SQUISHIES VALENTINES

Are your kids OBSESSED with Squishies? Each of our oldest kids, Ari (8) and Amara (7) both collect them, so we thought it would be fun to give them out as Valentine’s this year. You can buy a grab bag of them super cheap on Amazon (linked below) and keep the rest for your kiddo. We like to save them for “happies” and rewards!

We’ve given you two different wordings… because at some point it’s “EMBARRASSING, MOM” to tell your friends they’re cute! LOL!

 

1. Purchase:

CLEAR BAGS

SQUISHIES

and recommended but not necessary…

CARD STOCK

PAPER CUTTER

WASHI TAPE

 

2. Download your cards:

“COOL” DOWNLOAD

“CUTE” DOWNLOAD

 

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

* When printing, make sure to set the scale to 100%! That will make it so the size of the card is exactly 5.5″ and you can just make one simple cut down the middle of the paper. It also fits inside the bag much better at this scale.

 

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

 

5. Pop the card and Squishie in the bag, seal with cute washi tape, and you’re done!

 

For ALL of our previous Valentines Day Printables, click HERE!

xo

Leah & Jenni

MOM JEANS

Actually, this post is not necessarily for MOM’s only. My body has been like this since first grade. If you have a tummy and skinny legs that are completely disproportionate, you and I have what’s called a “marshmallow on toothpicks” body shape. I’m making it official. Sure, we could give up carbs and sugar forever, but that would just make for a sad, sad life. Instead, let’s find some jeans that actually fit and make us feel good, shall we?!

 

After I put the word out on instagram stories, y’all came back with tons of suggestions! All different price ranges too. I’ll put them below but wanted to tell you what I ended up going with.


  1. EVERYDAY JEANS: Mother, Looker Ankle Fray, Girl Crush. Fits true to size. A little on the pricier side, but they’re all you need for every day! These are a medium wash with cute frayed ankles to give it that styled look. I’ve worn them with cute tennies and booties- looks cute either way. The waist band is wide!!! It doesn’t roll down every time you sit down! The waistband is higher up in the back, so no plumber butt issues. The jeans have a little stretch and fits my marshmallow on toothpick body perfectly. My one tiny complaint is that I wish the denim was a little thicker or had a button fly to really keep in allllll that tummy. They’re SO good. Four stars.

 

  1. GOING OUT JEANS: Reformation, High & Skinny, Black Wash. I got one size down from Mother. These are stretchy without being tooooo tight. They are high rise but not in an insane way. They’re half the price of a lot of jeans I was looking at (score!) and just fit like a glove! So far, they haven’t stretched out where I have to constantly pull them up. Can dress up or down.

 

I also got Paige jeans that day and wore them out of the store, but after about 10 minutes they were sliding down, and I was walking like a penguin! Thankfully they’re from Nordstrom and the return policy is the best! They certainly looked really cute and fit well, but I think not having much of a butt to hold them up, they just slid right down. Bummer!

 

Here are the other suggestions y’all sent in! Click on the photo or scroll down. Thank you, internet family!!

 


* Madewell, high rise. These just don’t fit me, but the majority of you said you loved them! I’m sure if your body is more proportional, they would look great! They have a recycling program where you can turn in your old jeans and get $20 off your new pair! These actually look great.. might try these next: Madewell, Roadtripper.

 

* Old Navy, Rockstar. I own these! They’re definitely jeggings but they don’t look like it. They have a nice wide band although I’m not sure if they slim as well as the jeans I bought. They tend to push out the top part of my tummy, but if I’m wearing a looser top, it doesn’t matter. Super inexpensive and cute.

 

* AG Jeans Legging – these were super cute on! Might get these as a third pair.

 

* Wit and Wisdom. I didn’t try these yet, but they look like the have potential… not sure if the legs are skinny enough for me, BUT a lot of you said that they have tummy sucking in thingies built in to the fabric!

 

* Kut from the Kloth, Diana. I tried these, and they didn’t fit me at all. BUT what I love about the company is that you can pick 5 jeans to try on, they send them to you without charging you, and you only pay for what you keep. If you have more on your try on list, they’ll send you your next 5 when you return the first round. That’s pretty cool!

 

* Good American. I own two pairs of these. I loved them for postpartum, but now that I’m slightly less fluffy, they’re not fitting and really stretch out in the legs. I think these are great for girls with more of a butt and hips. Lucky. Ugh.

 

* J brand high rise skinny

* Jessica Simpson

* Not Your Daughters Jeans

* Athleta – I tried these… comfy but the legs weren’t skinny enough

* Democracy

* Artisan crafted

GAP high rise true skinny

* Eddie Bauer

* American Eagle – high waisted jeggings

* Levi’s

* Kiki Larue

* Dr. Denim

 

Let me know if you have anything else to add to the list!

 

The moral of the story is: You should feel good in your jeans, no matter the size. By good I mean COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT. Get what fits you now. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fit in what you wore last year, especially if you’ve had a baby or three. Talking to myself here as much as I’m talking to you. Thanks for all of your help! I hope this helps YOU!

 

xo,

Leah

TEDDY BEAR’S BIRTHDAY CAKE

We threw a birthday party for my 5-year-old Max’s teddy bear (as one does). We made mini layer cakes and a mini party hat for Teddy for the occasion! These pretty little cakes are more interesting than cupcakes but just as easy and delicious.

There are a couple different levels of easy to make the cake, and it only depends on the recipe.

  1. Use a boxed cake and frosting. This is the easiest way to go (duh) and turns out yummy every single time. Pillsbury white cake mix is my fav, and I used the egg yolks to give it the yellow color.
  2. This recipe is super simple and seriously delicious! You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.
  3. The mega-boss recipe of them all from Milk Bar. The hardest, but the tastiest. I just got their new “All About Cake” cookbook, and I’ve been dreaming up all the truffle recipes I want to make!

Whichever one you choose…

* Mix in 1/4 cup of sprinkles to the batter.

* Spread it evenly in a rimmed sheet pan/jelly roll pan that’s been lined with parchment paper then top with more sprinkles

* Make sure to under bake it a little…start off with 10-12 minutes and keep checking!

* Once baked, let it cool for a few minutes, then lift the cake out of the pan by holding the ends of parchment paper and let it cool completely. I like to do this so that the cake doesn’t continue to bake in the hot pan.

* Using a 2″ round cookie cutter/biscuit cutter, cut out circles from the cake in rows. You should get 3 rows of 8, making 8 triple layer cakes or 12 double layer cakes.

* Frost in between the layers and on top. You could pipe it but I just used a knife, and it turned out just fine. Top with sprinkles!

PS. need that giant jug of sprinkles? Here’s the link!

I made these cakes for Max’s 1st birthday too! I used all egg whites so the cake turned out nice and white and tinted each layer of frosting different colors for a more festive look!

To make Teddy’s party hat, you can use THIS template but shrink it down majorly. I actually just eye balled it and hand cut- the widest part around 4.5″. Fringe a little tissue paper and tape inside the middle of the cone. Roll up and tape string inside.

 

I realize this is super unnecessary, but with all that’s going on in the news and the world right now, I wanted to do something to make someone happy. Max was VERY happy with the results, and informed me that Teddy was too. 🙂

xo

L

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUME – SCHITT’S CREEK

If you don’t watch Schitt’s Creek…seriously get on it. It’s on Netflix, you have no excuse. I’ve loved everything Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara have been in, so when their new show premiered, I immediately became obsessed. Eugene’s son, Dan Levy is a freaking GEM, as is the entire cast (Annie Murphy!!). This is my ode to Dan’s character, David Rose. He’s lovably snarky and strictly wears black and white. I bought face paint to do a little stubble beard, but Joshie was too wiggly. So this is like… David AS a baby lol! I found through making this costume that fake eyebrows are hard to find or don’t exist?? These are more Eugene Levy’s thickness, but you do what you gotta do. Now go watch!! Ew, David.

Sweater

Jeans

Shoes

Eyebrows – simply cut one of the mustaches in half!

xo

Leah

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUME – BABY JON SNOW

Not going to lie… this was a struggle to photograph. Wiggly babies and costumes do not mix! Definitely going to try this again next Halloween. I got the furriest faux mongolian fur fabric and draped it over Joshie’s shoulders. It came as a large rectangle that would actually be a good little rug if you finished the edges. The faux leather came in a giant roll. I literally only needed a 12″ square, but it was super cheap so whatever! I’m going to use the rest as placemats for the kids. I just cut a square of the leather and crisscrossed 2 strips on top. I was too lazy to sew them, so I stapled them and safety pinned them to the footie jammies. Joshie has naturally curly hair, but I added some gel to really try and Jon Snow it up! Now all we need to do is wait for the series finale to start… wah!!

Footie Jammies

Faux Fur

Faux leather

Wolf Stuffed Animal

xo

Leah

TRAVELING WITH A BABY – TIPS + FAVORITES

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

The past few months have been filled with tons of travel with Joshie AKA Lil Intern. Road trips are my fav, but the last few trips have been plane rides with just the two of us. I must say, he’s an excellent traveler, but he definitely was O V E R it  at the end of the last plane trip!! Having good gear and being prepared was a huge help. Also just as important, the better relaxed I was, the happier he was. Hopefully these ideas will help you on your next trip. Joshie is now 15 months for your reference, but we’ve been traveling with these products since he was teeny tiny.

 

I’ve purchased and used all of these products for myself after extensive amazon review reading and youtube tutorial watching. I can honestly say that they’re all lifesavers! When you’re flying on an airplane solo with baby, you want to travel light! I didn’t have anyone helping carry all the junk… just me. I ended up checking our suitcase (one that we shared) and a TRAVEL STROLLER (love this one because it folds up super tiny and comes with a backpack bag!!). I rented car seats at the rental car company. No need to schlep your own! All I had was my backpack on my back, and my baby in a carrier on my front.

 

#1 JUJUBE BACKPACK and WHAT TO PACK IN IT – This backpack is large and in charge! There’s enough room for my laptop, ipad pro, all the baby stuff AND all of my stuff! I love the straps are padded and wide, making it nice and comfy. There’s a little phone pocket and lots of inner organizing pockets. It has a secret back pocket with a changing pad, but I like to bring THESE because airplane bathrooms are ick. If I’m not bringing my computer, I can fit several thin books in the back pocket. THESE books are my fav because Joshie can open and close the flaps a million times, plus there’s so many words to practice with him- it keeps us busy! THIS toy is thin, light, fun, and takes up lots of time. I pack one diaper per every 2 hours of travel (from the time I leave my house), baby wipes, hand wipes, diaper bags for poopy diapers or wet clothes, an extra romper in case of blowouts, snacks for him (I put crackers in a hard Tupperware so they don’t get smashed), snacks for me, sippy cup, hand sanitizer, my fav hydrating lip gloss, super thin and functional wallet, other mom stuff!

 

#2 RYAN AND ROSE PACI AND CLIP – These are simply gorgeous. Have you ever seen a more beautiful paci?? The white ones are my fav, but that’s only because the black ones are brand new… time to go shopping. I love their simple leather paci clips not only because they’re chic, but also, they save them from dropping on a gross airport floor! When you’re flying with a baby, it’s always good to have them suck on something when they’re going up or down in the air to help their ears. If I can’t get him to drink his milk or water, the paci is a great alternative. The other nice think about these pacis is that the other side is perfect for teething! Smart and chic.

 

#3 HEMMING BIRD BIBS – If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve probably never seen Joshie without a Hemming Birds bib. Josh started out having acid reflux as an infant, and has now just transitioned into a major drooler. These bibs are SO pretty and of course save his clothes from getting gross. I admit I have an addiction, but look at all the patterns she offers!! You will too! THIS style of bib is better for when he’s really drooly as it soaks up everything. THIS one is good for eating or spit up as it catches everything in the bandana style.

 

#4 MAMA AND MINI SHIRTS – I mean okay… I’m a little bit biased on this one. Simple, cute, and clearly announcing “Helloooo I’m an amazing mom, comin’ through!”. They go with everything and are super yummy and soft. Travel comfy always! I love traveling in THESE pants sooo much and THESE comfy shoes which look cute with the sweatshirt!

 

#5 BABY TULA CARRIER – I find it MUCH easier to keep him strapped into my carrier for handsfree movement. Then there’s not rushed folding of the stroller at the end of the jetway. The Tula is SO comfortable. I tried another carrier which killed my shoulders!! I put the Tula on and immediately the pressure dissipated from my shoulders. It’s super simple on the front, not fussy at all. I LOVE the pocket on the waist. It’s where I kept my phone so it was in easy reach. It’s also super cute so…

 

#6  MOON AND BECK ROMPER – If you’ve seen any of my stories ever, Josh is usually in a Moon and Beck romper. They’re soooo soft and chic, and considering that I mostly wear black, he always matches me! I love that they snap at the bottom for easy diaper changes. They last forever because you can buy them one size bigger, and the length just looks like cute harem pants. Then when your baby grows, they look like a more fitted romper. Super smart! I like to tuck his paci in the pocket when he’s not using it. Because seeing it drag along the airport floor… ew! I always like to travel comfy, so I assume Joshie would like to be comfy a well- no waist bands for us please and thank you. The fabric is so soft and roomie, not to mention light weight, so it’s comfy for the both of us.

 

#7 STARRY KNIGHT DESIGN SHOES – Yet another baby goodie I have one million of… it’s an addiction! The leather is buttery soft and in the most beautiful colors too! They slip on easily but for some reason, Joshie can’t pull them off. He’s tried “real” shoes, and they’re super distracting for him- he always tries to take them off! Since these moccs are leather, they don’t take up room in the suitcase and are super light. I squish them flat and am able to pack several pairs. They’re not only easy and comfortable, but again… they’re super chic. Sense a theme here?

 

WEIRD GAMES THAT KEEP HIS ATTENTION:

* Wash wash – I pump a little bit of bubbles on his hand, and he rubs them together. I know this seems… strange… but he loves it and asks for wash wash over and over and over again.

*Wipe Wipe – Ummm this is where I give Joshie and hand wipe and he wipes things like the seats at the gate, or the tray…..sense yet another theme here?

*Cup hand – ask the flight attendant for a few empty cups and put them on his hands, feet, head, etc. I put the cup on my head and pretend to sneeze it off. He’s a great audience.

*OTHER TIPS – When we’re waiting in the airport for our flight, I like to pick an open space where he can crawl around. Since I don’t have bags that would go on the overhead space, I board very last (as long as I have an assigned seat)! It just gives Josh more time to move around and get energy out. If you’re on Southwest and can pick your own seat, go all the way to the back row. There’s a really good chance no one will set next to you! Babies on planes are kryptonite.

 

Good luck with your travel!! Hope this helps!

xo

Leah

DIY MEAN GIRLS COSTUME


It’s October 3rd. Mean Girls Day!! Somebody pass me a Kalteen bar! Mean Girls is one of our all time favorite movies, and this line is just brilliant. This is for SURE the easiest costume ever! You could totally make this for yourself with a yellow tee or shift dress and larger letters.

* baby onesie HERE in the aptly named color… butter

* iron on letters HERE or you could use stickers

* more DIY Halloween costumes HERE!

Hope you all can fit into your Spring Fling dresses after all that Halloween candy! Sizes 1, 3, and 5 only…

 

xo

L

HOUSE TOUR: PLAYROOM

This has been a long time coming for me! Before I bought this system, ALL of these toys were just sitting on the floor. And by sitting on the floor, I mean strewn all over the floor which gave me an eye twitch. I don’t know if this is normal, but I dreaded going in there to play with the kids. It was so unorganized and stressed me out. Aesthetics are super important to me also. When something looks nice, it makes me feel nice. (Scroll down for source links)

I took a page out of The Home Edit‘s book, and decided to organize the crap out of everything, label each basket nicely, and ROYGBIV the toys that are visible. Again… look pretty, feel pretty. Most everything magically fit in here after taking out toys the boys no longer play with! The bigger toys are in matching toy bins. Balls live in a round matching basket. I emptied out toys from their boxes and let them live in these baskets.

I’ve been eyeing Leslee Mitchell prints for a while and finally got my hands on one! They’re actually super inexpensive- you probably need at least one. I might go for a whole wall of the miniatures on another wall!

These rainbow blocks are not only beautful, but they’re so fun to play with! My boys are 7, 4, and 1, and all three are obsessed. I’m obsessed with putting them away in these clear bins by color! They’re definitely an investment toy… like I will save them for my grandchildren lol… but you get what you pay for! Gorgeous and functional.

Hope this helps you look pretty and feel pretty too!

xo

L

 

SOURCES:

Cabinet

Small baskets

Toy bins

Round basket

Clear bins

Bin clip labels

White pen for labels

Car artwork

Rainbow blocks

Stacking rocks

Teepee

Green and white storage bins (similar)

National Infertility Awareness Week

Originally posted April 2017.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. It should be all year honestly. NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT but SO many women and men go through it. I (Leah) wanted to share my own story about infertility and miscarriage even though I am currently pregnant. Since you might not want to take it from me, two of my friends currently going through IVF treatments have shared their journeys as well.

 

If you have a loved one going through infertility, this blog post is for you too. I hope that you read this and get a little insight into how that person is feeling. Learn what to say and most importantly what NOT to say. Because trust me, when we’re pumped up on hormones and shots and emotions and you say, “don’t be sad, it’ll be okay”, or tell us a success story of someone else, we will END YOU. Ummm okay so anyway….

 

IF YOU’RE EVEN THINKING ABOUT GETTING PREGNANT.

  1. Let’s just start here. You will save so much time if you simply go to the drug store and get a pee on the stick ovulation predictor kit. I would have saved about a year of “trying naturally” if I had known that I wasn’t even ovulating! That’s such a major DUH moment. I wish someone had told me to do this.
  1. Be aggressive/assertive. Even if you’re young, speak your mind! My OBGYN wasn’t concerned that it was taking so long, as I was only 24 at the time. You know your body, and you know when you’re ready. Be your own advocate.

 

MY STORY.

My story is not unique. My story is not even close to being the worst. Obviously. Going through these low times myself I know that some of you want to just punch me in the face right now since I’m currently pregnant. And that feeling is completely valid! Every time a friend would announce their pregnancy, I would cry. Then I would cry about feeling guilty for crying. This is a very real and common emotion, and I want you to know that it is OKAY to feel this way and know you are not alone.

 

GETTING STARTED.

My husband and I started talking about having a baby on our two-year anniversary. We just thought, let’s see what happens! Guess what? Nothing happened. Month after month I’d feel disappointed which soon turned into a feeling of hopelessness. We didn’t really tell friends or family. I just thought I’d be one of those girls who would get knocked up easily, so it was a little embarrassing on top of being super sad when each month, I still wouldn’t be pregnant. My secret Pinterest board of cute maternity clothes and pretty nursery decor became utterly depressing. You know what I’m talking about.

 

WHAT NOT TO SAY.

When you’ve been married for a couple years people start asking when you’re going to have kids. NEVER AGAIN WILL I ASK ANYONE THIS QUESTION. I wanted to answer, “as soon as my uterus decides to start working but thanks so much for asking this extremely sensitive and personal question!” Even sweet friends and close family would nudge at the question, and I still took it like a knife to the heart. Every month my mom would ask if I got my period. She’s my favorite person in the world, but I seriously wanted to stab her. Love you, Mom! When my husband would say, “it’ll all work out” or “don’t be sad”, I would just want to scream! It’s not going to work out! It’s fine that I’m sad… isn’t it?

 

THEN CAME MY LOWEST POINT.

My best friend from college called me to tell me she was pregnant. She knew what I was going through and was extremely sensitive about telling me. Still, I felt crushed. I hung up the phone and immediately started sobbing. And I’m not a crier. Parts of my tears were tears of guilt. How dare I not be happy for her? How could I be so selfish? I don’t know you guys… all I can say is ALL feelings are valid. I called her right back and apologized for not acting happier (as I was sobbing, so I’m not even sure if she could understand me. I think she got the gist.) She was gracious about it of course, but I couldn’t quite get over how terrible I felt that I couldn’t be happy for her.

 

BACK TO THE PROCESS.

I decided to be more aggressive with treatment and requested Clomid from my regular OBGYN. I took it for 3 months, and I still wasn’t ovulating. This is when we finally told our families what was going on, and they encouraged us to go to a fertility clinic.

Our doctor was kind and listened intently. He took us seriously. That’s one of the best parts of switching to a fertility clinic. This is their jam. Everyone from the receptionists to the blood draw techs knows what you’re going through. There are no babies in the waiting room. It’s not shoved in your face like “see what MYYYY body can do?” Our doctor switched me to Femara and also recommended fertility acupuncture. After three months of Femara I started ovulating but still was not getting pregnant. Then we started IUI’s (Intrauterine insemination). On the third IUI, I felt sure it would work. Then I got my period. I called the nurse to schedule another IUI, and she told me that I would need to start shots. I said okay great, let’s get going. Then she informed me that in order to start shots, you needed to take a month of classes. I. Lost. My. Shit. I did NOT want to wait another month. The poor nurse took my emotional outburst like a champ (this couldn’t have been the first time). The next day I was leaving for New York to visit my mom and sister, so I thought it was perfect timing to blow off some steam. But when I woke up… no period. I took a test and it was positive! Whaaaat? After taking another test on the plane (yes, I’m psycho) that turned out to be negative, I made my mom and sister take me to a random NY clinic to get a blood test. This one turned out to be positive! My doctor thought it was a disappearing twin. Such a weird situation, but I was thrilled. I had a healthy baby boy who was worth every freaking penny. With my second son two years later, we just went right back to our fertility doctor and right back to Femara and an IUI which worked on the first try. Sorry, I know that’s super annoying to some of you.

 

THIS IS WHERE IT GETS SAD.

Three years after my second son, I had a hunch and took a pregnancy test. It was positive. Wait, seriously after all this, my body just started working? Everyone was shocked and thrilled, most of all, my husband and me! But soon I started to feel strange. It just didn’t feel like my other two pregnancies. My early blood test came back with low HCG levels. An early ultrasound revealed a hemorrhage. My regular OB didn’t seem concerned and told me she had just read an article on how hemorrhages had no relation to miscarriages. She was wrong. I started bleeding when my husband was on a trip to LA. Our dear friend came over to watch the kids while I went into the ER. I had lost my baby. It was the worst day of my life, and I was completely alone. No fault to my husband of course, it was just terrible timing. I couldn’t even drive myself home, I was crying so hard. I thought this baby had been a miracle baby. I was 9 weeks when I lost her (I just had a feeling it was a girl). I hope you never have to experience loss, but if you do, just know that it doesn’t matter how far along you are. It is still devastating to lose a child, even at the very beginning. Before my own miscarriage I just kind of thought it happened often and wasn’t that sad, never really thinking through how horrible it is for that parent. I’m ashamed to say I felt that way but it’s true. Anyway, as soon as I got home, I crawled in bed with my oldest son and held him as he slept. I truly do not know how people cope with a miscarriage if they don’t have a child already. My heart goes out to you. You’re stronger than I am. That loss never really goes away, not completely. I went to a Medium months later (more as a general reading) who told me I had had my baby so that she could become my angel. I hold onto that thought daily.

 

WHERE I AM NOW.

After a few months, life got back to normal and so did my body. I got pregnant again naturally, and this time it stuck. So here I am, 29 weeks later. Am I still scared of losing this baby? Ummm yes. That’s just how it’s going to be until I can hold this baby in my arms. When you’ve gone through infertility or a miscarriage, you don’t take anything for granted. I’m not going to complain (except to my husband of course) about the hardships of being pregnant. I am grateful for every single kick, every single ache and pain, every single varicose vein, every terrible night sleep. I cannot wait.

 

If you have ANY questions at all, please feel free to email/DM/comment here. I would love to talk with you. Please read below of my friends’ experiences with infertility and IVF.

 

xo,

Leah

 

 

 

FRIEND A’S STORY (Currently going through a second round of IVF):

My husband and I had been married three years when we decided to start trying to begin our little family. It had always been in the back of my head that it would take a little time, however I truly don’t think we were prepared for the journey we were about to embark on when we started. I actually started writing this sharing ALL the details of everything we went through before we welcomed our miracle in April 2015, but then I remembered what one of the biggest lessons I learned in going through infertility and thought I’d share what really stuck with me and has actually been applicable in so many situations since!

 

The number one piece of advice I can give anyone on this road is to not compare your infertility story with someone else that has struggled. When we were in the midst of our story, I’d find myself googling blogs or message boards and reading others stories and trying to find a common ground with their situation – but also in that I’d allow comparison to lead to worry and fear.

 

When we were just beginning our IVF process I had so many friends offer stories of their friends or someone they just met who did IVF and it didn’t work BUT they’d always follow up with “then they randomly got pregnant.” Every time I heard that IVF didn’t work for someone my heart sank a little more and doubt crept in. Why were we going to do this if it isn’t going to work? Why were we spending our savings to do this if it is not successful? For me, doubt leads to a lack of trust that God is absolutely in control of everything that comes our way. If I was going to survive this infertility journey, I had to stand strong in what I believed to be true no matter our outcome. Deciding to do IVF is a very personal and difficult decision – you don’t need to also have the struggle of comparing the success with others added onto that pile of stress.

 

Thankfully our first round of IVF was successful, and we welcomed our little guy 9 months later. I’ll never forget when he was born, and I held him for the first time – I said the journey is over and I sobbed like a baby. Every. Single. Day. of those three and half years was worth all the pain and heartache for that moment. Every hormone, shot, test, ultrasound, and the money – it was all worth it to get our little guy. I can’t even imagine not trying IVF and not having that opportunity.

 

I hope that if you are reading this and you are going through this journey that you can find a hope that has been placed deep in your soul to cling to during this time. I don’t know the plan God has for you or your journey – it may not have a happy ending or the way you envisioned it going, but I know that there is a plan, and you will have the strength to get through whatever is before you. I also want you to know that you are not alone! It amazed me how friends were placed in my life that either were going through the same journey or had just gone through it to encourage and walk with us. Be open with those you love and trust – let them help soothe you when you need that extra dose of love. Leah and Jenni were two of my dearest friends during this journey – with Leah having gone through it herself and Jenni just constantly speaking hope-giving words of encouragement – it really made the journey so much easier. Thanks ladies! XO! Oh and I would recommend acupuncture if you are going through this not just for the health benefit but it is so relaxing – again thanks to Leah for that recommendation!

 

 

FRIEND B’S STORY (IVF):

You’re sick of not feeling like yourself. Exhausted, really. You’re not a sad, frustrated, bitter, jealous, shameful person. And yet. You can’t shake it. You feel angry, a lot. Someone says the wrong thing, asks the wrong question, has the wrong response. You try to forget, but these moments are seared into your story.

You feel the need to isolate, insulate. You fight yourself over it. You can see reason, logic, but can’t live it. You know they won’t comment on your weight gain or stare at your new acne. You know you should go to the shower and visit the baby. Will they see the darkness? Will they see through the strained smile and thin laugh? Will they ask? You let well wishes and encouragement from those “who know” give way to this horrific self-absorption and pity. And you feel guilty and awful about it. But you give in.

In bursts that are gone too quickly, you’re grateful for the good in your life. Your husband: working tirelessly to support this heavy financial burden, letting you act out when you learn about another friend’s pregnancy, and calling from work declaring “let’s have a date night.” He’s too good to you. You’re the reason for this. Why, and how does he stay so steady, optimistic, and intuitive, while you’re paralyzed by sadness. Your heart swells thinking about him—and, and– sigh– the sadness comes back.
You recall the conversations with brave friends that started “I hope you never need to know about this, but here’s my story.” Without them, you’d be navigating alone through the darkness. You repeat one friend’s words: “everyone gets their baby” at times that make you smile through sobs.

There’s a break. There’s a new start. There’s an opportunity to shift. You try to take it. You try to be more thankful, more emphatic and feel more love. Your family takes a once-in-a lifetime vacation and you’re present and feel joy every day. A friend sends you special cookies after your surgery and you cry because that’s love. You go to dinner and nobody asks, with that look, “how are you doing?” but instead they talk about things that are light and you laugh.

You have more days where your mind and body are busy. You’re really trying to be better. You have a plan. You go multiple days in a row without crying and that’s a win. You still have waves of overwhelming sadness, guilt, frustration. Your body is beat up and you’re emotionally exhausted. You confront the worst case scenario. You’re just so tired. But you can handle it. You’ve gotten stronger.

You get good news. The news. You hold on so tight, like those fleeting feelings of gratefulness. Can I hold on? Is it real?

You’re still so fragile. You’ll be OK.

 

 

FRIEND C’S STORY:

To make a long story short, my wonderful friend “C” who went through every test and procedure you could imagine was just matched up with a baby-to-be for adoption, and she could not be more thrilled! This is her path in life, and it just feels right. So happy for her and her husband!

 

 

If you’ve made it to the end, know that it’s not the end for you. Know you’re not alone. Sending you love through the interwebs!

xo

Leah

HARRY POTTER NAIL VALENTINES – FREE PRINTABLE

Similar to our class valentines for fellow Harry Potter nerds (it’s a lifestyle), this one is for those fellow wizards dedicated enough for an entire HP mani!! Accio nail tattoos!

1. Purchase our nail tattoos HERE.

2. Download printable HERE.

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

5. Secure using these handy removable glue dots or washi tape.

6. If you want these super secure, put in clear bags HERE and use washi tape to seal HERE.

Make Valentine’s Day MAGICAL!

xo

– L

YOU NAILED IT VALENTINES – FREE PRINTABLE

Something sweet for your girls who just nail it every day!

1. Purchase our nail tattoos HERE.

2. Download printable HERE.

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

5. Secure using these handy removable glue dots or washi tape.

6. If you want these super secure, put in clear bags HERE and use washi tape to seal HERE.

Make your girlfriends’ days with these sweet treats!

FRUIT PENCILS VALENTINE – FREE PRINTABLE

My kids are obsessed with these smelly pencils, and they really are cute! You could also use fruit lollipops, fruit erasers, juice boxes, Gushers, or fruit pouches! This printable is so bright and colorful- my new favorite! Scroll down for the links.

They’re pretty cute on their own if you wanted to just write a note on the back without buying a toy.

1. Purchase fruit pencils HERE.

If using fruit erasers HERE, you’ll need clear bags and washi tape.

2. Download printables HERE

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

5. Secure using these handy removable glue dots or washi tape.

6. Make your kiddo write their name!

SMELL ya later 😉

xo

Leah