a bump update; second trimester

second trimester

it is so incredible how fast this pregnancy is going. it feels like just yesterday we were getting home from our summer trip when i decided to take a little test. and here we are, twenty seven weeks. i am 100 percent completely slacking with documenting all of the moments this time around. i guess it’s true what they say; poor baby number three. i finally have some time so I wanted to jot down a few things.

how am i feeling?

actually pretty amazing. this baby finally just started to kick + move probably at week twenty five/six, so before then it was as if i would have to remind myself that there is a sweet baby growing inside my belly. my nauseousness is finally taken off, but i don’t think my energy will ever return. holy tiredness. i usually am in bed as soon as the boys go down for the night.

what am i craving?

I literally am craving all the sweets. not like candy sweets, but wait for it …. COKE ICEES. that totally doesn’t even surprise you does it?! but guys, it’s bad. i just want soda nonstop. i wasn’t like this with the boys. it was more of a lemonade craving with them. i also have been eating cucumber salad every.single.day. SO YUM. ¬†and i’m currently eating out of a jar of pickles, so there’s that. and of course, all of the pizzas + pastas. some things will never change ūüėČ

what am i wearing?

i have been living in all the things by Storq; an online maternity label for pregnant + postpartum mamas. they offer a minimal line, that is no where minimal when it comes to the quality. everything is so well made. the temperatures are slowly falling, so lately i have been wearing my leggings daily. i don’t care if you are pregnant. postpartum or not, YOU NEED THESE LEGGINGS. along with my storq pieces, i have also been wearing the crap out of ¬†my maternity jeans from madewell. i have the over the belly skinnies + and also these ones that stretch at the hip. and of course, topping it all off with my favorite pieces from madewell; like this flannel, cardigan, bodysuit, and cozy sweater.

how is sweet little p?

baby is good! we had our ultrasound at twenty weeks and it was here that we learned that baby is not head down yet. this is totally new to me, because both boys were always raring to go [super head down!] we also learned that little p is measuring a little small. could this babe actually be a little on the smaller side?! time will tell! feeling incredibly blessed that everything seems to be going well so far + for our healthy little babe.

tote well x madewell


for the past, i don’t know, four-ish years i have been toting around a diaper bag. lucky for me, there have been so many beautiful diaper bags made available for moms today. from back packs, to wipeable leathers, to not your average diaper bag, we have been blessed with some of the best. but recently, i found myself shying away from the good ‘ol DB. maybe its that finley is officially ‘not a baby’ anymore, or maybe it’s the fact that i know I have five months left before all the baby things pile back up. but obviously, i am pregnant so i also wanted to be sure to find something that could be used for mama and for bebe.

insert my madewell tote. it’s basic. it’s timeless. it’s cognac [my fav]. and it’s so so big [but not too big]. ¬†but like, insert a tote organizer later big for all the baby things. and it’s absolutely beautiful. just gorgeous!

so what’s inside my bag currently? well let’s take a peek!

glasses //¬†these little guys are always with me. if you see me in the wild without them and wave me down, i’ll probs stare at you like a crazy person. hashtag can’t see. these ones are from warby parker and they are kind of my favorite.

wallet //¬†because…gotta get that money honey. ¬†obviously i carry this with me haha. but my poor, beautiful madewell wallet [that matches my tote perfectly!] has seen better days. all those sippy cups i used to carry around did some damage. there’s probably a way to fix this. right?! RIGHT???

lippies // at any given point there are always at least three tubes in my bag. colors + glosses. always always. and my lipsticks, well they don’t come off. more on that later!

diapers + wipes //¬†yes, these are a select few of the baby items that still take home in my bag. we love seventh generation for our diapers + wipes. they’re free + clear and effective. although finley is using the potty every day, he isn’t ‘officially’ trained yet. but that’s okay. i do love me a diaper butt. but maybe just one diaper butt, so that means he has several months left to get it together. HA.

changing mat //¬†i absolutely love carrying along a changing mat with me for those times when diaper changes are necessary. this one from gathre is made of leather, so it’s wipeable and easy to keep clean. the bonus? it doubles up as a placemat for us, too!

essential oils //¬†in my bag, i always try to remember to carry a few of those every day EOs that i use most. for us, that is on guard for our hand sanitizer and germ kicker, my xanax blend to chill the heck out sometimes, past tense for those pregnancy migraines that like to sneak up on me, and lemon for our water. i think most of these have found their way into my car, but the xanax doesn’t leave me.

bonnet // finley loves hats. he asks to wear them all the time. and he will be wearing a bonnet as long as i can get away with it! with the cool mornings we have been having, and the sunny afternoons that come around, i have been making sure to keep a brimmed bonnet in my bag. we love this one from briar.

baby carrier // i never, ever, leave my house without a sling. my little lifesavers! ¬†i always make sure i have one for those times when finley is napping or when we’re out running errands and he doesn’t want to walk anymore. we absolutely could not live without our wildbird slings.

tiny cotton bag// this little guy is actually what my wallet came in. and it is so cute! i love it because it is small enough to throw into my bag and it keeps a few items all together. in here is where i like to keep a few snacks [aka suckers] my lippies, essential oils, and hair ties.

so that’s it. the bag + the things i literally carry daily and everywhere. what’s in your bag? and where do you take it?

this post was created in partnership with madewell. however, all opinions and feelings are my own. 

a life update

hi sweet friends! these blog posts have been few and far in between lately and i promise there is a v good reason for that! firstly, summer is here. and boy does summer bring so many activities + get togethers. we’ve been on vacations, weekend getaways, soaking up the warm vitamin d in our backyard, taking boat rides on the river, and staying way too late. lately i have found myself completely overwhelmed and it has been so nice unplugging a bit more and just being there with my boys, literally watching them grow by the day. we’ve celebrated two birthdays this summer, which totally reminds myself that i need to post a hayden lane update. he is four now. F O U R.

we think these days go so incredibly fast, which i mean they do, but in all reality i feel like he has been here an entire lifetime with us. i hardly remember a time without him. so in all reality, four years sounds so completely short compared to a lifetime. but then i’m like, HOW IN THE WORLD ARE YOU FOUR. STOP GROWING. anyways, this should be for my hayden post. back to the update…

secondly, the v good reason for the time away. i feel so incredibly blessed to share with you all that we are expecting baby number three! yes, number three! i cannot even put into words how excited we are, just elated + on cloud nine. we found out as soon as we got home from our arizona/california vacation back in june and the very first people we shared our news with was of course, the boys. to hear them talk about the baby makes my heart explode. i know hayden will be my little sidekick and best helper and finley, well he keeps pointing to my tatas and saying “baby’s milk now?” but in all honesty, i know he is so ready for this role of big brother.

this little peanut is making me feel all the feels, including the lovely all day sickness. it’s been worse than ever before, but i constantly remind myself that this is such a good thing; a happy, healthy growing babe. the tiredness is so real, and most nights i am in bed before the boys. there’s been endless amounts of days of the boys watching way too much tv, followed with me lying on the couch next to them. but goodness, i wouldn’t trade this for anything.

we will be welcoming this little peanut in the winter, but until then, i’ll be filling all of these days with my two boys, soaking up our togetherness. watching my body change and work in such a beautiful way, taking in every little move this sweet baby makes, and praying. praying for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, ¬†and for these two sweet boys to welcome this change with open arms. if you’re the praying type, we ask for you to join us in this exciting time. and we thank you for all the outpouring love we know this baby + family will receive from you all. you’re the best and we just are so happy you’re here with us on this next season of life!

xx lindsey

finley turns two

i’ll never fathom how time can go so incredibly fast, but yet it feels like you have been here with me an entire lifetime. you turned two this past week, and i remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. it’s been two full years of sweet snuggles, sloppy kisses, and love. two whole years of watching you grow, learn, and become the sweet little boy you are.

you are gentle. you are full of happiness. you make the world shine brighter each day and we are so blessed to have you in our family. i don’t think you’ll ever know how much i love you, but i hope when you look back at pictures or when you’re watching home videos you’ll feel that love. because my love for you is so immense.


  • you’re starting to talk in full sentences
  • you say “ummm” when you’re thinking of an answer
  • when i say ” i love you so much!” before bedtime you reply, “much!”
  • you still hate getting your hair washed
  • you cry for mo to sleep with you at night
  • speaking of going to bed you usually ask for “mommy’s room”
  • trolls is your all time, favorite movie
  • you kind of go potty on the toilet. only number two. and only like four times a month.
  • kid you are sugar obsessed. ¬†you don’t get it often, but boy, watch out.
  • you know you’re name and say it perfectly!
  • your favorite food is burgers + chicken
  • you ask to say prayers at dinner
  • “oh shucks!” is your current favorite
  • all dogs + all cats are ry ry and mo mo

a mama meet up

after arizona, we took the seven hour road trip over to california. the drive itself was beautiful. the view turned from desert, to sand dunes, to huge rock filled mountains that wined up and down the highway. and the weather, well it was a decent change from 107.

i’ve said it before, and i’ll probably say it at least 1000 more times, but i am so incredibly thankful for this community. it sure takes something special to develop lasting friendships. to have meaningful people in your lives who are there for you, your ups and downs, and who give constant encouragement through this season of motherhood. and when you get to meet some of those people, well that is the biggest blessing of all. and i got to do just that!

six mamas. ten kiddos. and a whole lot of gathre mats + love. lots of laughter as well. it was surreal hugging these women who i have been connected to for months, some years. to watch them mother their babies and to see them love on my own. i held back tears as i walked up to them for the first time. and i feel so incredibly lucky that we all made time to do this and that we were able to. it’ll be a night i’ll always remember, sitting on the lawn in downtown disney, eating pizza and trying to get everyone together for a photo [naturally].

love you girls!

babywearing through the years

when hayden was first born, i¬†remember seeing wraps + carriers in the stores, but honestly, i¬†didn’t know much about them or babywearing. i¬†bought a wrap for his first month of life, and wore him closely as we walked endless loops around our county fair. in fact, i remember buying it for this very moment and to keep him close to me and away from other people’s hands. sadly, i¬†don’t think i¬†wore him much after that week. fast forward to¬†when he was a bit older, i bought our first¬†carrier. and i¬†think he sat in that thing, maybe three times. babywearing was seldom talked about around here,¬†i was one of the first out of my friends to start a family, and i¬†rarely ever saw babywearing¬†happening. i¬†wish i¬†had. did you know there are so many amazing + different benefits for baby and¬†for you by wearing baby close? ¬†i wish i¬†had.

finley was about eight months old when i first joined the amazing community of mothers on instagram. i immediately was drawn to these beautiful carriers i kept seeing around. they were not like anything available in the stores and they also just so happened to be made by mothers themselves. i instantly fell in love with the idea of helping a mom be able to provide for her family. i did my research and i started to learn all of those many benefits of babywearing.  i wanted to always keep my baby close  + to experience this world together. i longed to have my hands free to be able to chase my toddler through the desert, sit down to play with him while the baby was fussy, or to make a delicious meal for our family when someone would rather be held.

finley is now 22 months, and i¬†am wearing him more than ever before. it’s become a way of life and it makes us both so happy. i¬†can sense his feeling of comfort when he’s worn. he can nap, while we continue moving along. and we can snuggle when he’s feeling sad or just when he wants some extra mama time. there’s a sense of calm in both of us when he is wrapped up closely to me. and now that we are well into a year and a half of¬†wearing, i wanted to share with you several different + favorite ways that we carry in + out of our home.¬†i treasure these products. they have been a Godsend in this season of motherhood and my only hope is for another mama to take that leap and give babywearing¬†a try, too.

the solly baby wrap. 

remember that first wrap i¬†told you about, well it ¬†almost terrified me out of¬†this one. but I¬†was instantly drawn in by this beautiful pattern, a collaboration with amanda jane jones. and once i¬†started reading about solly + elle [the lovely mama behind it all], i¬†just knew this one would be different. that it would be amazing and so well loved. it’s not hard + bulky to get on and the fabric is out of this world. it’s made of lenzing modal, which is a lightweight, buttery soft fabric. everything is made right here in the us and¬†environmental friendly dyes are always used when dying the fabric. the wrap itself is made to be used from the moment your babe arrives, up until 25 pounds. i¬†personally love this wrap for the early, tiny newborn moments, but then again finley actually took a ride in it just last week.

wildbird sling.

if you’ve been following along with me for some time, then you have heard me mention wildbird before. okay, maybe a few times. and it probably will not be the last time [you’ve been warned]. wildbird is ran by the incredible + sweetest tayler. this was actually my first carrier [sling] that i¬†ordered for finley + i. ¬†everything about wildbird is absolutely¬†beautiful and i¬†think that is why i¬†was first drawn to them. their branding + marketing + product are easily put, simply amazing. the slings are available¬†in three different fabrics and in either a single or a double layer [for those heavier babes + longer carries]. the slings are made in salt lake city, utah and can be worn from birth [eight pounds] up until 35 pounds.¬†i have admitted before that¬†i¬†have quite the ‘stash’ happening over here and i¬†am so not ashamed. ¬†from left to right: our first bird, sparrow; a single layer linen, warbler; a single layer bamboo, and indigo finch; a double layer chambray. go ahead, collect them all. i dare you!

happy baby carriers.

meet the¬†newest carrier that i¬†have just recently come across. i¬†haven’t really been able to talk cory into wearing the wrap or sling [although I’d die if he did. insert heart eyes], so i¬†have always been on the hunt for something that he would like to use as well. i cannot even remember when it happened, but i¬†found it. happy baby carriers are made from¬†my all time favorite fabric, linen. linen is lightweight + breathable and always so beautiful. these carriers are also made right here in the us. they also feature a hidden pocket with a sun cover for baby + extra storage room for you. happy baby carriers support newborns up until 45 pounds. 45 pounds guys! that’s carrying my almost four¬†year old when his little legs can no longer keep up.


tuesday things // thankful tuesday

hi guys. it’s been a minute. i¬†am not sure to know how to even begin, other than that i have been in one terrible funk lately. i¬†haven’t even wanted to sit down to leave my thoughts here, but at the same time i¬†wanted nothing more than just that. i¬†just couldn’t get myself to do it. the tiredness is real. the struggle is real. the grey in the sky isn’t helping. and this is bound to sound like a cry for help. and i¬†promise it’s not. and i¬†promise to not complain often. but here’s what i¬†know:

  1. life is tough.¬†and inability to make decisions is not helping. there’s a constant argument going on in my head. did i¬†make the right choice? i¬†know i¬†didn’t. wait this could be good.¬†it’s like it’s on a loop, playing over and over again. but then again, life would not be life if it wasn’t tough. tough makes us stronger. tough builds our character. and tough doesn’t have to be tough with trusting in Him.
  2. mothering is hard.¬†it’s most definitely not all sunshine and rainbows in this house, with a three-nager and a terrible two-er on the rise. i always thought i¬†had “patience”, that was until the moment i¬†had my beautiful babies. i lack it. severely. and most days my temper gets the best of me. but every day i pray to be better; to show more love. and every day grace showers over me.
  3. everyone is tired.¬†honestly, as we were sitting down to dinner, i told cory that all i wanted to do was go to bed. and this has been my struggle lately. call it this funky winter or the mommy chaser in me, but i.am.so.tired. but here’s the thing, i am pretty sure everyone is tired. time to stop putting that one on the long list of excuses and here’s to a better go around of chasing those dreams.
  4. live for today.¬†not for an hour from now. not for tomorrow, for this weekend. not for a few months down the road. or for next year. but for today. for this exact moment. ¬†i am always thinking ahead, and i¬†worry. a lot. but it’s time to set those worries aside. worrying is such a thief of our time and our joy. ¬†and sadly,¬†i¬†am missing the special moments that are¬†happening right in front of my eyes by thinking, planning, hoping, wishing for later.

so even though i¬†may be feeling all of the feelings right now, and just plain ¬†b l a h, there’s always so much more to be thankful for. there’s always light shining. time to push the negativity aside. to rise every day with a kind, loving heart. and to always, always remember all of the good in my life.

thankful tuesday 

  • His grace
  • my healthy, very active, strong willed little boys
  • my husband + his hard work he does for our family
  • our health
  • the 24oz iced coffee i got today
  • our warm home
  • baby laughter
  • pandora, for all the music + dancing that fills our home
  • this space
  • friends that listen to you vent
  • ice cold la croix
  • shameless for allowing¬†me that mental break
  • cute tiny clothing that makes this laundry pile beside me more fun
  • the chocolate brownie cookie¬†i¬†am about to scarf down

working mama

three years, eight months, six days, five hours, five minutes, and three seconds. or, one thousand three hundred and forty-seven days. that is how long¬†¬†it has been since i¬†last punched out. how long it has been since i said a final goodbye to my career working days. and also, how long i have been titled ‘stay at home mom’; the best job i¬†have ever had the privilege of having.

but tomorrow, tomorrow starts day one back into the work field. of course, i have been watching little oliver for several months now, and have easily been itching my way into being known as a ‘work from home mama’, but this, this will be different. tomorrow i go back to work for someone else, and for in many ways, myself. tomorrow i will get myself up, get us ready and to babysitter’s on time. punch myself back in for the first time in a long time.

when the opportunity became available, i found myself intrigued and wanting to know more, but also extremely nervous. excited, and scared out of my mind. i spent days talking it out with cory and with friends [“should i¬†do this?” “will i¬†like it?” “will it be worth it?” “no, i think i¬†should just stay home…” ]. hours praying to God to help guide me. and endless back and forth battles with myself. i remember so clearly the day the opportunity rose. it was several days after one of the hardest days¬†i¬†have had as a stay at home mom. you see, it’s definitely not all sunshine and rainbows, but i’ll save that for another post. literally days after this emotionally draining day, i had two opportunities for work come about. i¬†knew this had to be God, saying it’s okay. that this is what would be best for our little family. what would be best for me, as their mother and nurturer, and teacher. and with that trust, is what ultimately led me to my decision to go back. for now, it will be part time. ¬†very very part time. and only He knows what the future holds.

tomorrow, i go back to work. but today, today i snuggle those babies so, so hard. and love them with everything i have.

if you’re the praying kind, i please¬†kindly ask¬†for your prayers. prayers for me, and prayers for those sweet boys. prayers for our¬†family¬†during this transition. and for your love.¬†

winter blues

i feel so silly saying this, because unlike past years, this winter has been relatively good to us. we had a few surprise days with outrageously nice weather, and i feel like it has snowed maybe two times. however, the days have been gray for far too long. rain, rain, and more rain has been handed down to us. i hardly remember the days where the sun used to shine. and on the rare occasion that the sun does decide to show his face, he only streams through our windows for a short ten minutes.

but every year, at this very same time, i find myself feeling so many emotions,¬†most of them not positive. and lately i have just been in a complete¬† funk. i think it is so important to pick yourself back up and surround yourself with something that makes you happy each day. and people that make you happy. for me, that’s a car ride to grab my favorite iced coffee, dance parties in the living room with my tinies, a day of thrifting, and weekend adventures as a family. and sometimes, all four in one day. and of course, lots and lots of praying. He will get me through this hard time and lift me up more than i know.

so i guess what i am trying to say is, if you feel this way, if you think this way, than i feel for you. and i am praying for you, too. and in the meantime, i will be counting down the days until spring. and slinging my baby bird a bit harder for all the extra snuggles.


the boys artisan leather boots by mikoleon; ring sling by wildbird 


badenhop best 2016

you guys. i have slacked. a few months ago, i introduced a new series to you all; badenhop best. after two runs, i completely was overwhelmed by doing all the fall activities. and then came thanksgiving. and quickly after, christmas. i totally dropped the ball. this year, i have high hopes of really balancing this whole blog/mama/wife life out. i hope to continue this series, because i really love to share what we are loving at home and in our lives with you all.

so for the first installment of badenhop best, i give you the best of 2016.



  1. gathre mat: we started the year off with one and quickly found ourselves with two; a midi and a maxi. each mat is made of beautiful leather and are completely versatile. we use ours inside for crafts or under the boys’ seats at the dinner table, or outside for picnics, play dates, and more.
  2. seventh generation products: this year we have been introduced to seventh generation, focusing on their free and clear line; no dyes + no fragrances. from diapers to shampoos, and laundry detergent to all purpose cleaner, our house has been completely stocked with seventh generation products. we just love them.
  3. tubby todd:¬†another introduction to us this year and one that will stick with us for years to come. each tubby todd product is made with 100% natural ingredients that are simple and safe. bonus: they added a mama’s line! we absolutely LOVE their dream cream + all over ointment, and i have been spraying myself daily with the freshening spray.
  4. natursutten pacifiers: i am giving all the praise hands to these little guys, the soothers of my baby fin. we have spent the entire year using these. the reason why we love them? they are 100% natural. no artificial colors, no chemicals, no parabens, making them safe for baby.
  5. hazel village animals: the boys absolutely love their animals, and although we have so many other dolls + toys that we could easily choose too, these ones have been a part of our year the longest. the animals are individually handcrafted in nyc with organic cotton fleece, and wrapped up beautifully in a cotton bag with a satchel full of lavender inside.  and now, you can even get matching outfits for your kids! truly an heirloom for our family.


  1. cleansing grains: my face has been a total whirlwind this year. i blame motherhood, but honestly, it’s the worst it has been my entire life and i often find myself hiding behind things. i just recently came across urban¬†oreganics; which is handcrafted in small batches using 100% natural ingredients. everything is organic + vegan. i am loving the detox ¬†cleansing grains. use code ‘lindsey20’ for 20% off your purchase.¬†
  2. personalized jewelry: i have been a fan of personalized jewelry since the boys were both teeny tiny babes. my first piece¬†was a tiny gold ring that spelled out ‘hayden’. i have since lost it, but it was always my absolute favorite. this year i have grown my collection by adding several meaningful pieces. check out bstampedbritt + james michelle¬†+ the shine project.
  3. wildbird sling: ¬†this was my saving grace¬†this past year. wherever i went, our wildbird sling went as well. i am bit embarrassed to share with your our “stash”, but let’s just say we now are the proud of owners of four. i know, this is not simplifying, buttttt…. one for home, car, diaper bag [insert tongue sticking out face here], you get it. they are just all so beautiful! the¬†slings are offered in¬†single ¬†or¬†double layer and are available ¬†in linen, chambray, and bamboo.
  4. gigi pip hats: 2016 brought on the year of raising to wild boys, and the year of less hair washes. i have always had a love for hats, but this year, that love grew emensly. i love supporting mama shops, and this one is run by the sweetest. from beanies, to any style fedora, to baseball caps, gigi pip has you covered. literally. use code ‘badenhop’ for 20% off your purchase.¬†
  5. my diaper bags: oh the diaper bag. it is with us everywhere we go, so why not have a functional, yet cute bag. this year i carried a brand i first found when finley was born, along with coming across a new brand. both have been by my side throughout the past year. they are, fawn design; a versatile backpack, that can also be turned into a cross body and the gail satchel by newlie; a bag that by the looks of it you would never guess to be a diaper bag. both beautiful. both fully functional.




  1. chemex: i received this little guy for my birthday last year and i am currently wondering how i ever lived without him. i am sure he has been filling your feeds lately, but honestly, he’s more than just ‘for looks’. the flavor that is produced by using this pour-over¬†coffee maker is out of this world. so good.
  2. olly vitamins: the boys are completely obsessed with taking vitamins, and who would i be to not think that is a good thing? we recently came across olly several months ago and it’s been love ever since. olly vitamins are available in children’s, women’s, and men’s.
  3. letterfolk board: a huge staple in our home this past year. it has been so fun changing them up and creating new sayings.
  4. stendig¬†calendar: a huge calendar, that also works as decor. it is perfect. now to order one for 2017, because, mama needs to hide those giant holes from last year. and it just makes me so happy! [not seen here, because well, it’s long gone now. see a photo of it in our home¬†here]
  5. diffusing + essential oils: diffusing is so important in our home. i think we now have a diffuser in every room, and now it all rides on if i remember to fill them in the morning/night. i’ve come across many diffusers throughout the past few years, but these are some of my favorites: the stadler by jasmine, doterra cloud [which i think is gone. insert sad face], and¬†this¬†wood¬†one i found on amazon. you can shop our doterra oils here.




  1. mama bird tee:¬†i just needed to add this here, because i honestly think i wore it weekly. and maybe sometimes multiple times a week. i also really love¬†the bee & the fox’s¬†‘love your mother‘ and ‘mama tried‘ tees as well.
  2. knit overalls: we have only had these for the last month of the year, but man, they are love. actually, anything fin&vince is love.
  3. bonnets: i might cry the day finley can no longer wear a bonnet, but until then we are going bonnet crazy in here. a few of our favorites are from little pine outfitters, rylee & cru, and briar.
  4. rompers: i think one of my favorite style of clothing that the boys wear, is rompers. i love how easy they are to get on and off. but also, they are just always the sweetest pieces. check out these favorite small shops of ours for some romper love; fin & vince, little cotton wood, kid + kind, and rylee & cru. of course zara always has some great rompers as well, like this one.
  5. clogs: i remember wearing clogs back when i was a kid, but this year i decided to give them a try again. i mean seriously, thee comfiest/stylish shoe to chase your kids around in. i fell i love with these ones by lotta from stockholm.

what it’s all about

i shared this on my instagram this past week, but i only find it fitting to share it here as well. i really am feeling so thankful and lucky to have “met” so many incredible woman who i now i would never have met before.

this past saturday, we spend the day with friends. we squeezed each other hard as we said hello, and again when we had to say goodbye. we spent the day wandering a tree farm, and just sat back as we watched all four of the boys play together. speaking of that, have you ever had four boys together? of course you have. but man, it is w i l d. i think they spent the majority of the time chasing each other and fighting with sticks. they weren’t shy with each other. and it was like they’ve been playing together their entire lives. counting down the days and well, crossing my fingers that they will be so closer soon.


“i can’t really remember when sara first came into my life, but then again i can’t really remember her not being a part of it either. although on the other side of the country and only communicating online and through texts, we’ve been lucky to see our sweet friends twice within the past three months. this place is really quite special, if you try hard to not let it all get to your head. if yo put behind the comparing game, the stress of it all. the need to post pretty pictures. this is what it’s all about. finding your people, being inspired + empowered, walking through this journey of motherhood together, and sharing love. sharing so much love.”

a massage mat for mama

let’s be real here. my self care is shot. lately, i feel like i am dragging and honestly, i can barely get out of bed in the morning. physically i mean, but maybe partially mentally too [soooo tireddd]. i have those mama back pains and my stress level is sky rocketing. like its bye bye, up there, gone. so, i about squealed [okay i did squeal] so loud when i came across pranamat eco.

pranamat is a therapeutic manual massage mat that helps to relieve minor muscle aches and pains + tension. it also helps to promote feelings of well being and relaxation, along with improving sleep. pranamat is made from high quality, eco-friendly, hypoallergenic materials; including coconut, linen, and cotton. and that makes my heart happy. like, so, so happy.

the mat itself is super easy to use and a session takes as little as 15 minutes. although, i enjoy it so much, i tend to do longer sessions. like i just lay there. forever. ¬†it’s been doing wonders on my lower back pain and i instantly feel the stress melt away from my shoulders. as for the way it feels, well… it hurts so good! honestly you get used to it so fast. i think you all need this in your life. and christmas is coming up, so get this baby on your list!

inspire. engage. empower.

empathy. such a very important feeling to have. one of my most important goals is to raise happy, healthy, kind boys. as hayden is getting older, and since becoming a big brother, we have found ourselves centering our world around this one simple word more and more. it is so important for him to understand how others feel, how his brother feels. and essentially how he feels when something happens.

sometimes the easiest thing to help share with our children seems so hard after a while. especially when you feel like you are failing at it. you feel yourself saying and doing the same thing over and over and over again.and you just feel tired and drained. needless to say, i was so happy when we received these fun activity kits¬†by happy heart kid. happy heart kid’s mission is to help parents teach kids values through¬†play. just genius!¬†each activity kit is filled with games and crafts that focus on emotional learning. and for us, it really was the light we needed.

“oh my gosh!” the very words that came from hayden’s mouth as soon as he opened the box. “oh wow!” as he thumbed through the different activities. guys, he was totally excited, too! ¬†we sat at the table together and instantly opened one of his first projects. we started with his ’empathy’ magnet,¬†which¬†was perfect because i was able to explain to him what ’empathy’ is. i called out each letter and he would repeat me, “e. e.e.” as he would sift through the letters. ¬†it made me smile that he was learning so many things in this one, simple craft. and guys, we had so much fun.

i just really think every parent [and child!] could benefit from these activities. i strongly, strongly recommend heading over to¬†happy heart kid and checking out their creative and fun kits. you’ll be so happy you did!

good news; he didn’t smile like that in his school picture!

hayden’s first day of preschool

it happened. hayden started preschool today. and one of us might have cried. here’s a hint, it wasn’t him. cue all the sad sappy mama stuff.

but really, i couldn’t be more proud of my boy. he usually is such a mama’s man and has a hard time letting go. well not today. he grabbed his ‘packpack’ and my hand and we walked together down the hallway. he gave a big “HI!” to his teacher and ran straight for the play dough. i gave him probably too many kisses and said bye a thousand different times. every time he shocked me and said ” bye mom!”

let’s get tubby

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
as a family, bath time around here is one of our favorite times of day. the boys get to splash  their little hearts out +  slowly wind down for the day. and cory and i get to share some time with them together. there we all sit, in the bathroom, as a family of four. when we got the chance to try out tubby todd, i jumped for it. i was so excited to give these a try,  knowing there was something for everyone in our family. tubby todd products are 100 percent natural, making them simple and safe. plus, the smell is everything.

i’ve been lucky enough to team up with them to give one of my followers a $30 shop credit! this giveaway is only running for 48 hours, so head on over to my instagram for all the lovely details. best of luck! xo

a letter to hayden

to my sweet baby boy,

you love, made me a mommy. and for that i am forever blessed. as i lay here next to you tonight, i’m staring at you a bit longer. just looking at every tiny feature, and taking it all in. you’ve grown, lots, since the day you were born. and even though some days i think you are such a big boy, you are still so, so little. your fingers are still chubby and dimples still rest near your knuckles. your little button nose sits perfectly in the middle of your face and your hand still gets lost in mine. you’re now curled up next to me, rubbing my arm, back and forth, as you slowly drift to sleep. you like to always have some part of your body touching mine. your daddy jokes that he either has a finger in the eye, an elbow in his mouth, or a foot up the butt.

you are funnier than heck lately and make me laugh hourly. you dance like a chicken and tilt¬†your head sideways, nodding up and down, to the beat of the music. you say “oh my gosh” when you get excited and it absolutely ¬†KILLS ME. play dough is currently a top five right now, along with trains, the toy story gang, farm things, and horses. your speech is becoming better daily, you recognize letters, and you can count to ten. you might beat up on your brother a tad bit much, and throw a tantrum here or there, but you really are kind hearted.

hayden, you have grown so much this past year, and although the twos could be¬†terrible, it was more terribly good. i’m lucky to have been able to spend every day with you this past year. our family is beyond blessed to have you in our lives. you make every day better. tonight we prayed to God a little longer and thanked him for these past three years. you’re a beautiful gift and i love you so. happy number three little dude.

to the moon and back,


picnic partying

on sunday, we threw together a tiny little party with our family to celebrate our soon to be three year old. we picnicked for lunch at the river, munching on things like bbq chicken, macaroni + broccoli salads, veggies, chips, and lots of cake. we took boat rides and splashed in the water. naps were skipped, but the fun wasn’t. hayden talked about how his friends came and ‘ate his cake’ the entire night, and well the next day too. i think it’s safe to say he definitely enjoyed his day.

a beach daycation

on friday, hayden saw me post a picture of the beach. as soon as he saw it he was all, “i want to go to the beach. i want to go to the beach, ya! ya! ya! ya!” over and over and over again. this pretty much went on the majority of the morning. no, the majority of the day! at one point we even had to make a phone call to daddy to tell him all about¬†his¬†grand plans. ¬†and he even came down the stairs with a handful of underwear and socks, saying “i go to the beach!’ bless his heart.

but we live in ohio. and the closest ‘beach’ [you know, the whole ocean +beach combo thing] is hours away [emphasis on the hours part]. so we sat there thinking for a bit, and that’s when the lightbulb went off. what if we took a day trip to lake michigan?! water + beach, problem solved. we woke up a little extra early saturday morning, piled in the car, and started down the road. in three short hours hayden had his beach. and finley would be able to experience the beach for the first time.

we decided to stop at warren dunes state park. the water was blue, there was a nice little river behind the lake where the kids splashed and swam. we built the tallest sand castles, hunted down the softest rocks, climbed the sand dunes, and munched on chips and demo snacks. hayden would ribbit like a frog across the river, and finley, well he just munched on sticks the entire time. and he definitely was not afraid of putting his face in the water. both boys were just so, so happy. once leaving the beach, the boys were snoozing hard as soon as they hit their seats. we stopped at a local cafe for take out, where we got the yummiest pizza i have ever tasted. our car is covered in sand, we might be a little crispy, but this first beach trip as a family of four is one for the books. i’m already daydreaming of our next mini road trip back.

market bag by maewoven; beach mat by gathre; 

on hayden: swim shorts by swim zip, fedora from h&m 

on finley: swim shirt from gap, swim diaper by honest co., sun hat from gap, bonnet by fin & vince; doll by hazel village; blanket by lostboy goods 

on me: swim separates by kortni jeans; mama bird tee by the bee & the fox, denim shorts by madewell, hat from old navy, sandals by saltwater sandals;  sling by wildbird

finley’s wild rumpus

on sunday, we celebrated finley’s first birthday with family and friends. it was just the most perfect, beyond beautiful day celebrating our littlest love. he sure is one lucky fella. the love he received today, and every day, is such a blessing.



when it came time to decide on a theme, i loved the idea of a wild one. get it, he‚Äôs one. and he‚Äôs certainly wild. i mean, he was on the go-go-go the entire day. so i loved the idea of incorporating ‚Äėwhere the wild things are‚Äô into the party. ¬†and so out came,¬†finley‚Äôs¬†wild rumpus.


food was eaten. cakes were smashed [literally + figuratively ]. presents were opened and played with. it also needs to be noted that finley would walk up to his cake, grab ahandful, and walk to the crowd to pick someone out to hand the piece to. such a sharer! we had the best time. and i cannot believe we now have a one year old. happiest birthday to our baby.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset


banner by matriarch handmade; birth poster by the birth poster; letter board by letterfolk

on finley: romper by childhoods clothing, crown by oeuf nye, from fawn shoppe, moccs by little pine outfitters 

on hayden: shirt from zara, shorts by childhoods clothing 

on me: hat from forever21, dress from roolee, shoes by lotta from stockholm, watch by arvo

happy birthday, baby boy

my sweetest finley kai, the moment you came into this world you changed it for the better. your daddy, brother, and i cannot imagine doing life without you by our side. you bring happiness and pure joy into our home. it has been the biggest blessing watching you grow and show us who you really are over the past year. happy first birthday, baby boy. we love you so, so much. more than you’ll ever know.

on your first birthday you were greeted with balloons and french toast when you first woke up, which was well after 9:30am might i add. you definitely know how to get a birthday day started! we fed monkeys cheerios, pet camels [although that kind of scared you], mooed with the cows, and chased after prairie dogs at the zoo. golden hour boat rides for mexican was how we did dinner. more birthday songs were sang and we finished the night with a sweet treat of cake +berries +whipped cream. you had the happiest day. and i had the happiest time celebrating you.

finley’s birth story

one year. three hundred and sixty-six [hello leap year] days. twelve months. that is how much time has passed [come monday] since the day our sweet finley kai was born. june 13, 2015, i remember it like it was yesterday. probably because i swear it was. time is a beautiful beast of a blessing, isn’t it?

the week you were born, i was feeling contractions on and off. daily. hourly. on friday, they were a bit more continuous, not extremely painful, but there. around 5:00pm i decided i should make a trip to the hospital. you see, i was already 4cm dilated and 80% effaced and completely terrified of having you at home. so i grabbed grandma, and we headed to her work, the hospital where i would be delivering you. we slipped into a room and she put me on the monitor. contractions were coming, but not close enough to be in labor. ¬†we sat there for about 45 minutes, just watching the screen and talking, mostly about you. the nurse came in and said she could check me if i wanted, just to give me a little peace of mind. i absolutely was on board with this idea! to our surprise, i was now 5cm and even more effaced and with that, the doctor was called. while the nurse stepped out to call,¬†i remember calling your dad and telling him that it was just a false alarm and that since we were in town, we should all meet up for pizza [biggest pregnancy craving and well, okay it’s always a craving], that we would be leaving the hospital soon. several minutes passed and in came the nurse. we would not be getting that pizza. your doctor decided we needed to stay. you were coming!

i remember going through every emotion. i think the hardest part of pregnancy is the uncertainty of when baby is coming. how baby will come. how far along baby will¬†be. i was overjoyed that i would be meeting you sometime soon. that in a short while¬†i would know if you were a tiny baby boy or a sweet little girl. ¬†would you look like daddy? what color hair would you have? and then the nerves set in too. holy crap i have to birth another baby! phone calls were made, and soon everyone started arriving to the hospital. and you better believe that room was filled with essential oils. balance + serenity in the diffuser. clary calm on pressure point and tummy to get things going. deep blue all over my back, you know, every 5 minutes. i’m pretty positive you could probably smell my room from the hospital entrance.

around 8pm the doctor came in to break my water. i stayed 5cms for quite some time. probably because i laid in that bed, just waiting for something to happen. ha. throughout my pregnancy i  decided that i really want to try delivering with no medicine. some thought i was completely crazy [cue grandma + daddy] when i told them this, others were completely supportive. i guess i never thought i would end up making it through the delivery without getting an epidural at some point, so i never mentally prepared myself. luckily, i had my mom, who is an ob nurse, a friend, and my photographer in the room. all three had natural births. i leaned on them so much during your birth.


by 10pm i had progressed to about 7cms. until then, labor wasn’t too bad. ¬†there we’re lots of giggles + walks + massages. honestly, i was quite surprised at how well my body was handling it. having an epidural with hayden at 5cms, i really did not know what to expect, other than that i would most likely need to get¬†the epidural. well then came the peanut pillow. um hello, game changer. after that i started progressing extremely fast. the room could not be cold enough¬†and i was completely starting to rethink my ‘birthing plan’. i couldn’t get comfortable to save my life and i just remember moving constantly. honestly, the rest is kind of a painful blur. i remember looking over to my mom and telling her i couldn’t wait any longer and needed to push this baby out. i was just getting ready to start¬†when in walked our doctor. everyone said it was just like the movies, you know, where the doors go swinging open and the doctor slips on their scrubs and rushes over. ¬†three sets of pushes and six minutes later i heard the sweetest cry accompanied by, “it’s a baby boy!”

our precious baby boy, he was here. 12:58am. all eight pounds, 20.25 inches of him. twelve days early. in that moment i completely ‘forgot’ that i was just finding out what you were. i think my mama heart knew all along that you were our little boy. i was the least bit shocked. the next moments were spent with happy tears, kisses, and i love yous. staring at you in awe and just soaking you all in. the world was ready to meet you, to meet finley kai.

birth photography by the lovely emily tesnow 

a day trip to the children’s zoo

we’ve been waiting since last summer to make a trip back to the children’s zoo. so on monday, we did just that, grandma included. we enjoyed a sky safari over the african journey, feeding the giraffes, taking pony rides, and roaming around the indiana family farm. okay, really we enjoyed every bit of it and we’re already planning our trip back with daddy.

on hayden: romper by fin & vince, hat by slyfox threads 

on finley: tee by the bee & the fox co., bloomers by billie blooms, brimmed bonnet by briar, shoes from saltwater sandals // paci clip by nomilu

on me: tank by the bee & the fox co., jeans from h&m

a new planting season

“before the reward there must be labor. you plant before you harvest. you sow in tears before you reap joy.” – ralph ransom

spring has officially been underway¬†here in ohio, and with spring brings a new planting season. ¬†after what seemed like weeks and weeks of buckets of rain, the fields are finally dry enough and planting is in full force. ¬†tractors fill the country roads as they head from field to field. planters are filled with soybeans + corn. ¬†and it’s that time of year where we muster up goodbyes to daddy, and where i jokingly become single mama of two [but all joking aside, to the ones where this is the norm, and every day occurrence, i have the utmost respect for you. it is by no means easy. but you’re doing it. and you are amazing].¬† the days are long, but i’m sure they’re longer for my husband. he works so, so hard for us. i hope he knows how thankful and proud we are of him.

over the span of the last few days, the boys and i were lucky enough to visit daddy in the field several different times. it’s important for them to see what their daddy does. to appreciate what he does. but mostly, to just sit there and spend a few minutes of their day with him. and i know he needs that just as badly. of course we definitely made sure he didn’t go hungry while visiting, bringing him things like pasta, and sandwiches, and chocolate malts.

as we drove the countryside, hayden would point out every tractor asking, “this baba?” ¬†he was so excited! excited to take a ride, excited to collect¬†some ¬†father-son time with cory. he¬†beamed with joy as he took turns riding along. and finley, well he got to experience it all for the very first time. his eyes so big. his heart so full. i’m certain he will follow in his daddy’s footsteps, as¬†he was so eager to hold on to that¬†steering wheel and ‘drive’.

before we left tonight, hayden yelled back at cory with so much excitement and love in his voice, ” bye baba!” av a good day!” and that was the first time those words were spoken from that little¬†mouth. i had the biggest smile on my face.

to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven … a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. ¬†-ecclesiastes 3:1-2 kjv

the bag

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset


the diaper bag. the black hole. the place where you go to grab something, and dig for like ever, pulling out every tiny thing, smushed puffs included. only to never really end up finding what you were looking for in the first place. ¬†it’s the place where crumbled up receipts and lost hair ties go to die and where that cute paci clip has been hiding for the past month.

when we first had hayden, we had a ‘legit’ diaper bag. you know, the one with a million different compartments. ¬†and we filled that thing to the max. mostly with everything we thought we needed. ¬†it didn’t take us long to figure out that those ‘thoughts’ were just that. did i really need to be carrying a tube of vaseline, the snot sucker, an extra bottle for my breastfed baby, and nail clippers? absolutely not! as he grew, the two of us shared a bag and i got to ditch the extra load (and the commercialized diaper bag). now, carrying for both kids + myself, it is so important for us to simplify. the things we ‘think’ we might need, are now tucked away in a small basket we keep in the car.

here’s what our every day carrying looks like.

  • our¬†diaper bag¬†i recently was gifted this nena&co daybag II (similar here)¬†from¬†my sweet husband + boys for my birthday. and i am slightly obsessed. the patterns, the colors. the vintage fabric. the leather. it’s all so lovely¬†and it has been the perfect size for the three of us.
  • swaddle blanket nursing cover. rain protector. nap cuddler. you name¬†it, we will be using it for something.¬†we love our lost boy goods blankets.¬†made of bamboo muslin, they are hand dyed by the sweetest mama and are as soft as butter.
  • snacks¬†i mean, when in doubt, hand the kids some food. #amiright we can never have enough snacks on hand and it’s the one thing i have to make sure we have¬†packed and ready to go. total lifesaver. we have been¬†huge fans of the happy family brand, and are super excited about these new ‘clearly crafted’ pouches. our snack container is the sumo snack stacker. it has two more stacks that can be attached and is perfect for extra long days.
  • binkies+toys¬†¬†i always make sure we have one paci with a clip and one toy for each boy in the bag. anymore and it shifts back to the whole black hole mess. finley currently loves chomping on this teether. i love it because it’s free from all chemicals+toxins.
  • essential oils¬†it’s essential (haha girl’s got jokes!) for us to carry hand sanitizer + a few essential oils that we use most. you can find more on essential oils here.
  • a bonnet¬†mainly because it’s cute, but also to keep those little ears warm on chilly spring days. and here in ohio, those have been happening more than not. our ¬†favorite bonnet is this one from briar handmade. it’s soft and the perfect neutral.
  • lotion¬†dry hands + chapped skin. it’s a must. we’re currently using the ‘charity pot’ from lush.
  • our sling¬†i just used a sling¬†for the first time a few months ago and i am never looking back. seriously, i cannot say enough good things about our wildbird. it’s so easy to use and the fabric is super breathable. added bonus? the hip carry! can i get one in every color?! (okay that defeats the simplifying process, but still)
  • diapers+wipes+booty cream because hello, DIAPER bag! we’re¬†proud¬†supporters of the honest company for three years now. you can read more on¬†who they are and what they have to offer here.

and that’s basically it! of course it’s always changing and we are always simplifying. but for now, these are the items¬†we cannot get through the day without. our go-tos. our must haves. what are your favorite things to carry?

growing up finley – 10 months

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

ten months. ten incredibly fast months with our sweet finley. they say it goes by fast, but i swear the second one grows even quicker.

kid, you are obsessed with eating. food is your jam, and you’re on the ‘see food’ diet. twenty whole pounds, but those yummy rolls are slowly disappearing. i must figure out a way to fatten you back up! ‘dada’ is your go to word. it’s what is mostly coming out of your mouth lately. along with the drool. boy! you got four feeth all at the same time this month! you decided to take your first steps this month, too. well, three to be exact. i’m so proud of you, and so happy, but my mama heart aches a tad that her baby is growing into a little boy.

when i’m holding you, you lean all the way in, face right in front of mine. as close as it can get. and smile so big as you nod your head and begin to chuckle. you give the best open mouthed, sloppy kisses, and even say ‘mwah’ after you smack one on me.

as soon as daddy gets home you crawl super speed over to him and reach for him to pick you up. once you’re nice and high and in arms reach, that hat is yours. you take it off his head over and over and over and …. laughing non stop.

little boy you are sweet, loving, demanding, and absolutely hilarious. you make this mama very, very happy. we are so blessed to have you.

on finley:

the bee and the fox ‘baby bird’ t-shirt¬†/ briar handmade ‘natural stripe’ bonnet¬†/ lost boy goods ‘hadley’ swaddle blanket

monday adventures

hello spring, i finally see you. it was a gorgeous sunshine day, with temps reaching all the way to 85. yes, i said 85! my sister is in town, so we decided it was a perfect day to pack up the boys and head to the zoo for our first trip of the year.

i’ll never forget the squeals as finley put his little hands on the glass to see the polar bears. i think i spent the majority of the day, just staring at him in awe. i can’t explain the feeling i had watching him take in everything for the first time at this stage in his life. he just makes my mama heart sing.

the day was spent gazing at monkeys, flamingos, and rhinos. sitting under a tree scarfing down hot dogs + french fries. and chasing each other in the forest. the boys fell asleep as soon as their bottoms hit their carseats and i got to hit target alone while all three napped in the car [and seriously, i scored the best deals! cartwheel app anyone?!]. once we were home, we sat outside picking bouquets of dandelions and drawing blue horses with chalk. a perfect monday if you ask me.

on hayden:

slyfox threads hat /¬†zara tee /¬†fin&vince ‘blah’ shorts¬†/freshly picked ‘just a slice’ next step shoe¬†

on finley:

baby gap fedora / ¬†zara tee¬†/ billie blooms ‘dylan’ bloomers / freshly picked ‘red rock’¬†moccs¬†

we’re lunching on our gathre mat

a little winter road trip

and by little, i mean long, very long. eleven states + four more repeats. eleven days. five thousand miles. six hotels. and seventy plus hours together in the car to be exact.

back in february, the four of us + my mom set out to arizona to stay with my grandma and visit family. of course along the way we had to take a slight detour to stop in waco [um hello, team chip and jo forever]. it was the best decision ever. i think my favorite part of the drive on the road trip was driving the back roads of texas. so peaceful. so beautiful.

enter tuscon. the cacti. swoon. the sunshine, refreshing. we spent the days wandering around the desert, snacking on whata burger + jack in the box, sipping on eegee’s, and visiting family. if you could believe me, it’s been twenty years since i’ve seen the majority of my family. they’re loud, hilarious, and so loving, and we just had the best time being with them. we rounded out arizona with a trip to the grand canyon. absolutely breath taking.

Read More