Simply Liv: February 2015


Evie's 15 month update

Hi everyone! I hope you all had beautiful weekends.
AJ had saved up some deferred holiday time saved up and got this weekend off, so we spent the past 3 days in Omaha visiting his family and relaxing. It was great to see everyone and have some much needed together time!

Well... My little girl is another month older- time for an update, I suppose. :) I cannot believe how much she is learning and absorbing right now. Her brain is a sponge that literally soaks in everything around her. She will repeat things that I didn't even realize happened or mimic me doing something I didn't know I did. It is so much fun to chase her around and be able to communicate with her much more easily than in months past.


- Going 'bye-bye' and putting on her coat: Even if we aren't going outside E will wave bye-bye and point to her jacket, wanting me to put it on her. She wears it all around the house and it reminds me a little bit of Randy from A Christmas Story because she really "can't put her arms down" or get her fingers through the end. But she loves it.
- Climbing on things
- Sticking her tongue (way) out (at everyone): This little habit is hilarious (for now).
- Being outside: During the few gloriously warm days we had this month, the only thing Evie wanted to do was be outside.
- Putting things on her head: see photo above. She will put the same object on her head and take it off again and again and again. Who needs toys, right?


- Being sick: Poor girl had her first "real" sickness this month- it was just a cold but she was SO uncomfortable and fussy for almost a whole week. It took a while to bounce back from that one.
- Mommy and Daddy kissing: Or really showing any form of affection to each other at all. I'm not sure where it comes from, but she will make it very clear that she doesn't approve.

This is from Valentines day. We both felt very much in the spirit <3


- Officially riding in her "big girl" car seat: This makes car rides much, much more do-able because she is easier to distract and feels like a part of what is going on. Our trip to Omaha was once of the smoothest road trips yet, and she was awake for most of it!
- She adds to her vocabulary everyday, but her newest words are "Mimi" (she just mouths the word..she doesn't actually make the sound. She can, but for some reason she doesn't) "Roxy" (she says "rrrrawr" for the "r" sound). She also calls chicken "bok bok".

 That's all for now!




20 Week Letter to Baby

Dear little GIRL,

That's right, we know what you are now! I'll be completely honest and say that I was a little shocked. I had been picturing you as a boy this whole time, and so when we learned that we'd be having a girl, I had to do a little 180 in my thinking. But needless to say, we are SO EXCITED that you are going to be Evie's little sister and our second girl. Girls are the best, I would say. Bring on the tea parties!

You've changed SO much since my last letter I wrote you. You're the size of a banana and weigh around 12 ounces- still so tiny, but trust me, you're a mover already!

We've hit the half way mark, 20 more weeks till we get to meet you, sweet girl! My heart can hardly contain the excitement. I constantly catch myself thinking about what you will be like. Will you have dark hair and brown eyes like me, or will you be a blue eyed beauty like your sister? Will you be as easy of a baby as Evie was or are you going to switch gears on us? I only have your sister to compare this to, so bear with me here.

I know you're going to be completely your own unique person, and I never want you to feel like you have to live in the shadow of your big sister, or anyone else for that matter.

You are so special to us. I feel incredibly lucky to share this journey with you- feeling you move and helping you grow is one of my most treasured jobs right now. Keep at it, love, and I'll do my best to take good care of you :)

I love you,



"You look so tired"

I work in a coffee shop a few days a week and naturally a big part of the job is talking with the customers and making them feel welcome. I usually absolutely love this part about being a barista- socializing and making coffee, what could be better, right?

Kind of.

Sometimes you get that customer who feels like, in your five, maybe ten, minute exchange, you've instantly become best friends and they've earned the right to say things that I don't even want to hear from my husband.

For example, there is one "regular" who comes in almost every shift I work, we will call her "Strawberry Smoothie", because I'm super creative. Now, don't get me wrong, Strawberry Smoothie is a very nice lady. She always compliments me, says the usual "I CAN'T believe you're're TOO tiny", asks about Evelyn and AJ...the typical small talk-y things. But sometimes I feel like she takes it a little bit tooooo far. "Wow, honey", she said, "you look SO tired. Did you not get enough sleep?" Maybe I'm over reacting guys can be the judge of that.

A while ago, after the aforementioned Strawberry Smoothie moment, I posted a Facebook status that read something like "I'm sick of people telling me that I look tired all the time". That wasn't my actual status, but that was kind of the attitude that I wanted to convey.

But seriously.

Strawberry Smoothie, in her sweet, just-trying-to-make-small-talk way, actually really offended me by pointing out that I looked SO tired.

I was wearing make-up. I had on a cute outfit. God help me if I had the nerve not to put on eyeliner that day...

WHY did she feel the need to point out the already obvious fact that I, a pregnant mommy of a 15 month old might possibly look as tired as I feel? 

And then comes the question of how in the world am I supposed to answer. I'm pretty sure I said something along the lines of, "Yep". Which most likely nipped our small talk right in the bud, but... sorry not sorry. This is definitely not the first time this has happened. Not with Strawberry Smoothie, mind you, but with other random strangers or "acquaintances".

I know this sounds like purely a pointless, silly rant. And, ok, it is. And I don't (really) care that much about what people think of me to let it genuinely bother me, but the frequency of this situation got me thinking. Does this happen to other people? Or am I the only tired looking human out there.

Facebook confirmed my suspicions that I'm certainly not alone.

So here is my question to you all. HOW do we respond?

I want your input so that next time this happens I'll be equipped with a witty, socially acceptable, non-rude response other than "yep". Something that stops them in their tracks a little bit and makes them realize that hey, we are all human. We all look tired sometimes. Maybe I should just get this t-shirt and wear it every day of my life.

This is becoming kind of an all-encompassing post, so I'll stop writing before I start talking about something actually serious.

But, really, I want to know your thoughts! How should we respond in the awkward "you look so tired" situations?


A Day at the Park

My head, heart and wardrobe have all been a season ahead of real life since we had one tease of a warm day a few weeks ago. It then proceeded to blizzard and become winter again for a few days, but I think February is starting to catch my not-so-subtle hints because this week has been GOR. GEOUS.

I normally love winter to death and am ok with its prolonged stay every single year, but I think since this is my first winter away from Colorado in over 10 years I'm really missing (actual) winter and the wonderful things you can do in it. Not this bitter cold with 2 inches of snow and hurricane winds nonsense. Hence my strange desire for bright colors and weather in the 60's. It could also be the pregnancy hormones. I blame everything that I can't explain on those convenient hormones.

All ranting aside, though, to celebrate the weather's cooperation yesterday, my friend Alyssa and I took our littles to a nearby park to enjoy that blessed vitamin D. It was a blast letting Evie and Brody explore and learn about their surroundings. We kept talking about how excited we were to do all the "summery" things with them this year- swimming, park days, picnics, digging in the dirt, building/destroying sandcastles- all the things they were too little to appreciate last summer. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, it's only February. We did get a perfect little foreshadow of what is to come yesterday, however.

They weren't quite sure what to do on most of the playground, but they loved watching the other kids and exploring.
Miss independent loved walking EVERYWHERE
Such a sweet boy <3
And my favorite for last- her face just brings me too much joy.
Until next time, lovely people.




Simple Weekend DIY's

Hello friends! How was everyone's week? I feel like it went by far too quickly- I'm not ready for AJ to go back to work. I was supposed to post this yesterday, but the day got away from me, so here it is today!

Evie caught my cold from last week, so she has been quite the handful. We spent most of the week taking turns snuggling with her, rubbing oils on her feet and chest, and catching up on Downton Abbey (AJ finally decided he likes loves it, so we've been binge watching it to catch up). I'm ok with that.

E's never really been this sick, so seeing her so miserable with a fever, cough and runny nose broke my mama heart this week. Luckily, I think she's on the up and up- colds take forever to get rid of :( I'm sure she'll be back to her normal, bright, happy self soon though!

Since it's a new weekend, I wanted to share a few of the projects I have planned for my weekend once again. I like having goals going into something- there isn't anything more satisfying than crossing something off of a list!

1. Recycling coffee grounds! This is something I've been researching a lot lately because, who doesn't waste pounds and pounds and pounds of coffee grounds everyday? We may have a small addiction in our house, so finding ways to reuse our old grounds would definitely make me feel better than throwing them all out. Here are a few of the ideas I've run across:

  • This tutorial is for a coconut oil/coffee grounds body scrub. It's probably the first one I'll try since I love making body butters and scrubs, and I've read a lot about how good of an exfoliate coffee grounds are.
  • This post shares lots of ways to use coffee grounds outside. Since AJ and I plan on planting a garden in our new home, when we buy one ;), this is something I'll save for the future. Coffee has LOTS of benefits outdoors, not just in/on your body. 
  • One last post has 15 uses for coffee grounds like unclogging drains, freshening your fridge, and cleaning your dog.
2. Figure out how to roll my own sushi! This one I'm particularly excited about. I've been craving sushi from our favorite Japanese restaurant CONSTANTLY (don't worry, I always order veggie sushi), but since we aren't made of money and my cravings were starting to necessitate their own part-time job, I decided to try my hand at making my own. Here goes nothing!
  • This recipe is for a basic California roll. Looks simple enough.
  • Here is one for veggie sushi, in case there are some raw fish haters or preggo friends among us ;)
Are there any veteran sushi chefs out there? I'd love to hear tips and tricks for making it at home!

3. Give our boring TV trays a makeover. I don't have any links for this one, but I'm sick of looking at the plain, wooden tables that we use so regularly. I figured I'd spice them up a bit so that when we eat dinner during Downton Abbey I can at least be excited about it ;) I'm thinking something geometric, colorful and dip-dyed for the legs. Wish me luck!

That should keep me busy for the next few days. What fun projects are you all working on? I'm always looking for inspiration...



My Life isn't Pinterest Perfect

I've written before about my struggle with comparison and the fear of missing out that we all struggle with, but something different has been bothering me lately. It took me a while to "pin"point it (I crack myself up...), but I think I've finally put my finger on what it is.

My life isn't like Pinterest.

That seems like the most obvious statement, but it took me a few days of feeling constantly messy, stressed and confused before I realized that all of the "inspirations"- perfect homes, perfect hair, perfect outfits- that I pinned daily were actually weighing me down, causing me to be dissatisfied with my real life.

*Disclaimer* I am in no way saying that we should give up Pinterest or stop trying to better our lives or find inspiration online- I'm only writing about a revelation I had that has enabled me to use it with more freedom and less angst.

You see, online we are given fake (or at least 1/2 true) versions of life- a gorgeous, minimalistic, fully styled living room with everything in its perfect place; a flawless face/body on Instagram after an intense workout; a beautiful loaf of homemade bread that didn't sink in at all....

But we forget that these are images. They're not real life. That living room doesn't look like that 90% of the time. Her flawless body does, in fact, have trouble spots and flabby areas. And that loaf of bread took 6 tries to perfect.

As great as Pinterest is, and trust me, I use it A LOT, it is easy to get discouraged by what we see there and think our life is somehow less valuable or worthy since it isn't "picture perfect".

Take my home for example:

(I find it ironic that this is the post I chose to show you photos of my home. I've been waiting till it gets just a little more organized, decorated and clean to do a home tour...but now at least you'll get the "real life" version.)
This is our living room. Notice the dog smashing the couch and the diaper on the floor.
Yes, that's a dog toy next to our breakfast. And a completely bare, huge wall...
That pile of dishes was much bigger this morning.
Why there are three coffee mugs on her dresser? I couldn't tell you.
And this one because I love how her little wall turned out.

Feel better about yourself yet? That took some guts to post, let me tell you. I'd love for you all to think that my house looks like a Pinterest board, but I've just shattered all of those dreams in one fell swoop.

So the moral of my story is this:

Real life is messy.

I'm not a perfect mom. Sometimes Evie goes two days without a bath. Sometimes I raise my voice at her and don't count to ten before I react. Sometimes I let her stay in her crib for an extra 10 minutes so I can lay in bed just a liiiiitle bit longer.

I'm not a perfect wife. AJ and I argue about pointless things. The other day we argued about Bruno Mars lyrics; he thought it said Saturday and I thought Friday. He was right. Sometimes I forget to say thank you for the way he provides and how hard he works to be a good daddy and husband.

My body isn't perfect. Sometimes I wear the same pair of sweats for an entire week. Sometimes I don't wear a drop of makeup for an entire week. Sometimes I don't leave the house.

My house is (obviously) not perfect. Whenever my mom comes over and I apologize for the mess she says, "its not messy, its just lived in". I love that.

We learn in the mess. We would never be able to get that beautifully decorated home if we didn't have a few faux pas first. We can never have a picture perfect dinner without making a mess out of the kitchen before hand. But life doesn't have to be Pinterest perfect after all- because it's real. And that's what matters.
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