Simply Liv: January 2014


Evie- 2 Months

I can't believe this little nugget is two months old already! She brings us so much joy everyday that it's hard to imagine ever living without her. I want to post monthly updates not only so you can see how she grows, but so that I can look back and remember these sweet, sweet times. I couldn't come close to guessing the number of times people have seen her and told me, "pay attention. It goes too fast". That's what blogging helps me to do- pay attention to the little things that I might otherwise miss. And I don't want to miss anything when it comes to this sweet baby.

E just had her two month check up yesterday, and that meant shots. I was dreading that appointment because I wasn't sure if I could handle watching her get so many owies....I'm such a softie already. But she was SUCH a trooper and only cried for a few seconds and then was back to her happy self a few minutes later.

10 lbs 14 oz
24 in long

-Eating. She breastfeeds almost every 3 hours around the clock. She's starting to sleep longer at nights now though, so sometimes she will go for almost 5 hours without eating. I'm SO ready for that first night she sleeps all the way through!
-Smiling. Its so fun to see her personality developing and learn what makes her happy. Basically right now faces make her happy. She smiles whenever she sees mommy or daddy (when she's in a good mood). It makes waking up at 4 am to a crying baby so so worth it when she looks at me and smiles a huge, open mouthed grin.
- Christmas lights. We have a string of Christmas lights hanging above our bed and they are our "go-to" to calm her down. I'm not sure if its the colors or the brightness, but whatever it is, she could look at them all day.
-Sucking on her hands. She just discovered her fists. Its pretty adorable to see her try and shove her entire hand into her mouth, and it keeps her happy. Win for everyone.

-Falling asleep. The trick is to bounce her while rocking side to side and patting her on the back and singing "Jesus Loves Me" all at once.
-Waking up. It usually takes her around 30 minutes to open her eyes once she starts rustling around in her crib.

she loves her daddy


A First Meeting

"No body can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children."

Me with my Great-Grandma Ruth

Evie meeting Great-Grandma Miriam

Having a baby has made me ridiculously sentimental, so I apologize if this post is a little overboard. This weekend Evie met her Great Grandma for the first time. After almost two months, my grandma made the long trip from Lincoln, Nebraska to meet her first great-grandbaby. I can't stop thinking about how wonderful it is that this little girl has the opportunity to know not only her grandparents, but great-grandparents on both sides. There's something really special in knowing that my little girl is adding another generation to this wonderful thing called family.

As a little girl, I remember loving to listen to both my grandparents and great-grandparents tell stories about what it was like to grow up when they did. I remember my Great-Grandpa Orville and his silly jokes and how he always called us by different names to make us laugh. I loved hearing about the life my Great-Grandpa Stew had growing up as a rancher in the mid-west and exploring his old ranch house full of antiques. I remember my Great-Grandma playing old hymns on the piano, even as her hands became too shaky to play as well as she used to. I had the privilege of knowing three of my great-grandparents, and I'm so glad my little girl has the same opportunity. I pray she makes the same kind of memories I did, and more. 



Lately I've been doing a lot of things. Here are some of them:

Thinking about... the next step in our lives. We have a lot of options, all of them good and exciting, but sometimes I just wish there was one blatantly obvious choice. When is there ever though, right? I guess that is what keeps life interesting.

Listening to... the sound of Evie crying, grunting, or squeaking. She makes the cutest squeaks.

Cooking...a lot more than I'm used to. Now that I have "wifely duties", I've been channelling my inner chef and trying to have some kind of dinner other than pb&j or frozen pizza ready each night for my sweet, hard working man. Its easier said than done with a baby who won't let me put her down long enough to boil a pot of water...but I'm getting the hang of doing everything one handed.
Its actually been really fun to try new recipes and experiment. Recently I've gone off all gluten and dairy because something was upsetting E's little tummy and causing (I think) mild allergic reactions. Thats the only down-side to breastfeeding- what you eat, they eat. So that has made cooking a little tricky, but still do-able. I'm making this tonight:

recipe here

Inspired by... Antlers.

Rustic Bedroom

minimalist home

Rustic Boho
I really like the "antler trend". It's everywhere, I know, but I think it adds a unique, outdoorsy feel to a room. Do I own a pair of antlers? No, but I'm intent on scouring the nearest forest until I find some.

Reading... Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson. Its a book designed to help you appreciate every aspect of life, AND its about coffee. Need I say more? I'm also in the middle of reading Anna Karenina and East of Eden. Both of which were overdue at the library, so I may never know how they end. I have a bad habit of starting ridiculously long books and never finishing them.



New years are exciting. With them comes a sense of expectation- this year will be a good one, the best one yet, we hope. People don't usually focus on the hard things that could happen in the coming year, instead they are filled with hope of the exciting, happy, heart-filling moments. For me, this year will be a big one no matter what. It is a year of firsts and I look forward to it.

Last year, I posted about my "one word" I chose to define 2013. You can read that post here. Looking back, I'm not sure how well I actually followed through with my word, but thats another issue. Choosing (thoughtfully and prayerfully) one word to focus on every year is a tradition I hope to continue. It helps us to live intentionally and more aware as we notice how our "one word" plays out.

This year, my word is very important to me and I feel it represents a lot more than I even realize right now. 2013 was a tough year. As I mentioned last time, I had an unplanned pregnancy, a messy dating relationship and by the end of the year was engaged, had my baby, and then married. Talk about a whirlwind. I learned so much last year about life and about myself and I wouldn't change anything that happened looking back, but I am so glad its over and that a new year has started. Thats why I chose FRESH to be my one word for 2014. 

- having its original qualities unimpaired
-full of or renewed in vigor
-experienced, made or received anew
-lacking experience
-original, vivid. 

Going in to 2014 I literally feel like I'm starting with a blank canvas. Everything is new. Fresh

This year, I get a fresh start with AJ as we start on our new journey of marriage together. While I loved dating and being engaged to him, I'm even more excited to finally be his wife. The past is over and we have a fresh chance to make new decisions and new mistakes together. I can't wait. This year I'm also a mom for the first time. I was pregnant with little Evie last year, but this year I get to know her. I get to hold her and kiss her and teach her and play with her. Being a mom is my greatest adventure yet, and I'm so thankful for this fresh start. 

This new year couldn't have come at a better time. I feel genuinely fresh, renewed and inexperienced, ready to make new memories, new mistakes and a new life. 

What's your one word for 2014? I'd love to hear! 


Evelyn Rae

Six weeks ago today I became a mother. That title is still sinking in. I don't think it has actually hit me yet- I am a mother.

Growing up I never had huge "career aspirations". Sure, I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was six and a ballerina and a singer and a movie star (I'm pretty sure I thought becoming the next Hannah Montana was a viable life choice). As I got older though, the only thing I could actually picture myself doing (and loving) was being a mom. I can't think of any higher and more exciting calling than growing, birthing, and raising a human life.

I just never thought it would happen this soon.

But that is a whole blog post in itself, for now I want to introduce you to the newest joy in my life: Miss Evelyn Rae.

 The day before she was born, I was journaling at my favorite coffee shop. "It could be any day now", I wrote. Funny how just a few hours after that my water broke and we were in a rush to the hospital.

11 hours of labor- and let me tell you, its called labor for a reason. Its excruciating and exhausting. But its also true when they say that after the final push and they place that screaming, wet, purple-y little life on your chest, it makes it 100% worth it. Though in the middle of it, I was pretty sure it would never end and I'd be in labor for the rest of my life. Luckily that wasn't the case and this little bundle of joyfulness turned our lives upside down in the best way possible.

In these past 6 weeks I've experienced more emotions than I thought humanly possible. The amount of love I have for this little girl is amazing and I'm so thankful that I get the opportunity to be her momma.

Look for lots of little Evie in the posts to come! 

Bye for now,



New Beginnings

I don't choose the title of this post lightly. Not only is this the start of a new blog- a fresh start, a white blank page- it also represents a time of new beginnings in my life. Almost too many to seem reasonable.   And while fresh and new is exciting, it is also daunting and a little terrifying at times. But change is so necessary, which is why I'm starting (or "re-starting") this blog.

Simply Liv will be a space to document my ever changing life. It will be a place where I'll share what inspires me and give shape to the jumbled musings inside my head. It will hopefully inspire others and help them embrace the changes in their own lives. This blog will be a place where I remind myself that the simple, normal things in life, like a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a conversation with a friend, are usually the most important and beautiful things. I need this reminder often- especially in the middle of so many "new beginnings".

When I think back on 2013, I'm a little overwhelmed. It was a great year, but it was also a very hard year. I had an unplanned pregnancy, got engaged, gave birth to our beautiful little Evelyn and got married all within the last 10 months. It was a year of learning what the essentials are and learning how to let go of plans I was making. It was also a year of blessing as I watched God provide us with everything we needed for a new baby and a new life through the generosity of others. It was a beautiful year, but the beauty didn't come without difficulty.

Now, in the first week of this new year, I'm looking forward to new beginnings. A fresh start couldn't have come at a better time- as Mother and wife are both new roles that I'm adjusting to this year. As crazy as change can be, it can also be wonderful. So here's to all the freshness and whiteness of a new year! I can't wait to see what this one brings.


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