Clothed with Grace: December 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top Posts in 2015

Today I thought I'd share a post highlighting the post read posts of 2015, the link to the original post is below each picture.

My most viewed post this year was on How to Shop on thredUp. I loved writing this and thredup ended up sharing it on their Facebook page, which was really cool.  It still remains my favorite place to shop!

My favorite perk of thredUp is that you can get $20 off your first order by shopping through this link. It's a great day to get some free clothes!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Time

Today I thought I'd share a bit about what our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was like.  We ended up hosting both, luckily we don't have huge families.  Our Christmas Eve day started with early morning snuggles and this proud brother.  Grant has been so good with Hannah! The upside to hosting was he was able to get a lot of attention from a lot of different people. I was a bit worried about how he'd transition, but it's been great!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Nightingale

Before reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, I'm ashamed to admit Kristin Hannah wasn't even a blip on my radar, now I want to devour everything she's ever written. Yeah, this book was that good! In year's past I read Sarah's Key which gave me a small look into what life was like in France during the German occupation of WWII, but it focused more on the concentration camp aspect. In The Nightingale we meet two sisters: Vianne and Isabelle both in very different stages in their life. Vianne is a young mother whose husband has gone off to fight against Germany, only to become a prisoner of war, and Isabelle is 19 and headstrong, ready to go fight if only she were allowed.  

Each girl has a very different, yet powerful experience during the war. Vianne has two very different German soldiers stay at her house-both which impact her greatly, and Isabelle finds her own way to help make a difference during the war by working with the French Resistance.  

If you're looking for a book, this one (and the one I wrote about yesterday) should definitely be added to your list. It is powerful, moving, and tells a story that longs to be read!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Baby Wrap

It has been a whirlwind of a week! Hannah was born just a week ago and we've been busy most of the time with family-that's what happens when you have a Christmas baby!  Prior to Hannah being born I knew I wanted to try out a baby wrap, as going on outings with both Grant and Hannah could be tricky, and that darn carrier is so awkward to carry around and doesn't fit perfectly in all carts either.

I was excited to find out about Happy Baby Wrap through Instagram and excited to try it out!  When my wrap arrived it had super easy to read directions and comes with a little bag to carry the wrap in, so it's easy to store in the diaper bag.

With having a lot of people over, there  was a lot to do.  Now, my mom and sister were super helpful, but on Christmas Eve day there was a lot of action, and it was really too loud for Hannah to have any desire to sleep in her room (Luckily, it's much better since then). Now, I love a good baby snuggle as much as the next girl, but it's just not feasible to sit and let her sleep on my lap all day long (as temping as that sounds), so it was nice to give the wrap a try as well as help get things ready for snacks and dinner.

Hannah was a huge fan and literally fell asleep immediately upon getting situated in it. Now, I'm not planning on using this on a daily basis at home, but it's nice to know that she likes it, so I'm ready when the day comes that I need to get dinner on the table and Hannah is having a rough time. I do look forward to using this on outings like crazy. Grant wants to go to the Children's Museum this week and it would be the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl there; so much better then trying to push around stroller with her carrier attached.

If you're looking for a great wrap option, I highly recommend Happy Baby Wrap, I think you'll be pleased. And, can I just say-those cheeks!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hannah's Birth Story

As those of you who follow me on Social Media know, our lives changed dramatically Monday, Dec. 21st.  Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth was born.  As this, Hannah's first pictures shows, Grant is very excited! This picture was taken at about 8:30 at night, shortly after Hannah was born.  Today I thought I'd share a little bit about her birth story and what our first few days were like.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What Alice Forgot

It's not often I read a book that I say "You just have to read this!" However, What Alice Forgot is one of those books.  I'm a huge Fan of Laine Moriarty, and her reading never disappoints! 

At the beginning of this book we are introduced to Alice right after she has fallen at hit her head at the gym.  She comes to only to find out that she is not 29-but 39 and she's forgotten the last decade of her life. Although she first thinks of her husband, Nick, she quickly learns that they are getting a divorce.  In her last memory she is 14 weeks pregnant-now she has three kids she doesn't remember at all.  

I'm sure you've all heard the saying, "We're like wine, we get better with age," but what if that's not the case?  What if the person we've become is not all who we thought we'd be, or are proud to be.  This is Alice's reality.  As she tries to navigate the waters of her "new" life it causes us as readers to think about our own lives, and who we have become.  For Alice, maybe she needed to forgot the last 10 years to remember who she really is?  Moriarty beautifully crafts this page-turner that should definitely be added to the top of your must read list!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One Last Time

I hadn't planned on any more posts while pregnant, but when this poncho came in the mail Friday, I wanted to wear it Saturday, so here you go, one more look at me pregnant. I really do love this poncho and I hope I still love them on my non-pregnant body too.  This one is of really good quality and was perfect for running around doing errands without needing to wear a coat.  

Our Saturday morning routine is almost always a trip to the library as well as Target for "necessities." We did a bingo card for books, which the library does as part of the summer reading program, as well as over Christmas.  Once it's full, the kids get to pick a prize.  This time was extra exciting, because one of the activities was a game at the library, and Grant got to pick a free book for a prize. He chose a Curious George book, which is pretty much his favorite cartoon.  Then once his bingo card was full he got to pick a prize, and although they have all kinds of different things, Grant chose a hardcover Polar Express book, score, those babies cost $20! 

If Grant's day wasn't good enough, we went to Target and he ran into two of his best friends from school, the kids was in hog heaven.  It was a nice weekend and the last one we will have as a family of three. A new chapter has started!

Monday, December 21, 2015

8 Things I Won't Miss About Being Pregnant

Today is the big day, I'm getting induced and we couldn't be more excited! So, I thought I'd share a post about things I WON'T be missing about pregnancy.  I hope this doesn't scare those of you who aren't moms about of having a child, because trust me, it's worth it. However, here's a list of things I'm excited to say goodbye to:

1.  Taking a bunch of medicine- As someone who rarely gets a headache, I've had to take five different medicines daily for various pregnancy related issues, from acid reflux to nausea.  I am ready to say goodbye to these!

2.  Compression Hose- they are the pits!  Although they really do help with swelling, they are really uncomfortable and it's not like you can wash them every night, so I'm constantly worried I have stinky feet. : (

3. My fake wedding ring- I haven't been able to wear my real ring for months and my fake one from JCP is looking pretty bad.  It'll be nice to have my hands back to normal and to be able to wear my real ring again!

4. Sleeping on my side- I'm a stomach sleeper, so adjusting to side-sleeping is not my favorite thing. I toss and turn a lot, so I'm excited to be able to sleep like I want to again, and hopefully not wake up fifteen times each night- I'll be happy with just once to twice to feed Hannah-trust me, that'll be an improvement!

5. On that note- carpel tunnel. I haven't been able to feel my finger tips for months and it's the worst at night. My hands are literally asleep and tingly all night long. It's kind of the pits.

6. Shoes not fitting- I haven't been able to wear over half my shoes for most of my pregnancy and did buy, get c/o, or with thredUp credits *cough* five pair of boots this fall.  I reeaaaallly hope my feet go back to normal like they did last time or I'm going to have a lot of shoes to replace!

7.  Maternity clothes- bye, bye! Although I really tried to still feel good in what I wore, I really miss my skirts, normal sweaters, tops, and dresses.  I already pulled them back down from our third row above in our closet, and I'm clomping at the bit to wear them again. I know some won't fit for awhile, but I know I'll be able to wear a lot of them.

8. People saying "Haven't you had that baby yet?????" Believe me it's felt like a long time to too, I don't really need the reminder....

I'll share pictures of our sweet girl as soon as I can, probably first on Instagram, so if you're not following, feel free to follow me there. : )

Friday, December 18, 2015

After Baby Wishlist

This week I did what some of you might think is crazy, but I put all my non-maternity clothes back in my closet in preparation for not looking like I'm smuggling a watermelon around with me.  Here are some things I'm loving right now that I look forward to wearing soon:

1: Heels like these ones. I've had so many of my shoes put away for months because they simply don't fit!

2. Skirts like one: I love a good skirt and this one is gorgeous.  I feel like so many of my dressy/polished outfits have been unworn my me for so long, I'm really looking forward to dressing up again and this floral one is gorgeous!

3.  Normal jeans like these: I love a good legging or pointe pant, (which is basically leggings with a seam) but I miss normal jeans....well normal pants in general.

4. Crew neck sweaters like this one: One of my favorite go-to winter looks is a crew neck sweater and a vest, I was pretty excited to put mine back within reach and I adore this snowflake one!

5. Normal dresses like this one. I love dresses and it's been killing me now to wear so many of the ones I have. I love the faux leather pockets on this one too!

Wish List

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Faith Like a Child

Recently Grant is becoming more interested in understanding God. He has also gotten frustrated at church because he wants to take communion and be baptized.  I love his interest and enthusiasm and he's told me he has Jesus in his heart, which I just love. I want to take him at his word, however , not undervalue what it is that Christ did for each of us on the cross, so Brian and I have told him that we need to wait to do communion and baptism until he gets a bit older ,and we know he really understands and accepts that Jesus died for his sins.

That being said, Grant has "baptized" himself in the bathtub.  One day I walked in and heard him come up from being underwater saying "Raised to walk in newness of life!" This makes my heart melt, however, I'm not sure that's how it works, kiddo.  I love that his is getting a heart for Jesus and really want to help him cultivate that.

Over the weekend we were are the Christian bookstore picking out a few things and we came to an area that had a lot of different crosses, some of which still had Jesus crucified on them.  Grant just got so overwhelmed and started crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said he was just so sad that Jesus had to die, and why did the bad soldiers have to do that to him? I reminded him of the truth that Jesus isn't still on that cross, he rose again and is in heaven, and that he did it just for us!

We ended up picking out a cross ornament for Grant to get, but what really stuck me was the pure emotions Grant felt...the sadness for the death of someone who did nothing wrong....the questioning as to why anyone would want to heart Jesus. It made me think about how lightly I can sometimes take things. My emotions rarely get this raw. Jesus said "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In Mathew 18:2-4 Jesus says,"Truly, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God." 

I want my faith to look more like Grant's does. I want to feel all the feels and be just as devastated by his death as Grant is. I think God is definitely moving in Grant's life, just like he wants to move in our lives. Sometimes I think we really need to see things through the eyes of a child. Brian and I will definitely continue to nurture Grant's faith, and I know it will become clear when Grant really does "get it," and I can't wait for the time when he will be baptized and take communion. 

Cozy outfits like this are totally my jam right now, and at nearly 40 weeks pregnant, they ought to be, right? Last year I got a tunic like this from Target and they sold out before I could get my hands on another one.  So, this year they went on sale over Black Friday weekend and I snatched one up, then they went on sale again and I got two more for good measure. It's obviously not maternity, but the stretchy cotton is great and I love the fit of it when I'm not pregnant. For size reference, this is a medium, so they are pretty roomy for the non-prego woman. I think while I'm at home with Hannah this winter for maternity leave tops like this will be perfect, so why not have four right? ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How to Wear a Military Vest

If I had to name one thing in my wardrobe that has gotten worn more than anything else, it's my military vest. It has been so versatile!  Today I thought I'd share some ways I've worn it, and I have some great options down below for you, if you'd don't have a military vest for yourself yet.

One way I love to wear it in winter is with a scarf and sweater, like seen below.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Life Lately

This is a big week, Hannah is due Thursday! Life is about ready to change in a big way, but today I thought I'd give you an update as to what we've been doing the last few weeks.

First off, I am soooo sick of maternity clothes and I can't wait to wear normal clothes again, and shoes, half my shoes haven't been worn in months because I can't get them on. I have been wearing outfits like this one below like crazy.  I adore this cardigan I got from Pink Blush Maternity, it's sold out, but there are a ton of other great options, and the best part, I can wear this once Hannah is here too!

Monday, December 14, 2015


Hannah is officially due on Thursday, and to say I'm ready to be done would be the understatement of the year. I'm not so much anxious as I am excited. We plan to induce next Monday if she doesn't decide to show up on her own before then. I have her bags packed and mine as much as I can, without waiting to throw in my "getting ready" stuff.

I admit I have been feeling really tired and am not feeling quite as patient at school as I wished I was. Luckily the kids are working on a project that is pretty independent, so other than them bringing their computers to me to ask questions, I've been taking it pretty easy. I will admit that during my plan time I pretty much stare at the wall, as 1:00 hits and my brain seems to turn off. I have my plans ready to go for my long-term sub and have things pretty darn organized in my classroom too, so I'm feeling good about that.

I did one more mass clean-up at home last weekend, which will hopefully mean we can go a few weeks without me having to clean the bathrooms or sheets, etc.  I'm thankful Brian is a good cook, as he'll be in charge or that for a while while we're getting adjusted at home once Hannah gets here.

I'm not sure what blogging will look like after this week.  I don't have anything planned ahead of time, because honestly, I feel like the good year blimp and doing any more maternity photos after this week is not going to happen. I plan to post about Hannah's appearance as quickly as I can, but it seems like with the holidays I probably won't have time to post, just like you all won't have time to read. I do plan to try to get back into a normal routine as soon as we're settled though, as I really do enjoy this hobby.

As for this outfit, I am crazy about these boots!  I've been loving the fringe trend this year and have had my eye on these. I had some credit to thredUp (use this link to get $20 off your first purchase), and I came across these boots for only $40 and they came like new and since I had credits they were free.  Seriously, thredUp is a goldmine, if you haven't tried it yet you totally should!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Wear: A Herringbone Vest

I've had my Herringbone vest for a couple of years and I've worn it like crazy! It's hard to believe this is it's third year of popularity, but JCrew Factory is still selling them like crazy! Today I thought I'd share some inspiration on how to wear this vest from my archives.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Poncho Love

Ponchos are definitely one of my favorite trends right now and this one comes from of all places, Costco.  It's super comfy and cute and was only $15. Brian raised his eye brow as I put it in the cart, but I've already worn it a handful of times.  I'd be lying if I said I was wearing anything besides leggings these days, but I think this would be cute with jeans too, regardless this will definitely be on repeat all season!

Also, I'm loving these earrings from Nickel and Suede!  I got to meet Kilee at a blog conference a few years back and since then have really enjoyed following her blog and seeing Nickel and Suede really launch into a huge business!  I normally wear a simple diamond stud, but made a point of visiting a store where she has pieces for sale while I was in K.C. recently.  They are light as a feather and so perfect!  I'm asking for another pair for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ready for Christmas

I love when the house is decorated for Christmas! Today I thought I'd share it with you all. 

Our tree is artificial, but I love the faux berries and pine cones on it.  Most of the ornaments have come from a gift shop in my home town....along with a lot of the other decorations.  They seriously have such a great day for a country/vintage style!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Five Things to do Before Hannah Gets Here:

I made this list a few weeks ago and thought it would be fun to share in a post today.  Our life is really going to be changing soon, so I really wanted to be ready!

1.  Go do one more fun activity with Grant, just the two of us. Grant is so excited for Hannah to get here and I mentioned to him the other day how Grandma will come for a few days once Hannah here to go do fun things with him, so he doesn't get bored being at home.  He replied, that Hannah was going to come along with him and Grandma.  I love how excited he is for his sister, but I know it'll be an adjustment, so I want to do one more special thing with him before she gets here.

Status: Done! Grant and I went and saw The Good Dinosaur and it was sooo good!  We actually planned to see The Peanuts Movie, but they were having technical issues, so we got a free upgrade to The Good Dinosaur in 3D.  This was our first one and it was so cool!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

38 Week Bumpdate

Weeks along: 38 weeks 

Size of the baby: 6.8 lbs and 19 1/2 inches

Must haves: I still haven't really had cravings, I am drinking a ton of water, though.

Sleep: I'm actually sleeping pretty well!

Baby Movement: Hannah is all over the place, I don't remember Grant moving like this, but it was five years ago...

Gender: It's a girl!

Name: Hannah Elizabeth

Weight Gain: 22 pounds

Challenges: I think being patient is the hardest part, we are so ready for her to be here!  

 Best moment of the week: Grant picked up a Christmas present for Hannah, her first dolly.  It was really sweet.  When I told him that he'd probably have to help her open her presents, he said he'd let her try on her own first, then help if she needed it.  That kid is a hoot!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Be Still

With two weeks until my due date, I feel like my head is just spinning with things to do. I'm a planner and I like to have things ready to go, and with navigating plans at school and home, as well as Christmas shopping, I feel like my brain just keeps going!  Can anyone else relate?  On top of that I still want to keep up with this space in blogland, but as I sat down today I had not idea what to write about.  Then I was reminded to "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10).  The holidays can be such a crazy time of year anyway, but this year is extra crazy for me. I let out a big sigh of relief when these words came to me.  God has it covered and everything that needs to be done will, and me rushing around and stressing won't do any good.  I feel like this reminder could do us all some good.  Let's reflect on what matters most this holiday season. For me that's my family, friends, and my faith. Everything else is secondary and will take care of itself.

 I just recently got this tribal jacket from Shein.  The price is great and I'm really happy with the quality too. For reference, this is a large, which I think will be just fine (once I'm not pregnant), but I'd say if you're larger than a size 8, I'd probably pass on this.  A lot of maternity clothes have been really casual, so I really like getting to dress up with this maternity blouse and jacket to feel put together for these last couple of weeks of pregnancy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Grownup

I'm a big fan of Gillian Flynn, so when Goodreads notified me that The Grownup was coming out, I got my rear to the library to get my name on the list to read it.  Somehow I lucked out and got it first.  I was surprised to find it was actually a short story, not a novel and it took me all of one whole pedicure to read it.  

Like Flynn's other books, there is definitely some shock and vulgarity added into the story line, so if that's not something you can handle in books you read, this book probably isn't for you. Our narrator, who remains nameless, has a less than appropriate job in the back of a palm reading shop, then due to an injury becomes a palm reader.  She's always been good at reading people and she and her mom had a racket growing up where they pretended to be homeless in order to beg on the streets, very successfully, to be exact.  This ability to read people on the streets would come in handy with her new job.

Things change when a wealthy lady comes in with worries that her house in haunted.  Thinking only of the money, our narrator decides to "cleanse" the house of any evil spirit that might be there.  Things don't really turn out as she would expect though, and people might not be who they really seem to be.  If you're looking for a quick, but intense read, this book is for you. Check out The Grownup for the full scoop!