Human Trafficking.  Otherwise known as modern day slavery.  Everyone's heard about it, but no one wants to admit that it's happening right in our own backyard.  Me included.

Some of the news stories I've heard in the last 18 months, are the things that horror movies are made of. It literally makes me sick to my stomach every time I hear of a person that has become a victim of human trafficking. 

But I never thought I had any power to do anything about it.

A few years ago, I learned about Dressember. I thought it was just a fun way for women/girls to have an excuse to wear a dress everyday for a month. I remember thinking "Oh, that could be fun, if I actually liked wearing dresses...but I don't soo..."

This year, I learned that Dressember atually means something, and it's something amazing. Dressember is a fundraiser to stop human trafficking.  I have joined a team of amazing ladies to raise money to help those that have been victimized by human trafficking. I am not a dress wearer normally. But for this cause I will wear a dress for 30-days straight.

My goal is to raise $300.  Would you consider donating?  Donate Here

Also, if you're interested in learning more about this.  Here's the TED talk that got my attention.


Do you let YOU hold you back?

A few months ago, I decided that I needed a change. A physical change, yes, but I also needed to change myself.  Over the last few years, I unconsciously became a bit of a recluse. I've always been a bit of an introvert, and with all of the articles and memes on the internet lately supporting - even promoting - introverts, I started using my introversion as an excuse.   I would think "I should call so-and-so and see if they'd like to do this." and then immediately I would follow up with, "well i don't want to bother them, and it's easier and faster if i just do it by myself."  My kids had become my default friends.

But one thing about having friends that are toddlers...they're super flaky. I'd make plans to get us all out of the house, and then one of them would have the nerve to want a nap early that day. Or they'd get sick.  Crazy thing about kids...they're always sick.

I was bored, and a little bit lonely.

So instead of reveling in it and feeling sorry for myself (for longer than necessary...of course, i did start out with that stuff), I decided that I would change.  I would stop being so afraid of...whatever it is I was afraid of.  I would stop saying no, and start saying yes.  I would actually answer the phone when people call me!! I would stop using my introverted tendencies as an excuse, and start forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone.

And you know what I've found out?  It's fabulous out here! I have done things I never would have thought I was capable of.  I have been brave, and I realize that while I may be a tad bit introverted, I. Love. People!  and also, maybe I'm not as introverted as I think I am!

I have let fear rule me for a long time. But now I'm choosing to be brave.

Are there areas of your personality that you let hold you back? What would you change if given the opportunity?  What would it take for you to take that first step out of your comfort zone?



I'm 6 weeks in. I finished one program already, and I'm nearing the end of a second one.

I started with a cardio/dance program called Cize, and it was awesome. You spend each work out learning a new hiphop dance routine. So much fun! I only decided to switch to a different program, because I wanted one that included a more detailed eating plan.

So, I switched to the 21 Day Fix. I like the format of it. Thirty minute workouts, and each workout is set up more like circuit training. Each day has a certain number of "rounds" and each round includes 1 or 2 exercises which you do for 60-seconds at a time.  Makes the workouts go super fast!

This is my last week, and then I'm switching to another program. It sounds crazy, but I'm really hoping to find my "soulmate" workout. And honestly, I'm not a huge fan of weightlifting. Just my personal preference.

The next program is called Piyo, and is a combination of Pilates and Yoga. The best part....there are 8 different workouts and 6 out of the 8 are LESS THAN 30 MINUTES LONG! I'm pretty stoked about that part. Shorter workouts equal Yes.

I'm super excited about getting started.

The program is 60 days, which is perfect for me.  The hubs and I are headed to Mexico for a wedding in December, starting this program in October will take me right up to the day we leave.

Can't wait!



High-waisted swimsuits are A+ for mom-bod.

I realize that I've had 2 children in less than 3 years, and I should be proud of what this body has accomplished.  But my youngest is now 9 month old, and I'm feeling frustrated. I'm realizing that this body of mine is different. Much different. In the obvious ways and the not-so-obvious ways.

Since May, Brad and I have been eating a mostly low-fat plant-based diet. I'd say we stick to it approx 90% of the time.  The weekends are the hardest, but even on the weekends we it's usually only 1-2 meals we eat that don't conform. 

I've also cut out sugar.  Which in an of itself should have made a HUGE difference.  But nope. No dice.

Before having babies, all I had to do was stop eating cookies or eat less pasta.

I have never eaten this healthy in my entire life and I haven't weighed this much since puberty...

It's frustrating to say the least.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I should probably switch my focus.  Instead of worrying about the number on the scale, I'll be focusing more on exercise.  If I'm going to be thick, I may as well be strong, too.

I purchased a challenge pack from Beachbody (you know, the guys who make P90X). The challenge pack came with their premium protein shake, Shakeology, and the CIZE program. If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen my sweet dance videos.

And by sweet I mean, completely embarrassing. But for accountability purposes, I need to post them.

So this is my journey to be stronger, and healthier, AND ok with not being model-skinny...



This is Taylor. She was born in mid-November after a much shorter labor than her sister (thank goodness!). She came with all that hair on her head. She is our smiley, chatty, giant-eyed beauty. She is also much more vocal than her sister. She is growing much faster than Ellie did (she'll be in 6-month jammies before her 3-month birthday), and has a voracious appetite. She sleeps fairly well, but likes to throw in at least one horrible night of sleep every week or so; to keep me on my toes.

We weren't sure how Ellie would be with a younger sibling. She had a little bit of a rough time at first (once she realized Taylor is staying forever), but now, after nearly 3 months, she loves her baby sister.  She wants to hug and kiss and hold her all of the time. However, if you're giving T attention, be prepared to have Ellie talking/yelling to you at the same time.

Taylor loves her big sister. She wants to watch everything Ellie does, and big sis gets the biggest baby grins.

Second-time motherhood, is such a crazy thing. My days feel hectic, but if you ask me what I do everyday, it sounds like nothing. I feel productive if I keep the kitchen clean; or clean-ish (I've never been one to put a lot of pressure on myself).

There have been a few days when my in-laws have taken Elliott overnight, and having just 1 baby is suddenly the world's easiest job. My husband and I look at each other like, 'why did we think this was so hard the first time?'


this blog

I thought I had given up writing. I debated on deleting this little blog of mine. I had pretty much decided I was done.  I didn't want to exploit my child(ren) by making my blog all about them. They're too young to decide what they want their internet personas to be - if any. They can't tell me if they don't want a picture posted or a story told. And I thought that if I was going to blog, it should be about me and my stories, not someone else's.

But...over the last year, I've repeatedly found myself writing blog posts in my head.  Finding random things to write about and then talking to myself like I'm telling a story to someone else. So I've decided to give this thing another round, and see where we go from here.

I have to tell you, though.  My stories may be a bit boring. I want to be authentic and real here in my space, and that means I might be a bit dull.  I'm up to my neck in diapers and naptimes, afterall. But I do promise to try to make it interesting for you, if you choose to follow along.



Sunday was Elliott's first birthday. It's hard to believe I have a 1-year old.

The last few weeks having been challenging, as a mother.  She is crawling like crazy, but dying to walk.  She knows a few signs, but wants to talk.

Her favorite activity is whining.  And suddenly, in the last two weeks she has become a crier.  Not just slight whiny cries either, but full-on screaming cries with giant crocodile tears.

She used to never cry. Ever.

We're also in the throws of separation/stranger anxiety.  If you're not mom or dad (or maybe grandma) you better not touch her unless you want to get screamed at.  I'm pretty sure she swore at her pediatrician yesterday, in baby-talk.

At the same time, she's also been the most fun. 

When she's in a good mood, she's super happy and chatty.  She gives big hugs and sweet kisses, and will look right into your eyes and give you the biggest gummiest smile you've ever seen.

She is daddy's princess, and squeals with delight whenever she hears his keys in the door each evening.

Despite the hardships of this age, I am so in-love with my girl.  She is a beautiful soul with big brown eyes to match. 


An update

We're still around.  In case you were worried, or something.

Life has been busy and boring all at the same time.  Somehow our days are flying by, even though in the moment, they feel like they're dragging.

Elliott is 11 1/2 months old.  Two weeks ago she started crawling, but she pretty much only crawls when she's desparate.  She would much rather cruise around in her walker, or walk around holding onto things.  Her favorite game, currently, is to hold our hands and make Brad or me walk her around the house.  She says 'mama' and 'dada' and tries to say 'kitty.' Brad also recently taught her the sign for 'more,' though she'll mostly only do it for him.

This last week, she's been working on her first two teeth.  She seemed nearly normal during the day (though she was a bit clingier and whinier than usual). But last night was the first night since last Thursday that either of us slept well. It was like life with a newborn all over again.

Last Sunday, we had her dedicated at church. Our small group (which consists of us and 2 other couples) all had baby girls in 2013, so we dedicated them all together.  It was perfect.

Our next big project is to plan her 1st birthday party, which is just 2 short weeks away. I should've done this week's ago, but I have to admit, I've been procrastinating a bit.  I don't want her to be 1 yet. So if I put off planning her party it won't happen, right?  right...

Nothing really going on with Brad and I. ...minus the fact that we abandoned being paleo to be vegan...  ha.  Which, surprisingly, hasn't been that difficult. I actually really like it. It seems easier to eat vegan than to eat paleo... less things to avoid maybe?

After watching multiple documentaries on how healthy a plant-based diet is, we decided to give it a try.  Brad has had some health issues 30-year-olds shouldn't have (high blood pressure, etc), and I'd like to weigh less. So it's a win-win for both of us to eat less garbage and more leafy greens.  So far it's working out pretty well. We decided we'd stick with it through Brad's birthday in April, and then see how we feel about it. So far, we're both fairly certain it will be something we continue doing.


new camera

For the last 5-10 years, the number one spot on my Christmas List has been a DSLR camera. You know, the cameras that run for no less than $600.  It was never a surprise when it wasn't under the tree.

This year, I finally gave up the dream.  I left it off the list, and decided that if I really wanted one I would just have to save up for it.

But then....Christmas morning came.  I opened a gift from my sister, and there it was.  A Canon EOS Rebel SL1. What.  WHAT!?!?

It is awesome.

I've been taking pictures like crazy the last 10ish days.  I'm still getting the hang of how it works, and haven't even touched the Manual setting yet, but look...  These pictures are amazing!

I still can't even believe it!



2013 was a big year for us. 

This year, we got really serious about budgeting, then we bought a new car; I stopped working; and, of course, the biggest thing of all, our sweet Elliott joined us and took over our home, our lives, and our hearts. 

It's been an amazing time. 

Today, after hearing the message at church, we decided to set a few goals for our family. Brad and I have made personal goals before, but we've never sat down to do it for the family as a whole. It seems like a great way to set out on the right foot. I'm not talking resolutions. While I would like to get in better shape, I'm also not fooling myself into thinking I'll suddenly want to go to the gym everyday. 

We're each coming up with broad goals for each category: finances,  marriage, family, home, etc.

I'd like to make date nights a priority, and paint the outside of our house, to name a few. 

Will you be setting goals for the upcoming year?