Office + Play Area

Josh and I have decided to take on the task of turning our front room/ living room/ sitting room 
into an office + play room! & we cannot wait to get it started!

Right now our office is sooo unbelievably drab. 
It's kinda dark in there and so unorganized and Josh doesn't really like 
being in there when he needs to study. 

So we will be turning the office into a guest room and the living room into a bigger office and playroom! 

It's much brighter in the living room which Josh will LOVE and it's large 
enough to keep Copelands toys as he gets bigger. 
It will be a room where we can both work and keep an eye on Cope :)

Right now the room has a large archway opening and so we will be putting in two french doors to keep the openness of the room but be able to keep the doors closed when needed.

We want it to be clean and crisp with an aire of whimsy and color 
for Copeland's interest because his room is very white with just a bit of color, but not much.

We want his area of the room to be filled with happiness!
Where learning and exploring come first :)

So we definitely needs LOTS of color and bright things in the play room
but still be able to keep it clean and organized.

We LOVE these black and white totes for toys, movies, etc!

We are still trying to decide on a desk. 
We need it large enough to be able to work on but small enough to not over power the room. 

I love the idea of tent for Copeland! 
What kid doesn't like having their own "fort"?!

Clear desk accessories are the way to go for crispness :) 

We want LOTS of color! 

Yellow curtains... a must!

*all photos above were found via*

And we might be putting up a few prints that I've been working on :)

Hopefully we can get started in the next month or so! 
once we get our tax return ;)

Do you have a play room?
What is a must have for your kids!?

Out For The Count.

So my sweet momma friend over at XOMRSMEASOM is seriously the cutest in all the land 
and if you're not following her, you're missing out! 

She has a series of posts called Truthful Fridays and it's amazing! 
To connect and read about how motherhood really is, not the glitter and confetti we put on Instagram everyday of how we all think it should be in our heads, but how messy and trying it can truly be at times.
It's refreshing. 

Anyway, I know today isn't Friday but I'm feeling extremely truthful and well accomplished today :)

For the past 5 days now, Copeland has gone down consistently for 3 naps during the day. All lasting an average of 60-90 minutes! 

I have never felt so accomplished.
I have been able to have a little bit of me time. 
Whether I spend that time cleaning or watching funny YouTube videos. 
It's the time I can take to do whatever I please and not feel guilty for leaving Copeland on his play mat. 

Because truthfully, I do feel guilty when I can't spend every ounce of my attention on him. 
Is that unhealthy? 
According to my pediatrician yeah! 
Haha but he's my number 1 priority right now. 
He's 5 months old. He's completely dependent on me and I love that.
And when the time comes, I will teach him how to be independent but for now
he's my baby and I will spoil him with everything I've got. 

Truthfully spending every ounce of everything I've got on him is trying. 
Or, it is for me anyways (especially when he would not take a nap AT ALL throughout the day) 
and so him going down for naps has been such a relief! 

However, if I'm really being truthful I'll have to admit...
I always hear moms say "Oh that's his hungry cry." 
"When he cries like this it's because he's just tired." and so on. 

I honestly thought I must be a terrible mother because truthfully my kid's cries all sound the same!
I have no clue when he's hungry, when he's tired, when he's bored, when he wants to be held, etc. because of the way his cry sounds. The way I know is from the time. 
"Oh it's been 2 hours, okay ya, he's hungry." 

Honestly it took me until about a week ago to finally get on a real schedule. 

I'm just now starting to understand what my baby needs. 
Before when he was fussy after being up for more than two hours I just thought, he's a baby, he's fussy.
But now I realize, he's been up for two hours and he's exhausted.
We both were.

Holy Cow!
It took me 5 whole months to figure that out!? 
Yep and I feel so accomplished and on top of the world because of it :)

For me, my thought process was, "If he's tired, he'll fall asleep."
It took a while for me to get a routine going.
But now when I sing a certain song and rock him in his room, it's like he knows it's nap time
 and he's out for the count. 

I'm a new mom. 
I have no idea what I'm doing sometimes but I know Copeland is okay with that
and we are both learning together what we need from this mommy baby relationship.

Now if only I could figure out how to get him to sleep through the night in his crib ;)

what do you have to be truthful about?
Is being a new mom as glamorous as we all see it to be on Instagram?

Guest Blogger: Val at Chicken Scratch

Hey ya'll! I'm Val, the blogger behind Chicken Scratch blog and the artist behind Chicken Scratch'd Designs. To sum myself up in just a few lines I would say: I'm a hair designer turned Mama. I'm an artist to my core and I blog about it all plus more! One of my very favorite ways of exercising my artistic expression is through photography! And, that is what I'm here to show you all about today. But, before I get started I want to explain exactly why I am here talking about photography…

I began following Natalie about a year or so ago. I immediately fell in love with her cute videos of her and her hubby, her amazingly photogenic personality, and of course now I'm smitten with her son and the way she documents his life along the way. Her ways of documenting life excite me and inspire me…and thats why I wanted to share with you all  my own version! 

Like I said above, I love photography…but more importantly I love using it to document my life…to freeze little moments…little moments of my little people. As all you Mamas know, these little moments slip through our fingers SO FAST. We all have the memories..some of them burned in our memory forever but some of them fade as life gets busier, crazier, or like me you have a second child and then you really start to lose your mind ;-) LOL!!! And for those reasons is why photography means so much to me. I want to look back and see exactly how obnoxiously large that purple headband was on my newborn baby girl. (Ummm…clearly it was rather large…ahem...larger than her head --1st photo on my daughters collage below.)

Janae-A.K.A. Nae-Nae or Nugget…my 5 pound first born. She is still my tiny little chicken nugget…even at age 3

And this is Jay- A.K.A. Rooster Dude, The Dude, Jay-bird (6months)

| The Details |

I use a Nikon 3000. I edit in iPhoto.
You will notice above that I take monthly photos until age 1. From there every 6 months. For every shoot I consider a few things. What new skill or milestone through babyhood can I showcase??? Is he/she smiling, sitting, standing..etc??? I try really hard to make my monthly shoots show off what my baby has worked so hard on since the last shoot! I also try to incorporate the seasons whenever it is safe and appropriate. (snow, leaves, football season, a holiday, summer sun, and so on) Lastly, I always try to get up close and get a great facial shot and then one further back showing most or all of their body…so you see how big they are getting!!! From there as far as all the themes…well I just dream those up. Thats were the artist in me really enjoys the creative process. But if you need help with ideas then you  find Pinterest an AMAZING source for ideas! But whenever I'm brainstorming the themes in my head I play off whatever sort of things they are into at that time like my daughters age 3 shoot (last photo on her collage) she loves to put on makeup right now and play dress up. So it only made sense to do a mini glamour shoot! She LOVED it. I also occasionally base it around a fabulous new outfit I bought them  too! Overall, the less forced the photoshoot is, the better cooperation you will get from them. The more you just allow them to play and do what they like the easier it is for everyone. Trust me!

I hope if nothing else today that I encouraged you to get your camera out a little bit more and freeze more some of these little moments that will be gone in the blink of an eye!
I am not a professional photographer and it shows in all my photos. But having a nice camera does really help capture clear crisp rich photos. I AM taking a little course right now in photography and if that is something that interests you then you can visit me over at Chicken Scratch and see some of what I'm working on as I learn more!

Finally, Thank you Natalie for letting me write for your readers today. It was been a pleasure…and such a treat to spend time putting this together -reminiscing while pulling photos! :-)

The other day I had this strange thought come into my head. 

Money doesn't buy happiness. 
I know right, such a simple concept. 

I cannot tell you how many times Josh and I have said 
"Once you graduate..." "I can't wait til you graduate and start your career" 
"2 more semesters til you're done and we'll have money!" etc...

It seems that it has completely consumed us both. 
It's all we can ever think about and hope that it comes sooner and the days go by faster. 
It seems the more it consumes us the more apart we become. 
The more we think about the worldly objects, the less we think about each other. 
We hate it. I hate it. 
Sometimes we have to sit back and just stop. 

Of course him graduating will take a huge stress off of both of us. 
But him graduating and starting his career will not make us any happier. 

I had a flash-forward(?) to his graduation day. 
A day we are dreaming about. 
Seeing him walk and taking photos with me and Copeland. 
With his parents, with my parents. 

The party we will have afterwards. That night. 
To finally say "You did it!" 
Don't get me wrong it will be great but I also thought about the day after, the week after. 

Nothing will change. 
Yes, Josh won't have to stay in the office, studying all night, which will be amazing for both of us. 
 He misses hanging out with me and Copeland at night. 
But that's it. 

As a family, we will not be any happier than we are now. 
In these moments of being new parents. 
Of figuring out this stuff together. 
Seeing our son smile, hearing him giggle by playing peek a boo. 
Him having his career, making more than a student wage, will not change our family 
and the love we have for one another. 

Money doesn't buy happiness. 
Money gives you a short lived, false sense of happiness. 
And that's it. 
Or at least it's what I've come to realize for myself. 

Maybe money does make some people happy. 
Yes, buying some killer new shoes is awesome. And ya, I would love to buy Copeland a pair of $60 moccs that he'll outgrow in a day. 
But does it make my relationship with my husband stronger?
No way. 
Does it make Copeland love me any more?
Of course not. 
Does it make me a better mommy? A better wife?
Does it make my friendships happier and more fullfillng?

Yes money is the reason we have our home. 
Our very modest home that we adore. 
But we were happy in love with the one bedroom tiny little 800 sq. ft home that we rented. 

I don't really know why I am posting this. 
It's more for me, I presume. 
It seems the world is very much an instant gratification and very materialistic 
kind of world. 

With all the fashion bloggers and pinterest worthy homes
it's hard to not fall into the wants of this life.

And yes it's hard to always have this mind set of happiness with what you have and the simple pleasures of life.
Of course I love beautiful and expensive things. 

Sometimes you have to really step back and think about what truly makes you happy. 
And for me I have realized that I have everything I could ever want to keep me happy for lifetimes and beyond with Josh and Copeland and the love they give me and that we share. 

Well, it's late and I'm tired. 
If this post is full of misspelled words and lack of proper grammar it's simply because I've been up for far longer than I had hoped to be up so good night!

Moments in Motherhood

Sometimes in between all the poopy blowouts, the sopping wet spit ups and the fussyness of a teething babe... a beautiful moment in motherhood happens :)

I have been so lucky to experience two amazing things happen in the past week in this motherhood journey. 
And when something really special happens, I have to document it so that I never ever ever forget it. 
I need to bottle up the emotion, love, happiness and amazement that I felt. 

The first experience...
So this happened on Friday night, on the way to take my sister to the airport. 
Josh was driving, I was in the passenger seat, Copeland was in his car seat behind josh, 
my niece Tess was in her car seat next to Cope, my mom was next to Tess 
and my sister was in the third row behind my mom. 

So we get in and start out on the road and Copeland just let's us have it. 
Screaming like he's never screamed before. Like something was seriously wrong. 
Could he possibly be hungry again?! It's only been 45 min. 
We thought that was the issue so we pull over, before getting on the freeway, for a nursing sesh. 
He eats for about 10-15 min, then we burp and he is totally content.

We put him back in the car seat and off we go. And then he starts up again. 
Just working those little lungs to death. I was panicked. 
He's never done this before and it caught me off guard. 
I had no idea what to do in this motherhood moment. I looked at josh, worried. 
I look back at my mom and asked her to hold his hand and give him his bink. 
He didn't want either. I told my mom to sing to him. Still nothing. 

My mom then suggested I sing to him, but I was in the front seat and there was 
no way me shouting lullaby lyrics was going to calm him so I took off my seatbelt, 
crawled over the console and hunched over his car seat. 

I took his hand and rubbed his fingers and with his other hand he grabbed my hair. 
I bent down over him and nuzzled up against his cheek an started singing lullabies 
and like magic he stopped screaming. Instantly. 
It was amazing. 
It was the perfect moment between us. 

Right then I knew this is the greatest blessing I have ever received. 
Being a mother is the most blessed job and I am so lucky to have been given this job by Heavenly Father.
My back ached from bending all weird like in the car but I sang him to sleep.
And I would do it a thousand times again to make him feel safe and content. 

He grasped onto my hand and hair and drifted away as I sang. 
How wonderful this is was. 
How lucky I am to get to do this.  
Please never let me take this motherhood thing for granted. 
It is the most wonderful journey of this lifetime.

// 2013 // in review //

 2013 was pretty amazing!

I started off the year being pregnant with our little chunk of a baby :) 

We found out that we were having a BOY! 

We went to Vegas for Spring Break and I rocked my bump in a bikini :)

We came home to a flooded kitchen :( 

We picked out grays for the nursery 

We went on our last few dates as just a family of two :) 

My bump started growing more and more

Josh and I went to see our favorite band: Lydia. 
The little bean in my belly came along too ;) 

We had yummy BBQ's throughout the summer 

My sister moved home with my niece for the summer!!! 

We BBQ'd lots more :) 

This happened for about 5 minutes... 

We finished the nursery! 

I tried hard to find non maternity clothes to fit me :) 
Meet the bathing suit cover up turned maternity shirt!

It was a long and hot summer for this pregnant mama!

Our last 4th of July as a family of 2! 

Yep... you guessed it. 
My belly kept growing :) 

And growing... 

and growing.  

We put in new flooring in the kitchen :) 

Almost there! 



We welcomed this amazing spirit into our family :) 

I became a mom. 

and he became a dad :) 

And we became a family of 3 :)