How We Wore It // Fashion Collaboration

Another round of How We Wore It! 
It's always a good exercise to shop my closet and see it all in a fresh, new light. 
And my budget always likes it too cause it decreases my chances of emotional shopping sprees ;) 

For this month the original outfit came from Memorandum:

Since I just did an outfit with a white, tulle skirt, I tried to go outside the box a little bit and use something else for inspiration. 
I decided to try to mimic the general use of neutrals and do my own twist on each piece. 

This is what I came up with: 

[skirt: Wal-Mart last summer // shirt: c/o Fresh Produce // shoes: Forever 21 // necklace: c/o Sebastian Designs]

{polka-dot chambray shirt --> purply-gray gingham}
{white, pleated skirt --> cream, lace, see-through overlay skirt}

When I asked Adam how it looked for pictures he said, 
"Well, you can see through your skirt...."
I told him you're supposed to and he wasn't really impressed, ha!

Actually, the original slip of this skirt was a little shorter underneath. So I took one of my longer white slips and added it on top of the original slip to make it more modest. I thought it worked out nicely... But maybe I need a {hopefully nicer?} second opinion. 

Check out these other great looks from these fun bloggers!
Brooke at Silver Lining
Deidre at Deidre Emme
Sierra at Sierra's View
Brooklyn at A Little Too Jolley
Laura at Sincerely, Laura
Kaycie at Redhead Memories 
Kyla at FordOlogy
Ashley at Absolutely Ashley
Tayler at The Morrell Tale
Bonnie at Life of Bon

always stay my baby

With the demands of a new baby and also babysitting a second baby, Elijah kind of gets the short end of the stick most days. By the end of the day my nerves {and patience} are totally shot and I'm craving to just get in my pajamas and binge on Netflix. 

Lately when putting Elijah to bed, he always asks if I can sleep with him for a little bit. 
Usually Anneli is crying to be fed or when Adam was gone late studying most nights I just wanted to go detox by emotions before I went to bed so I would tell him I couldn't right then and just tickle his back again. 

It kind of hit me in a "I'm a terrible mom" sort of way when I realized that my poor boy, after his own hard and stressful day of his mom caring for other babies, just needed some of love and attention from his mommy at the end of the day. 

So I've tried really hard to say YES each night when Elijah asks for more time. 
We cuddle, 
we tell stories, 
we sing lullabies, 
 I tickle his arm, face, and back... 
And we reconnect after a long day of demands & time-outs. 

Though I'd like to say it's made a huge difference in his behavior during the day, 
that all of a sudden he listens and obeys like a little angel after getting extra cuddles in. 
But it has made a huge difference in both of our attitudes and patience levels. 
He knows I love him even when he disobeyed. 
And I know he loves me even when he sticks his tongue out and refuses to put his shoes away. 

And when I'm busy feeding babies, I think he knows he's not forgotten,
that at the end of the day I'm still his mommy too and he's still my sweet baby Elijah,
forever & always

in my dreams

Sometimes {oftentimes} I get really discouraged about things... 
I get frustrated that all I do is stay home, 
that I'm not using my degree in a career that I've always wanted, 
that we are still students and will forever be students, 
that I don't have XYZ like so-and-so does, 
that I've washed the same dishes 183462 times and folded laundry 7289 more times, 
that my life is just... plain.
not what I expected. 

Then I have these moments of perfect clarity, 
where all of a sudden I'm my past self peeking in the window of the present, 
and I think 
this is all I've ever wanted. 

Growing up I imagined my handsome & loving husband coming home, wrapping his arms around me in a tight embrace and giving me a kiss on the cheek as I finish preparing dinner. 
I thought of my sweet little children, playing and laughing all day as I got to stay home and make up stories with them. 
I pictured going on family walks, holding the baby while my husband chased my older kids on their bikes. 
I dreamt of a loving home, full of happiness & joy & chubby babies, and all of us coming together at then end of the day reading stories and giving piggy back rides to bed. 

Throughout the years many of my goals & aspirations in life have changed. 
My career goals have ranged from teacher to doctor to therapist to hair stylist and everywhere in between. 
My dream home is continually evolving. 
My likes, wants, desires are shifting daily. 

But the one thing that has never, ever changed has been my dreams for my family. 

And although there have been many unexpected things along the way, 
many hard times and sorrows, 
I look at my cute, sweet, perfect little family of four and think, 
"This is what I've always dreamed of
and all that will ever matter." 

Inspiration: Deep Beauty

Super-Elijah Birthday Party

For Elijah's 5th birthday he wanted a Superman party. 
He had been talking about it since the day after his 4th birthday so I felt quite a bit of pressure to make this party awesome and all his little dreams come true!

So I stayed up super late and spent a ridiculous amount of time on crazy crafts and decorations and it was total and utter chaos... HA! 

Elijah did say it was the best party ever and the kids left happy and hyped up on sugar. 

(I was so busy that I forgot to get pictures of everything but I was pretty proud of it before all the kids destroyed it)

My amazing friend sewed capes for all the kids to start their superhero training.
They then tested their superhero skills with an accuracy test of throwing darts at balloons, 
practiced using their x-ray vision for "pin the symbol on the Superman," 
and had a superhero obstacle course. 

There was an incident where one little boy got stabbed in the foot with a dart...
and juice and popcorn and Kryptonite suckers where everrrrrrrywhere... 
and it was total craziness and I never want to throw a party again until he's at least 8...
But from what I heard the kids still had a lot of fun! 
And I had a lot of fun with my annual use of creativity. :)

{But seriously no more parties until he's 8.}

Easy {gluten-free} Pad Thai

Adam went on a gluten-free kick for a couple of weeks to test out some stomach stuff. 
So that was fun.... 

But while we were dealing with that I found some great recipes I want to share. 
One of them was this delicious pad thai recipe that I got from my friend. 
Seriously so easy, so fast, and yummy! 

-8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles 
-2 tablespoons brown sugar 
-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving 
-3 tablespoons of La Choy soy sauce (only gluten free brand) 
-1 squirt (about 1/8 teaspoon) Tapatio or Sriacha sauce (optional)
-2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
-3 scallions (green onions), white & green parts, separated and thinly sliced 
-1 clove minced garlic
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten (optional) 
-1/2 cup fresh cilantro 
-1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts 

1. Soak noodles according to package directions. (make sure you time it so they don't get mushy!) Drain. 
2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and Tapatio 
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat 
4. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add eggs and cooks, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer eggs to plate. 
5. Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently. 
6. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts. 

variation: you can also add in a meat of your choice (chicken, shrimp, pork, beef) to the recipe. I used shrimp and cooked it in a separate pan then added it with the noodles & sauce, tossing it to coat it evenly. thumbs up!


high fashion tourist shorts??

[shorts: Target [here] // shirt: Wal-Mart // shoes: thrifted // necklace: Rhi's Designs]

Adam says these shorts are terrible. 
I mean, I was on the fence about them before but then I tried them on and was like 
"soooooo comfortable!!"
So now I'm in love and I will never take them off. 

Basically I know they look like terrible Hawaiian tourist shorts 
but I feel like that's the beauty of them! 


Love them?
Hate them?
Look comfortable and want to sleep in them? 
Or ehhhhhh the worst?

Movie Night Date Kit

For Christmas I put together some fun date kits for our parents.
And 6 months later I'm finally ready to post about it :)

Although a trip to the movies is fun and exciting, for busy couples or couples with young children it can be hard to actually get out.
And sometimes Netflixing just won't cut it
(Especially when all you do is watch Netflix all day... loses its excitement).

So I wanted a gift that would be fun, simple, and help bring some more romance to regular boring nights in.

This would be a fun gift idea for an anniversary, holiday, or just a fun surprise to spice things up.

In my Movie Night Date Kit I included:
mini Martinellis
movie candy
hot chocolate (for those cold, snuggly nights)
and a gift card to Redbox

And if I didn't have to ship it I think it would've been fun to include a cozy blanket :)

What would you include in your date kit??

Happy dating!

small victories

I focus on my failures about 80-90% of the day.
I nitpick all the things I've done wrong that day and contemplate how many ways I'm ruining my kids.
I'm a bad mother I tell myself.
Not well-suited for this role.

Elijah has been my greatest challenge.
From the time he was an infant I have struggled with how best to rear up this precious child.
I judge my worth on how well he behaves and listens.
If he gets in trouble, it's my own fault.
My greatest challenge. And my greatest mercy.

There's a million things I don't understand about why I was chosen to be his mother.
A million things ways I know I'm screwing this up.
A millions ways I feel like I'm failing him.

There are also a million reasons why I know we were meant to be together.

At the General Women's Meeting I was contemplating my own role as mother and nurturer.
My first reaction was to feel guilty at how much I fall short.
But then almost as quickly as that thought came it was replaced even more swiftly with all the things I know I'm doing right.

Elijah knows what Family Home Evening is.
Even though he almost never sits and listens to my simple lessons, he knows that we gather together to sing songs and learn about Jesus.
He reminds us about our lesson each week, even offering to do it himself once.

Elijah looks forward to our family dinners each night.
He loves "helping" me cook and loves to ask what I'm going to make.
He knows and expects his mom to cook something {hopefully} delicious from scratch.
Though he loves "Ronald McDonald's" (as he calls it), most of the time when given the option he will choose mom's home cooking over a cheeseburger.
[Except when he remembers they give out toys. He will always pick the toy.]
If we eat leftovers or sandwiches for dinner (on the weekends) instead of making a big meal, Elijah knows immediately it's out of place and will ask when I'm going to make dinner instead.
Though tiring at times, it makes me proud that my son knows about different healthy meals and loves eating with his family at home.

Usually it's a tactic to delay bedtime, but Elijah reminds us to have family prayer if we forget.
We have also started the routine of reading his edition of the Book of Mormon before bed, one that he seems to look forward to each night.
I'm pretty sure the stories don't make a lot of sense to him, but I can see that habit and understanding forming already and it makes me happy to see him eager to hear scripture stories.

The other day Elijah hurt another baby I watch during the week.
He knows that's not something we do and he knows I get really mad about it.
After weeks of telling him to be gentle to {both!} babies, and him usually ignoring me, I could see that he actually finally showed some remorse for his actions.
Before I could even question what happened he regretfully told me what he did and how terrible he felt about it.

He apologized to me and told me he knew it was bad.
It took every ounce of me to not smile and laugh at this amazing progress he's made; to show sorrow for his bad choices and to say sorry before I even asked is a humungous step we've been working on for ages.
Something is finally sticking and I feel some weight slowly lifting after five years of feeling like I'm drowning.

I know I am still not the best mom.
I know I still have a lot of things to work on,
both in my parenting and in my self-confidence.

But I like to think that I'm pretty okay.
That I'm surviving.
We're surviving.
We're healthy and happy.
We're learning and progressing.
We have small victories amidst the greater struggles.
And in the end that's what's really going to matter


(these pictures are actually from last month though. I need to take more!)

I can't believe this little love is already ten months! 
She's too big. 
Kind of breaks my heart. 
This time around it feels like everything is going way too fast and I can't soak it in enough. 

Anneli has been crawling for a few months now and cruises along furniture like a pro. 
She LOVES nursing and is finally starting to eat some real food. 
But won't take bottles. No sir! 

She's the happiest, most easy-going baby until it hits about 7-8pm and then she turns into a little, will-never-leave-mom's-side gremlin. 
She loves bath time!
So much so that even if she hears Elijah in the bath she will crawl as fast as her chubby little legs can move and finds him in the bathroom. 

She also loves Elijah and all his toys! 
His room is one of her favorite places which Elijah thinks it's great but kind of gives me a heart attack in the choking hazard department. 

Anything and everything goes in the mouth: 
lint, trash, rocks, leaves, old goldfish... 
But still no teeth. 
Which just makes her look more chubby and doll-like. 

She's the cheesiest, chubbiest, goofiest, sweetest, squishableest little thing ever!
I want her to stay my baby forever.