15 Summertime Faves

 

As Spring comes to a close and warmer temps remind us that summer is just around the corner, I find myself daydreaming of the little things that mean summertime to me:

  1. Mason jars filled with lemon water or lemonade
  2. Aviator Sunglasses
  3. Tan lines
  4. Sandy feet
  5. Striped beach towels
  6. Smell of sunscreen
  7. BBQs and fresh, cold fruit salads
  8. Homemade healthy popsicles
  9. Lake life
  10. Picnics in the shade
  11. Family walks around the neighborhood and hikes in the woods
  12. Sangria on the back patio
  13. County Fairs
  14. Fruit picking days and Farmer’s markets, and our garden!
  15. Fireflies and golden hour

 

And here are some pics of moments just like that from last summer. Cant wait to see what’s captured this year ❤

Cinnamon applesauce cake in a mug

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  • 4 Tablespoons  flour
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons applesauce
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • cherry pie filling
  • whipped cream

Large Mug (it will overflow and mess up your microwave if you a normal sized mugs)

1. Mix all dry ingredients in the large mug.

2. Add milk, applesauce , butter,  and mix until just combined, making sure you get the floury bits at the bottom but not over mixing.

3. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

4. Split cake in 1/2 and fill with a spoonful of pie filling.

5. Top with a spoonful of whipped cream.

Honest Motherhood: My Feeding Story

I have gone back and forth on whether I should share my feeding story on here for some time now. I tend to not get too heavy in my posts as I want this to be an overall happy space, a space to look back on and see the good. At the same time, I always love when the blogs I follow share something meaningful, a struggle they overcame or a tough life moment and how they surpassed it, so why wouldn’t I want to do the same here? While I am all for living la vie en rose, I think it is also just as important to show the raw, honest moments.  Inspired by The Honest Company’s no judgment feeding stories, I’ve decided to share mine because after all, those are the posts others will relate to most, the ones that will speak to them most, and I hope comfort them most.

In my experience, feeding stories always seem to be about how someone overcame their breastfeeding struggles. Time and time again I’ll read about a mom or baby who struggled with a latch or lack of supply and how they miraculously overcame that little road bump and now mama and child are happy as can be, nursing for months. These are wonderful stories don’t get me wrong. I am all for encouraging and supporting breastfeeding! Unfortunately though, that was not the case for me.

When I got pregnant with my first, I was constantly asked if I planned to breastfeed. This seemed like such an odd question to me at the time because I thought it was the obvious choice (here was my first mistake- thinking it would always be a choice). I had read tons of baby books and gone on all sorts of sites where all signs pointed to “breast is best”. It never occurred to me that this could be a struggle.

When my first was born I started breast feeding. In the hospital everything seemed to be going well. The nurses said she was latching well, she was eating often and it seemed like we were off to a good start. After we got home however, she started to drop in weight. I was feeding her every 2 hours and trying to pump after that to see if I could get my supply up. With each feeding taking around 40 mins and then having to pump right after I felt like all I was doing was feeding! But I was determined to “work through it”. I visited a lactation consultant multiple times, tried making the lactation cookies on pinterest, used a shield, but no matter what I did I just could not seem to feed her enough for her to gain weight. I remember feeling like a bad mom. Like I wasn’t as good as the other moms that were able to supply food for their baby naturally. Feeding can really take a toll on a new mom, emotionally and physically. You already feel like your body is not your own, and not at all like the person you knew before having children,  and now after putting your all into this new role,  you feel like you’re not enough. Not good enough. Cue the first pangs of “mom guilt” .

There finally came a day when we came back in to check her weight (we had to keep coming in and weighing her to see if she was gaining), and our Dr. suggested we start to supplement. She assured me that my baby would be just as healthy and strong and had already gotten all those precious nutrients from the colostrum and breast milk I had been giving her for the first 3 months. She made me rest a little easier with that, and mentioning that happy mamas make happy babies, and the best thing I could do as her mama was make sure she was getting the nutrients she needs no matter what form they come in. I think that was the most important part. Her reminding me it wasn’t so much about me and my struggle with supply, as it was about her and her growing to be healthy.

When we had our son I had a similar experience. He fed better than her, where I could actually feel the letdown I had heard so much about, but still at around 3 months I needed to start supplementing with him as well. I took it just as hard, that feeling is never a good one, but I snapped out of it more quickly the second time around, this time with the knowledge that things turned out just fine with Mia. Now I have an almost 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old and they are happy, healthy and growing like weeds! Sure there was/is still some of that lingering mom guilt. With the way society makes you feel about feeding these days there may always be a bit of that; but I hope in sharing my story I can help other mamas that had the same struggle feel a little comfort. Let them know they are not alone and they are just as amazing mothers as the ones that were able to breastfeed for a whole year or longer. When all is said and done, all that matters is your child is healthy and loved and that they know you would give them the moon and stars if you could. So if you’re a mama that struggles with breastfeeding,  that had to supplement or for whatever reason breastfeeding was not right for you and your child, I hope you know you are wonderful, you are powerful, you are strong and I am amazed by you. ❤

 

Mother’s Day 2017

Mother’s Day 2017 was the best one yet! Although I feel like each one is the best one, maybe because I just appreciate it more and more each year? This year was extra special because I got to celebrate WITH my mama! It is hard living 6 hours away so I was extra happy to be able to celebrate with her this year. We had a wedding the night before about an hour away, so Mike and I got a hotel room for the night, and can I say how glorious it was to wake up on my own accord? Even it it was 7:30 am lol, I just cant seem to sleep in anymore! But it was so nice to wake up slowly, take our time getting ready and not be rushing around getting kiddos changed and fed and off to an activity for a change 🙂

 

We had everyone over to our house for a Mother’s Day BBQ that afternoon and the weather couldnt have been better! As soon as we got home I got the best squeeze hugs from my chickadees and Mia demanded I open the present she made me at school that she has been talking about for weeks. Weeks! That girl kept that secret so good! I was so proud! Especially since her father and I are notorious for not being able to wait till the appropriate day to give a present! And oh boy did I cry all the tears when I opened it! It was a tile with a pic of her on it blowing kisses and she said to me ” see it’s me blowing kisses at you!” and I. just.lost.it. As you can sorta see in this first pic. “Happy tears!” I kept telling her! Gosh that girl, she makes me feel so happy. Frustrated, sure, challenged, always, but also very very happy! Joaquim planted a sunflower with his class and I cant wait to see if it takes and blooms!

The rest of the day I really let go of “mom duty” (which is so so hard for me to do!) and sat back and relaxed allll day! Shout out to my amazing husband who organized and cooked for the whole crew! Another shout out to my amazing sisters-in law and Grandpa and Vovo for watching the kiddos and helping out where needed so Mike’s mom, my mom and I didnt have to!

I sat in the sun, ate great food, spent time with family and watched my littles run around laughing. I got spoiled with some beautiful pink tulips from my sister in law Liz and a gorgeous hanging basket of fuchsia petunias from my sister in law Jenny. Mike’s mom gave me a beautiful picture frame with a pic of Mia I took last summer one night, just her, looking up at the moon, I love it! I got my mom and Mike’s mom some potted lavender for each of them to plant in their yard, and I kinda wish I had got one for our yard too! lol It was seriously the best day and I am so thankful for it! How was your Mother’s day?

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Notice she drew top knots on us on the bag! That girl knows her mama 🙂
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Love my mama!
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My best work
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My affectionate boy
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Greeted me when I got home!
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Ribs! My request 🙂
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Mike’s mama and her kiddos
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The Zahner crew
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Yummm

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Best ribs
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This girl loves her Cove wear

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Celebrating Aunt Lizzy’s Bday!

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Mother’s day golden hour light
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The mamas and the littles
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Love how Joa is looking at Mike
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Cretella crew!

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You cant sit with us

 

 

Spring Bucket List

 

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Happy May Day! For some reason it doesnt really start to feel like Spring until May for me, although today is super rainy so it’s not quite feeling that way here yet.

Anways, I thought I’d share some of the Spring bucket list ideas that I came across in my Heart of the Farm Planner! I always love to have a bucket list for the season so I don’t forget to plan some seasonal fun with the kiddos before it comes it goes. Time flies! Here are some I found in my planner and some we like to do this time of year:

Spring Bucket List

1. Play in the rain- I just ordered the kids some rain boots and Mia a rain coat ( so behind on this!) no more snow boots in the mud lol

2. Zoo- we love seeing all the animals and we might even have Mia’s birthday party there this year.

3. Fly a kite- there is a great stand by the lakefront I want to take the kids to, just need a good warm windy day 🙂

4. Frisbee – at the beach, in your backyard, the park, wherever really

5. Learn a new craft- not sure what this will be yet….

6. Visit a museum – always a good bucket list choice!

7. Paint something this is always something Mia enjoys doing during Joaquim’s nap time on the weekends. If the weather is nice, we take her easel out on the back patio, play some music and paint under the sunshine!

8. Mini Golf- always a good time and this year I think Joaquim could participate…sort of..;)

9. Bonfire- cue the s’mores!

10. Sidewalk Chalk -Mia just got this cool Crayola sidewalk chalk that is shaped like the crayon! Way easier to hold!

11. Ride Bikes  -The kids have been out in the bike trailer with Mike but I want to get into this more, eventually getting Mia a new bike ( maybe a balance bike?) , Joa a trike, and get into the habit of family bike rides.

12. Watch Sunrise  – you know I love a good sunrise!

13. Barbecue– we’ve already grilled out a few times and I just looove it! Food just tastes better when cooked on a grill!

14. Plant Garden – I partially crossed this off as seeds have been planted indoors and are starting to sprout but there is still lots to do in this dept!

 

Sunday Thoughts

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This morning Mia and I went to church with my friend Sarah. Mia had been asking me for some time to go and I was holding off trying to decide which church was the “right church” for us.

After Easter I asked Sarah if we could tag along with her one Sunday and this happened to be the Sunday we went. Mia insisted on staying close to me and didn’t even want to step foot in the children’s area lol, but wouldn’t you know it the sermon was all parent and child, and boy did it hit home! It was just what I needed to hear at this moment, as a parent. It spoke to areas I had been struggling with and gave me a whole new outlook. I left feeling supported, lifted up, inspired. It’s like God created that sermon, that service just for Mia and me. Like” oh I see you’ll be attending on this day so here’s what you need to hear this very minute!” Isn’t it amazing how things can happen like that?

Mia did really well all things considered and stayed quiet with an occasional pout, but decided next time she’ll try the kids area 😉 I definitely want to go back and give this church another try, but how wonderfully amazing to go for the first time in a long time (and first time ever for Mia!) and have words speak so directly to you?!

One thing I want to take home from that service is to focus on your garden and not the weeds. If you tend to your garden and work on helping it grow there won’t be room for weeds. So I want to focus on the the good, doing good, being good, encouraging good, and know that by doing so, there won’t be as much room for the bad:)

Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

Brunch always seems to be a popular choice for Mother’s day but it can be tricky thinking of new recipes to bring to the table. Here are a few to try next weekend if you are hosting and toasting any Mamas for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

 

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Fruit Salsa. A sweet refreshing side that people will keep coming back for! Homemade cinnamon and sugar tortilla chips are always a hit!

Overnight Cinnamon Pecan French Toast Casserole:

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Overnight French Toast. I don’t have a picture of this one from when I made it but I brought it to Door County for a girls trip and everyone really liked it! The pecans add a nice crunch 🙂

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Veggie Egg Bake. Packed with colorful veggies this dish will give your Mother’s Day spread a healthy pop of color!

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Chocolate Cobbler. Oooey Gooey and delish! Who knew you could make a chocolate cobbler? I didnt until I made this one 🙂

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Easy Banana Pudding. One of my fave desserts and so easy to make!

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Always a hit and so so easy!