Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2 years!

The 18th was my official "regular" job quit-iversary. It's now been 2 years since I've been fully self employed and I feel so blessed! I'll never forget the look on Justin's face when I calmly (okay probably more crazily) announced that I was quitting my job. From the second that I had Isabella I was sick about going back to work. I know tons of mamas that work and love it but it wasn't for me. I wanted to be the one with my kids during the day. I didn't want to rush them off to a sitter's house or daycare and then only have a few hours with them in the evenings. I wanted to be the main influence in their lives.

So on the sunny May day that I quit, Isabella was almost 14 months old. I had been back to work for about 9 months and I hated every second of it. I had my Etsy shop and it was going well.. but I was having a hard time keeping up with my little one, a full time job and my Etsy shop. I knew that my business had potential but knew that I couldn't grow the business while working full time. I'd get up in the morning and get Bella and I ready to be out the door by 5:40 am, drop her off with my sister and be to work by 6:30 am. I'd work until 3, pick Bella up and then come home. I'd cook and clean, get Bella to bed and then work on our vinyl business until 1-2 am.. yeah that wasn't going to last forever. I thought about letting my business go and working at Citi forever but I knew it was the wrong decision. One day a co-worker told me that "sometimes you just need to take a leap of faith" and so I did..

Katelynn isn't even 3 weeks old and I'm back to work. Do I miss 13 weeks of paid maternity leave that Citi would have given me? Absolutely! I'll admit there were some tears involved opening my shop back up when Katelynn was not even 2 weeks old. But this is the life that I've chosen, that I dreamed about and created. We are extremely grateful for being able to support our family while being home with them. It wasn't long ago that we worked 40 hours a week and lived paycheck to paycheck. Our life is very different now. And I know that this crazy, sleep deprived stage will pass. I'll never again have a 3 week old again. So I'll choose to cherish every second of it.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, House of Smiths the other day and came across this post. Shelley is also a Utah mama, she is an incredibly successful blogger and I just love her. The following  phrase jumped out at me..

"I hope that along the way, as strange as it may seem to them now, that through our examples of working together, accomplishing tasks and successfully supporting our family doing what we love... that we are teaching our children the concepts and principles of hard work, passion, creativity and most of all, love for each other."

Thanks Shelley, I couldn't have said it better. I hope more than anything that my girls learn from our example and that they always follow their dreams.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The White Cowboy Hat

We have a special cowboy hat that we bought for my step dad Rex right before I married Justin.

I took some of my bridals in it for to surprise him with.

We had to make sure he didn't see any of those pictures and right before my wedding we gave him the hat and the pictures. I asked him if he would wear it to my wedding...

When Isabella had her newborns taken, we had her pictures taken with the hat.. She may or may not have peed in it..

Katelynn also took pictures with the hat. She looks so tiny snuggled up to it...

Both of my sweet girls with the white cowboy hat...

Rex has always been the father figure in my life. He has always been there for me. He has supported me and loved me. He is the best grandfather I could ever hope for my girls to have.

I'm so grateful that we have pictures of all these special events in my life with that hat.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Katelynn's Newborn Pictures

My sweet sister made Katelynn her first tutu (it had to be pink!). 

I am so in love with these pictures! They were taken by Bloom Photography by Kim. She was so amazing to work with and has a real talent for working with tiny babies. I highly recommend her!

Katelynn was so good for pictures and was super sleepy. Bella loved being in some of the photos with her!  Love love love!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kiwi Crate

Awhile back I found out about this awesome program called Kiwi Crate and knew that Bells would love it! Every month they send out a new craft box with two different crafts. The crates are designed for kids ages 3-7. Bella's first crate arrived a couple of days ago and the timing was perfect! She has been such a big help to mom and I felt she really deserved a surprise. Plus what kid doesn't love getting mail? We spent a whole afternoon working on her crafts!

Her first crate even came with a pair of scissors to get her started.

Posing with all her goodies. The theme changes every month. This month was a medieval theme.
Building a catapult.
Testing out the catapult! It came with a ping pong ball and various sizes of pom poms so that you can test and see which goes furthest.

It's a work of art!

The second project was a medieval dressup.

The silk part of the hat came in white and came with a pack of Kool-aid so that you could dye it.

Bella in her knight's mask :)  

I really try to find projects that lets Bella's mind work AND lets her be creative and these were totally up our ally! I can't wait for the next months crate.

In other news, this little sweetie is now 2 weeks old!

She is a really good baby. We are so in love with her! I should be getting her newborn pictures soon so get ready for TONS of pictures!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm so incredibly grateful that I was given the chance to become a mother. I love my girls more than anything. I love taking care of them and being the one that they need. I love finding things to keep Bella's mind busy and showing her new things to explore. I love being the one that Katie depends on for everything.

To Isabella - My sweet & sassy 3 year old, how you keep me on my toes! I love your sense of humor and how you have me laughing all day long. I love your green eyes and beautiful hair! I love how you manage to steal the tv all day and insist on eating mac & cheese for every meal. I love the way you make your daddy's heart melt in 2 seconds flat. I love you!

Katelynn- My tiny & precious 10 day old, I cannot believe how quickly you came into our lives and how you've made our family feel so complete. I love your tiny fingers and toes. I love how much thick dark hair your have. I love how you snuggle into my chest when I hold you close to me. I love watching you while you sleep. I love you!

---  ----  ---

We spent the afternoon at the park with my parents and little brother. It was a little too windy for the baby so we headed over to my parent's house and let Bella help her grandpa do some yardwork. It was a nice relaxing day and my heart was filled with love and gratitude today! Happy Mother's Day!

Bella's Dance Recital 2012

Bella danced her little heart out at her dance recital this year. Grandma, Grandpa, Ty, Aunt Skye, Uncle AJ, Jaden, Tayzhia, Gretchen & Emma all made it out to see her. She said she was scared of falling off the stage this year but once she got up there, there was no stopping her.

She did awesome! I was so proud of her!

Bella far right

Flowers her daddy bought her!

She loves her trophy!

Song: Happy Tapping with Elmo

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kate's first week

I'll admit that I was so nervous about having a newborn again.. no sleep, will I remember what to do, how can I possibly love another child as much as I love Bella, am I prepared.. etc..

But from the second I heard her cry, I knew that everything would be okay. I absolutely love being a mom. There is nothing that can top it. I may sound crazy (sleep deprivation tends to add to that) but I even love the 3 am feedings. I love when the house is quiet and dark and it's just me and my tiny sweet girl. I'm one happy momma!

Getting ready to come home from the hospital.

Katelynn already has quite the personality and she looks almost identical to Bella when she was a newborn. We quite adore her!

Kate loves..
  • Snuggling. She wants to be held all the time. I love it!
  • Sleeping - no big surprise there
  • She had her first sponge bath at home and loved it!
  • Bella - I wonder if she recognizes her voice because when Bella talks to her she lights up and her eyes get huge! So sweet!
After her first sponge bath

Kate dislikes..
  • Getting her diaper and clothes changed
  • Getting burped. She would much rather sleep!
That's pretty much it so far :)

Proud big sis! Messy face and all!
Bella is still doing a great job with being a big sister. We've tried really hard to include her and make sure she is getting enough attention. I bought her a new tea set for when we came home from the hospital and she loves it. She is only 3 though and has had a little bit of a hard time sharing mommy. She told me that the baby doesn't love me and was quite confused when I told her I loved the baby anyway. She said she only wants me to love her. She loves the baby.. she just doesn't want me to. I explained to her that my heart can love lots and lots of people, the same way that hers can love mommy and daddy both.

I was starting some laundry yesterday and the baby started to fuss. She got quite all of a sudden so I came out to check on her. Sleepy little Bella was standing at the side of the bassinet patiently holding the binky in Kate's mouth. Seriously the sweetest thing I've ever seen. Daddy took her out for ice cream yesterday and she really enjoyed having some one on one time with him. I'm very proud of her this week!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Katelynn Faith

We welcomed baby Katelynn Faith into our family on May 3rd, weighing in at 7 pounds 5 ounces and 18" long. She is the biggest baby out of the kids and grand kids in my family and she wasn't even the average baby weight :)

I was scheduled for a repeat c-section at 6pm. Justin and I checked into the hospital at 4 pm and they got an IV started, did paperwork and asked lots of questions. By 5:45 pm they were ready to head to the OR. I was surprised that everything was ready so quickly. I was super nervous at home but it was really calm and relaxing at the hospital. Kate was born at 6:11 PM.

Isabella loves her baby sister and is the best helper ever! She has had a hard time sharing my lap. She always wants to be sitting my lap and doesn't think it's fair that her baby sister has claimed that spot. I have to hand the baby off to Justin every now and then so that I can snuggle my big girl.