Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Goals

ps.have you seen the new fall/thanksgiving bundles?

Again, I skipped and hopped through a month without logging my goals--poor August. But, I was busy with family, fun, and travel, so it really wasn't the best time to carve out super intentional goals when I was gone for two weeks out of the month. However, if I peek back to July, it looks like I actually completed all my goals--so that's fun!

Can I just tell you that I am so happy to see September? It feels fresh and like the long haul of a Texas summer has passed. It's still hot--but I think we've seen the worst of it. Plus, it also means that routines and rhythms are re-entering life, and I'm so thankful (and ready!) for those to return.

So, onto the goals for September:

#Move15on5. The pregnancy aches and pains have begun, so getting exercise is super helpful for me. I'm challenging myself (and you too if you want to join me!) to exercise for at least 15 minutes each day during the work week (M-F). I plan on walking, doing pilates, yoga, and probably some dance parties with Luke ;)

Bring back some heart on the blog. Recently, most of my blog posts have been about general life, the shop, or random stuff. I like having that as a part of my blog, but I also like to dig deeper and write rawer. So, this month, I want to blog about some topics/thoughts that have been on my heart and mind lately.

Paint floorboard trim. Since we've removed the carpet (ahem, before we moved in over a year ago), we've had trim that is multi-colored. It's time to paint and clean it up. I figured I should probably do this project before my belly gets in the way ;)

Keep up with my cleaning schedule.  Writing down a daily chore/house stuff schedule has really helped me stay on task--I want to keep it up, but also to feel the freedom to change it if something isn't working. I'd love to hear your thoughts on ways that you keep your house tidy and relatively clean--share your secrets!

That's it! We actually have quite a busy month, so I know it's best not to fill it with lots of extra tasks and projects.

How about you? What are your goals for September?
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Marriage Refresh Cards--LAUNCH DAY!

Just a few weeks before I took a pregnancy test, I started brainstorming up ideas for new products for the shop. Although I love designing prints, I wanted to create some more practical and hands-on products. I thought about notepads, journals, mugs, totes, etc (which are all lovely and maybe someday they'll be my next thing!), but nothing felt quite right.

Then, I remembered the Let's Get Sentimental and Mushy packet I had made and is still available for free (right here!) and how much positive feedback I got from people who had used it. Plus, I think it's so important to have intentionality and fun in marriage :)

Could I create a little spin-off (a deeper + more detailed) version of that packet?

Would it be a journal? Notecards? A packet?

In the end, I decided on notecards because I loved how easy they can travel with you--how simple they are to tape onto a mirror, slip into a lunch box, or grab before heading out on a date.

But, of course, just as I started to work on them, the first trimester "yuck" arrived. So, they were put on hold until after my motivation, drive, and creativity returned ;)

And today (finally, finally!) I am launching what I call the "Marriage Refresh Cards (MRC)" into the world.

What exactly are they?

One part of the MRC is a set of encouragement cards for each spouse to fill out for the other. Think encouraging little love notes, sappiness, silliness, and lots of space for written smooches and "wink winks." Sneak them into your spouses suitcase before a flight, slip them into a pocket, tape them to the coffeemaker, etc.

Along with the encouragement cards, there is a set of conversation cards that help you dive deeper and dig in harder with discussion questions. There are some questions that may not be comfortable or easy to answer, but there are also questions that leave lots of room for you and your spouse to verbally encourage and love one another. These cards are intended to spark intentional and important conversations.

My biggest hope with these cards is that they give your marriage a bit of fun + depth, and that they help you and your spouse connect and go a bit deeper.

Right now, in the shop you can grab a set in grey + peach or grey + turquoise (there's a limited number, so grab them while you can!). These cards are ready to be shipped to your door :)

You can also get a printable version--a simple set in black and white (print on whatever fun card stock/paper you want) or a watercolor version.

So, if you've been looking for a fun activity for you and your spouse to do, a gift for newlyweds, or want to just have a purposeful marriage rev-up--these are for you!

Here's what my top secret product testers have said about the cards:

"We have used the cards and we just love them! It¹s been great, especially
as parents, to be doing something to focus on our marriage."

"I think the beauty of the MRCs are that they allow honest thoughts, even when they are sometimes hard to say out loud."

"The cards are super easy to use and set us off on meaningful conversations."

"They helped us be on the same page and have open and clear communication about things we wouldn't otherwise talk about in general conversation."

ps. get 15% off until Thursday with the code REFRESH15

Happy Tuesday!

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

It's a...and more about Baby

We were expectant about baby number two. Even so, when I was a few days late in May, I was hesitant to take another pregnancy test. I definitely wasn't the first one I had taken since we had started trying for baby number two.

But, I gathered my resolved and took the test when I was about two days late.

It was negative.

I was disappointed, but I still felt hopeful. Maybe, just maybe, it was too early...

I ordered a bulk supply of cheap pregnancy tests on Amazon. I waited patiently (praise two day shipping!) and took another test about as quickly as I could open the package.

Negative. But, I was still late, so I told Josh it was probably the time of the day I was taking the test. He was supportive, but also cautioned me to not get my hopes up.

On the day before Mother's Day, I got up early and took a test.

Positive. Finally, a test confirmed what I had felt deep down and strongly suspected--another baby. But, just as with Luke, all the emotions immediately came tumbling out: gratitude, fear, worry about throwing up for weeks, anxiousness, excitement, anticipation--so many emotions! Of course, I told Josh right away, and he was excited :)

This year's Mother's Day was a little extra special with the fresh news (and tucked away secret) that we were expecting another little one.

The first trimester hit me sooner and the queasiness lasted longer than it did with Luke. I didn't throw up, but I felt gross all day long. And I ate all the day long too--it seemed to be the best remedy for keeping the yucky feeling manageable. Let's just say that I got a tiny lecture about weight gain at one of my first appointments ;) Ooops...

I felt tired--but it didn't seem as severe as with Luke (maybe because I now know what absolute exhaustion feels like?) But the same lack of motivation was very similar. I was super lazy and had to pep talk myself into doing basic, everyday tasks. Or really-- to do anything but watch TV and eat cheese and crackers.

(a little 14 week bump)

But, when I hit that 12 week mark, the tiredness, queasiness, and "the lazy blahs" eased up. From then up until now, I've felt really good. But, as I am closing in on the 20 week mark, I'm starting to feel more sore, stiff, and uncomfortable. And, of course, if I eat anything remotely spicy or rich, I have heartburn before it lands in my stomach.

But, I am also starting to feel little baby kicks--so that always makes everything feel more real and sweet! Plus, my belly is also getting a bit more obvious :)

Last Wednesday, we had our autonomy ultrasound plus an extra peek at baby's heart because of Luke's history of a congenital heart defect. The doctors just want to be sure that this baby's heart looks good since there is a tiny tiny bit higher risk of a heart defect if there is family history of one. Thankfully, the little BOY is looking good and his tiny profile is just so darling.

Luke was not such a fan of the fun photo shoot with balloons ;) The balloons kept popping and from a two-year-old perspective--it was not.cool.at.all. In fact, it was downright horrible, scary, and not okay! Oh well...

We are so grateful for another little guy to add to our family--and so excited to see what he looks like and what kind of kid he is. However, I am definitely thankful that we still have another twenty weeks (give or take!) before he arrives :)

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