Settling Into Seven

Our little Penelope has been with us for 2 1/2 months already. It feels like she was just born yesterday and that she's always been here simultaneously. Isn't that the funny thing about adding new babies to the family? I worried for months how this new one would settle in and now that she's here it's hard to imagine our family without her. 

Not to sound braggy (because that's not my intention at all) but Penelope is a dream. She is a wonderful little nursling, has been sleeping all night for weeks and has the most pleasant disposition. I'm especially thankful for all of this because I've been working through the baby blues the last few weeks. I've never been as affected by the hormone/life changes after having a baby quite like this. Don't worry, I'm being careful to take care of myself. It's easy to feel isolated after having a baby (especially in the winter months) so for me, getting outside everyday has made a world of difference. I've also focused on doing at least one thing a day for the sake of pure enjoyment. Some days it's reading or baking. Other days I'll fiddle on the computer or take a nap. It also helps having a husband like mine. I'm not sure what I would do without the love, encouragement and support of Ryan. He's the very best. 

Have you ever gone through the baby blues? Or maybe you've had postpartum depression? If so, do you have any tips to share? I feel like I'm coming out of the fog but your words and suggestions could help another mother who may need it. 

Images of me and Penelope by Susan Gray Photography

Orange You A Cutie Valentines.

Valentine's day is right around the corner and since citrus season is still going strong I thought it would be fun to turn everyone's favorite easy to peel snack into a valentine. My kids LOVE cuties so I knew they would be on board for this idea too. 

The supplies for this project are so easy to find! Just gather cutie oranges, small clear plastic treat bags, green card stock, twine, a small hole punch and scissors. After you download the tag printable simply print the tags onto your green card stock and cut. Have your child add their name and then tie the tags onto the bags with your cutie already tucked inside. I trimmed the tops of my clear bags a bit so there wasn't a bunch of plastic left over at the top. I think it gives them a nicer look.

You can download the Orange You A Cutie Valentine tag printable here.

Download Tips: All of my free downloads are for personal use only. They are Adobe PDF's. If for some reason you have trouble downloading the file, it may be helpful to update your Adobe software. You can do that right here.

You can find more of my original Valentines ideas here:

Introducing Penelope Jane

It's already been three weeks since Penelope arrived. She was born in the early morning hours on January 12th after an easy labor and delivery weighing in at 7 pounds and 11 ounces. Life since then has been a blur but a happy blur at that. I am so very thankful she arrived healthy and know how lucky I am to mother her and her brothers and sisters.

My dear friend Kristin snapped these pictures before the sun set on her birth day. It's amazing how much she has already changed! I will treasure these images forever and ever.

He Is The Gift.

Here we are the second week into December. It's so hard to believe! I love this beautiful season and have been enjoying the traditions our family has established together over the years. Before I get into some holiday posts I've lined up I wanted to share with you this lovely video. If you're feeling a little down, lonely or questioning the hustle and bustle this time of year can bring, I promise it will uplift you. If you're feeling like you want to connect a little more to our Savior, it will do that too. How thankful I am for the greatest gift that was given to us all!

p.s. If you look closely, you can see a snippet from my How To Wrap A Gift video tutorial at around second :20. It was a fun day when I received that email!

Simple Halloween Decor

Out of all of the major holidays celebrated in the United States Halloween is at the bottom of my list. I love fall and pumpkins. I love cooler weather and hot cider but I cannot wrap my head around dressing up with the express purpose to scare the ever living out of people, especially children. We try to keep things pretty tame in our home. No scary costumes or decor for us. In fact, it's been years since I've actually decorated for Halloween.

I don't want to sound like I don't like having a good time, beacuse I do! I love how excited my children get choosing their costumes. I love watching them gleefully skip and run from house to house hoping to snag a favorite candy bar. I just don't like being creeped out. In an effort to celebrate this holiday that my children enjoy I picked up these darling little mice and bat silhouettes from the craft store for 70% off. Yesterday, while Henry napped Oliver and I set to work getting this house of ours a little more festive.

Oliver loved choosing just the right locations for the mice and bats and I loved seeing Henry's reaction when he finally woke up. Would you believe that he is completely freaked out? Every time he walks past the planked wall or passes a little mouse on the stairs he says "scawrrry!" It's hilarious and a little sad too. Thankfully, after many reassurances from Ryan and I he's beginning to warm up to our temporary house guests.