Favorite Things of 2019

favorite things 2019

Hi guys, can you believe 2019 is over? So I have to admit, I wrote this post and wrote ‘2018 Favorites’ because I am still stuck in 2018 apparently. Wow. 2019 was a crazy, completely unexpected year but before it’s over I had to share my favorite things from this year.

  1. dollar tree bins— is there anything you can’t organize with bins from the dollar tree?
  2. reveal light bulbs— nothing has changed our house more than replacing old light bulbs with these
  3. Megan Fox Unlocked— she is a mennonite mom youtuber from lancaster, pa with the BEST youtube channel
  4. mac shape and shade brow tint— best eye brow tint ever
  5. scunci spiral twisters— my bun has never looked better/worst depending on the day but they hold it in so well
  6. h&m basic tees— so comfy, so versatile, the first thing in my capsule wardrobe I am confident in
  7. the entitlement cure— best book I read in 2019
  8. hoopla— free app for listening to audio books
  9. wool dryer balls— they make your laundry so fluffy
  10. torani caramel syrup— how did I even make coffee without it?
  11. soft leggings (walmart)— I lived in these the last half of 2019, even with my twin pregnancy belly
  12. house plants!—  all the house plants, I get mine from ikea, I love their price and selection
  13. silicone straws— randomly decided to kick plastic in 2019, also you can bite them and it doesn’t even show
  14. mother like a boss podcast— found this one recently but I love her spunk and advice
  15. thieves essential oil— thieves is the reason I believe in essential oils and I’m not even mad about it
  16. slipcover— gave me a whole new living room and withstood many, many washings
  17. zak insulated mug— it makes me actually drink water, especially when I use my silcone straws #sorrynotsorry
  18. flisat table— you can do SO many things with this table, it has bins so ours turns into a sensory table
  19. black canvas shoes— finally up-ed my flip flop game for $5, I wear them everywhere

34 Weeks Pregnant With Twins After Loss

Hi guys, I am writing this amazed that we are thirty four weeks pregnant with our second set of twins. How can that be? I always say ‘WE’ when referring to pregnancy and I’m not really sure why, I guess because they are Tom’s babies too and truth is, I can’t do it without him. This pregnancy has been hard but fast, hard emotionally but going completely well physically. Except for being EXTREMELY uncomfortable. How come no one talks about how uncomfortable pregnancy is? Twin pregnancy is that times two. Which I guess everyone figures but until you do it…phew.

If I could change anything it would be how much I complain because how can you complain carrying a miracle like two babies at once? But man does it hurt. Truth is I know it was because of not taking care of my body postpartum. Pelvic floor muscles are no joke. My doctor kindly reminded me I carried five babes in three years but still. Twin pregnancies are so hard.

We are in great anticipation of baby Ira and Edith coming. THREE WEEKS is crazy. Everyone asks us if we are ready and the answer is YES but also no, not at all. Two babies to take home? How can that be?

As quickly and painfully as this pregnancy has gone, painful physically and emotionally, God’s faithfulness remains. I am learning I don’t have to look for it in each healthy ultrasound report or mark it by each successful OB appointment.

It is hard to separate the two. God’s faithfulness and a healthy pregnancy being the proof but God is always faithful, no matter how this goes. Amen? Tom tells me these babies are a reward and I actually argue with him about that (still do). As if we were given twins again because we didn’t terminate our first. I don’t think that is how God works. His faithfulness is infinite. His love for us greater than our circumstance and greater than our response. Tom is right, children are a reward. But all of our children are a reward. All five of them.

I don’t see Ira and Edith as more of a gift because they are going to live. I don’t see Eliza and Ensley as less because we knew they would die. All five of my babies came from God, who loves us and has a plan for them. God’s faithfulness is bigger than us. Greater than our pain, and better than our understanding.

I’ve had people tell me my logic is flawed because if God were so good and faithful why would He let our babies die? This is an actual thing people have said to me at 34 weeks pregnant after losing babies. I know right? The thing is we don’t know. But we know God knows and we trust Him.

Thanks for praying for us friends! We cherish all of you who have followed are story. Especially thank you for seeing these twins as a blessing to us and encouraging us in believing that. They truly are and we can’t wait to meet them.

Always grateful, always thankful,

Emily

Can we stop talking about bodies during pregnancy?

Can we stop commenting on bodies during pregnancy? Let’s just stop.

This is me twelve weeks ago. Sixteen weeks pregnant with twins. I wasn’t ready to tell anyone. But I did announce it, and you know the most common comments I keep getting? All about my body. Nothing about my heart.

My last pregnancy I carried babies with a life-limiting diagnosis and still the thing everyone wanted to talk about? My body. How big I was, how big I wasn’t, how much weight I gained, how much I didn’t gain. Rather than asking about my broken heart, everyone talked about my body.

And it was and is, so annoying.

Oh, I get it. It’s easy to tell someone who is pregnant, ‘you look great!’ or ‘look how big your belly is!’. I do it too. But what you mean to say is, ‘that baby you’re growing is a miracle.’

Then say that. The baby you are growing, is a miracle.

Surprisingly, it is usually women who haven’t had a baby in over a decade.

“Wow, I remember that feeling, it took me so long to lose all that weight.” “It doesn’t look like you gained much this time.”, “You look good, are you working out?”, “You know what helped me? Eating soup instead of big meals”,  and postpartum ” You lost so much weight!, “You’ll lose weight if you keep breastfeeding, it takes time.” What?!

Not once has a doctor ever commented on my body size or weight gained during pregnancy (and I’ve seen a lot of doctors)– so why does everyone else?

I think it’s like anything, it’s any easy thing to talk about. But really? That’s all we have to talk about?

Six months postpartum, a coworker cornered me in the hallway and said, ” we were all worried you would never lose all that weight you gained during pregnancy.”

I burst out laughing.

The thought of my coworkers standing around talking about my pregnant and postpartum body was (and is) absolutely hysterical.

Stop talking about my body.

There is so much more to talk about about carrying and birthing and caring for children. Ask me how my baby is (even if my baby is not okay, it’s okay to ask how they are) , ask me how I am, ask me how you can help me. Best of all– ask me how you can pray for me.

But seriously, let’s stop commenting on bodies during pregnancy, unless you are saying– how beautiful pregnancy is because truly it is.

Xoxo,

Emily

 

 

Fall Capsule Wardrobe For Toddler

Hi friends, I created this budget friendly toddler boy capsule wardrobe because I LOVE capsule wardrobes and I’ve been meaning to do one for Tommy.

Truth is we are always on a budget. I used to try to thrift all Tommy’s clothes but honestly guys, it’s a waste of time. Especially when Walmart has clothes for just $3.88.

*I should note that I do have clothes for him that were given to us (people are so nice) like coats, overalls and jeans that I didn’t put in here.

But, if I were going to start new for fall this year this is what I would buy. And the best part, you can find all of it at just two stores: Walmart and Target because this season of life is ALL ABOUT SIMPLE.

The first thing I do when planning a capsule wardrobe for me or yes, for Tommy too, is pick out a color scheme, it makes shopping and pairing things down SO much easier. This season (his 3T-4T season of life) I choose gray, cream, black and teal. Simple and easy but it works.

Budget Friendly Fall Capsule Wardrobe For Toddler Boy

  1. fluffy sherpa /  walmart- We already have a fleece jacket but if not this one was in my budget, it’s maybe on the thin side but comfy. The fleece jacket we have is the shell of BEST 3-1 jacket from Children’s Place. I bought it on sale on black Friday, totally worth it guys.
  2. henley / target- these are cute and comfy and stretchy. My goal is not to spend more than $7.00 per piece for kids clothes and they are $7.00 exactly.
  3. hat and mittens / target- I put it in his fall capsule instead of winter but to be honest, after I found these, I found gloves and hats at the Dollar Tree for a dollar that will work. Also, pro-mom tip, regular sized beanies work fine for kids.
  4. cowboy boots / walmart- so all my child wears is cowboy boots, it started out cute, but now he can’t pull them on himself (always get shoes they can put on themselves!!!) ugh. But they are work out really well for dress up or dress down, jumping in mud, stepping in chicken poop, all the things.
  5. fleece joggers / target- I like comfy clothes for kids, pants they can play in. Joggers look just a little bit nicer than sweatpants all the time (okay so they are sweatpants but still.)
  6. henley / target- same henley as #2, I got him two. They wash soft which I love.
  7. boys leggings / target- boys leggings! tell me your thoughts on ‘boy’s leggings’. I LOVE them for little boys, they  they can move in them unlike jeans or thick sweatpants. I layer them under joggers, jeans and overalls, and he wears them to bed too.
  8. pajama set– usually we sleep in regular clothes but I do love pj sets and Tommy wears them during the day or as a layer because why not.
  9. sneakers / walmart- we love these shoes. He has wide feet and these fit.
  10. long sleeve tee / target- I used to always look for cute graphic tees for Tommy but lately I’ve been making my own and actually, I really love just plain shirts, these are a good weight and wash soft
  11. long sleeve tee / target- same as #10
  12. joggers / target- you might notice I don’t have jeans on here. These joggers are soft and comfortable though and I like that he can wear them every day or we save them up for church
  13. raglan tee / walmart- I love raglan tees walmart had them cheaper then the old navy but not as many colors.

That is our toddler boy’s capsule wardrobe for fall 2019, I just realized Tommy is switching over to regular boy sizes very soon–eekk!

Tell me your capsule wardrobe successes and fails. Do you love the idea of a capsule wardrobe or find it too much to think about it. I like it because I find planning keeps things simple and laundry, way less laundry.

Let me know.

Love and pumpkins,
Emily

 

weekly round-up • peaches, fair, coffee & getting minimal

Weekly round-up!

This week I had no daycare kids. I missed them but it was nice to regroup, straighten the house, plan my fall ideas and have time with Tommy.

I went to my mom’s and she graciously taught me how to properly can peaches- amazing. Now I want to can all the things. She always uses the canning peaches method by Practical Self Reliance– her recipe is super simple to follow. We used the extra light syrup variation. Guys, I always canning was too hard but it’s not, it was actually super relaxing. Do you can? Do you love it? Teach me your ways.

We also went to The Great Frederick Fair this weekend, Tom had to work, I went to help him and Tommy went to try to convince Daddy to buy him a cow– it might have worked.

Back to the peaches. My mom bought 1/2 bushel of peaches from Pryor’s Orchard for $20 plus she bought me the canning jars (she’s so nice) which are the smooth sided quart jars, a 12 count for $10.34 which bumps the price to $3.71/jar (each jar is $0.86 and we used 7 jars).

A store bought jar runs about $1.76 for 15 oz so, $3.84 for the same amount and while it’s more work to do it yourself, two hours from set-up until we were finished these TASTE SO MUCH BETTER, I am calling it a win.

So I finally sat down to edit video about the babies. We’ve been documenting everything but holding on to it for– I don’t know why.

I have a youtube channel and this week I posted our twin gender reveal video and pregnancy update videos. Tom’s head totally got cut-off in the gender reveal but that’s what happens when you film it yourself. We did have a friend help us (thank you Ken) but he was manning another camera with our family’s reaction– turns out his card didn’t take– so I am thankful for the footage we do have.  Do you guys believe in gender reveals– I think any reason to celebrate a new baby is a good reason and I am so glad we got it on film.

This coming week I am going to post a ‘Baby Names We Love but Won’t be Using’ video and we’ll be sharing our twins’ names in a name reveal video.  I am just so grateful for this pregnancy and want to remember it. Should I tell you Tom thinks it’s our last pregnancy? Eeekk. I’m not sure about that.

 

I started drinking coffee again. I gave it up when I was newly pregnant. My doctor said I could only have 60 mg a day– does that sound right? I feel like she meant 150 mg. Anyways, I pour 1/4 cup  of regular brew coffee in a small mason jar, stick it in the freezer, then add milk, a cup of ice + a tiny bit of heavy whipping cream. Heavy cream makes all the difference. Man I missed it.

We have been on a path to minimalism for– years now. I made so much progress this week. Basically we’ve gotten rid of all the things (okay, I have, Tom just goes along with it–for the most part). Do you guys konmari? I do and now I want to minimize everything.  This week I finished basically the WHOLE HOUSE. I only took a picture of our bedroom but I’ll take more soon.

That’s it for this week. Except for a mom moment I had. Yesterday, I realized I hate being away from Tommy. HATE it. I know that sounds either obvious or obnoxious depending how you look at it but for the first three years of his life I worked every week day, (and lots of weekends). It was nothing for me to be gone from him for 12 hours at a time. Tommy went to Tom’s parents house for a the day while I worked the fair for Tom’s work and I hated not having him with me. It felt so weird. He’s my doctor appointment buddy, my work buddy, my cleaning buddy, my errands buddy, my library buddy– all of it. I feel like the luckiest person to stay home with him. My parenting confidence has sky rocketed since I quit my job three months ago. I just had to share because there was a time where I liked being away from him, having time to myself– don’t get me wrong I still do, but not for twelve hours!

That’s all guys! Weekly round-ups are my favorite thing to write because they help me remember all of the things. Hope you had a blessed week.

Always grateful, always thankful,

Emily

Thoughts on Having Twins After Losing Twins

twins after loss

Hi friends,

I have lots of thoughts about carrying twins after losing twins and most of it centers around– wow and— how. The rest of the world seems to think this is completely normal, people are excited for us, they say ‘you’re so lucky’ and ‘awe, how sweet’. I am the only one who is completely undone by God’s grace for us in this. And I am. Completely undone. There is a level of surrender I need to reach, the level that allows you to go about a day and not be completely unraveled by the miracles growing inside of me but I’m not there yet. And maybe I don’t want to be. I want it to be January so I can see these babies. It’s all I want. I know part of that is wrapped up in grief and disbelief. Last pregnancy God said, trust me. This time God hasn’t said anything. Just two healthy babies, two heart beats, beating at every appointment. An easy pregnancy. How could that be? Having twins after losing twins is– surreal. In a way it doesn’t make any sense. Medically, one egg split last time, two eggs were fertilized this time but– to my broken heart–two babies this time means, everything.

Friends, I will never make sense of this but to say that God loves us. He’s there in our sorrow and in our joy. He gives us the desires of our hearts and more abundantly. More abundantly so.

If you are praying for something, keep praying. The bible tells us, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..” Ephesians 3:20-21

Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. I am growing two babies that are proof.

Thank you for praying for us! I am fully convinced someone (or lots of you) were praying we would have twins for a second time and  God answers prayers.

Always thankful, always grateful,

Emily