+  jackson started eating some pureed foods this month. he also turned six months old!

+  we celebrated christmas with my family in oklahoma and with jared's family here in wichita.

+  i added dairy back in to my diet, and jackson seems to be handling it well. but then i broke out in hives all over my body, so now i actually may be allergic to dairy.

+  we rang in the new year with family + games + lots of laughter.


::  as a working mom, i know there are milestones + moments i'm going to miss. jackson started solids this month, and i kept trying to get him to eat bananas, but homeboy wasn't interested. jared's parents gave him some solids while they were watching him one day, and he gobbled it up. i felt a ting of sadness, but the next day, jared's mom told us how thankful she was for jared's dad to get to see jackson try food for the first time because he missed out on those milestones when their kids were little. it was such a sweet moment.

::  just because an item is on sale doens't mean i neeeeeeed it.

::  i had a lot of work to get caught up this month at my job because i took a couple days off in preparation for the craziness of tax season. the best thing that helped me stay motivated? podcasts! i've been binging the popcast + the simple show.

::  crunchy moms make me feel like a lesser mother. but the other side of that? i let myself feel less than even though it's not true. i'm working on this though. i'm learning to stay away from certain blogs and scrolling past articles on facebook that are filled with the most vile + hateful comments ever. i'm learning to accept that there are certain parts of motherhood that look different for me because i'm a working mom. i'm learning. that's the key to this journey.


my phrase for 2017 was little by little. i've chosen words/phrases before, but this year was the first time i really committed to it the entire year. a lot of that has to do with my powersheets + setting good goals throughout the year. after yeeeeears of telling myself i needed to consolidate my closet/clothes, i finally did it! i donated half of my wardrobe, and it is so freeing to open my closet and choose clothing that i truly enjoy wearing. these days, i'm not really focused on what i'm wearing. it's just the season i'm in at the moment. give me a v-neck, skinnies, booties, and a cardigan, and i'm good to go.

i have developed a daily habit of tidying up our home, which has oddly become therapeutic. i'm still in the process of de-cluttering our home. i'm not sure what finally clicked this year - maybe it was buying a new home or motherhood or just growing older - but i just want to rid my life of all the things that hold no value. gone are the days of holding onto an item "just in case" because nine times out of ten, i can replace it.


during the spring, i noticed there were a lot of birds in our backyard trees. i kept telling jared about them, but he was on a different shift, so he never saw them during the daytime. he texted me on one of his days off about the birds, remarking that there sure where a lot of them. fast forward to june. we estimated that there were about 200 birds living in our trees at that point. it was downright disgusting. we couldn't let our dogs be outside for more than five minutes without getting covered in bird poop. they were getting sick a lot. it was starting to become a health hazard.

while in the hospital, jared found a house online that he really liked. picture this insanity: i'm standing in this empty house, no make-up, hunched over because of my c-section, new baby. total hot mess. but the home was exactly what we were looking for - location, price range, everything. it was a total God thing because how were we supposed to sell our current house and buy a new one with a newborn?! turns out, a couple from our church was on the hunt for their first home. and crazily enough- they loved our house. so we started the process of selling our house, and buying the new home.

i went into the office a couple weeks after jackson was born. when i got home, jared voiced his concerns about the birds. so that day (with a two week old, people!) we moved in with my sister-in-law and her family. i was super excited to have all the extra help with jackson, but it was a lot. probably too much now that we look back. but it all worked out. we love our new home, and if i never see an egret in my life, i'll be happy.


welcoming our son into the world was obviously the biggest part of our year. while i've struggled with his birth, i am so grateful for that little boy. motherhood is hard. really, really hard. much more difficult that i anticipated. but i wouldn't trade it for anything. watching jared step into his role as a daddy made my heart swell up with happiness. he's so sweet + fun with jackson. not many men would be willing to sacrifice their all their free time to watch their kids so they could save money on childcare. jared has done so without any complaint. jackson has brought so much joy to our lives. i just love that little dude.


in march, jared started working second shift. i was not happy about this change. it meant less time together + spending my evenings alone. it was easier before jackson - of course. but this is our new normal, and we're making the best of it. it's hard not having anyone to help out with jackson in the evenings, but then again, jared does it by himself during the day. we've been praying for a shift change, but until then, we are making the best of a crappy situation.


-  i shared my phrase for the year: little by little.
-  this was my fourth month of pregnancy.
-  i started feeling jackson kick this month!

blog posts:  a month in review  //  confession session  //  currently: january 


-  husband + i celebrated valentine's day with a fun roadtrip to OKC.
-  this was my fifth month of pregnancy + it's a BOY!
-  we made the best purchase of our marriage: a king-sized bed. PRAISE.

blog posts:  a month in review  //  pregnancy + faith  


-  jared + i celebrated our two year anniversary.
-  this was my sixth month of pregnancy.
-  welcomed the coming of spring with open arms + lots of photos.
-  jared started on second shift this month. while it has its challenges, we've learned to make the best of it.

blog posts:  a month in review  //  currently: march  //  how i bullet journal  //  powersheets Q1  //  weekly musings     


-  i had my first baby shower this month. such a sweet day!
-  this was my seventh month of pregnancy.
-  hubs + i watched beauty and the beast in the new warren theater out east.
-  the invasion of egrets started this month. this was one of the craziest parts of our year!

blog posts:  a month in review  //  weekly musings     


-  my mama threw me a baby shower in oklahoma. i loved getting to see all my okies.
-  this was my eighth month of pregnancy.
-  we took our last camping trip of the season.
-  i had so much cake this month, and i consider that awesome.
-  we toured the hospital where i'd give birth. it was so surreal.

blog posts:  a month in review  // thoughts in my last month of pregnancy


-  we enjoyed one of our last weekends as just the two of us.
-  this was my last month of pregnancy!
-  we welcomed our son, jackson timothy.

blog posts:  40 week update  //  currently: june   


-  this was one of the hardest months of my entire life. but it was beautiful in its own way.
-  we started the process of buying a new house. with a newborn. yep, we're CRAZY.
-  we moved into my sister-in-law's house so jared could do some house improvements for the buyers.
-  i started working from home this month.
jackson turned one month old!

blog posts:  jackson's birth story  //  life lately  


-  we moved into our new home! what a whirlwind summer, but definitely a memorable one.
-  i started a dairy-free diet.
-  i started back to work this month after eight weeks of maternity leave.
jackson turned two months old!

blog posts:  a month in review  //  currently: august    


-  jared + i took a super fun road trip to OKC for my birthday.
-  i had my first major haircut in over a decade.
-  while i love physical books, i bought a kindle because it's easier to hold with a baby in the other arm.
-  i started binging fixer upper this month. i didn't understand all the hype, but now i get it!
jackson turned three months old!

blog posts:  a month in review  //  three things you should know   


-  what started out as a fun poll turned into a thing this month. #notpolethursdays
-  i opened up about my struggles with jackson's birth.
-  jared + i binged stranger things + ate pizza + it was magical.
jackson turned four months old!

blog posts:  a month in review  //  currently: october  //  2Q + 3Q powersheets   


-  we transitioned jackson into his crib. it was hit + miss, but i did get seven straight hours of sleep one night!
-  i put our christmas tree up in the middle of the month.
jackson turned five months old!

blog posts:  a month in review  //  thoughts on the dirty john podcast   


-  i started adding dairy back into my diet, and jackson seems to be tolerating it well!
-  we celebrated jackson's first christmas. jared + i agree that this was the best christmas so far.
-  jackson turned six months old!

blog posts:  a month in review  //  lessons in motherhood  //  currently: december  //  l i n k s 

+  i [aka: jackson] woke up early today, and i actually had time to drink my coffee, paint my nails, and have a conversation with jared. it was so great. i'd always like to wake up early, but i also love sleep.

+  i had cheese enchiladas for the first time in months, and it didn't seem to affect jackson at all. so maybe he's outgrowing his intolerance, and now i just want to binge all the queso. [i won't, of course... yet.]

there's a new poll in my stories on instagram! we're discussing who would be the better neighbor, kimmy gibbler or steve urkel? instagram added a new feature that allows you to highlight stories, so i've added the poll to my profile for you to easily cast your vote.

other than that brief period four years ago when i decided i wanted to become a fashion blogger for the free clothes, i have never tried to become internet famous with this blog. i've networked and such, but my goal was never to become famous.

in august of 2015, i wrote a post for the series, monday truths. imagine to my surprise when it went viral on pinterest a month later. at the moment, it's been pinned over 80,000 times. what the what?! but here's the kicker: i didn't add my website source to the image. granted it is linked to my blog, but no credit on the actual image itself.

now i realize this is silly, but i'm not gonna lie, i kicked myself hard for not crediting my website on that image. GAH. but at the end of the day, this internet stuff is fun and all, but i can't take it with me when i leave this earth. God isn't going to look at my page views + follower counts and decide if i can enter His heavenly gates based on if i was insta-famous or not.

i used to get so caught up with how many followers i had. when i would lose one, it was like a shot to my heart (aka: my pride.) i actually wish that there were no follower counts, page views, likes, etc. how much more fun would it be to share an image on instagram or a status update on facebook just because? no forethought of how perfect it needs to be in order to garner likes that ultimately hold no value. i wish all of the social media giants would do away with likes + views + just keep comment sections. it would keep things less autonomic (mindless scrolling + liking) and more personal + authentic.

i've changed my approach to social media a lot since last year's election. thank the Lord for the mute button on facebook! here's the thing: it's okay to unfollow someone on social media. whether they post too frequently for my taste, their content is too brash, or i simply don't feel inspired by their posts anymore, IT'S OKAY to remove that junk from my timelines. i still like them as a person, just not their social media presence. some people take this personally, but i've discovered that what fills my social media feeds fills my thoughts.

i've started following more people on twitter who force me to think outside my little box. i think it's necessary to always be learning, especially in today's society of fake news + clickable headlines. while i won't compromise on my faith + beliefs, i still want to be love to those who believe differently than i do.

what are your thoughts on social media these days?
who are your social media favorites?

i remember exactly where i was when i asked my mom, "it's not like it's that hard, right? i was sitting at a stoplight, eight months pregnant with jackson. in an effort to educate myself, i was reading all the blog articles about motherhood, newborns, birth, etc. it seemed as though every article was doom + gloom, describing motherhood as the hardest thing ever. i had never heard my mom talk about the early stages of motherhood like that, so it couldn't be true, right?

HA. as i was sitting at another stoplight earlier this week, i mentioned that conversation to my mama. we both laughed because those first months of motherhood for me were that hard. and then some. apparently my brother + i were easier babies. good sleepers.

motherhood is the most humbling experience of my life. it's wonderful + beautiful, crazy + messy, fun + gratifying, weird + strange. all at once. i've learned some valuable, hard lessons during the last (almost) six months. i'm grateful for every single one because it's molding me into the kind of mom i desire to be. here are some of those lessons:



this is the biggest, hardest, + best lesson of motherhood i've had to learn. i'm still learning it actually. every mom raises/nurtures/feeds their babies differently. but here's the thing: mothering differently than others doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. let me say this again: MOTHERING DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHERS DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. i read this phrase in amy poehler's book: good for her; not for me. it has become my motherhood anthem.


there. i said it. i thought i was the only one until i opened up to another mom about this, and i could have cried when she whispered, "i didn't either." the only reason it was hard for me to embrace that short season is because we didn't know about jackson's dairy intolerance, so he didn't sleep a lot like most newborns. i felt bad about this at first, but i'm so proud of myself on the other hand because everyone kept telling me he was just colicky, and i knew in my gut that wasn't the case.  


before we knew of jackson's dairy intolerance, i struggled with thinking that i had a bad baby. this came from well-meaning conversations with other moms who didn't know that their words were almost damaging to my tender mama heart at the time. they would say, "oh, i never had to deal with that. i had a good baby." or "my babies slept a lot when they were that age." after i went dairy-free, jackson became a different baby almost overnight. he wasn't "bad", he was uncomfortable from the gas. now i will say that he prefers to be held a lot and likes to be entertained and still doesn't sleep through the night - yet. but this does NOT mean that jackson is a bad baby or all the other things i let myself believe when people would say they had a good baby. it just means that his needs are different in this stage of his life.


my mom tells me about once a week how i'm doing a great job at this crazy mothering thing, and i always remind her that i had a good teacher. [okay, i'm crying now. geez.]


this was more in the newborn stage, but i still monitor it throughout the week. i also have a weird fascination with trying to get boogies out of his nose. motherhood, y'all. it's beautiful + a little gross.


i just need to say it again. for myself. for the mom who cries when no one is around because she feels less than qualified. for the mom who wonders if she's doing a good job (spoiler: YOU ARE.) for the mom whose plans didn't go the way she had hoped. for me. for you. for her. mothering differently than others doesn't mean you're doing it wrong.  

+  ze blog got a makeover! click around + browse if you'd like. if not, then don't i guess. i'm not your mom.

+  i legit laughed SO hard at this video. hahahahahahaha!

+  i've seen hygge pop up throughout the blogging world in the last several months. i really enjoyed this article - how to get through a miserable winter with the danish concept of hygge - because winter is the worst.

+  i've been open on the blog about my new journey to a healthier lifestyle. i am so thankful for stories like this one. we as women deserve to know exactly what's going in + on our bodies. i am thankful for those who aren't afraid to speak up about topics that some deem taboo or gross.

+  michelle's experience with house hunters is crazy. just... WOW.

+  i'm wondering if i can convince husband to let me make a mixed media mural in our spare bedroom? :)

LIGHTING //  an amber blossom candle i snagged from marshalls. i bought it months ago and just used it as decoration. but recently, i've been practicing the art of hygee, so candles are a must for coziness. life is too short to not burn your favorite candles. another element of coziness is lighting our christmas tree. we chose a blue theme this year, and it's my favorite ever.

SPENDING //  my time wisely. with jared on second shift, quality time looks different these days, but we are making the best of it! we have been praying for a first shift position for quite awhile now, so until then, we will trust Him in the waiting.

CHOOSING //  my word/phrase for the new year. this is how the story always goes: i start thinking + praying over the new year, and then i obsess over what i think it should be. then there's this light bulb moment from the Lord, and it all comes together. [see past years here]

SENDING //  christmas cards. HA. just kidding. i still have the thank you cards from our reception and my baby shower sitting in a box somewhere. judge me alllll you want.

SINGING //  fun, made-up jingles to jackson. he smiles so big when we sing to him, and my heart melts every single time. i'm also humming a few christmas songs here and there, but i haven't been listening to much music lately because i'm binging on alllll the podcasts.


linking up with anne of in residence