Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dream Big

What are some dreams you have for your life? I thought I'd share five dreams that I have for my life with you guys today. They may be silly to you....or maybe you're living one of my dreams. They may be something you would never, ever dream about....or maybe you have the same dream! Here's a short list of some dreams that I have that are fun to think about.

1.) I would love to have a second home in Crested Butte, Colorado one day. It's my favorite ski resort and the whole town just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. I think it would be so fun to spend holidays in my little cabin while watching the snow fall and drinking a hot chocolate by the fire. If you don't have anything to do one weekend you could be like "hey, let's just hop on a plane and go to the cabin." This is a dream of mine that I would love to come true one day. Scott doesn't like the idea of having a second home and being "forced" to vacation there all the time so this probably won't work out but I'll keep my dream going for now.

2.) I have a dream of running a half marathon. This is definitely an obtainable dream and I've considered signing up for the Bentonville half. I've googled 'how to train for a half marathon' and I think about it quite a bit. I run around 3 miles almost every day currently and I should push myself at least once a week to go a little further but honestly, I don't have time to. My runs are almost always on a time crunch. Also, I just think there's no way I could run that long. The longest I've ever run before was 7 miles and it was exhausting. Maybe I'll see about making this dream become a reality though.

3.)  I dream about living in New York City a lot. It's my favorite city and I think it would be so fun to live there but only if you had a couple of million dollars to spend on a decent sized apartment. Before Scott and I had kids, I used to hope that he would get a job that would transfer him to NYC so we could live there for just a few years. I think it would be such a fun adventure. This dream will never come true. I absolutely love where we live and never see myself moving away from here but it's still fun to dream about living in the big city.

4.) I would love to go on a mission trip one day. This is another dream that could very easily be done but I feel like this isn't the right time in my life for me to do this. One day I will though and I would love if Scott came with me. Being able to share the gospel and help and love on people would be so rewarding and life changing. I'm not even sure there are words to describe the feeling you get when you're in that and doing that but I feel called to do this one day and I look forward to when this day will come.

5.) I have a dream of having an amazing garden in my back yard like something you would see in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It would be beautiful year round because I would have plants that looked good in every season. I would spend my days tending to my garden and I would have so many flowers that I would have to cut them and give them away. There would probably be a fountain somewhere and a cobblestone path that led to a beautiful bench where you would sit and read with a glass of lemonade. Doesn't that sound dreamy? I think so.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Stomach Virus Part 5.

Well. What a weekend we had. Bennett and I got hit with our 5th stomach virus in 5 weeks. Every Friday we have woken up sick. This case was by far our worst. I was absolutely miserable but I think Bennett felt worse than I did. I was completely useless and spent a majority of the day laying on the tile floor in my bathroom. I knew Bennett was really sick but I didn't know much. Scott would bring him to me so I could nurse him then Scott would take him away. My parents just so happened to be up for the weekend because they had to do some work up here on Saturday and you can't even begin to comprehend how thankful I was to have them here so they could help us.
I woke up feeling about 50% better on Saturday but poor Bennett was still unable to keep anything down. We talked about taking him to the hospital but honestly, we knew there was really nothing they would be able to do for him. By the afternoon he was able to keep some milk down so that was some good progress and he had a few wet diapers so I felt comfortable keeping him home. I really wanted to be able to see how many ounces of milk he was getting and even though he has flat out refused bottles for the last two months, I decided to give a bottle a try. He took it without any hesitation (and kept it down) and I was so, so, so thankful. I gave him another bottle a few hours later and he took it again.
I could tell just by looking at him that he was getting smaller and smaller. I didn't give him his bath on Friday night since I was so sick. When I got him in the bath on Saturday and saw how tiny his little body was, it made my stomach sink. I couldn't believe how much smaller he looked since I had given him his bath just 2 nights before. He seemed a little better on Sunday and kept everything down but I noticed that his diaper had suddenly gotten too big for him and he was leaking out of it. I was anxious to get him in with our doctor today just to make sure everything with him was okay.
I made an appointment first thing this morning and when they weighed Bennett, the scale showed he had lost over one pound since his last appointment on the 9th. Honestly, by the way he looks I was expecting it to be more so I was actually somewhat relieved. The doctor checked him out really good and everything looked and sounded great. He's just extremely dehydrated. The doctor wants me to add in some extra nursing sessions to try to get his weight up and I've decided to just give him a bottle since I have so much frozen milk and I can see how much extra he's getting. We're going back on Wednesday to see what the scale says and I'm sure that won't be our final visit. I predict many weight checks in our future.
Bennett is doing so much better today and we even got some smiles and a few giggles out of him. My heart breaks for him because I can tell he's still not 100% and he just seems really weak. He also has required being held every moment of his waking hours.....not that I can blame him. Bennett has still slept great at night and taken really good naps and I'm so thankful because we all know rest when we're sick makes us heal and feel so much better. He did wake up at 5:00 on Sunday and 6:00 today but I just fed him then put him back in his crib and he quickly fell back to sleep. I'm glad Bennett his gotten his rest but I most definitely have not. I've been so wired the last few nights due to anxiety. I've gone in his room to check and recheck and just stared at the monitor all night long. Talk about stress on this momma.
We have had so many people reach out to us to let us know they're thinking about Bennett and have been praying for him and it has truly just touched my heart so much. Scott and I were just talking earlier and saying how nice and kind and thoughtful everyone has been. To have people say they have prayed for our sweet Bennett is such a gift and appreciated in such a big, big way. I firmly believe in the power of prayer and I know that the Lord heard all of these prayers for Bennett and has begun to heal our sweet baby. I hope our weight gain journey won't take us too long and I pray so hard that we won't get hit with this stomach virus again.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sunny Days

Today was my mothers day out and I had a lot to do! I decided to go on ahead and start doing a tiny bit of party planning for Campbell's birthday which is almost exactly a month away. I can't believe he will be three!! Campbell is really excited about his party and I'm letting him help me plan it! I asked him if he wanted a cake or cupcakes and he said a cake. Then I asked him if he wanted it to be one layer or two and he said "THREE!!" Haha!! I've gotta say, I very much enjoy spending time on Pinterest looking at cakes. I have a whole board devoted to cakes of all sorts and I just think it's so much fun. I wish I was talented enough to make them myself.
We have spent all of our time outside this week because the weather has been so wonderful. It's about to get chilly again unfortunately but not as cold as our typical February weather is. I'm hoping spring will be here to stay really soon. My forsythia and daffodils are blooming and my tulips aren't too far behind. I'm ready for the grass to turn green and leaves to fill the trees. I can't wait to plant some flowers and make my back porch look fun and summery!!
These girls are probably loving this weather more than anyone. They love to go in the backyard and bark at their boyfriends next door.
TGIF tomorrow!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pirate Talk

I had a good day because it started out with a good run. If I don't get my run in (preferably in the morning) I am usually tense all day. I need that run for my mind and it's even better if I get to do it alone and not take the boys (no offense to them)! I've always created my own playlists to run to but I told Scott a few days ago I was getting tired of them and as I was attempting to make a new one he encouraged me to just run to Pandora. I don't know why this thought never occurred to me myself but it was genius. I have enjoyed my new running tunes so much. Justin Timberlake is my station of choice.
Campbell is super, super into puzzles right now. It's all he wants to do these days. I love these Melissa and Doug ones because they come with a tray so we can work them on the carpet and don't have to worry about having a hard surface. Anywho, he was doing this pirate one today and every time he got a piece right he said "arrr!" like a pirate. It cracked me up. (I had to google if it was "arrr" or "argh." I got conflicting responses. I went with arrr.)
Bennett had zucchini bread for the first time today and he thought it was YUM-O. He asked for two extra helpings. He followed it up with blueberries. Always blueberries. It is hands down his favorite food. I bet I go through a carton every other day. He can't get enough!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring in February

We had such a wonderful spring-like weekend!! The weather in Arkansas is amazing! Can we just start wearing flip flops even though it's February? And how long is this supposed to last? Is it warm from now on or will it snow in two weeks? You never know...
We spent the majority of our weekend outside. We grilled, listened to music, drank iced tea (although we do that even if it's -8 outside but it felt worthy of mentioning), played with bubbles, went for long walks, kicked the soccer ball around and just enjoyed our outdoor surroundings. It makes me soooo excited for summer.
On Sunday we played in our driveway most of the day so Campbell could play with his scooters and cars. The girls were going nuts inside and barking like crazy because they wanted to join us outside so badly. But they cannot be trusted to just hang....they would sprint all over the neighborhood. So I opened up my tailgate and let them watch us from the car. I thought it was a pretty smart move and they seemed satisfied enough.
Bennett had a big day worthy of documenting. He got to ride in the cart for the first time! He is officially over being in the car seat while I shop. It's kind of a bummer honestly. I was holding onto it as long as possible. It's just nice to pop that carrier in and out. He gave me a pretty good run--9 months isn't bad--but he said no more. Campbell is THRILLED. He hates riding in the front seat and always wants in the basket so this is good news for him. I had to take a pic while we were at the Neighborhood Market. * Side note, one bonus of living in Bentonville (aka Walmart country) is we have the nicest Walmart stores. See those baskets behind Campbell? They offer bananas and oranges to the kiddos while you shop. Do other stores do that or just ours? Either way, so nice! Campbell loves to eat his "nana."
Speaking of Campbell, can I just talk about how much I love his age? Because I do. This has been my favorite stage with him hands down. He is so SWEET and such a pleaser which makes my job being his mama not too terribly challenging. He cracks me and Scott up all day with the funny things he says and does. I just want to eat him up!!! He will be three years old next month. I can't believe it! I pulled my phone out to take this picture of him and he cocked his head to the side and said "smile, cheese!" He is constantly making me smile and giggle. I love this sweet kiddo.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

LimeLight Mascara

I was recently asked if I would like to give LimeLight Mascara a try and I quickly said yes! I've never found a mascara that I just love--even though I've tried dozens--so I was looking forward to using it. This mascara is a best seller for LimeLight. It achieves noticeably longer lashes instantly that don't smudge or flake. I could tell it was going to be good the second I saw the brush head. That may sound silly but it's true! The brush head evenly coats and separates each lash for a perfect application. It wasn't messy while I was putting it on and I didn't have to spend a long time trying to get my lashes to separate--a pet peeve of mine with mascara. As soon as I was done applying the mascara to my lashes, I couldn't believe my eyes...literally.
Look at how long my eyelashes are!! These are 100% my real eyelashes. I don't use anything to try to lengthen or thicken them, they are all natural. This LimeLight mascara is amazing! Not only do my top lashes nearly touch my eyebrows, but my bottom lashes look long and thick as well. I felt like I had the appearance of false lashes and just couldn't get over how pretty they looked.
This is hands down the best mascara I have ever used. I will seriously never use anything else from now on. I'm not selling it, just sharing how great it is with all of you. No sense in keeping this a secret! Click HERE if you would like to purchase this LimeLight by Alcone mascara. You'll be so glad you did!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day 2017

Happy Valentines Day! This is a fun holiday but I've found it to be much more enjoyable to make it fun for my kids than for it to be about Scott and I. We started our day with festive donuts, a few small gifts for the boys, and a new Sheriff Callie episode. Campbell still loves Sheriff Callie. He was addicted to that show over the summer and it was one of my favorite stages but Paw Patrol is the new obsession now.
It rained all day so we stayed home. I snuck out to Walmart for a quick minute while the boys napped (Scott works from home for those that are new here....I don't leave my kids, promise!) then was able to get a lot of stuff done around the house which I was hoping I could do so Scott and I can spend some time together tonight. We spend too many evenings working, blogging, doing laundry, cleaning, etc and very rarely get to just sit on the sofa and watch a show or talk. So I'm glad we get to do that tonight!
In our early years of marriage Scott and I always had a nice meal out for Valentines Day. Then we got to where we would forget to make a reservation so we started ordering heart shaped pizzas and continued that tradition for a while and I've loved it. But a few weeks ago I was out shopping and saw some heart shaped pasta and thought it would be fun to make all of my boys a yummy heart shaped pasta dish. So that's what I did! We topped it off with some yummy chocolate covered strawberries and truffles that Scott got for me which is the key to my Valentines Day heart.
Overall, a wonderful day with my loves! And the girls didn't get left out. Scott surprised them today with a heart shaped toy and some chewy bones. Such a sweet daddy! :)
I'm thankful for the ones I love on this Valentines Day. I hope you all had a great day as well!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Unloading Some Photos!

Hey all! How was your weekend? We were sick. Again. I used to never get sick but now that I have kids I get sick all the time. It's beyond annoying. I mean, I'm 31 shouldn't my immune system be fairly solid by now? It's like I'm starting all over again. And of course, Scott didn't get sick because he never does. What's his secret? I'm so jealous.
Anywho, I have tons of photos that I want on here so bare with me!! I'll quickly caption instead of dragging it out into a way too long post.
Scott and I decided to have a Valentines Day date today. We've gotten to where we do lunch dates quite a bit whenever the boys are at MDO. It's kind of our only opportunity to get some time out together and I really enjoy my lunch dates with him!
Campbell has been taking naps almost every day this last week. He is on his way to dropping them completely but I do love when he still takes them. I would like for him to keep it through the summer but that's quite a few months away so I doubt that will happen. I had to get a pic one day last week since it was such a surprise to see him actually nap!
Bennett tickles me because he loves a selfie. Any time I get my phone to take a picture, he smiles so big once he seems himself! Cutie.
Campbell makes me laugh too. Whenever we go to Mothers Day Out, the boys have to wear these stickers on their back. The last few times he's gone, he's insisted on putting his sticker on himself. Bottom, back....same thing!
Bennett looked so sweet napping. He was sleeping so hard and I hated to wake him but we had to go to church and I gave him as long as I could. He's so sweet when I have to wake him up. Campbell would cry (understandably so!) if I ever woke him from a nap but Bennett is just like "oh do I need to get up? Okay no problem."
They love to play together. It's getting more and more fun!
I've said before that Campbell LOVES Paw Patrol. He loves these little stuffed Paw Patrol characters his Gamma got him. He calls them "My Paws." Also, this is what I get a lot now when I try to take a picture of him "STOP MOM!!!"
The beautiful weather this weekend was short lived by us since we were all sick with the 24 hour stomach bug. It hit me and Bennett at the same time then Campbell got it the next day. Campbell actually fell asleep in mine and Scott's bed on Saturday around 11:00 which has never, ever happened. He clearly didn't feel good since 1.) it was nowhere near his normal nap time and 2.) he fell asleep in a bed that wasn't his own. I laid in bed literally all day long on Friday. I was so, so sick. Poor Bennett threw up for the first time and it made me cry. I remember bawling my eyes out the first time Campbell threw up too. It just really stresses me for some reason. I'm so over sickness.
Campbell is turning into my little helper. He can fetch things for me now and help me with little tasks. It's so awesome and truly does help me out! I looked over the other day to see him offering Bennett a little sip of water. He's such a sweet brother! He "helps" me put Bennett down for his naps and when I put Bennett in his crib he always whispers "here you go, Boo!" and throws a few lovies in his crib. I love how sweet he is to Bennett. I hope he always is!
I adore this picture of Bennett. I want to reach through the photo, give him a big squeeze and kiss him all over. I'll eat you up I love you so!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bennett | Nine Months Old


Weight: Bennett had his 9 month wellness check so he got weighed today and he weighs 14lbs, 10oz. We fell off the charts! Such a bummer. Last week he got on the charts for the first time ever but for some reason he lost a few ounces so he's off them again.

Height: 26.8 inches, 4%
Sleep: Bennett still sleeps 7:30-7:00 and takes two naps a day. One right at 9:00 and the other at 2:00/2:30. Both naps last anywhere between 1-2 hours. When Bennett wakes up now, he doesn't cry. Finally. It's so nice! He will just lay there quietly and contently until someone comes to get him. I have to set my alarm in the morning because if I don't, who knows how long he would lay there!
Eat: Bennett is still exclusively breastfed. He nurses 4 times a day (absolutely 100% refuses a bottle/sippy/or straw cup these days) and eats breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes I give him a snack if his afternoon nap is a short one. Bennett is definitely not the garbage disposal that his big brother was and he won't eat just anything and everything either. He is a pretty good eater though and has his pincher grasp down perfectly (I'm impressed by it!). Bennett loves pancakes. I think they're his favorite!

Clothes: Size 3-6 month or 6-9 month clothes, 6-12 month Kickee Pants and beanies, and size 1 Freshly Picked Moccs.
Diapers: Size 3 Pampers Swaddlers day and night.

Likes: Campbell, playing with toys, bath time, snuggles, selfies, getting out and about, his paci (addicted), giving hugs.

Dislikes: Bennett still bawls his eyes out every time an article of clothing goes over his head. I mean, I don't even know what to do about it anymore. He has been like this since day one and has not let up on it, not even once. Little stinker.
Milestones: Bennett has an awesome pincher grasp which makes him a really clean eater. He shakes and bangs toys and imitates Campbell whenever they play their yelling game. He says Da Da and kind of waves bye bye by holding his hand out (like he wants a high five). Bennett can stand on his own if he's propped/holding onto something but it's still a little wobbly. He's good at figuring out how certain toys "work" and plays well with them.
Month Nine: Even though he battled a pretty big cold this month, Bennett was still just as sweet as ever. Bennett pulls the tabs of his diapers now which is making diaper changes just a little more challenging! He also still takes a bath in his infant bath tub! Can you believe it? He's content so I'm letting that ride out as long as possible because it feels the safest to this nervous mama.
All About Bennett: Bennett has zero stranger anxiety and loves everyone. When we're out in public and a stranger will stop to say something to him, he reaches his arms out like "do you want to hold me? I'd like for you to hold me!" He has never, ever had a fear of strangers and I love that about him. Bennett loves Campbell so, so much. Campbell is starting to play with Bennett a little more these days now that Bennett is getting older and it is the most precious thing my eyes could ever witness. Bennett thinks Campbell is hilarious. Bennett squeals all the time and is still just a happy, easy going little man. We couldn't love him more if we tried!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Beautycounter Products | A Review

I was recently given a lot of Beautycounter products to try out. You may have seen some of your girlfriends selling them on Facebook and anyone I know who sells Beautycounter is very passionate about these products. The mission of Beautycounter is to get safer products in the hands of everyone. Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 11 to date. It's crazy that some of the products that we use on a daily basis are full of harmful ingredients. Beautycounter wants to change that by creating safe products that we can trust.
I'm not selling the products myself but I was offered many to try and I wanted to give you guys my completely unbiased opinion on them. I truly enjoyed using these products and love even more what they stand for. The products I'm going to share with you today ended up being my favorites so if you've been thinking about purchasing some BC products, these are the ones that left the biggest and best impression on me! Let's get started!!
Nourishing Cream Exfoliator
This exfoliator was wonderful. It was gentle on my skin and it also had a really nice smell to it. Have you ever noticed that exfoliators usually don't smell good? Well this one does and it made my skin feel so soft. My face had a pretty glow to it and it also felt really hydrated after gently sweeping away the dry skin. I quickly used it while I was in the shower and immediately noticed how nice my face looked and felt. Highly recommend this product!
 
Desert Sunrise Palette
I really enjoyed this makeup pallet. The colors are so pretty and they lasted beautifully throughout the day. When it comes to make up, I honestly love nothing more than when I can get a little combo compact. I love how the blush and eye shadow are together. I just think it's so nice to have it all in one! Each satiny powder contains Porcelain Flower Extract, a Thai bloom known for its antioxidant benefits, to help moisturize delicate skin for a flattering, luminous effect. I definitely felt like this makeup had a nice glow to it so I snapped a pic to show you all what it looks like on!
I think you would love this color palette and it's great for all skin tones so if you're looking for some new makeup, give this beautiful (and mostly importantly safe!) Desert Sunrise Palette a try.
 
Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Purifying Charcoal Mask
Now I don't like to play favorites but if you could only get one Beautycounter product, start with this one. Oh my goodness y'all like, it was amazing. I first washed my face with the cleansing bar. I was super curious just to give it a try because who has ever seen black soap? It suds up (is that a word?) really nicely which I love and it gave my skin a nice, clean feeling before I used the mask. Once it came time for the mask I, again, was super curious. Because....who has ever seen or heard of a charcoal face product? It was completely black and my face looked crazy! Ha!! I sent my mom a picture and told her what I was doing and she said "oh I've heard that mask is amazing." Wait what? How do you know and I don't? Does everyone know about this amazing mask but me?? A mineral-rich mix of kaolin clay and charcoal, Purifying Charcoal Mask works to gently exfoliate, draw out impurities, and soothe. The formula helps improve skin's overall condition by refining the appearance of pores and increasing elasticity. My skin looked so clean and renewed after giving myself a little spa treatment for 10 minutes. I told my husband that my face had a squeaky clean feeling to it, a feeling I love! You need this product.
Nourishing Night Cream
Finally, I really loved this night cream. My skin felt hydrated and nourished and I think anyone would enjoy using it.

 
Overall, I was really impressed with these products! They aren't just for women. They also have a baby and kids line which I think is so awesome and I loved using the soaps and shampoos on my boys. From skin care to makeup to kids and sunscreen, Beautycounter is doing it all while keeping us and our families safe and protected from so many harmful ingredients. If you're interested in these products for yourself, you can shop them by clicking HERE. Also, anyone who purchases a product from this website will automatically be entered to win a Valentine nail and lip gloss set! Just let them know that you are shopping via me (Kara's Stories)! Happy shopping. Seriously, get that charcoal mask!