing I wanted to point out and the thing I notice the most, is that her day is filled (minus the exercise class) with ensuring everyone else’s priorities are fulfilled.

She does not have a selfish bone in her body.

There was actually a mediocre Adam Sandler movie called Blended that said it best:

“We get that one percent to ourselves”.

Andrea gives 99% of all she is to everyone else and 100% into everything she does. She is an amazing mother who strives to show our children love, understanding, and the fun side of life.

She is an amazing wife who puts up with so much stress and chaos along with ensuring I am always well fed and happy.

And truth is, she is simply an amazing woman who loves nothing more than to ensure everyone she comes into contact with knows she really does care when she asks how your day is or if there is anything she can do to help.

So when I say Don’t Quit Your Day Job, I really mean it.

Your Day Job is truly the most important one there is.

And Andrea, I am thankful for you and the hard work you put in day in and day out to support our family. Your job is equally if not more important than anything I could ever bring to the family.

So thank you for being such an amazing mother to our children, wife to this pain in the butt husband, and for being such an outstanding woman that makes this world a better place.

I love you.

Monday Bump: 27 Weeks

4th May 2015

This last week was so insane.

We literally had something going on 6/7 days.

I’m used to being busy, but our weekdays are not usually swamped like that so it was a little bonkers.

It was a lot of fun though, so let’s talk all about it!

*Note: I am actually 28 weeks today. All posts will be a week behind*

Side Note: I promise I don’t ask for “garage door red” when I get my hair done, it just sort of works out that way.


My mom decided that she wanted my brother and sister-in-law to be able to experience a 3D/4D ultrasound of their baby girl before my brother deployed.

So she bought them one and decided to also treat Derek and I to one as well!

We all went on Saturday and had back to back appointments.

Honestly, I’ve been getting really nervous about having another kid.

I’ve been scared about how I’m going to manage two of them and anxious over the whole thing.

But when I saw Bennett on Saturday all of my fear melted away.

As Derek said to me, “that’s how you’re going to do it.”

I’m just so in love with him and now more than ever, I can’t wait to meet the little guy.


Sitting on the floor with Declan and then jumping up to chase him is looking more and more like a game of the past.

My range of motion has been dramatically decreasing as the weeks pass and it’s getting pretty difficult to make that 5’4 1/2 inch journey down to the ground and back up again.


Like I said, our week was busy.

We were able to spend a lot of time with a bunch of awesome people.

On Monday we had the annual Assistance League Golf tournament dinner and Wednesday we went to dinner at our neighbors house for the first time in the almost two years we have lived here.

It was such a fun evening and makes me regret waiting this long to all get together.

Then we had my brother/sister-in-law over on Thursday and our good friends over Saturday evening.

Talk about a people filled week!

It was lovely, though.


We said goodbye to the kittens on Saturday.

I took care of them for a month so passing them along to someone else was a bittersweet feeling.

Derek found a private shelter for them though and it sounds like they will be in great hands.

I really wanted to get a picture with all of them before the lady took them, but it happened so fast that I wasn’t able to.

I’m going to miss playing with them, but I won’t miss cleaning up after them all day long.


We tried a new breakfast spot on Saturday and they had a deal where if you check-in on yelp you get a free cinnamon roll.

Boy was that a big mistake on our part.

The cinnamon roll was legitimately the best I have ever had and now I am dreaming of it.


Not pregnancy related, but I miss my brother living in CA.

With him here this past week it’s just felt like our family events are complete and I’m so sad that he’s about to leave and be deployed for nine months.

Prayers for him would be greatly appreciated.


Meeting Bennett.

I went from being scared to feeling so ready and I hope these next few months fly by!

Daddy Comes First

28th April 2015

{Photo: Sisterlee Photography}

Monday night I had Declan laying in the crevice of my arm and Derek on my belly.

He was feeling baby B move and started to talk to him when Declan realized that he had been unknowingly sharing me with dada.

Angry and possessive, he yelled at Derek and tried to shove his face away.

Immediately I looked at Declan and said,

“I hate to break it to you buddy, but daddy comes first.”

There seems to be a lot of controversy on this topic which feels strange to me.

The bible says that the husband and wife are one flesh, not the father and child or mother and child.

I always knew growing up that I was loved deeply by my parents, but I also knew that pinning my parents against one another was not an option because they would take one another’s side over mine.

My mom would stay up late with me if I needed someone to talk to, but she didn’t slumber party in my room and leave my dad with an empty bed or push him out of the way to give me extra hugs.

They were tender and loving with each other in front of us, and had I not been able to witness that growing up I honestly don’t think I would have ever learned what true love looks like.

Personally, I feel that prioritizing your spouse is not only vital to your marriage, but to your children’s development.

I know so many bruised and broken people who do not grasp how love and marriage works, and about 99% of the time it is because they come from a home where either:

A: Mom and dad had a nasty divorce and/or stayed together in a bitter swirl of resentment and thus never showed love to one another.

B: Mom or dad (or both) always put the kids first and they never saw what it meant to truly love and respect a spouse.

Obviously, this is generally speaking,

I am not saying that you should leave your newborn baby crying in a crib for hours while you and your husband sit on the couch drinking cocktails and binge watching “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”. (But seriously, how ridiculous is that show?!)

But there does come a time when your child gets older and becomes more independent that you need to be able to say no to them sometimes in order to say yes to your spouse.

When we think of our children we often say things like, “I would go to the end of the earth for them” or “I love them more than anything in this world” and that’s completely natural.

But sometimes we get so wrapped up in that love that we forget how much our husbands need that kind of love as well.

Declan giggles when Derek and I kiss and will even smoosh our faces together to make us give each other kisses.

To me, that’s a major parenting win.

My son understands that we love one another and it makes him happy to see us express it.

My hope for my children is that they grow up to see firsthand that the commitment that two married people make is such an important and sacred one.

I hope they feel our love not only through how we express it to them, but how we show it to one another.

I hope they understand that taking time to be alone with your spouse is a necessity.

That is makes you stronger, better parents.

And I hope that if/when they have their own families, they put their marriage at the top of their priority list as well.


Monday Bump: 26 Weeks

25th April 2015

Six and a half months down, are you kidding me?

When I look at my pregnancy app and see the countdown showing less than 14 weeks to go, it blows my mind.

We kept this pregnancy a secret for over 14 weeks which felt like it flew by and now that’s the duration left in my pregnancy!

Crazy to think that this time last year my biggest concerns were making sure I had the right plates for Declan’s first birthday party and now I’m prepping for another child.

It was another busy week around here so let’s dive on in.

*Note: I am 27 weeks today. All posts will be a week behind*

(I accidentally waited until WAY late in the day and the week to take my bump picture *cough, cough, yesterday* and so the lighting is all strange here, my bad!)


Derek was able to get the boy’s room painted which means now we can start transferring all of the stuff and decorating!
I am very excited to start getting their room together and can’t wait to show you all what it looks like when we are done.


Pregnancy insomnia has decided to curse me with her presence.

Declan’s nap strike caused me to be extremely exhausted but I’m still finding myself unable to fall asleep at night and waking up several times.

Luckily, I don’t have any sciatica like I did in my last pregnancy to make sleep even worse. I really hope I didn’t just jinx myself with that one.


As you know, Derek’s birthday was last Tuesday.

Along with making him the video, I brought lunch for his entire front office with a pie to celebrate the day.

When he got home, he played a game of “birthday present surprise” and then I took him to dinner.

What is birthday present surprise?

Well! I had three different presents written down and placed in three different bags.

He then had to choose a bag at random and decide if he wanted to keep that present or see what a different bag was. Once he moved on to a new bag he was not allowed to go back and claim the other gift.

I just wanted to spice it up a little and it was fun.

He ended up getting a bow and archery club membership which is something he has been wanting for a long time.

Slightly less awesome was the hour long tantrum Declan threw, but I digress.


I made the grave mistake of buying myself a pint of ice cream on Saturday night.

Derek was gone so I did a face mask, watched a sappy movie, and binged.

The next day he asked me if the ice cream I had picked out was any good and I blurted out, “I ate the whole thing!”

Le’ sigh.

It was worth it.


My brother and sister-in-law got back in town on Saturday night and I got to spend a nice chunk of Sunday with them.

He is about to leave for deployment which is just crazy, and I’m so thankful that they let him come home beforehand to see everyone before he heads out to Afghanistan for the next nine months.

My sister-in-law will be living out here while he is gone and I’m so thrilled.

She’s due with my niece a month after my due date and it’s going to be so fun to spend the first few months of our kids lives together!


Ice cream (check!) and pasta (double check!)

We went to Olive Garden on Friday and Derek and Declan had a sticker war.



I took Derek for his birthday dinner and it was such a downer ordering chicken teriyaki instead.


Spending more time with my brother this week before he leaves and getting more done in he boy’s room.

Derek is almost done painting and then the real fun can begin!