Clothed with Grace: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Go to Target, she said.  It'll be fun, she said....

Recently I made a trip to Target with both kiddos.  I've done this about a million times, because let's face it: Target.  Usually I move with a speed that only a mom can, up and down the isles with stealth and speed.  

On this particular Saturday Hannah had been woken up early from her nap by the barking dog next door.  Not cool. She usually has a pretty cheery disposition, so running errands before she needs to eat again isn't usually an issue.  On this day, though, I thought it would be a good idea to try on swim suits. If that act of trying them on isn't bad enough, add two kids to the mix.  Silly, Ginny.

Once we were in the fitting room Hannah started fussing. Grant usually does a pretty good job of entertaining her, but it was not working.  I tried to try on as quickly as I could, but let's face it, it was just ridiculous and a waste of time.  That's about the point where Grant suddenly decided to crawl under the door and basically get stuck.  Really kid! 

I got dressed as quickly as I could, we made a quick exit, and Hannah fell asleep about thirty seconds into the car ride home. Yep.

After the fact the whole idea of trying on swimsuits with the kids along just seems ridiculous and the whole situation was probably pretty comical to anyone else listening to what as going on in the fitting room. At the time though, it felt like the seventh circle of hell. Some days are a success as a mom and some days are not. I can't let myself get bogged down focusing on ridiculous stuff, instead I need to focus on the good, because there are so many more good times than there are bad!

Linking up with: Tuesday Talk

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Five Months Old

Somehow Hannah turned five months old over the weekend!  It seems crazy. I think I say that every month,  but I totally mean it!

Right now Hannah is loving the exersaucer we got out for her, she will bouncy the day away if we let her. She also still loves her bouncy chair and her playmat.

She working on rolling over and getting the hang of it. I give her a week before she's nailed it!

Hannah is also sitting up pretty well with assistance and taking this month's picture was the easiest one yet, as she didn't keep tipping over.

She continues to have the sweetest disposition and only fusses when she's tired or hungry.

Hannah is still waking up once at night and I'm hopeful that she'll be sleeping through the night before long...we will see!

Hannah is also eating cereal like a champ and I'm just tried giving her carrots last night after the ok from her doctor and she was totally a fan!

She now weights a whopping 13 pounds, so she is a peanut, but continuing on the curve.  Her height in the 70% though, so she's definitely long and lean!

I am finding that she is starting to get antsy when she nurses at times. I've had to go into her room at times, as she's too distracted by Grant and Dad in the living room.  She's also started trying to pull on me while I'm nursing. She doesn't have any teeth yet, but it definitely doesn't feel good! 

I've gotten Hannah a bunch of summer clothes and it's just getting warm enough to wear them. I can't get enough of little rompers and summer dresses!

This is my last week of school and I am so looking forward to all the time Grant, Hannah and I will spend together this summer! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of school and I am soooo excited! We have kids until 11:30, then it's goodbye. We still have work days the rest of the day on Wednesday, then Thursday and Friday, but then I'm free! I'm so looking forward to getting to sleep until 7:00 (my kids are up with the chickens), but hey, it's an extra hour! I think we'll plan to go to to the zoo one day and start going on walks again each day. It will be glorious!  

I recenlty got these sandals from Rocky4EurSole. These shoes are specifically designed for women on the go. They are built for not only comfort, but also for durability and slip-resistance.  There a tons of different sandal and clog options available, but I landed on these sandals, because I'd been wanting a new wedge for spring and summer. These are a combination of leather and hemp, and I am really looking forward to getting a lot of use out of them!

Being on my feet so much as a teacher means I really need comfortable shoes. I will say that on my initial time wearing these last week, they did start to rub on the top of my foot. I emailed Rocky4EurSole and they were really surprised and suggested I tighten the straps. I did, and that fixed the problem, I think it's worth mentioning. I really like this feature, instead of the "one size fits all" that I'm used to with most shoe widths.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?- Book Review

I'll tell you what, lately I feel like I've been reading all the wrong books. Our last two book club book were flops, which was super disappointing. I don't know about you, but reading a few bad books in a row doesn't encourage me to pick up another book and try again.  Then I saw this Free Library that popped up in my neighborhood and I was soooo excited.

Inside were quite a few books that I've been wanting to read, but I decided to leave The Last Anniverary and take Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, which has been on my reading list for quite some time.

I'll tell you what, it was exactly the book I needed to read to rebound from the past two duds. It was light, funny, and it made me wish Mindy was my best friend.  This book wasn't necessarily a memoir or biography, but more or less essays and vignettes into parts of her life, her thoughts on things, as well as a peek into what life was like on the set of The Office.

I laughed out loud countless times, finished it in less than a day, and told about a dozen people they needed to read it.  Although it does have a few cuss words in the book, Mindy writes about her life in a way that is relatable and not that different from what I would call a typical middle class upbringing.

The last month of school is definitely the toughest, so this was the perfect light-hearted read in the midst of just trying to get through the year.

I've already gone back and traded books for another one, The Girl Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. I'll let you know what I think!

Linking up with:
Tuesday Talk

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sibling Love

When Brian and I were discussing the idea of having another child after Grant was a few years old, we had no idea how Hannah would change all of our lives for the better.  Brian was pretty content with just Grant and let's face it, our lives were pretty easy.  Grant was past the "baby" phase, we could go just about anywhere and do just about anything without much hassle.  It was smooth sailing in the parenting department.

I, on the other hand, really wanted a sibling for Grant.  At the time I wasn't thinking about how Hannah would impact Brian and I, I was thinking about Grant. We had a dear friend a few years back whose wife had cancer, his mom had a stroke, and his father's health was beginning to fail.  All of this is beyond awful, but to top it off he was an only child without cousins and had to tackle all of this alone.  This made my heart heart so badly.  The thought of Grant having to go it alone when Brian and I got old, gray, and senile was more than I could handle.

Now, I will add, we have a very small family. My sister and I don't have any cousins and Grant has four cousins on Brian's side, but they are all high school age and older.  I know sometimes having a second child is not an option for families due to secondary infertility, finances, etc, and I don't want to upset anyone by sharing my thoughts, but this is where I was coming from.

After getting pregnant the second time pretty easily we had a miscarriage, then we had a hard time conceiving again.  When we finally got pregnant with Hannah I was so fearful we'd have another miscarriage. I relied on God to get us through and here we are today!

From day one Grant has adored Hannah and within a the first month Hannah has become enamored with Grant too. I think the age gap actually plays to their favor, as they'll always be in different stages, so hopefully not competing.

When Hannah wakes up, but I'm in the middle of something Grant happily goes and entertains her until I get there.  It's pretty adorable. He also loves playing with her in living room too. Although we've had to remind him to be gentle at times, the second Hannah sees Grant her face simply lights up.

Grant is also is great with her in the car. She's such a happy baby most of the time, but if she starts to fuss in the car Grant is always first to the rescue.

I seriously had no idea who Hannah would change all of our lives for the better and I am so looking forward our years ahead.

Linking up with:
Still Being Molly and Written Reality

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Baby Girl

Even though I never thought it would happen, I have forgotten so much of what Grant was like as a baby, I never thought that would happen! Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about Hannah as a baby.

1. Gummy Smiles- She is so stinkin' happy an I love that her face lights up when she sees Grant and I. She's not quite there with Daddy yet, when he walks in the room, but will smile like crazy when they "play" together.

2. Baby Giggles- These are the best and super contagious. If she starts giggling we all do.

3. Baby Talk- Hannah has found her voice and has a lot to say all the time. Now if I only knew what she was saying...

4. Girly Clothes- Back when Grant let me pick up his clothes I had fun with this too, but baby girl clothes? They are the best! It takes all my energy not to over-buy.  I've found that about 14 outfits is more than enough- that gives two outfits a day, if need be without having to do laundry.

5. Snuggles- As Grant has gotten older he's enjoyed snuggling while we watch a movie, but as a baby he was not interested- there was too much to see and do. Hannah, on the other hand will happily wind down for the day sitting on my lap.

6. Play time- Hannah has already seemed to pick some favorite toys, like Sophie the giraffe and her taggie blanket. I love to see her beginning to make choices!

7. Sibling Love- Brian and I went back and forth on if we'd have two kids. Life was pretty easy with one, but I kept thinking about the day we'd be old and gray and Grant would have to deal with us all on his own. That was initially why I really wanted two kids. Now, to see the love they already have for each other- the same love I have for my sister- is simply the best. I can't imagine life without Hannah!
Linking up with:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Now

It's not secret that I've been looking forward to summer break for quite awhile. The kids at school are the same way, and one of the teachers has a countdown board up, so there's no guessing how many days are left.

I find myself constantly looking forward. Forward to the school day being over, forward to the kids' bedtime, forward to my bedtime, forward to the weekend.

In the midst of all of this, though, I can forget to enjoy "the now." I can miss the beauty in "the now" and the experiences in "the now."  Obviously this is not true all the time, I think I'm at my best when I'm home with the family trying to spend quality time with them. However, I'm still looking forward. Forward to Grant getting older, to Hannah talking and get the point.

I mentioned last week how I'd graduated from high school nineteen years ago, but I remember so much of it like it was yesterday. I don't want to blink and have my own kids leaving for college. I actually feel myself panicking as I type this.

So, what's the point? I don't think there is anything wrong with looking forward to the future, but I want to miss celebrating and enjoying each moment because I'm so focused on the future.

God placed me and you on this earth during this time for a purpose and I want to make sure my eyes are peeled for whatever comes my way and not miss a thing.

This top continues to be one of my favorites! Today I paired it with my Merona pencil skirt- this is over three years old and still one of my favorites, and a basic Old Navy cardigan, which is over two years old and continues to still look black and hasn't pilled at all. It's simple combos like this that make me feel great and put together so easily.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Life Lately

Here's a look at life lately that I've shared on Instagram!

Little Sis and I have been twinning on the reg. Seriously, I'll get her dressed, then look down and realize we match. It's so crazy at a subconscious level!

Monday, May 16, 2016

How to Shop ThredUp for Kids

It's no secret that I'm a hug fan of thredUp (use this link for $10 off your first purchase.) For the past few years most of my clothes have come from thredUp using credits or have been "gifted" to me through the blog. I realize how lucky I am, that's for sure. Being I need more clothes like a hole in the head, I've started using my thredUP credits on Hannah. I've always been a big proponent of buying second-hand, and although I've found some great things at our local Big Wheels to Butterflies, they often times don't have pieces that are "special." Although, Carters play clothes are great, I really like to have a handful of outfits for both of the kids that are for church or special occasions, that's part of the reason why I'm loving thredUP for kids clothes.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Summer Ready

Ok folks, I only have about two more weeks until Summer Break! (insert happy dance here) Today I'm going to share with you a list of things I'm looking forward to this summer:

1. Easy summer outfits I'm not going to lie I've wanted this dress since I saw it on both Katie and Shanna (who sadly isn't blogging anymore). But this dress. I. Love. It. The embroidery is so fun and the dress is definitely comfortable. I will say the length is borderline for anyone taller than 5'4", I also wore a slip underneath because it isn't lined, but for the price point, it's definitely worth it!

2. Sandals everyday, see you later heels! The ones I'm wearing today look exactly like  these Jack Rogers sandals, but I got them on for $15. I admit, I feel a bit like a fraud, but honestly, I can't justify spending $100 on sandals and I've already worn these a bunch and they are super comfortable.  Last summer I actually was thinking about buying the real deal, but I was pregnant and couldn't even fit them on my feet, for real. I'll take that as a sign ; )

3. Sleeping in- Ok, so for me sleeping in is 7:00,  but that's a whole extra hour each day!

4. All the coffee- I love easy mornings at home where I can hang out with the kids and polish off a pot of coffee. Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit, but a few cups in my jammies is pretty awesome.

5. The gym! We belong to the YMCA and I'm really looking forward to going there a few mornings a week. The childcare is free and actually pretty good too.

6. Playdates! I miss my mommy friends. I get to spend so much more face time with them in the summer and it's kind of the best!

7. The library! We have an amazing library and summer reading program. Grant and I were there a few times a week last summer for all the different free summer activities.

8. Outings with the kids! By summer I'm homing to get Hannah more into a morning and afternoon nap routine, but we'll see.  That should leave us from about 10-2 each day to go the zoo, park, etc. together.

9. Family Vacation! Every summer my mom rents a lake house for a week and we all go and swim, hang out, etc.  I am so excited for this!

Honestly, I feel badly for all of you who have to work all year long. As a teacher, I can't imagine. It'll be here for me before I know it, and over nearly as quickly. I'm planning to savor every moment!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Ok, so I am tired All. The. Time. I literally haven't had a night of uninterrupted sleep in over a year, and as someone who enjoys and needs a good nights rest, the struggle is real! I never sleep well when I'm pregnant, and Hannah is still waking up one, sometimes two times a night.

This last week my sleep was also interrupted by Grant a few times too, which is not typical. One night he came running in screaming because of a nightmare, poor guy! The other time he had an upset stomach and some bathroom issues. I find myself guzzling coffee by the gallon to get by.

I feel guilty falling asleep on the couch at 8:00 and not spending time with my husband, but sometimes I want to so bad.  Since we've introduced Hannah to cereal she's starting waking up only once more consistently, but I can't wait for a full night's sleep again!

In the midst of my coffee-fueled haze I'm not angry about it though, and I'm thankful for that. This is just a season, and I know that. As a mom, we often times put our own wants and needs in the back seat to the rest of our families, because ultimately when they are happy, that makes me happy.

Isiah 41:10 say: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." He is there to strengthen both me and you in the midst of our daily life, and I am so thankful for that! I hope you can find some rest in your restlessness too.

In cool news,  this top is back in stock online! I decided to pair it today with  this skirt I scored from thredUP. (Use this link for $10 off your first purchase.) There isn't much of the school year left, not that I'm complaining, but that means a lot of my nice clothes go unworn for a few months. I'm trying to make sure I get some things worn in this next few weeks, because pretty soon it'll be shorts, tees, and flip flops everyday....that actually sounds pretty amazing to me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Today I am 37, how that happened I don't exactly know. So today I thought it would be fun to share 37 random things about me, but that way more than I think any of you want to read, so here's 10 instead. : )

1.  My hair is going gray and it's coming in wire-y, which is awesome, of course.  Currently I'm plucking these random hairs, however, I don't think this will do any good in the long run of course.

2.  I am also noticing the wrinkles. I do use a Mary Kay eye cream I've heard good things about, but I'm honestly not sure it's doing any good.

3. Since going back to work I've gained back three pounds.  This seems silly to mention, but on my frame it's the difference between my pants fitting and them feeling tight. I really need to stop eating "all the things!"

4. Speaking of eating, my desire for coffee and chocolate is pretty much out of control right now. As in, I can drink coffee at 9:00 at night (preferably while eating chocolate) and still fall asleep easily.  This is a situation I need to address.

5. I'm pretty sure I need to stop the late night coffee drinking though. Sunday I drank waayyyy too much coffee and Hannah was up every couple of hours having a dance party in her crib cooing happily. Yeah, not cool.

6.  This is the number of graphic tees I currently have. The second I get home I change into one of them and some shorts or leggings, weather depending. I kind of feel bad that the only time my husband sees me dressed up is for like five minutes in the morning...but not enough to keep my dress clothes on any longer than necessary.

7.  Being in my 30s no longer seems "old" to me, 40 doesn't either. It's funny how aging does that!

8.  I graduated from high school 19 years ago, tomorrow. That seems insane. I've also not lived away from home for longer than I actually lived at home. Holy smokes!

9. I also met my husband almost ten years ago, that also blows my mind. Seriously, where has the time gone!

10. It's really hard for me to remember life before the kids. Sleeping in past 7:00 any day? Having the entire summer to myself while Brian worked? It seems like pure craziness! Now, two hours to myself feels like a vacation, but I wouldn't change anything about it for the world!

I'm looking forward to another great year, I have a feeling it's going to be a good one!

Linking up with:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day

I think Mother's Day can bring out a huge range of emotions. For me, it is joy, but that is so not the truth for everyone. I have a dear friend who has been trying for kids for nearly a decade without success. She posted very eloquently on Facebook about her sadness and desire to be a mom, but also very humbly how she is happy for those of us who get to be moms and to "share our pictures and stories, and she'll gladly 'like them' anyway."

I also ran into another mom coming out of the nursing mother's room at church who I sometimes help lead worship with. Her daughter is two months old and I could see how tired she was-I get it! I asked her how things were going and she said she now understood what it means to be selfless. I told her that it does get easier (as she teared up). I then joked about how going to Target for an hour is a vacation. She told me how before kids she'd tell her sister to go do something for herself and her sister mentioned Target too, she said she didn't get it before. Yes, only moms get how a Target trip (preferably while drinking Starbucks), can make any hard day better.

I didn't do anything fancy on Mother's Day weekend. I'd picked up some scrapbooking goodies for my gift and Brian and Grant got me some flowers and sweet cards. I did sneak off for a trip to Target after the kids went to bed Saturday and found these wedges which had been mis-marked for $6.58 and these jammies. And yes, my hour away was amazing.

The rest of the time was spent with family, like flying Grant's first kite with him.

And having very serious conversations with Hannah about these things called feet.

Sunday afternoon I ended up with a bit of time to myself while Brian and Grant went to play basketball and Hannah napped, just enough time to enjoy a cup of coffee and write this post. Then my parents came over for dinner, which was great. The brought BBQ and Brian got a pie from Village Inn, so no cooking for me!

Being a mom is definitely the best thing I've done and I'm so grateful that God picked me to be that to Grant and Hannah.

However, like a shared above, not everyone feels joy on this day. If you felt, loss, sadness, or regret, know that God is bigger than all of that! Mathew 11: 28-30 says, "Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 

Linking up with:

Thursday, May 5, 2016


This last weekend I didn't really get a break of much of a minute to myself. Hannah's naps ended up getting interrupted a few times and Grant didn't go rest in his room like he usually does.  I felt myself becoming more and more deflated. I really need a bit of time to myself to recharge and that just wasn't happening. However, at about 5:00 on Sunday (when I typed this to be exact) I was reminded how grateful I am to have the life I have.  Brian worked to make enchiladas for dinner, Grant was entertaining himself playing the Lego Batman game on his iPad and Hannah was playing away on her playmat next to me.

This little ten minute writing break really helped to recharge me, and it reminds me who much I enjoy this hobby.  I was recently talking with a few IG/blogging buddies about how I don't feel like I have the time to devote to my blog like I used to, or original ideas I have the time to share. I really enjoy this space, but I feel I don't want to be tied to always showing outfits. I really want to brach out, but I'm not sure how you all will take it. Writing and sharing is just as much for me as it is for anyone who stops by to read. So, I guess this is a heads up that I want to mix things up a bit, I'm not sure what it'll look like, but with it being nearly summer break my outfits will be less than exciting anyway.  What are your thoughts? Anything you're interested in seeing here that you're not right now?

I recently got this blue print dress from SheIn and really like it! It's lined and a great length too. It's under $25 as well, which I think is really fair. For reference, I got a large and it fits perfectly, I normally wear a medium (or sometimes a small) elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Home Stretch

I think I've said this before this year is taking forever! Seriously. I was gone for two whole months, so you'd think it would be flying, but that's totally not the case. I'm doing all I can to keep my students engaged in class and focused, but some days it is easier said than done.  We have a tough group of boys this year, seriously unlike anything I've come across before, and it is crazy the difference them being absent or present makes.

As a teacher I very rarely have to resort to getting the principal involved or writing office referrals, but with this group it's different. We just talked in our recent team meeting about how 95% of the class is great, but man, it's easy to get bogged down focusing on the 5% who seems to need 95% of the attention.

I was thinking about how it's not my job to "fix" these kids, but how when I come across problems in my life, that's exactly what I want to do. I want to fix, control, eliminate, etc. However, I'm not sure that's the right approach. I'll depend so much on myself to fix it, that I forget that God is the ultimate "fixer." He understands what I don't, and wants nothing more than for me to trust that he's got the situation covered.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight." As I work to finish out the year I want to really work to enjoy the 95% and quit trying to "fix" the 5%. Instead I'm going to spend time praying for them, showing compassion when it's not deserved, and continuing to be patient.  I have the greatest model in God and am going to work to life that out with these boys.

I went to Target a few weeks ago with the intent of trying on and buying these ankle pants to replace my other ones from Loft I had had to return. Merona was 40% off on the Cartwheel App, so I was stoked. However, I was not crazy about them once they were on. The white pockets showed, so even at 40% I wasn't impressed. However, I did find this shirt, which is now sold out online and I really like it.  I wore it with my black ankle pants to church, but look forward to wearing it with my white jeans too. It would have been great with the Merona white pants, had they been winners. Whomp, whomp. The search for white dress pants continues....

Monday, May 2, 2016

Miss Hannah

Last week Hannah had her forth month check up and overall everything went well. We ended up having to switch pediatricians, because our original doctor, who has seen Grant for five years and now Hannah left the practice without much notice, which seemed totally out of character. We switched to another doctor who has seen the kids before and we like. Hannah has reached all her milestones, but she'd gained about 6 oz less than the doctor would like though. About a pound a month is what's average and Hannah has only gained 1 pound and 10 oz.  Now, in retrospect our original doctor wouldn't have been concerned, but the new doctor was and it got me all a twitter. Hannah eats well, doesn't seem unsatisfied after nursing, and I always seem to have milk. 

At the time though I really felt nervous for Hannah and worried. The doctor said with laid-back babies there can be less weight gain because they don't complain and just act content, which I guess I can see. We left with a plan to supplement formula after feedings if she empties me out and also to start rice cereal. 

Hannah also got all her shots and cried like she was going to die...not so laid-back when it comes to pain, that's for sure. That night I started watching the time when she was nursing. She usually nurses for about twenty minutes, but she nursed for nearly a half hour. I think I'd been assuming she was done at twenty when she wasn't. The next morning Hannah woke with a fever from her shots, so I got to stay home with her and she nursed for nearly a half hour each time that day too, and with the help of Tylenol got past her fever.

Staying with her for the day was the best and it was a good reminder that I need to slow down. I think I'd gotten so rushed in go back to school and trying to everything that I wasn't letting Hannah nurse as long as she'd like, although she never complained and always seemed content.  We have an appointment to do a weight check at five months and I'm thinking the introduction to cereal will help here too. She is simply the sweetest and I want to make sure I'm always doing what's best for her.

I really like all the elements in this outfit, although I admit it seems much more suited for fall than spring if I just switch out the wedges for booties, that is.  Regardless, it's a great outfit for work. Both this jacket and this top are thredUP finds.  The jacket, which is Sonoma brand was $9 and the top, which is Loft was $10, plus I had credits. I continue to be so excited about all the clothes I've found on thredUP (Use this link to get $10 off your first purchase). I'm not going to like, I probably have more things in my closet that I've gotten from thredUP than anything else. But seriously, with their great referral program and amazing prices and pieces I feel silly paying more anywhere else.

They also have free shipping on returns, which I've only had to do twice since they they have the measurements for each piece, so I know if something will generally fit. I've also gotten a lot of Hannah's clothes on their too. I'm a big fan of buying kids clothes second-hand when possible and thredUP has great name-brand pieces at great prices.