The Story of Ford's Birth

A week after Ford was born I sat down and wrote out the story of his birth.  And now that he's turning two years old tomorrow (so crazy!) I thought it was about time I told the story of February 8th of two years ago.

Here's the short version: At 39 weeks pregnant, I realized I was having contractions at 3:11 am.  We got to the hospital not too long after that and I was already dilated to an 8 the first time they checked me.  There was no time to have any pain medication or really do much of anything.  Ford was born at 5:31 am, perfectly healthy and strong.  We were on cloud nine and so happy to have him with us.  My labor was quick with Eleanor and proved to be even quicker with Ford (although not as frantic and rushed the second time around).

And now for anyone interesting in knowing all my thoughts and feelings, here's the longer version that I wrote that week after Ford was born...

I woke up Sunday morning (Feb. 7th) and decided that this baby was probably never going to come.  I was 39 weeks pregnant.  I had not felt a single braxton hick at this point and there were no signs he was coming soon.  Of course, there were really no signs of Eleanor's birth--one night I went to bed and the next morning she was in my arms.  So every night I went to bed this time around I made sure that the house was clean and everything was in order because I could go in to labor at the drop of a hat.

We went to church that Sunday (I was bummed I had to scrounge up yet another Sunday outfit to fit my large belly, ha) and I told person after person that I didn't think the baby would be here soon.  We came home, had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and put Eleanor to bed by 7 pm.  I worked to complete a bunch of Stake Young Women assignments and e-mailed them off so that I wouldn't have anything lingering when the babes came.  We did the dishes and picked up the house and headed to bed around 10 pm.  We brainstormed for a minute about things I could do this week so I'd have something to look forward to and then we drifted off to sleep.

Sleep hasn't been my friend lately--with mild heartburn and some back pain being the main offenders--so I didn't think any of it when I kept tossing, turning and getting up to go to the bathroom.  I would try to go right back to sleep but kept having this same repeating dream where I needed to figure out how to fold a pamphlet to take to early morning seminary the next morning (so random!).

After many, many trips to the bathroom, I started to think, "Is something up?  Am I feeling more discomfort than the norm?"  My lower abdomen was feeling tight but again nothing to really take note of.  When I had Eleanor, labor had started with cramps, lower back pain and bleeding.  I could see how my tight stomach could possibly be the beginning of cramps but there was no blood when I went to the bathroom so I kept pushing aside the idea of labor.

I resisted looking at my phone to see the time as that just drives me crazy and keeps me up more.  Finally though I admitted defeat on sleep and clicked my phone's home button to learn it was 3:11 am.  I sighed and decided to go get a drink of water.  While in the kitchen I wondered what I should do, maybe sit on the couch?  I decided to hang out in bed instead and debated if I should tell Aaron if something was up or not.  I was still VERY unsure that this was anything to speak of and I knew that the minute I told Aaron I might be in labor that he would jump into "go" mode.   He had been trying to convince me for the last 9 months that right when I felt anything we would head straight to the hospital.  I wanted to be sure it was "something" before committing ourselves to a middle of the night hospital visit.  Plus, Aaron was sick and I knew he needed a good night's sleep.  And going to the hospital meant waking up Jessica and making her come over to our house and I really didn't want to do that unless I knew it was the real deal.

I was debating all of this as I climbed back in bed.  Thankfully Aaron turned over right at that moment and seemed partially awake so I decided to just fill him in.  I told him I was having a hard time sleeping and that my stomach could possibly be feeling crampy, but I wasn't sure.  He was surprisingly calm and said, "Ok lets just talk a little and see how you're feeling."  It was probably 3:20 am at this point.  We talked for a couple minutes and I was starting to notice the crampy-ness was coming in subtle waves.  I really had the urge to take a bath so Aaron said he would go start one for me.  We were both wide awake at this point and talking like it was the middle of the day.  It's amazing how adrenaline kicks in.

As I got in the bath, Aaron started gathering up the last minute items for the hospital bag (I kept a list on my phone of what we still needed).  He came to me holding up a BYU shirt and said, "What do you think about this being the first shirt my son sees me in?"  I love being married to this man and I love that he loves his Cougs.

The bath felt amazing and I never wanted to leave it.  Aaron said we should probably call Jessica to give her time to come over.  At this point I was pretty confident that this was the real deal and said I would call her if Aaron brought me my phone.  When he came back with the phone though I started having a contraction that was uncomfortable enough that I asked him to call her.  He said that she answered and perked up right away, "Ok I'm ready!"  We have had Jessica on high alert for weeks now (the poor girl) and she's been telling me that every night she turns up her phone in case we call.  She was at our house in two minutes flat. She's amazing.  I had climbed out of the tub, made our bed and got dressed in comfortable clothes.  Aaron was putting stuff in the car and I was trying to tell Jessica some quick instructions about Eleanor before we left.

Finally, there was nothing else to do but go so I hugged Jessica, grabbed an apple and got in the car.  The time on the clock was 4:11 am when we pulled out of the driveway.  I had been up for an hour and had been having contractions for an hour.  I tried to keep track of the timeline because I love remembering the details of events.

While we were driving and I was eating my apple, Aaron called the doctor's office to tell them we were going to the hospital.  The operator lady said that our doctor wouldn't be on call until 7 am so most likely he would be there to deliver me seeing as it was only a couple hours away.  Aaron told her that we hoped so but that I have babies quickly so we should still notify the current on call doctor to be ready before 7 am.

We kept talking about life and this baby.  Once I finished my apple, I decided to put on some mascara.  This was all so ridiculously more calm than our drive to the hospital with Eleanor.  That drive was all about speed and I had been writhing in pain constantly in the front seat.   This drive we were laughing and I was putting on mascara, it seemed absurd and also wonderful.

We pulled in to the Emergency Room side of the hospital since it was after hours and I told Aaron I was feeling great and could walk in to the hospital.  For some reason I really wanted to walk because it would show just how different this whole experience was to when I gave birth to Eleanor.  The car clock said 4:24 am as we pulled in.

We got to the desk and started checking in.  I was rubbing my lower abdomen as it hurt but I was able to carry on a conversation with the check-in lady.  I kept thinking, "They probably think I'm silly for being here so early because I'm not acting like someone who is just about to have a baby."  The lady though said it was good we were coming in early because they had been having several moms deliver at home accidentally and having to come in by paramedic.   That was Aaron's worst nightmare (and of course mine too), so I smiled at him thinking, "Look how responsible we are being this time!" (Side note: When I arrived at the hospital for Eleanor's birth, Aaron was sprinting me down the hall in a wheelchair.  I was dilated to a 10 when I got to the hospital and Eleanor came just 40 minutes later.  It was so crazy and quick. We were determined to avoid all of that craziness with Ford's birth.)

They had us walk over to the hall and sit on chairs to wait for someone to come get us.  We sat there taking silly selfies.  It felt like we were there for longer than we should be. Shouldn't people be rushing around when they hear you are in labor?
Finally a nurse came and asked if I wanted a wheelchair.  The desire to walk was still strong and I said, "I got this."  I got halfway down the hall when a strong contraction came on.  I took a few more very slow steps and then couldn't walk anymore.  I told Aaron that I should probably ride in a wheelchair after all so he ran to get one.  In hindsight now I can tell that this was most likely the moment I was hitting transition because the contractions got a lot stronger after this.

I rode in the wheelchair and swore that if we ever made it big one day that I would buy the hospital more comfortable wheelchairs--I felt every bump and jerk in that thing.

We pulled into triage and they had me get out of the wheelchair and go to the bathroom to do a urine sample.  I asked Aaron to come with me because I remembered getting stuck with pain in the bathroom when I had Eleanor.

We then made it over to a bed and they handed me a gown to put on.  As I climbed in to the bed, I said out loud, "I just hope I'm at least a four."  I was in more pain at this point and just really wanted this whole laboring to go pretty quickly.  I thought I was past a four but was just preparing myself to learn I was not too far along.  It felt so much less rushed and stressed than when we had Eleanor so I knew that I wasn't completely dilated already.

The nurse hooked up a monitor to my belly and then checked me.  "You're already an 8," she said.  I laughed and Aaron laughed.  How do I progress so quickly?  I'll never know.  I am grateful for it.  The same flurry of excitement, shock and sudden activity set in with all the nurses in triage as it did in the hospital with Eleanor when they told me I was a 10 after just getting there.

They wheeled me in the bed to a labor and delivery room.  As we entered the room, I saw the little bassinet waiting for a baby and thought, "My baby is going to be in there!" It helped put the pain and discomfort into perspective and I got even more excited for this baby to come.

It was about 4:50 am when I got to my room.  They had me climb off that bed and into another bed in the room.  I laid on my side which felt awesome and asked Aaron to start massaging my back.  I really wanted to climb into a warm bath but the room didn't have a bathtub and they were already hooking me up with an IV so I knew that the bath wasn't going to happen.

The nurse did a rush job on the IV and man did it hurt.  She put it in such an awkward place on my arm that after Ford arrived I could barely nurse him.  They ended up having to move it after he came but there was no time for adjustments before.

They checked me around 5 am and I was at a 9 and the on-call doctor was on his way.  I was so relieved that I was progressing quickly because I was hurting a lot at this point.

As I laid on the bed with Aaron massaging my back through contractions, the nurse went through all the standard hospital check-in questions (did you bring in any valuables? a wallet? a camera? etc. etc.) and I kept thinking, "Can this wait til I am through this contraction?"  I feel like any other time you are in tons of pain people stop and cater to you and reassure you.  However, when you are in labor and writhing around they act like it's totally normal and ask you a bunch of random questions as if you are having a conversation over sandwiches at a cafe.  So weird.

I could feel the contractions come and go.  The small break between contractions was such a relief.  I just kept asking Aaron to push harder and harder on my back.  It felt so good and made it possible for me to keep going.

The doctor arrived and introduced himself and confirmed I was a 9.  I asked him urgently if I could start pushing right away when I reached a 10.  I just wanted it to be over and I knew I was close.

At about 5:20 am they said I was a 10 and asked me to roll on my back so we could start pushing.  Laying on my back was incredibly painful because there was so much pressure on my lower back.  I would have given anything to get off my back.  They had me put my legs in the stir-ups and the doctor coached me on how he wanted me to push.  I started pushing at 5:24 am.  Up until this point, I had felt like everything was tolerable and I could handle the pain, but pushing felt like the hardest thing I had ever done.  With Eleanor, pushing felt like a relief but this time it just burned.  I am in awe of anyone that pushes for a long time.  It took everything I had to push for those five minutes.

The doctor would have me push and then pause.  He said he was going to try really hard to keep me from tearing so even though going slow was painful I was hopeful that it would all mean I wouldn't tear.  I do remember being in between pushes and looking up to see everyone (the doctor, Aaron, a couple nurses) all looking at me.  I put on a big smile and looked at each of them as if to say, "Well isn't this a funny situation we have found all of ourselves in?" It is odd to have a room full of strangers helping you through this incredibly personal experience.  Anyways, they seemed shocked I was smiling in the middle of pushing so they all kind of smiled in shock back to me.  The happy moment was over quickly though and it was back to pushing.

Finally, I felt Ford's head make it through and there was an instant relief of some pressure.  I looked down to see my baby and there was this wave of emotion rush over me.  There he was!  All this waiting and I couldn't believe I was finally getting to see him.  With my first delivery, I had all these feelings rush through me at the sight of my new baby.  Then I had felt the weight of becoming a new mom and had lots of random thoughts ("Whoa she was just in side of me!  Wow, that's my baby!  I'm a mom!  I don't know how to be a mom! This little baby needs me and is totally dependent on me now!").  With this second delivery though, I didn't have to worry about adjusting to motherhood.  I was already very comfortable with my identity as a mom and as a result I could just focus on my sheer joy that this adorable baby was now apart of our family.

I was able to push his whole body out with the next push and there he was!  It took a second to hear him cry and even then it wasn't a super strong cry.  They carried him over to that bassinet I had spotted when we first came in the room to kind of rough him up and get him crying more.  They kept him for longer than I would have liked (although it must have only really been a matter of minutes) and I just kept asking, "Can I hold my baby? I really want to hold him."  It was this innate urge to hold him on my chest.  They brought him over and I loved having him on me.  He was so handsome!  I was just in awe and loved the cuddles.

I wanted Aaron to connect with Ford too as soon as possible so after a little while I handed Ford over to him.  I always feel a little shaky right after birth so it also felt safer for Aaron to hold him at that point.  There's not much better in life than seeing your husband hold your new sweet baby.  He was so cute introducing himself to Ford and saying, "I'm your daddy.  You're my son!" The sweetest.
My recovery was a million times easier after this second birth.  There were some challenges still--the IV in my wrist caused me so much pain those first two days and Ford didn't seem interested in breastfeeding at all those first 24 hours.  On the whole though, I felt great and was up and moving around easily pretty quickly.  We stayed in the hospital just one night and then made it home to introduce Eleanor to Ford, which was such a highlight of life for us as parents.

Now two years later, this all seems a little dreamy to be reading through again.  I can't believe this active, sweet little boy we have running around was just our tiny newborn two years ago.  Ford has brought so much joy to our family and we love him to pieces.


Ford at 18 months

Ford had his first official day in Nursery today and it was WONDERFUL.  For him and us.  He has been so ready for three months now.  Before taking him in I went outside and snapped a few pictures of him.  I just can't get over how cute this kid is.  There are so many times that he's doing something and Aaron and I look up at each other as if to say, "This has got to be the cutest kid in the world."  We are biased for sure ;)  And you better believe there are moments where we also look at each other as if to say, "This kid is CRAZY."  But that's 18 months for you, all the highs and all the lows you can imagine.  But overall this stage is my jam and I really feel like we are in a good groove.

So for a quick update, here's Ford at 18 months...

Ford's vocabulary has grown exponentially in the past couple months. He's saying hi, bye, dada, mama, wawa (water), baba (blankie or pacifier), nana (banana or his Nana), a-ma (Grandma) and night-night (goodnight).  And his favorite word is "MINE!!!" And beyond those words, he can communicate so effectively through hand motions and noises.  It's not very hard to figure out what he wants these days.

Aaron is his favorite, hands down.  If Ford hears any noise in the house at all, Ford assumes it's the garage door opening and that Daddy's home.  He'll run to the back door and wait there for Aaron to walk in.  I feel bad breaking it to him 95% of the time that it was just the AC kicking in or the dishwasher starting.  He prefers Aaron for going to bed and definitely if he gets hurt and needs comfort.

He has now had three haircuts but has probably needed double that.  Haircuts are not my strength.  I can only manage getting my own hair cut once a year.  I love his little gentleman's haircut.  I'm sure the day will come when he gets his first buzz cut but the thought of that currently horrifies me.  I will hold on to this wonderful stage of adorable haircuts and cute suspenders and sweet little moccasins for as long as I can.  

We are constantly hearing from people that he's "all boy."  He is a born climber, runner and tinkerer.  Thankfully he's given up eating soil and some other crazy things but he loves to climb on the table (I can't get this to stop for the life of me!) and pull chairs up to the counter (he's even ignited our gas stove!).  Give him a ball or a toy car and he'll squeal from excitement.  

He's learning to deal with his frustrations, meaning lots of throwing himself on the ground and smacking his head repeatedly on it (even tile!).  He's in a hitting phase and he definitely does it intentionally now.  We're working on it.  Tantrums are a real thing.  

However, Ford is no terror.  He is such a sweet cuddler and loves to rest his head on your shoulder, especially as you sing to him before bedtime.  And he gives the sweetest hugs and kisses.  His hugs are full body hugs.  

He now confidently walks into the gym's babysitting center without crying.  And when we go to pick them up at the end of a workout, we find Eleanor and Ford playing something together.  So heartwarming.

This kid loves him some music.  Turn on the Moana soundtrack and he can't help but stomp his feet and shake his hips.  He feels the beat and it just overtakes his little body.  He treats the fireplace hearth as his stage and loves to put on a show with Eleanor.  Adele's "Hello" has also been a favorite of his for a while now.

When we sense he has something he shouldn't and yell "Fooord!" he looks at us, cackles and sprints away.  He's mischievous for sure.

Ford is sitting better for books and loves pointing to pictures. 

Currently, Ford is transitioning to one nap a day and it's a rough transition.  He's clearly tired by 10:30 am so I put him down and he sleeps for a good two hours. But then he refuses an afternoon nap when he clearly needs it.  He's usually down at night at 7:30 pm and sleeps til 7:30 am.  We have been getting uninterrupted sleep at night for so long now and it's amazing.

Ford is playing with Eleanor for longer and longer stretches.  I'll find them quietly in her room playing together or at least side by side.  Of course the minute Ford spots me spying he runs out to me.  As a result, I'm usually too scared to check no them playing for fear of their independent play ending.  So I pray they aren't dying and hold out til I hear a cry. 

He's still on the small side, averaging about 15% for height and weight.  At his last doctor's appointment, his doctor said, "Well no wonder he's not gaining tons of weight.  He hasn't stopped moving once this whole time!"

With two of his four teeth chipped (he still only has four teeth!) and legs full of bruises and scratches, you can tell that he's just a little reckless.  Nothing stops him.  He's a tough cookie and try as we do to keep him safe, he's had his fair share of run ins.  I'm hoping it's all contributing to him learning some healthy boundaries and will keep him safer in the long run. 

Ford passionately loves his little blankie and pacifier.  We have been working on getting him to leave them in his crib after waking up but he manages to sneak in and grab them out still. 

He puts up a mean fight when he's getting his diaper changed or his teeth brushed.  He has an excellent back arch.

We mostly call him Ford and Fordy.  Occasionally he gets a Fordster and my mom calls him Mr. Ford.  

He currently loves yogurt, fruit, beans, breakfast shakes, avocados and bananas.  He does pretty well with meats. I've had to stop giving him berries all together for now or else he won't eat anything else.

Admittedly, Ford has had way more fruit snacks and Mac 'N Cheese than Eleanor ever had at this age.  In fact, I don't think Eleanor had a single fruit snack until she was two years old (#firstchild). 

Ford has a thing for eating crayons and has started sneakily writing on walls, floors and cabinets.  Thank goodness for washable crayons and markers.  We have currently banned markers from the house and crayons may be going soon.

He's starting to notice if I'm holding Eleanor or a friend's baby and manages to scoot himself onto my lap and claim his territory.   

He fold his arms for prayer by sticking his hands in his armpits.  Kills me every time.

His giggle is seriously the best thing ever.  He's had a good, hearty laugh since three months and it's so fun to get him on a laughing roll.  

I find myself taking tons of pictures of him throughout the day because I just can't get enough of his blonde hair, chubby cheeks and happy smile.  He is seriously so darling and sometimes my heart just bursts when I see him doing simple things like eating in his high chair.  The tantrums pale in comparison to all the seriously amazing things he's accomplishing each day.  We love our little Fordy. 


Aaron at 29 years old

Aaron turns 29 years old today!  I've now known him for ten and a half years and can attest to that fact that he just gets better and better with age :)

This morning we let him sleep in til a whopping 7:15 am.  I intended to let him sleep til 7:45 am but he got up earlier because he heard the kids and wanted to play with them.  Eleanor stormed in the bedroom and gave him a big birthday hug followed by Ford toddling in with squeals of excitement.

We had a traditional bacon and egg birthday breakfast.  He makes amazing eggs so I made him do that part of the breakfast himself ;)  After breakfast he headed to work to discover his room decked out in Ron Swanson birthday decor thanks to his fun co-workers.

He came home at 2:30 pm and built a mega fort with Eleanor.  As soon as Ford woke up we had a family birthday party with presents and cake.  I told him Aaron could go out after that and do anything he wanted by himself.  So he's currently choosing to use his free birthday time to go to the DMV.  Crazy man but I love him.  We have a babysitter for tonight and can't wait to do a little shopping and then get dinner P.F. Chang's.

In the spirit of the birthday updates I've done for the rest of us so far this year, I thought Aaron deserved his very own.

At 29 years old, Aaron...

-continues to enjoy grilling meat, his current specialty being pesto chicken. It's SO GOOD. He still uses a charcoal grill and has now enlisted Eleanor to be his grilling helper.

-still loves to finish off a night with a sleeve of double stuff Oreos and a cold glass of milk.

-follows sports as much as ever, with an emphasis on BYU sports of course.  He loves doing fantasy basketball with friends and has a constant text conversation going with groups of friends over what's going down in the sports world.

-is a dedicated dad.  He loves time with the kids and thinks of new fun activities to do with them.  He's been reading Shoe Dog recently (about the man who started Nike) and was impressed that Phil Knight would make up bedtime stories for his son that involved his son helping historical figures.  He immediately implemented that with Eleanor, telling her stories about "Eleanor and Paul Revere" or "Eleanor and Abe Lincoln" (of course, Eleanor always insists there is some dancing element to the story).  He's by far the "fun parent," building forts, being the tickle monster, dancing to Nutcracker, pulling the trailer on family bike rides and on and on.  Aaron will be the first to admit that parenting is no cake walk (constant sleep interruptions, dealing with tantrums, etc.) and yet he gives it his all every day.

-in that same vain, Aaron is a supportive, loving and fun husband.  He texts me throughout the day asking how I'm doing and telling me what a great wife and mom I am.  His appreciation and encouragement helps me so much because I am often feeling less than great at that particular moment.  He reminds me to laugh and lets me sleep in most mornings while he changes diapers, makes breakfast and deals with early morning meltdowns.

-has developed a love of going out to eat :) He loves a nice meal and gets excited about trying out a new restaurant in town.  This has been the focus of our date nights and it's so fun to just go without kids, eat a good, long meal and talk over various topics (right now we talk about London).

-enjoys living the gospel.  We took our kids on a walk around the Fresno temple last month just after a spiritually uplifting Stake Conference weekend and on the drive home he said, "I'm all in.  I just want you to know I'm all in with the gospel."  And he means it.  I find him reading the scriptures by himself at night and telling me about his personal spiritual goals.  He really believes in Christ and wants to center his life on Christ.  Aaron's the one that reminds us to have a real family home evening or to have family prayer before he heads to work.  Aaron has given again and again with his time to his Stake Clerk calling, attending bi-weekly early morning meetings and dedicating himself to Ward and Stake Conferences.  Giving this time isn't easy.  We constantly have conversations about how to juggle family, work and church time.  And yet our conclusions in those conversations is that no matter how difficult it is to fit everything in, we have faith that all the time we give to these good pursuits will be worth it.

-is currently playing basketball two nights a week with the guys at church.  He really looks forward to these games both as a chance to get out and move and as a chance to get to know the guys better.  He comes home and gives me a report of how he played.  He loves that he's been making more 3 pointers lately :)

-is still just as frugal (cheap) as ever when it comes to spending money on himself.  I recently succeeded in convincing him to invest in some new clothes.  We went to Nordstrom Rack where he was shocked to find t-shirts going for $20.  He was like, "I'm looking to spend $10 or less on a t-shirt. I can't imagine spending 20."  So we headed to Old Navy and he managed to find t-shirts for $7 and was as happy as can be.

-works as a financial advisor at Veater Financial Group.  His favorite aspects of the job are meeting with clients and doing presentations.  He loves that he can help people and enjoys thinking about how to help the business grow.  We are so grateful for his work schedule (9 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and then he gets off at 2 pm on Fridays) and that he lives just ten minutes from his office.  We've been able to spend so much more time as a family as a result of those hours.  Such a blessing!

-spends his Saturdays trading off between helping me with the kids and doing outdoor chores.  He was really looking forward to working in the yard when we bought the house but has realized what a daunting task it is to maintain a yard with mature trees by yourself when you really just have a Saturday to take it on.

-continues to make excel spreadsheets in his free time.  I'll open my computer and find a complex spreadsheet he's left behind.  I'm so grateful for his budgeting skills and math brain.

-is a good friend and thoughtful family member.  I am amazed at all the people he has been able to stay in close contact with.  He's constantly calling people just to chat.  He's very aware of friends and family and if any are in distress he's quick to text me and ask how we can help them.

We love him dearly and think he's the world's greatest.  Happy Birthday my love!


A Daddy-Daughter Moment

Some candid daddy-daughter photos from a random Friday afternoon in November.   That girl loves her daddy above all else.

2nd Half of November

And here are the rest of my iPhone photos from the rest of November :)

 ^^Lot of sibling smothering.
 ^^A photo I found of my phone from Eleanor.  Gotta love the candid mommy moments.  And look at Ford laying down for a diaper change! That RARELY happened for that 4 month stretch.
 ^^The cutest PJ's from my friend Lucy
^^A little Santa at Cafe Rio in the middle of November :)
 ^^A true Cafe Rio lover right there.
 ^^At 9 months Ford was already standing up on everything and furniture cruising.
 ^^Classic Ford cry right there.
 ^^We've been in a major puzzle phase that starting in November and has been going strong ever since.
 ^^"Look Mommy! This is my costume and I'm Daddy!" 
 ^^A fancy dinner dinner with friends thanks to the beautiful Jessica.
 ^^Gotta love those dancing buns
 ^^My little Joann's shopping buddy
 ^^A family date to get macarons.  Eleanor always says, "Macarons? My favorite!"
 ^^One of our many holiday shopping trips.  I was trying real hard to get all my Christmas shopping done before Dec. 1st and the kids were pretty good sports about coming along.
 ^^Eleanor started doing this mid November.  I was grateful she was keeping herself occupied and happy in the cart but it got really difficult when I needed to actually put anything in there with her.
 ^^An unfinished corner of my bedroom that was made a little happier with my new eBay painting! The fireplace has been untouched for a year now but we really do need to fix it.  I like having that blue reading chair in that corner though.  And the painting brought in some happiness and greenery to the room :)
^^Girls night out to Chesterfield's holiday party. Gotta love antique shopping at night with friends!
 ^^Talking with my friend who was in the middle of remodeling her kitchen.  It's finished now and AMAZING. 
 ^^Eleanor loved wrapping and coloring her gifts.  
 ^^That one time Eleanor fell asleep during quiet time.  Such a happy moment because she NEEDED that nap!
^^Best $15 I ever spent at Costco were those flannel sheets! We've been so cozy all winter!