Oh, Heyyyy!!!!

Well hello everyone! Remember when I used to blog?!? Yeah, me either. It has been a really long time but I’m finally at a place where I feel like I have some time to use this space again! I’ve missed having this as an outlet and connecting with you all! So…..lets catch up, shall we?

 

  • Last time we spoke I was still pregnant with our son, who will be 6 months in 7 days, woah! I’ll start working on a birth story for Mr. Cooper Mac to share with you all.

  • I lost my grandmother, a really devastating loss for our family.

  • Took Charlotte skiing for the first time! That was so amazing!

  • Charlotte finished preschool
First day compared to last day of Pre-school.
  • We took a 6 hour road trip (that ended up being 7) with our 3 month old who hated his car seat (why do we do these things to ourselves? ha!)
  • We took our first vacation as a family of four to Breckenridge, that was a blast!

  • Both Brent and I turned 32, yikes!
  • Charlotte took her first solo swim lessons and started dance (ballet and tap) yesterday!

  • Charlotte will be 4 in 10 days, ouch-that hurts my mama heart. Can’t wait to show you all her rainbow unicorn birthday party we have planned!
  • We had to sleep train Cooper, that was SO not fun!
  • I survived my first solo parenting weeks while Brent was away for a few work trips, those were not easy1
  • We have really been enjoying our summer now that we have “adjusted” to having two children (ha! do you ever really adjust?!?)
  • Cooper got his bottom two teeth!
  • I joined Usborne Books-check out My website! which is a fun new adventure, although I’m not sure how I’ll balance it all haha!

 

Well, I’ve missed you all and look forward to dusting this space off and writing more often!

Much love,

Jen

This entry was posted in Life.

Pregnancy #2, Weeks 15-24

Well, and just like that it’s been a month since I’ve blogged?! Holy moly guys! Life can get cray. I’m not sure how some of you blog DAILY! Anyway, here’s how the pregnancy has been going….

How far along are you? I’ll be 24 weeks this week, don’t know how that’s possible but it’s true!

My only recent bump picture

My only recent bump picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what the baby has been up to according to The Bump:

  • He is the size of a cantaloupe (feels about right).
  • He responds to my voice and touch (favorite part of being pregnant).

Total weight gain/loss: It’s weird to think that I’m 24 weeks and have only gained 5 pounds, although, I’m SO not going to complain about that!!!

Sleep: Sleep hasn’t been too bad, it’s as good as pregnancy sleep can be I guess. I have crazy dreams, have to pee a ton, and my hips hurt but it’s all for a good reason 🙂

Best moment lately: Our 20 week ultrasound was the best day ever! We had my mom and Brent’s mom in the room with us and it was a really special time. Finding out this little nugget is a boy just like I’ve felt from the beginning was such an amazing experience. I’m so excited for this little man!

Miss Anything: Honestly, I miss intense workouts, not getting winded walking up stairs, and my wine!

Maternity Clothes: Oh yeah! I truly have a love for maternity pants, they make me happy.

Movement: He is a WILD man! I’m a little freaked out to think about how intense his movements will be get the further along I get, but man do I love feeling him move. He already has awake times that I can predict which is really cool.

Food Cravings: I wouldn’t say that I have any cravings really, although I could always go for sushi or Chipotle!

Anything making you sick: I’ve had a cold or two and when I’m not feeling well with the cold my morning sickness comes back, it’s lovely. But thank you Jesus I’m not sick everyday anymore.

Gender: BOY! So happy! Baby brother is going to be the perfect addition to our family.

Symptoms: Really just feeling bigger and get a little more tired than usual.

Looking forward to: I’m looking forward to the Holiday’s! We have family coming to town for Thanksgiving and this time of year is in general my favorite. Getting to share Thanksgiving and Christmas with Charlotte is so fun and thinking of getting to do this with brother too makes me giddy. Oh, and my glucose test, ha! JUST KIDDING!

How is big sister: Charlotte is already such a wonderful big sister, she prays for baby brother, and asks/talks about him often. We are getting ready to upgrade Charlotte’s bedroom furniture. She’s going to get a true big girl bedroom set so we can convert Charlotte’s bed back into a crib and move her dresser into brothers room.

This pregnancy is such a joy to me and our family. Brent and I are so excited to add a boy to our family dynamic, although, we are kinda nervous too! I realized that I don’t really know how to be a boy mom! Everything will be so different than it was with Charlotte which is cool but also a little scary. Thanks for reading this update! I’ll probably post one or two more before this little boy gets here!!

Love to you all!

 

 

 

Why You Should Mess Up In Front Of Your Kids….

It was a long week with my husband traveling, pregnancy fatigue, and a testy toddler. I was putting said toddler to bed when we had one of those “one more….” episodes. You know the one more story, one more kiss, one more drink, one more prayer, and then the most awesome of them all “I need to poop” and then doesn’t actually go. I remember being so tired and just needing some time to myself and for her to go to bed so I snapped at her. I hated the look on her face after it happened, I instantly felt guilty and sincerely apologized. She was so sweet about it and instantly forgave me. Later, as I was thinking the event through I could sense this overwhelming feeling that I needed to give myself a little grace. I love my daughter so much and I do believe I am a good mom, but sometimes I mess up. Sometimes, I allow my emotions to get the best of me and I snap at my family. I also know that everyone else on this planet is human and struggles with the same things I do too. But how can we use these moments of weakness in ourselves to teach our children a better way?

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Have you been in my shoes mama’s? Have you ever done or said something to or in front of your kids and instantly regret it? I think most of us would say yes, but if not, I think you are missing out. Hear me out before you think I’m crazy. I believe it’s extremely important to teach our kids how to screw up. Yes, I’m serious. I don’t believe in the “perfect” mindset because it doesn’t exist. When we mess up and apologize, or make things right, we show our children that it’s okay to make mistakes (because even your sweet little baby will make mistakes as they grow). Mistakes allow us to grow and learn from different situations. When we teach our children how to fail in safe environments they won’t be so afraid to fail as they step out on their own at school and in friendships. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could help our children succeed at life by allowing them to see that failure doesn’t have to be the end?

I have a distinct memory of getting into an argument with my mom and sitting in my room so upset, I remember just hoping and praying she would come to my room to say sorry. Note: I’m sure my pre-teen self was in the wrong, but I still needed that feeling of acceptance, reconciliation and forgiveness. Like she always did, my mom came to my room after we both had time to settle and we both apologized. I used to love those moments because they were so freeing, I felt as though my mom would love me even if I really messed up (and sometimes I did-I know your shocked right?!). I think one of the best gifts we can give our children is to allow them to be free to make mistakes without the fear of ridicule or shame.

Wasn't I so cute?! ;)

Wasn’t I so cute?! 😉

So next time you find yourself wanting to protect your children from real life situations or from allowing them to see you cry/yell/get mad, think again. Give your children the gift of learning to deal with emotions and our imperfect beings. Apologize when you mess up, and forgive when they need to apologize to you.

Pregnancy #2 Weeks 1-15

I’m planning on sharing some details about this pregnancy as the weeks go on but I’ll probably break it up into a few week chunk at a time. I’ve always loved reading pregnancy updates so I hope you guys will enjoy this too!

How far along are you? 15 weeks! Into my second trimester already! Please excuse the no makeup, full of sunscreen, about to go to the pool picture below.

IMG_4723Here’s what baby is up to according to The Bump:

  • Baby is the size of a navel orange!
  • Baby has fingerprints
  • Baby is already forming vocal cords and teeth!

Total weight gain/loss: I’m down 2 pounds still, I’ve been super sick this time around.

Sleep: Sleep has not been my friend. Between extreme hip pain and having to go to the bathroom I don’t sleep well. But my amazing husband bought me a Snoogle and it’s life changing.

Best moment this week: Feeling the baby move! He/She is on the left side of my belly and I feel the movements in the mornings and nights (probably the only two times I can sit and really pay attention to the tiny movements).

Miss anything? This may sound shallow but alcohol. With the pumpkin beers starting to hit the shelves, I’ve been missing being able to indulge in a drink of two here and there.

Maternity clothes? Yep….pretty much since week 6. The bump is large and in charge and maternity clothing is so comfortable!

Movement? Yes and it’s wonderful

Food cravings: Food and I do not get along at the moment. Nothing ever sounds good, going to the grocery store is my worst enemy. Food just overall makes me sick, so I wouldn’t say I have any cravings right now, just things I can tolerate. Although I did get a random craving for Pasta Roni (gross) which I haven’t had since college, because it’s not even real food haha!

Anything making you queasy or sick? Um….everything?! But really…..

Gender: If I was to guess I would say boy, just based on how I’m feeling. This pregnancy has been completely different from my pregnancy with Charlotte. Plus one morning I woke up calling the baby the boy name we have picked out. Charlotte has said it’s a baby brother since day 1, we will find out soon!

Symptoms: Fatigue, this may sound weird but I normally hate to nap, I think it’s a waste of time. However, lately when Charlotte lays down for nap I’m down for the count. I nap probably 5 of the 7 days a week because I truly cannot not nap. My hip pain at night is really bad and since I’m in my second trimester I can no longer sleep on my back. I have to get up at night and walk around to relieve the pain in my hips. I also have been super sick. I never experienced morning sickness with Charlotte so this is a whole new experience for me. However, it’s all day everyday sickness for me….yuck. But to be honest, I’m just really focusing on being thankful that I am able to carry another beautiful baby in my body, and if that means being sick for awhile than I’ll endure it 🙂

Happy or moody most of the time: I would say happy! I haven’t cried that often (except at a chick flick the other night, haha!)

Looking forward to: Finding out the gender of this sweet baby

Fitness update: Because I’ve been so sick I haven’t done much working out. Last week was when I started adding fitness back into my routine. I’ve been doing a prenatal workout each morning and it’s been great.  Just trying to stay healthy and active for this little munchkin!

How is this pregnancy different than with Charlotte: With Charlotte I had extreme fatigue, like falling asleep on the couch at 6:30pm fatigue. I haven’t had that type of fatigue this pregnancy, which I’m okay with since I have a toddler to chase around! With Charlotte I didn’t experience morning sickness or food aversions but  this time I’ve been so sick, and it hasn’t been enjoyable. I’m truly sick all day everyday and struggle to find any type of food that sounds good to me. I’m trying to make sure I’m still eating balanced and healthy for this baby but some days it’s hard to not just eat toast for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

 

Thanks for reading about how our little peanut is doing! Hope you’re having a great week!!

A BIG Announcement!!!

So lately I’ve been having a challenge finding the time to blog, and for a very good reason. I’ve been really sick, tired, and…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GROWING A BABY!

That’s right folks Charlotte is going to be a big sister and we are beyond stoked.

Big Sister!

Big Sister!

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Funny story….

After we found out we were expecting a baby we told Charlotte she was going to have a baby brother or sister, not really thinking she would understand or even remember. I took Charlotte to summer camp and when I went to pick her up the teacher pulled me aside. She excitedly said “Oh! Charlotte told us all about her baby brother and that you are going to name him Jesus!” Where does she get that haha??!

She has been extremely excited and sweet, she touches and kisses my belly all the time and asks when the baby is coming out, ha! Not for a LONG time, sister!

Amazing detail at only 7 weeks!

Amazing detail at only 7 weeks!

Baby Erickson is due March 3rd and we cannot wait to love on this new addition to our already amazing family. We feel so extremely blessed for the opportunity to have another child.

More details tomorrow……

God is so good!

Three Years Old

And just like that, our baby girl is THREE today. I have honestly been a wreck the past couple of days, going through old photos and looking back on the wonderful life we’ve created. Having your child grow older is such a bittersweet experience. I love watching Charlotte grow, learn, explore, become her own little person, but it also pains me to look at her hands that are no longer the baby hands, or listen to how she speaks words the proper way. I’m so ridiculously thankful God chose me to be Charlotte’s mom, it has by far been the best thing to happen to me since I met my husband. Being a mom is everything I had ever dreamed it being and more (if that’s even possible). Today we celebrate my not so baby girl and her third birthday, Charlotte we love you so much and treasure every minute we get to spend with you.

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Happy Birthday Charlotte! You are so very loved and cherished.

Day In The Life-Photo Every Hour

I’ve always thought it was fun to see what everyone else’s days look like in various stages of life. Well, this is what a day in my life looks like with a (almost) three year old.

 

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6:30AM-Getting ready for the day

 

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7:30AM-On the way to an early morning Dr. appointment

 

8:30AM-Starbucks date with my girl

 

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9:30AM-Picking up essentials at Target

 

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10:30AM-Gymnastics

 

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11:30AM-Weekly grocery run

 

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12:30PM-Lunch

 

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1:30PM-Nap time and some much needed mama quiet time with some Friends

 

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2:30PM-Working on the blog

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3:30PM-Afternoon snack!

4:30PM-Working on letters

4:30PM-Working on letters

5:30PM-Coloring while mom cooks dinner

5:30PM-Coloring while mom cooks dinner

 

 

6:30PM-Dinner!

6:30PM-Dinner!

 

7:30PM-Outside play

7:30PM-Outside play

8:30PM-Bedtime-doesn't she look so tired?

8:30PM-Bedtime-doesn’t she look so tired?

 

We lead such an exciting life, huh? This was a fun post, hope you all enjoyed! Happy Hump Day!

 

 

 

Things I’m Loving Tuesday!

Two days in a row that I blogged?! No way! Yep, it’s true. I have missed this space and will hopefully be popping back in regularly. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to talk about some things that I’ve been loving lately, so here we go….!

The fact that these exist make me so so happy! I’ve always loved Honey Nut Cheerios and anything/everything pumpkin spice, so this is a no brainer for me! Can’t wait to try them, have any of you tried them yet?

pumpkin spice cheerios

 

 

Have you heard of the new clothing line Target is carrying called Cat and Jack? I’m just in love with it, they not only have amazing color selections (I’m into the neon/bright colored things) but they have positive messages and things like dinosaurs for girls! Girls like dinosaurs too! Especially my girl, she even knows their names. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. We got Charlotte this shirt…

cat and jack

 

One thing I haven’t grown out of since being a kid is rainbow chip cake and frosting being my favorite. When I saw Sally recreate the frosting with recognizable ingredients I knew I needed to make it ASAP! I cannot wait to run to the store for the ingredients for this frosting, yum!

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I mean, how good does this look?!

 

I’m really looking forward to fall. The smells, tastes, feeling, and the clothes! I love to wear comfy, cozy clothing and fall is the best time to do that. I bought these Bobs right before summer and only had a chance to wear them once. I’m so looking forward to wearing them again here soon!

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And speaking of cozy/comfy clothing, I’m not even sure why I waited so long to try LuLaRoe. Now that I have, I’m never going back to regular leggings. I hosted a party for my friend Lindsay this weekend and it was so fun! I really love LuLaRoe!

 

Your turn……

What have you been loving lately? Anything I can’t live without? Please share!

A Letter To My Husband On Father’s Day

Dear Brent,

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When I met you in 1999, I was 15 years old and so naïve about love and life. I liked you because you were cute, tall, sweet, and athletic-little did I know how those things would grow over time into what we have now. As our love grew so did the list of things I appreciated about you. I love how much you deeply care about people, not many have a heart like yours. Your sense of humor is contagious and beautiful-you have taught me how to not take life so seriously. You are insanely smart and it’s inspiring. I love to watch you read, think, make decisions, plan, because I know that you always think of your family first. You stand apart in our generation in so many ways, I love how hard to work to take care of your family. You are willing to sacrifice anything to make me and your daughter happy and are always putting us first in your life.

All the things I love about you I now get to share with our daughter. The way her eyes light up when you enter the room melts my heart. I couldn’t have picked a better man to help me raise our daughter. Any time you gone “too long” (in toddler time) Charlotte makes sure that I know how much she misses you. You are the only person that can make Charlotte laugh like she does, and it makes my heart swell. I’ll never forget the day I found out that not all dad’s help with middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, bath, or meals, because there has never been an event or moment you weren’t there for. It was completely normal for me to have you there staying up with our daughter all hours of the night and then turning around and going to work the next morning. I will never take for granted the amazing father you are and all that you do for our daughter and I.

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I am so thankful for the life we have created together and that Charlotte gets to have you as her daddy. Thank you for loving Charlotte more than I could have ever wanted or needed you to. This Father’s Day you deserve to feel loved, appreciated, and valued-because your daughter and wife love you so much.

Happy Father’s Day Brent! We love you!

How Death Changes Your Perspective

How Death Changes Your Perspective

I remember it like it was yesterday……

It was four days after my twelfth birthday and I woke up from a normal nights sleep to find my grandmother, aunt, and uncle in my kitchen. Since it was really early in the morning I decided to go to the bathroom and head back to my room. I was still in a sleep induced fog and couldn’t quite comprehend why my family was in my house so early in the morning. As I was laying in bed my mom, grandma and aunt came into my room, and from the look on their faces, I knew. I was only twelve but I knew something God awful was wrong. I immediately asked “where’s dad?” and their lack of response was the answer I was looking for. It was then explained to me that my dad had been in an accident and didn’t make it. I really didn’t know how to respond, at twelve I had a really limited experience with death and I truly couldn’t believe that the day before my dad was here and today he was gone forever. How does your life change in an absolute instant? Everything you have ever known is just gone, disappeared, never to return.

In the coming days my family helped my mom put the few pieces of our lives back together, helped her create a new normal. My mom became my rock, my best friend, my only parent and we depended solely on each other for survival. I’m not sure either of us could have survived such an detrimental loss to our family unit without each other. However, even with each others support, our life changed, shifted-because it had to. The life we had created was no longer possible, we were unwillingly forced to change course and adjust in an unrealistic timeframe.

Now that I’m 30 (almost 31) and have my own husband and daughter I’m realizing how much this life shift changed who I was/am/could have been. Any time I can’t get ahold of my husband my mind automatically races to the worst possible scenario and I brace myself for the loss about to happen. Each time I kiss him goodbye for a business trip I try to memorize his face and the way his lips taste on mine, just in case this is the last kiss I get from my husband. Planning a vacation with my husband should be thrilling and exciting but to me it’s terrifying and gut wrenching because the thought of us not returning to our daughter is heart breaking.

I’ve come to realize that the day to day things most people do without a second thought are a little more challenging than I would like them to be. I don’t enjoy being a “worst case scenario person” but I can’t help it, it’s an automatic reaction. I don’t enjoy seeing life through a half-empty glass but I just can’t see it any other way.

We’ve all heard it a dozen times, knowledge is power. Knowing my predisposition to negativity and the worst case scenario I have been working for years to ‘rewire’ my brain. Learning to let go of control (that I really don’t even have in the first place) and live the life that is given to me in this moment is all I can do. I can only take back the powerless feeling I get at times by truly soaking up every bit of life given to me each day I wake up. No one is promised tomorrow, and I know that all too well. Though the thought of losing another person so intimately close to me is unbearable to think about, I cannot allow that to rule my life and keep me prisoner kept from the precious days I do get to spend with them, right here, and right now.