I know, it takes a village to raise a child. I would be rich if I had a quarter for every time I have seen a quote on Pinterest or heard the wise words from a grandparent. What even is a village? Is it the grocery man, the local pharmacist, the grandparent, aunts and the milk man? Or is it the immediate family and close friends? I’ve always chopped it up to the people in your life that mold and shape who you are. The ones you can love and hate all at once but they generally have your best interest at heart. I never appreciated our village as much as I do now that my vilage is helping raise my child.

It’s taken me a lifetime to realize just how deep and far-reaching our village is, and children certainly have cleared the foggy window and allowed me to really focus on each and every person in it. Our village is more than just individual humans. It is deeper, full of different religions, nationalities, genders, ages, demographics and species, all working together to help me mold my children.

But Nobody told me.

Nobody told me how powerful, loving, thoughtful, and giving our village would be… to those in my village, I see you.

I see from a distance you squinting your eyes and wiping my kids boogers with your hands, and I know that’s nasty because I’m his mom. But I see you, I see you doing that because you care and you care more about them getting into his mouth than you do about your hand.

I see you tired on the couch, relaxing only to be approached by my child trying to show you his car. I see you sit up and listen, putting your tiredness aside to engage with my (what can be) annoying toddler.

I see you taking that extra five minutes to start-up the chainsaw just to see my child’s eyes light up one more time.

I see you bending over after a long days work only to push my child around on his favorite red car throughout the house just because you know it makes it happy.

I see you letting my kid drink from your water bottle 67 times, over and over and you gladly share.

I see you look my child in the eyes, listen to him and have a conversation. What you may not realize is that your conversation with him is our topic of conversation the entire way home. The energy you use, fuels him.

I see you throwing them up in the air five more times than you wanted, your arms are aching but my Childs smile is huge so you keep going. I see you, and I appreciate you.

I see you sometimes not letting my child have his way, taking a harder yet much appreciated route. That sacrifice you’re taking by teaching him fairness is one I am extremely grateful for.

To my Village.. here’s what you don’t know…

You don’t know that sometimes I reach my village tired, exhausted and hoping to just relax for a moment. You don’t know that by taking my child to play and introducing him to new things rejuvenates him, and myself. You give me the opportunity to reset and for that alone I’m grateful.

You don’t know how much it means when you show up at my house and take my child for a few hours while I clean the house and make a nice dinner. You don’t know how much sanity that brings into my life.

You don’t know but I see it all, I notice the details, i’m a mom. I am trained to watch how people are with my children, and there is no better feeling in the world than to feel my child is truly benefiting at the hands of someone else.

You don’t know that I’m okay with you making mistakes, you’re human. You love my child and just like anyone, you won’t be perfect either. So when my child falls in your care and cries, know that it’s not that big of a deal. What you don’t know is that I know it tears you up inside  because you love them, and that to me means more than any bump or bruise they get.

You don’t know that I appreciate you doing things your way with my child, they usually only see my way and my way isn’t always the best. That way you showed him how to put his thumb up actually worked, and you don’t know but I’ve been trying to get him to do it for months. You don’t know, but I appreciate you teaching my child the way YOU know how.

I get it, its fun. Its rewarding and you want to build a relationship with my child, and I appreciate that. But what you don’t know is I see those moments where you push a little harder, joke a little longer, take the extra time that you normally wouldn’t take and treat my child the amazing way that you do. Sometimes as a mother we can get caught in our comfort zone and want everyone to do exactly as we do, but I’ve learned in 2 years just how much I appreciate the exact opposite.

Having my child in the hands of someone who loves them, is wiling to put in the effort and help me raise them, is the greatest gift of all.

To my village, you definitely know who you are, and I’m incredibly thankful and blessed to have you.

 

xoxo,

Steph

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Ever see that girl on Christmas Eve in a minor panic, awkwardly shoving an embarrassing amount of items in her cart at Target? That’s me. There are certain things in life I have a very hard time understanding, and how people finish their Christmas presents before December is one of them. It will forever remain mystery to me how people can be that organized.  In fact, being a mom you would think nap times would allow me to shop like crazy but honestly the situation goes a little like this; adds 162 items to my cart, get anxiety, click exit. Anyone with me?! anyone haha? I swear the happiness of the holidays is equally paralleled with Holiday Mom Stress.

So what do I do when I’m literally headed in the same boat for the 10th year in a row?! Rally up my girls and ask for help! Y’all, meet my team of mom elves..prettiest elves you’ve ever seen! Together we have worked hard, taken a few trips to the North Pole and back, and created the PERFECT list for anyone buying gifts for children 0-10! No need to do the work, we got you covered!

A mom elf representing each age and gender picked ONE toy or gadget that would be their choice if they only had the option of choosing ONE TOY for their child! Grandmas, Aunts, Mamas, Friends, this is a goldmine and these mamas did such an amazing job you won’t need to look any further! Plus, its not a list full of items from a million websites.. one stop shop all from Amazon.com! Not to mention, if you’re like me you love Amazon Prime, we have plenty of items that will arrive to you in no time! Scroll down to see the amazing  faces behind this golden list and the details on each individual item!!

So take a look around, find your age and gender and get your Christmas shopping done!! These mamas were so much fun to work with and gather ideas from. There is nothing better than uniting and coming together and this mama list is just that! Special thank you to ALL the beautiful mamas you see above, I think we made Santa proud! Take a look around and click on the corresponding links below to go directly to the item!

xo,

Stephanie

 

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0-3 month / 0-3 Month Boy /

3-6 month old girl  / 3-6 Month Boy /

6-9 Month Girl 6-9 Month Boy /

9-12 Month Girl /  9-12 Month Boy   /

1 Year Old Girl   /  1 Year Old Boy    /

2 year old girl  / 2 year Old boy  / 2 year old boy (option 2) 

3 Year Old Girl  / 3 Year Old Boy 

4 Year Old Girl  / 4 year old Boy 

5 year old girl  / 5 Year old Boy

6 Year Old Girl   / 6 Year Old Boy

7 Year old Girl. / 7 Year Old Boy

8 Year old Girl   / 8 Year old Boy

9 Year Old Girl    / 9 year old Boy

10 Year Old Girl  / 10 Year Old Boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welp, we survived the first week of officially parenting two children. Sounds dumb and overdramatic but the amount of times we have talked about this week in the past 9 months has made it out to be a huge eventful thing in our little family. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that we had a ridiculous amount of support and help from our families… especially from my mom and sister. They say it takes a village and I’m certain we have one of the best around! Sitting down at my computer to type is always a sign of a good day and boy do I have just that… a completely charged computer (rare) a little milk drunk newborn on my chest, and an (almost) two year old sleeping has me feeling like one lucky mama who needs to type fast. If this week has taught me anything its that moments of peace like this one now can turn south faster than a pissed off teenage girl  typing on her iPhone.  Its a crazy and rather heavy feeling knowing we are truly living in some of the very best days of our life… I can’t count on my hands the amount of times I’ve shed a tear over a country song, or shared a look with Gavin as we both agree that these moments of life truly are the purest, hardest and most meaningful . With that being said, I wanted to share a couple things with you about our first week!

Update: I started writing that paragraph above TWO days ago…. as soon as I was about finished, children woke up, and all craziness broke loose. The last thing I could get to was this post. True motherhood…just when you think you have it together for even two seconds, your children have a funny way of humbling you and teaching you otherwise! With that being said, check out some pictures from our last week at home!

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xoxo,

Stephanie

 

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This week I ripped a pair of pregnancy jeans and found out I weigh just about as much as my dad. It was a rather embarrassing moment as I couldn’t help but tell him that we weigh about the same and laughed about it till I cried..or maybe it was that I cried about it until I laughed haha. Granted he isn’t a huge guy but whoa, talk about a week to remember.. or forget haha! I swore to you all that I would keep it real and honest and so you will be finding just that today as I talk a little about my pregnancy! Aside from those rather horrifying pregnancy moments that we all have, this pregnancy has been extremely enjoyable. I am constantly reminded that there is literally a little life growing inside me and nothing makes me want to be comfortable in my skin and confident in my body than knowing ill be having a little girl looking up to me. In fact, last pregnancy at this time I was swollen, wearing braces on my hands for carpal tunnel and my poor feet were so swollen I  think my indestructible rainbow sandals were shedding tears trying to keep it together! I chop it up to much less salt and a LOT more water, I swear those simple changes have me still wearing my rings and feeling very very healthy! Now, I just need this nugget to come out so I can workout and bounce back for the four weddings I’m in over the next 4 months! Wish me luck…anyone interested in hopping on my “get fit” train is welcome 🙂

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As far as when little Rosie will be arriving,  last week our Doctor predicted she will make her appearance mid-July! If she is right, we are looking at 3 weeks… and with that I have a to-do list a foot long and thankfully a great team of people here to help a mama out!  I wish I could keep this whole nesting feeling throughout the year, my life would be so much more enjoyable and organized! I am a fly by the seat of my pants mama and well, things have been freakishly planned and structured lately its actually starting to freak Gavin out.

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With all that being said, I thought I would share a little list of some of my favorite items I’ve used during pregnancy and would highly suggest to any mama expecting or a friend looking to gift the perfect item for the mama to be! My all time favorite discovery this pregnancy is Maternity Spanx. If you are pregnant and don’t have them, do yourself a big favor and order up. Hope you are all doing great, I am grateful to have this platform to share our family journey and look forward to lots of good fun and happy news ahead!

 

  1. Pregnancy Spanx
  2. Pregnancy Dress
  3. Water Bottle
  4. Lululemon Leggings High Rise
  5. My All Time Favorite T Shirt 
  6. Sonic Face Washer 
  7. Body Lotion from Heaven

Ever start something and not finish? Something that you know you should be doing but the excuses are just too good? Story of my life.  Gavin literally makes fun of me because he says I love to start projects, put my entire heart into it, then 6 hours later…lose all interest. Well, some projects are just too big to ignore, and when they haunt you for 5 years of your life, they need to be addressed. That was the case with my College Degree.

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When I “walked” the graduation stage in 2012 I was under the impression that my last class was available online, and as soon as I got back to California I was going to enroll and finish my degree. Soon after I touched down in California and started my job, I found out the horrible news that the class was only offered on University of Colorado’s Campus. I was told there was no way I could take it online and at the time, I didn’t take this seriously. As new phases in my life came such as meeting my amazing husband, wedding, and when I had Wyatt the thought of traveling back to school became less of a priority and more and more out of reach. Occasionally, I would petition to take it online and each time I thought my excuse would suffice.. marriage.. child.. second child. Nope.

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When we got pregnant with Rosie, I got to thinking, if I don’t do this damn class before she is born there is just no way i’ll ever finish. Gavin supported me from the get go, I really couldn’t dream up a better husband.  He is the “finish what you start” “handshake is gold” morally straight kind of man and that’s something about him I really admire… until it comes to him telling me the importance of finishing my degree. With LOTS of prayer and planning, we decided as a family it would be best for me to return to College… 7 months pregnant. Returning to college didn’t just mean signing up for a class online, it meant packing up my life for about a month and heading to Colorado. Sounds just about as hilarious, embarrassing and painful as it was. I had nightmares about it for weeks ahead of time, worried I wouldn’t fit in the desk, introducing myself and my 4 pound child to the class, and leaving our little home and family dynamic was a thought that constantly made me question if I was doing the right thing.

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Over and over again Gavin reassured me that “we got this” with an occasional tease or two over the hilariousness of the situation. The day I signed up for the class was a bit emotional, but the more I thought and prayed about it, the more I realized I don’t just owe it to myself to finish, but my husband, parents, and my children too. Speaking of parents, I couldn’t ask for better ones. As I grow older I realize more and more all that they have done for me, and  with that comes the realization that matter what I do in this life, I will never be able to pay them back. However, getting this degree would make them proud so I was going to do just that.

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With what felt like a million suitcases, we treked to the beautiful town of Boulder Colorado. I was joined by Gavin, Wyatt, Mom and saint of a sister,  Jenna. My mom helped us get settled into our darling Airbnb and left the next day while my sister stayed.  I couldn’t have done this without my sister, she stayed with me THE entire time as Gavin and my family came and went. She watched Wyatt every single day while I sat in class for 3 hours and worked on homework and papers after class. I think the fondest memory ill take from this entire experience is the amazing time we had together, the laughing the long talks and just spending good ol’ sister time. There really is nothing like a sister and for this reason, we will certainly not be stopping after Rosie because she needs a “Jenna” in her life too! Her boyfriend Nick also drove 14 hours to bring Jenna’s car to us and stayed the last week.  We had the best time, and were so glad we didn’t have to haul around in Ubers each day anymore. I am so grateful for Nick, I already feel like he’s my little brother and I love how much he values my sister.

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Class wasn’t easy. It was a Maymester course, meaning it was an entire Semester’s work squished into 3 weeks. Five days a week, 3 hours a day, plus 4-5 hours spent studying and reading. I nearly had a panic attack the first day in class as we were told to introduce ourselves, the pronouns we went by, and our favorite Ice cream. When the teacher asked who wanted to go first, I volunteered.

‘Hi I’m Stephanie, go by her/she/, mint chip ice cream would be my favorite.. and to point out the obvious I’m actually 31 weeks pregnant, married with a little boy Wyatt and here to finish my last class of college.” All eyes turned, smiled, and I literally laughed out loud thinking yup.. I’m that mom in class!

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It was only uphill from there, the students were darling and each day I got to know a few of them a little better. Sydney was a fellow Chi Omega, Adam was a bartender at a local spot, Michael was from Oakland, and Erna was the smart student who was passionate about Syrian refugees. I could go on but ill spare you.. bottom line is I ended up adoring the people in my class. My teacher… was awesome, and I’m so thankful I had him! A husband and father of two boys, from the midwest and on the first day made a bold statement that nobody has an excuse to miss class if the pregnant lady shows up! We all laughed on multiple occasions as I made jokes about my peeing habits or pregnancy life. One of the best memories during class was when everyone erupted in laughter because there was a flying baby head in the window of our classroom… It was Wyatt being held up by my sister.

As a parent, I see the value my Mom and Dad taught me in finishing what you start. I got to thinking that if Rosie or Wyatt were to be in the position I am today or something similar, I would pray and hope they would finish and do what is right. Also, i’ve got to be clear….it isn’t about the fact that I got an A+ in the class, or the fact that I now have a degree. A degree doesn’t make me a better person or a better mom, and it wouldn’t have made me a better employee or worker. In fact, I’m sitting on the plane as I write this more excited than ever to go back to being a stay at home mom and wife because it’s what I love to do. What the flimsy paper does do is show myself, my husband, my son and my daughter that when you want something bad enough, you do it and if you start something, you finish it.. even if that means sitting in a desk 7 months pregnant.

xo,

Stephanie

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