everything’s better with brownies.

Our little guy had a bit of a rough morning. He had his two-year shots, which was not fun. (For him, the three nurses holding him down, or his emotional mommy.)

Thankfully, it was over fast and we were on our way home with promises of lots of chocolate.

Lately, he’s been into watching a cake-baking video clip from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. (Yes, that Daniel Tiger from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. He’s baaaack! Though, this time he’s animated and much cuter than the puppet of yesteryear.)

So, we baked some totally not homemade still delicious brownies together.

Normally box brownies take about two minutes for me to prep. This took at least 20, and was much messier. (It definitely made me thankful I didn’t take the time following a recipe with him.)

It was fun.

We used the KitchenAid (speaking of KitchenAid, have you heard about this social media fiasco?) mixer to finish it up, but it was fun to see his wheels turning and he got a kick out of mixing the eggs into the mix.

He couldn’t taste the batter (Raw eggs. Jeez. I’m such a mom now.), but he was allowed to sneak a few butterscotch chips. Pure joy, my friends. Pure joy.



As I turned my back and stepped one foot away to the mixer, Joseph decided to take baking into his own hands and dumped the remaining butterscotch chips into the (already greased) pan. So that was fun!

It might have been messy, but it was totally worth it. Joseph and I (and let’s not forget Thomas the Train) had a pretty sweet time together. (See what I did there?)

I think he’s forgotten the pain of the shots.

And I’m totally excited to dig into those ultra-thick brownies.

overcoming mommy guilt: a little moment with a lot of love.

As we were lying in bed last night, I confessed to Jonny that sometimes I don’t feel like a good enough mom. I love our little guy beyond words, and sometimes I feel like he deserves more.

That I should do more.

Create more learning activities. Make healthier food. Be more organized. The list goes on.

Like the awesome husband (and dad) that he is, Jonny reminded me that the best thing I can do for Joseph is ensure that he knows he is loved.

That by just doing our best to love, we are doing OK.

Serving more vegetables and creating a learning environment is great, but so are cuddles and hugs and high-fives and reminding your child that you love him, no matter what.

I fell asleep praying that above all else, I would radiate love. That Joseph would feel and know unconditional love.

This morning, our little two-year-old was watching Thomas the Train in the living room as I got ready in our room. I was putting on my shirt when Joseph threw open the door and tromped into the room. (Still working on boundaries.)

He saw my bare tummy, and playfully smacked it. I looked at him and said, “Oh, Joseph! Remember the baby! Where’s the baby?

Baby?” he asked, looking around the room.

Remember,” I said, placing his chubby hand on my tummy, “there’s a baby growing in Mommy’s tummy.

His big brown eyes looked up at me, and I could see his gears moving.

He took a moment, and leaned over, grasping his hands around my waist.

And then he planted the sweetest, softest, and longest kiss on my little bump.

At that moment, I could feel nothing but his love.

And at that moment, I knew that he knew he was loved.

Because when you know you’re loved, love flows through you.

He’s going to be a great big brother.

5 non-maternity things that have made me feel pretty while pregnant.

Amid migraine headaches + trips to the porcelain goddess, it’s easy dwell on pregnancy woes. I’m now 14 weeks along cookin’ this baby, and my clothes are starting to get a little tighter in the tummy. I know that’s supposed to happen (I’m talking to you, baby who’s the size of an orange!), but still, growing has been a not-so-fun adjustment. It’s hard to feel attractive when you have to inhale deeply and get into a funky yoga position just to button your jeans.

Last week, I was just feeling icky. Like, tired and grumpy but at the same time I was itching to get out and about. But in a small town, there aren’t a ton of places to go to get your extrovert-fix. I kept pulling a Little Mermaid and singing to Jonny, “I want to go, where the people are…I want to see, want to see them daaannnccciing!" (You know you connect with your inner-Ariel, too. No judging here.)

My pining paid off + we went to a nearby city to partake in some much-missed shopping. It just felt, how do I say it? AWESOME to get out and be around all sorts of different types of people. I love our new (very charming!) town, but I also love cities and noises and diversity, and of course, shopping. Speaking of shopping…

I’m sharing my 5 favorite (non-pregnancy!) things that have made me feel pretty while making that transition from first trimester to second trimester!

  • Belly Bands. Thankfully, I discovered those belly bands I’ve always heard my friends gushing over. I opted for a tan one from Target, and it has been allowing me to wear all of my favorite (skinny!) jeans without buttoning them, and it also smooths out my little bump so it looks more like a baby bump and less like a burrito I had for lunch. I know, this one is a little bit pregnancy-related, but it allows me to avoid those awkward preggo pants, so I’m considering it a win. (And I know..that model in the pic looks weird. I don’t stand there wearing a one-piece bodysuit with my mouth gaping when I’m wearing the band.)
  • Skinny Belts. I stumbled across searched for some how-to-dress-your-bump blog posts (via Pinterest, of course) and one of my fave tips was to utilize the skinny belt. I stocked up (3 for $10!) and have been loving the look so far. The key is to wear the belt under your chest and over your stomach to cutely frame your bump. It’s nice to feel like I don’t have to wear big shirts + for the most part I can still wear all of my non-maternity shirts, even the tight ones! (Thanks, belly band, for smoothing things out!)
  • Slouchy Boots. Fall is my fave season, and boots are my fave type of shoe. I recently had to retire my tan boots I got 2 years ago from Old Navy for $25 (they were so awesome but also very cheaply made and I often got my foot stuck in them and Jonny had to pull them off…awkward). Anyway, they literally were falling apart, so it was time for some new ones! I decided to up the ante a bit and get some for a little (but not much) more money to hopefully up the quality. I finally settled on the Olsenboye Cale Slouch Boots. I love the camel color + I even got a belt to match. They look great with skinny jeans, leggings, and tights — perfect for fall layering!
  • A good DIY mani. Thanks in part to my prenatal vitamins, my nails have been growing faster than I can keep up with them! And they’re strong, too! I don’t wear my nails that long, but I do enjoy painting them. After experimenting with many drugstore brands, I’ve found that it’s better to buy a more expensive brand, and just buy less of it. My recent Target trip left me with Essie’s Sand Tropez. I love the tan/grey color and it stayed on for almost a week with no chips (and that’s with washing my hands 24/7 and chasing after a toddler!) There’s no way I can afford to have my nails professionally done, but a nail file + 20 minutes of me time leads to pretty decent nails + a happier mommy, which is happier for everyone. :)
  • Pretty jewelry. I’ve been eying the Chubby Bird Fossil necklace for a while, and on a whim, I found it clearanced for $11! Yay! I love the delicate chain, and as the blog title shows, I love what birds can symbolize. On days when I’m feeling frazzled, a pretty necklace dresses up my sleepy eyes and oatmeal-stained shirts.

So, there you go, ladies. Five girly things that have lifted my spirits lately.

Pregnant or not, do you you have some go-to garb for when you’re feelin’ low? I’d love to know!

I updated ye old blog. I should have been working, but I think I just needed wanted some quiet free time to just relax + zone out. Ever had one of those weeks? ;) (I’ll get up extra early tomorrow to get that work done. There. I typed it so now it has to happen.) Anyway, I played around on the Internetz and created some art to go with my newly-designed blog. Can’t wait to share them all! [See above.]
I’ve been feeling a little icky all week. My awesome hubby got the flu last weekend, and Joseph has had a cold and has been teething (fun!) and I have lingering body aches that are zapping my energy. (Maybe Joseph is just getting heavier and I’m a weakling?) Whatever it is, I’m kind of over it. Be gone, weird aches! Be gone!
Our friends Chris + Es are moving to SoCal in a week. They’ve been awesome to have around and we learned a lot about generosity, community + authenticity from them. They’ll be missed, but I’m confident our paths will cross again! (Cue flashback slideshow.)
God has given me so much. So much. I never want to forget all of the prayers he’s answered in my short 24 years, including the hopes + dreams I didn’t know I had. He orchestrates things far greater than I can imagine or deserve. I can’t wrap my head around it.
I’m stinky. A new tanning (I know. I know. Shh.) place opened up and did a special for 5 tans for $10. The deal was, you got to try all of their beds once. I tried the spray tan session (normally like $30!) last night and it was so awkward. I donned my hairnet and stumbled haphazardly into the positions while cold spray came at me from all directions . All of that for a little (hopefully not Snooki-esque) color? That’s what a no-sun summer in rainy season Nigeria will do to you, folks! So pale you’ll stand in a crazy telephone-like booth getting painted with automatic tanning sprinklers. I was instructed not to shower until this afternoon, and the artificial tanning aroma is not pleasant. At all. So yeah. I’m stinky. Hopefully not orange and stinky.
Change is on the horizon. The can’t-sleep-at-night type of change. (In a good way!) I’m excited. More to come. :)
We’re visiting our parents this weekend, and staying at a hotel one for a night. (I won a free hotel room! Swank!) I’m kind of excited. Not only do we get to see Derek + Kristen, but it’ll be Joseph’s first time in a pool. Expect lots of pictures.
Speaking of Derek + Kristen, they are getting so close to getting their adoption court date for their two girls in Uganda! Please join me in praying for them, as well as Faith + Stecia.
We watched The Ides of March this week. Good, but so realistic it’s depressing. Political system = fail.
I love being Joseph’s mom. A lot of people ask me what motherhood is like, and I don’t know quite how to answer. It’s amazing + exhausting + fun + frustrating + and pretty much incredibly indescribable. I marvel at the fact that I get to be a mom to not just any kid, but to Joseph. Though he’s a toddler learning to climb window panes + dump out full cans of Dr. Pepper, there is never a moment when I don’t feel honored to be his mama.
High-res
  1. I updated ye old blog. I should have been working, but I think I just needed wanted some quiet free time to just relax + zone out. Ever had one of those weeks? ;) (I’ll get up extra early tomorrow to get that work done. There. I typed it so now it has to happen.) Anyway, I played around on the Internetz and created some art to go with my newly-designed blog. Can’t wait to share them all! [See above.]
  2. I’ve been feeling a little icky all week. My awesome hubby got the flu last weekend, and Joseph has had a cold and has been teething (fun!) and I have lingering body aches that are zapping my energy. (Maybe Joseph is just getting heavier and I’m a weakling?) Whatever it is, I’m kind of over it. Be gone, weird aches! Be gone!
  3. Our friends Chris + Es are moving to SoCal in a week. They’ve been awesome to have around and we learned a lot about generosity, community + authenticity from them. They’ll be missed, but I’m confident our paths will cross again! (Cue flashback slideshow.)
  4. God has given me so much. So much. I never want to forget all of the prayers he’s answered in my short 24 years, including the hopes + dreams I didn’t know I had. He orchestrates things far greater than I can imagine or deserve. I can’t wrap my head around it.
  5. I’m stinky. A new tanning (I know. I know. Shh.) place opened up and did a special for 5 tans for $10. The deal was, you got to try all of their beds once. I tried the spray tan session (normally like $30!) last night and it was so awkward. I donned my hairnet and stumbled haphazardly into the positions while cold spray came at me from all directions . All of that for a little (hopefully not Snooki-esque) color? That’s what a no-sun summer in rainy season Nigeria will do to you, folks! So pale you’ll stand in a crazy telephone-like booth getting painted with automatic tanning sprinklers. I was instructed not to shower until this afternoon, and the artificial tanning aroma is not pleasant. At all. So yeah. I’m stinky. Hopefully not orange and stinky.
  6. Change is on the horizon. The can’t-sleep-at-night type of change. (In a good way!) I’m excited. More to come. :)
  7. We’re visiting our parents this weekend, and staying at a hotel one for a night. (I won a free hotel room! Swank!) I’m kind of excited. Not only do we get to see Derek + Kristen, but it’ll be Joseph’s first time in a pool. Expect lots of pictures.
  8. Speaking of Derek + Kristen, they are getting so close to getting their adoption court date for their two girls in Uganda! Please join me in praying for them, as well as Faith + Stecia.
  9. We watched The Ides of March this week. Good, but so realistic it’s depressing. Political system = fail.
  10. I love being Joseph’s mom. A lot of people ask me what motherhood is like, and I don’t know quite how to answer. It’s amazing + exhausting + fun + frustrating + and pretty much incredibly indescribable. I marvel at the fact that I get to be a mom to not just any kid, but to Joseph. Though he’s a toddler learning to climb window panes + dump out full cans of Dr. Pepper, there is never a moment when I don’t feel honored to be his mama.