7 months..

Hmm.. it's been seven months since I blogged. I knew it had been a while but had no idea it was that long.

Clearly, this blog is not something of top priority to me. Life has been busy! 7 months ago I had a four month old... how on earth is my baby 11 months old now? Here's a little update on my sweet boy.

Checking out the bear at the zoo. 
Our first little family trip - we went camping and swimming

Hanging out at the fire station with Daddy

Daddy is the best at making me laugh!
Aiden Christopher...

  • loves bubbles.
  • pulls up on everything and will climb it if given the chance
  • doesn't like most vegetables.. such a Daddy's boy
  • would eat yogurt at every meal and snack, especially if it's blueberry
  • says Dadda, Momma, and Bubba.. (Craig, you should feel loved, Bubba was said before Momma)
  • is still a great sleeper
  • has 6 teeth: 4 on top, 2 on bottom. (And definitely working on more!)
  • is growing like a weed and will be 1 before we know it!
This crazy, funny, sweet boy brings so much joy to our lives. 

Life has been busy for Chris and I outside of having a rambunctious baby (on the verge of toddler) too. Chris is still working at two fire departments but has switched from full-time at LR to full-time at Willard. He is loving his new job. I'm so thankful for the switch, he seems so much happier which is so important when you work well over 100 hours a week! He's still part time at Lebanon too but thats only 24 hours a week. So thankful for such a hard worker as a husband! I have to really watch my attitutude about him being gone so much sometimes because he's only doing it because it's whats best for us right now. Thanks fire hubby!
Heather came and stayed with us for two week! She got to be here for VBS too!

In the midst of everything else in our lives and my parents moving I also took on VBS at our church. I have now been called and VBS junkie and a VBS addict. Fine by me! I LOVE VBS!! Honestly, I am totally bummed that it's already over. It was a couple weeks ago and couldn't have gone better! I was totally overwhelmed and blessed by the amount of help we had and had a great turnout of kiddos too. And best yet, we had 7 children make a decision to make Jesus Christ Lord of their life. Praise the Lord! What an exciting time at Harmony!

Being able to be so involved with VBS really reminded me of what I absolutely feel called to do. Teach  children about Jesus. That's what I went to school for, I've done multiple internships for it, and have worked in sports evangelism camps. It's my passion. I'm really excited to see what God has for me down the road in ministry. I am more than content at my job right now, probably because I'm getting to be involved in the children's department, and feel very blessed to have the opportunities. I'm very excited to see what God has in store!

Be a blessing to someone today!


a personal struggle.

I've realized lately that I am really struggling with things in life that are beyond my control. I'm so afraid to lose my husband and my son. It's always been a fear but it become very stuck in my mind last week when I had a scary incident with Aiden (that all turned out just fine).

We had just got home from the baby sitter's house and Aiden was asleep in his car seat carrier. I decided since we was still asleep I would let him stay in the seat and left him in our living room while I worked in the kitchen. I almost always take him out whether he is sleeping or not but didn't want to wake him this time. After about 30 minutes I decided he needed to be taken out of the seat even though he was still sleeping. As I unbuckled his straps and even moved his arms to pick him up he never moved. Not at all. I said (quite loudly) "hey buddy" as I tickled his belly but he didn't move. It wasn't until I actually picked him up that he began to stretch and wiggle. He was so sound asleep. Through out this 10 seconds my heart stopped. My hands trembled. My face went pale. My whole world was falling apart.

I immediately felt silly for becoming so frightened but his still, little body seemed so lifeless. I sat down on the couch, cuddling my sweet, sleepy boy and wept. I cried out to God, thanking Him for our son. Thanking him that it wasn't time for him to take Aiden from me.

Since then I have become the paranoid mom that I thought I would be from day 1. I'm not only a paranoid mom but a wife as well. I worry about my loves constantly. Whether Chris is at the fire station, sitting in a deer stand, or driving down the highway - I worry. It's not until he is curled up next to me that I have a peace.

This worry is not something new to my life. I was very similar to this as a child. I didn't like staying home by myself (even when I was clearly old enough) and I always thought the worse when someone was running late or something didn't go quite right.

Last night, I shared this struggle with Chris a little bit more. Although he was compassionate to me, he ended the conversation with "there's nothing I can do, this is between you and God." He is so right (and I knew that too). Today I'm trying to dive deeper in to scripture and prayer on this. Here are a few scriptures that are so on spot.
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 62:6
They will have no fear of bad news;  their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7
Having such a compassionate heart can be such hard work sometimes! Any suggestions beyond prayer and scripture? Any personal experience with this? I'd love to hear!

Be a blessing to someone today!


My Adventures of Going No Poo-Week 1

Week 1 is Done!
Hey Y'all! Sorry I'm a couple of days behind on this. I was trying to post on my lunch break at work since we don't have internet at home and I've been working through lunch.

Anyway, it has now been a week and 2 days since I cut out traditional shampoo and conditioner and switched over. Did you see the first post about it? If not, check it out here! I am so happy to report that I am a huge fan (at this point) of this new concoction! My hair feels clean, has a good shine, is very manageable and is actually curling better for me. I don't feel like I have gone through that transitional period that some go through where their hair gets frizzy or oily.

The only change I have made to my routine is that I have started putting the baking soda solution on before I get my hair wet in the shower. This makes me feel assured that my whole scalp is really getting scrubbed clean because I know exactly where its going. Then when I step in to the shower I just dip my head quickly into the water and then go about my shower. I wait until I've finished everything else before I rinse the baking soda and do the vinegar solution. I don't start the vinegar solution at my scalp though, its more the length of my hair instead. I will say that I think the vinegar solution gets smellier the longer its in the bottle (I get about 4 washes out of the 8 ounce solution of each.) I have contemplated using some essential oils to tone down the vinegar smell but I'm not sure its worth it. Once I blow dry my hair or style it curly then I don't smell the vinegar any more.

Have you tried it? I'd love to hear you experience or your apprehension if you any!

Be a blessing to someone today!



no more dryer sheets.

I have a quick trick for you to save a little money! Next time you run out of dryer sheets don't run to the store for more. Just wad up a couple simple balls of aluminum foil. I have been doing this for a couple weeks now and it's been great! I use three balls and it's been working for me! I'm definitely not buying more dryer sheets! The aluminum balls will last so long, use them over and over!

The foil cuts down on static and helps to keep your clothes bouncing around so they dry faster. You can't use dryer sheets with cloth diapers anyway so this works great when I'm in a time crunch and need the diapers dry quickly! (although I try not to dry them in the dryer)

Tune in Monday for my week 1 update on no 'poo! I will also be doing a couple Christmas decor tutorials next week!

Have a great weekend!


My Adventures of Going No 'Poo - Day 1

Ok, so last we talked I was taking some steps to a more natural way of life. Cloth diapers, homemade laundry soap, etc. I have found a new way to cut out chemicals and save loads of money. Homemade "shampoo and conditioner." I have made alternatives to these with a couple of basic ingredients already in my home: baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and good ol' H20.

When I first starting reading about no 'poo (the method of not using sham"poo") I was not convinced. I really like using shampoo that smells flowery and tropical and leaves my hair feeling soft and pliable. However, the more I read the more I saw that is exactly what people were saying the no 'poo method was leaving their hair (minus the yummy scents). Not trying to brag here but I love my hair. I've always loved the color of my hair but mostly I love it because it is beyond easy! Its a good thickness and curls or straightens when I want it to (generally speaking at least).

Reading and doing research about no 'poo really brought some interesting points to mind. Shampoo is really a detergent that strips your hair of oils even more than we need it too. It takes away the excess oil that causes greasiness but it also takes away the oil that is good for moistening your scalp and keeping your hair shiny in a good way. By taking away the good oils your hair and scalp can end up drying out which then causes your body to over do it and produce to much oil.. It's a vicious cycle I tell ya! Plus, if you're using a shampoo that is not all-natural (which I NEVER have, I go for decent price and smells nice) then it likely contains chemicals that could potentially be harmful to your body or to the environment. (By the way, I have more to say about chemicals and such soon.)

Photo from The Crunchy Wife

I made the plunge and tried it this morning. I made both of my solutions in peri bottles (you know the kind you get from the hospital after having a baby. I bought some in bulk off of eBay that were super cheap and use them for a few things around the house). I used 1 Tablespoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of water. And about 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar (maybe a little more) to 8 ounces of water. These are done in separate bottles.

It seemed a little strange to me when actually applying it because the baking soda fully dissolves in the water so it feels like you're just squirting water (in my case cold water) on your head. The same with the vinegar mixture (I put the vinegar mixture all over my head but I know most people seem to just put it on the ends). However, after rinsing my hair it wasn't tangled (when my hair is wet and I haven't used conditioner it tangles very easily) and although it didn't smell like flowers it smelled clean and fresh.

My hair is pretty thick and I was afraid I would need to use more to truly clean my hair but after blow drying and straightening it I had no issues at all. Today my hair feels normal to me, maybe even a little bit lighter than normal. I'm fully aware that this might not stay as easy as it is right now. Most people going no 'poo go through a transitional time where their hair is overly oily or overly dry as your scalp tries to figure out whats going on. We will see! 

Day 1 with no 'poo

We'll see how my hair does over the next couple of weeks. Fairly healthy as of now.

Be a blessing to someone today!!


becoming a hippy.

I've come to the conclusion that I am becoming a hippy. Yep, a hippy. I'm a cloth diapering, laundry detergent making, going green kinda momma. OK, so maybe these things don't constitute me as a hippy but I realized this morning how much I really am leaning towards this natural (cutting chemicals and processed foods out as much as possible) lifestyle. I'm not a health nut by any means but caring for our sweet boy has made me more cautious of the things I do and use.

This all started when I decided to cloth diaper Aiden, a few months before we even knew he would be Aiden. I have been so pleased with our diapers and am very thankful to have this alternative from buying costly diapers that are just going to be thrown away and then off to a landfill. Not only do I wrap his cute little booty in cloth rather than plastic but I make the detergent to clean them too. It's a very simple, basic solution that seems to do a great job and isn't costly like some name brand detergents. We're even going as far as using cloth wipes more lately. I decided I might as well since I'm washing the diapers anyway. I'm amazed at home many wipes we've gone through in the 16 1/2 weeks of our sweet boy's life.

Here is the recipe for the cloth diaper detergent:
Equal parts of: baking soda, washing soda, and oxiclean
(I did just see a post about adding essential oils to this make it smell good, I'm considering trying this but I also don't really mind that something my babe is gonna poo in doesn't smell like flowers as long as its clean)

This is my routine for diaper laundry: "Express wash" (a setting on my washer) on cold, then a "normal wash" on hot with an extra rinse. I generally do a large load of diapers and in that case I would add one tablespoon to the express wash and then 2 tablespoons to the regular wash. It seems to work well for me. I did have an ammonia problem this weekend but I think I probably got in a rush getting diapers ready for a weekend away messed up on more routine.

I have just been using water for my cloth wipe "solution" but I'm going to be making one tonight. Once I figure out what that will be I'll post it too!

I make our regular laundry detergent as well. I've been using this recipe for about 3 months and I've had no problems with it at all. It smells great and is cheap to make! Click here for the recipe! It really does make a TON! I bought a five gallon bucket to store my excess in from Home Depot which is great to mix it in too. I just made sure the lid was on tightly and rolled the bucket back on forth on the floor because all that detergent weight a lot!

In just two months sweet boy will be ready to start out baby foods and I'll be making that too! I'm soo stinkin' excited for this! My parents gave us a Baby Bullet as a baby shower gift and I can't wait to get started. I'm glad that I'll know exactly what is going in to our boys body and I'm thinking its gonna help me (and hopefully Firefighter Hubby too) eat healthier as well.

At this point, I'm still mostly using the typical household cleaners for my kitchen, bathroom, etc (but really who am I kidding, when do I ever really clean) but I'm starting to look in to more ways to cut those chemicals out and use natural cleaning methods, especially when it's usually cheaper to make them than to buy them. 

Other "natural things" I'm planning to try:
-amber teething jewelry
-homemade facial wipes
-cloth "paper" towels
-wool dryer balls - I can't use dryer sheets with cloth diapers anyway
-cloth menstrual pads - TMI maybe but I'm ok with that.
-dog treats

Have you had any luck with trying new "natural" ways of life? I'd love to hear what you're doing!


mini getaway.

Chris and I are celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary a couple days early! We are (me..) being brave and leaving sweet Aiden with his Moppy and Poppy and two aunts! I am SOO looking forward to the time away with my sweet husband! We are heading to a Cardinals game tonight which seems fitting since our wedding was baseball themed, staying in a great hotel, and then spending the day just hanging out tomorrow before returning to the babe!

I am kinda feeling guilty for being so excited for time away with hubby minus the baby. I thought I would struggle more with it. Chris made a good point a couple weeks ago though. We've only been married for a year. As much as I wouldn't change it for the world we got pregnant so quickly that we lost some of that time as newlyweds. So now that I am not lugging around a watermelon belly we can take advantage of awesome family that will love on Aiden while we have time together. Don't get me wrong I am going misssss my boy but he'll be in capable, loving hands!

I feel like a giddy little school girl looking forward to a hot date! :)

Side note:: My sweet boy is two months old as of yesterday! Goodness, how did that happen! More to come on that as well!

Pictures to come!

Be a blessing to someone today!