Mother’s Day gift guide for the new mom

Happy May! Nothing feels better than hanging outside with short sleeves and taking the kids out without lugging coats and blankets. May is also the month of mom! Cheers to all the moms! In case you haven’t heard lately, you are doing an amazing job! I’ve put together some of my picks for Mother’s Day gifts. These are specific to the new mom, because let’s face it, she’s a category all her own! God Bless her, she is sleep deprived, figuring out new family rhythms, and if I can guess, she probably needs some alone time (or self care as I like to call it). So I’ve paired each gift with a moment to herself. (See below!)

Savannah & Co. garland

Savannah & Co. tassel garland + cleaning

This soft bamboo yarn tassel garland is custom made and a portion of sales go towards buying massages for moms so you can feel good about your purchase! Pair this with a clean home (hire that cleaning person) and mom can relax and take in the beauty of her home. This shop is local to Lexington, Kentucky.

Girl Stop Apologizing

Girl Stop Apologizing + pedicure

After reading, Girl Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis, her next book is on my wishlist. This book is motivational, and self care all in one. Pair this with a pedicure, and mom can get out of the house, put her feet up and read ALONE. She will come back feeling invigorated and relaxed.

Raising Y'all Mimi blanket

Raising Y’all Mimi blanket + wine

What a mom really wants? To cuddle with her kids but WITH HELP! So bring her a glass of wine so she can snuggle up with her kids in these adorable handmade blankets. Then, when she gets hungry, bring her food. And then tuck the kids in bed so she can enjoy her feet up. This shop is local to Lexington, Kentucky.

The Fire Within Her bracelet

The Fire Within Her oil diffuser bracelet + massage

“The Fire Within Her (TFWH) exists to come alongside women to help them overcome the adversity that life throws their way.” These beautiful bracelets are a true labor of love. They are a reminder to each woman that she has the strength to overcome any hardship. For a new mom that looks like a number of things; healing her body, postpartum depression, no sleep and the list goes on. She can look down at her wrist and be reminded of her worth and her fire! This shop is local to Louisville, Kentucky. Throw in a massage for mom and it’s the perfect combo. I’m loving my monthly massage at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa.

Trader Joes MoonX wine

Trader Joe’s Moon X wine + pedicure

This is my go to wine!!! I’ve only tried the red wine, but it came highly recommended at Trader Joe’s. As far as I know, it’s only sold there. Send your husbands!! Bonus, it’s around $7.00! Send mom to get a pedicure while she is sipping on this wine.

Q & A for moms 5 year journal

Q & A a day for moms 5 year journal + wine

This came recommended from the Today Show, but is something I wish I spent more time doing. Journaling all the funny sayings from the kids or sweet things they do. All I hear is, this time goes by so fast. And yes it does. This journal can be a keepsake for all those sweet memories. Amazon baby! And throw that bottle of wine I just recommended in with it!

Anthropologie Garden Greeting Pot + her favorite flowers

In case my husband is reading this, this pot would pair well with some beautiful pink flowers or some tulips. 🙂 We are also using it for part of Savannah’s birthday party table decor! This pot is the cutest and can be used year round.

Lovepop greeting card

Lovepop Greeting card + her favorite smoothie

I received my first Lovepop card this year and it is so beautifully displayed on my shelf. Honestly it’s a keepsake that is more than a card. It tells a story and makes me smile every time I see it. Go check out all the designs they have. From weeping trees to flowerpots to birds. Think about that moment or memory you have with your mom and pick a card accordingly. Add a cute little note and pair it with her favorite smoothie.

Savannah & Co. family
photo credit: Meghan Beth Photography, Lexington KY
photo credit: Meghan Beth Photography, Lexington KY

I hope you share this list with your friends and family. Mothering has been the hardest job thus far in my life. And here’s a postpartum news flash; it is not just a six week timeframe after giving birth. I am over a year out and still in what I call, postpartum. So this list of gifts is meant for the new mom, however you define that. Let’s celebrate mom all month. Let’s celebrate the moms who haven’t met their babies yet. And celebrate moms who want to be a mom so bad, but are waiting. Celebrate the seasoned moms. Celebrate the moms who have it together one day and not the next. Just to hear that you’re appreciated is often the best gift.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Mother’s Month! #monthofmama



Our stay at the Beaumont Inn Bed and Breakfast

A night away is just what we needed after the last year with two kids. Not that the time is not wonderful with them, but we all need a little breathing room and relaxation.

Grandma came to stay so we could get away and we were so glad to finally get to the Beaumont Inn. We tried to go last year but didn’t plan far enough ahead (because who does with kids) and it was booked for Keeneland season.

We arrived for a 3pm check-in and then headed over to our couples massage in their little cottage on the property. This made it so easy to get there and not have to rush to another location.

We headed back to the room and freshened up for dinner at their tavern on site, The Owl’s Nest Pub. It was a cozy little atmosphere with lots of bourbon selections. And GOOD southern food.

The weather was perfect so we walked back to our room and ended the night. 🙂 We woke up to breakfast with a cold bar and a wide selection of hot foods. The fresh cornmeal pancakes with syrup were just what my southern mama heart needed.

We walked around the property taking in all the history of the Inn and taking pictures. It felt peaceful and serene, just like our stay. Oh and if you have the option for the rainfall shower, DO IT! Three shower heads beating down on you. HAHA I got to shower in peace.

We felt welcomed and at home at the Inn. And I’m the mom weirdo who missed her kids and felt just a tad homesick. Why is motherhood so strange? You can’t wait to get a break and then you suddenly have nothing to do other than miss your kids? Or talk about them? (I’m kidding about the nothing to do :))

We are so thankful to have an amazing community of friends and family who made this little getaway possible. You are more than we could ever ask for! This was my birthday gift by the way, so does that mean I get the entire month of April?? (For those that don’t know, my birthday is in December but we planned this for when I would be done breastfeeding)

If you get the chance to check out the Beaumont Inn you definitely should! It’s a little hidden gem in the heart of Kentucky. (Harrodsburg, Kentucky)

My favorite part was just being able to connect with Dan. It was nice to not have all the daily distractions and responsibilities. He is my number one, and will still be long after the kids are gone. (But let’s not talk about that, haha) And we wont talk about how our loved ones often get to see the worst side of us. SO crazy how that works!

Some fun facts about the Inn:

  • It is about 30 miles from Keeneland race track (so plan a trip there)
  • In this month’s Southern Living Magazine listed as one of the top Inns to stay in the south
  • The Inn is an official stop on the Bourbon Trail

Let me know if I missed anything! We only stayed for one night so it was a quick, but relaxing trip. SO MUCH FUN! We have kind of made it our tradition between Dan and I to visit a bed & breakfast each year, beginning with of course, our prized trip to Savannah, Georgia, right across from Forsyth Park.

In case you were wondering, the kids had fun with grandma (of course!)

Thanks for reading,

An afternoon under the cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms in Lexington, Kentucky

What could be more exciting than spending the day under the pink curtain of cherry blossoms in your own city?? HELLO SPRING! Today was perfect weather for a sweatshirt or no sleeves. When my friend, Julia, suggested we go to the Lexington Cemetery to see the trees, I jumped on the idea volunteering to take pictures. Nothing gets me like a spring, pink backdrop for pictures. Especially having a little girl, I can’t get enough of pink, dresses and hair bows. And I have a specific place in my heart for cherry blossoms.

My husband and I wanted to grow our family and that journey began in Washington, D.C. during spring of 2015 when the cherry blossoms were blooming. So these trees certainly leave me with all the feels!

Savannah and her friend, Emma

I felt like a magical princess today, even chasing two toddlers. There is a street lined with these beautiful trees in the middle of the Lexington Cemetery and there were lines to get pictures. Everyone waiting for everyone else to move out of the way! So when Savannah was sitting on the potty in the back of the car, I snapped some shots. (HAHAHA) But we also spent several hours there soaking up the sunshine and little hands were reaching for the little pink flowers. Savannah was so excited today to see the “pink trees!”

Cherry blossom lined street

Before you freak out about taking pictures in the cemetery, take it from me, so did I. I tried to get shots where the headstones are not front and center. The grounds are beautiful and there are fountains, ducks, flowers and calm. Lots of calm. It was very peaceful and the kids loved getting outside.

There is so much to explore in your own city. I didn’t even know such a beautiful, hidden gem existed like this here. So ask around, find these beautiful trees! They are not in bloom for very long. Tomorrow is going to be perfect weather too!

Tell me about more beautiful places in Lexington, Kentucky! Leave me a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by,

Our favorite things of 2018

Hi everyone! Now that Christmas has passed and we are enjoying our new stuff, I thought I would share some of our favorite things! Whether it was a gift this year, or something we continually use and love, I’ve included it. Being a stay at home mom of a baby and a (very independent) toddler makes life challenging, but these favorite things definitely help make life a little easier! And who doesn’t want that?! Cheers to all the bubbly tonight as we ring in the New Year! (as I’m typing this baby Owen is clapping)


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Kid Stuff

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Mama time & Wellness

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Thanks for reading! Happy New Year! Please share any of your favorite things from this year. I’d love to hear from you!



Making money as a stay at home mom

I’m excited to share with all of you some ways I have found to make extra money as a stay at home mom. A lot of people have wanted to know my tips on couponing as well, which I will also address. When my husband and I decided I would stay at home as the main caregiver, there was a lot of discussion around the finances, for obvious reasons. We revisited our budget, made a bunch of calls to our bills to see where we could cut costs, and also started shopping more at Aldi. I usually visit there once a month on average.

Now, how do I MAKE MONEY??

Ibotta app
My number one way is by using the Ibotta app. If you haven’t heard of this app yet, shame on you 🙂 It’s basically a rebate app that pays you money back for doing your everyday shopping. Each retailer has items that if you buy, they will pay you money. So they are benefiting since you are buying their products. For example, I just sent my receipt in this morning from Walmart and made $2.50. I got paid for buying yogurt, baby food, and crackers. Also, they have money back for buying any item. It really gets you in the habit of using the app. My email reminded me this morning that it has been a full year using it now.  With Black Friday deals coming up too, you can buy directly through the app and earn even more cash back. These are things you were going to buy anyway. We recently bought my daughter an Echo Dot for music in her room after she starting having night terrors. And pretty much the cutest thing is hearing her tell Alexa what music she wants to hear. We purchased through the app to get 5% back. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you stay home, every dollar (or cent) matters.

So how does it work?
>> Download the Ibotta app
>> Enter my promo code to get $10 free!
>> Start shopping the rebates and offers on the app (It really is that simple)
>> After you purchase items, scan/upload your receipt
>> You can send the money earned to your account! It usually takes just a day.

So yes, the app is free! No gimmicks 🙂 Make the most of your holiday shopping this year and grocery shopping throughout the year!

Now, let me talk coupons!
There have been shopping trips where I save 15-20% on my total with coupons. I will admit, using coupons does take time. I compare the sales and then combine it with coupons I have. Sometimes I am even able to double up coupons. For example, if I have two separate coupons for the same item I can use both. I also use the Ibotta app in combination with coupons. And for some reason, I am on Kroger’s best customer list. So i get free coupons all the time.

Open an online shop
Another way to make money is sell your talents! What do you do best? I have been slowly getting back into crafts and sewing. I had an Etsy shop set up when I was making wood signs (pre-second baby) and that would allow me to do some projects while the kids nap or in the evening. And as many of you know, my back pain has limited some of this for now.  I’m now 8 months postpartum so taking it easy and slowly healing. But this requires a lot of time stretching and strengthening. I’m hopeful to get back into selling handmade items in the next year or two!

Craiglist/Facebook Marketplace
I have also been on the minimalist journey so I am frequently cleaning out and selling anything of value on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. For those with kids, minimalism has saved me so much time (and money). You spend less time cleaning up clutter and have more time to spend with family. I am only surrounded by the things I love (and that bring me joy). If you haven’t read The Life changing magic of tidying up, it should be on your list. What, you don’t have time? Me neither, but for me this was a priority. I skimmed that book in a day or two and began sending bags and bags of STUFF and CLUTTER to be donated.

Amazon Associates program
You know all those links to products on Amazon when you are reading blogs? Well when you buy through the link provided, the person makes a little money (and does a little happy dance). Pretty simple right? It took me less than 5 minutes to set up my account. Read more about the program here! Who doesn’t shop Amazon?? 🙂 This program works well for me because I have a blog, use ALOT of Amazon products, and love to help others (especially moms) find deals!

So there you have it! What other ways do you have to make money while staying home? Taking care of two littles is a full time job, but there are little snippets of ME time. And some of these above mentioned take little time! Please comment with questions too!

Thanks for reading!


My postpartum back pain journey

Hey guys, I know it’s been awhile and I’ve missed writing so much. The last six months I have been focusing on healing during my postpartum journey. It has come at a price. Lots of time researching, going to physical therapy, stretching, and strengthening. I have been trying to stay emotionally and mentally healthy as well. Chronic pain can really take that away. (See cute baby below to realize this has all been WORTH IT.)DSC00185I wanted to share more of my story and what steps I have taken to get to a much better place. Not healed, but able to deal with it. It is going to be an ongoing process for a while, if not forever. Because, just a reminder, your health is a TOP PRIORITY!

My low back pain started about 6 weeks postpartum. It took me a few months after that to see a physical therapist. She treated me for Sacroilliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction (pain). The joint that stabilizes between the sacrum and iliac is too loose, creating too much movement and makes it hard to stabilize. The hormone, relaxin, from birth and breastfeeding loosen the joints. All the muscles surrounding the area are sore from having to overcompensate. Also, my core strength has weakened since having two kids so close together.

I have felt defeated many times but I haven’t given up. The pain has been so unbearable at times making it hard to do the simplest things such as sit, stand and hold my babies.

Here are the symptoms that I have:
Pain transitioning from sitting to standing
Pain when rolling over in bed
Pain when sitting too long and long car rides
Pain in hips, buttocks, groin, full back and upper legs
Tightness in groin
Pain around SI joint
Pain going down stairs
Pain worse on one side

I am here to tell you there is hope. After reading so many negative things about chronic pain about this issue, it has been tough to stay positive. But then I think, when have I ever given up? And the one thing that has been the game changer for me? Well two things really. YOGA and self adjustments. Not just any yoga. I found a pain relief series by Lindey Samper on Amazon Prime. I am doing stretches and strengthening that I couldn’t do last week because of it. I believe the healing so far wouldn’t have been possible without physical therapy and of course my support village. Big shout out to my husband! I think he really understands that this postpartum healing journey is long and he has been my rock.

It took some time to figure out what is working for me specifically. Here are some of the steps that I have taken to find relief in addition to the aforementioned items:

>>Going to physical therapy for 4+ months
>>Saw an orthopedic doctor this week (who determined it was all childbirth related and the SI joint tests were negative)
>>Bought another Ikea Poang chair (full back support, amazing!!)


ikea chair
>>Hot epsom salt baths
>>Bought The Back Pain Secret book on Amazon (This has some great exercises and advice)

>>SI belt
>>Ice packs
>>TENS unit
>>Baby wearing with the Lillebaby carrier with back support
>>Anti-inflammatory diet (no refined sugar, limiting gluten, adding superfoods)
>>Turmeric supplements (to be fair, I haven’t dosed enough to give much feedback)
>>Being intentional with every movement, posture, carrying and lifting (If I see you slouching I might say something)
>>monthly massages (This also is amazing and I highly recommend buying a massage chair)
>>Joined Facebook support group
>>Following blogs about SI joint pain
>>Spending more time home to focus on time for yoga and less carrying (carseats and toddlers)
>>Bought supportive bras for my measured size G breasts
>>Self adjustments to SI joint and pelvis (pelvis reset exercises)
>>Dry needling (starting this week, woohoo!)

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding (like me), I understand you are limited in terms of medicine. But it has honestly been for the better so I can focus on the problem vs the symptoms. That is also why you do not see chiropractor mentioned 🙂 And this is in no way to bash that alternative method. Just my personal opinion.

I would love to chat with you more if you are experiencing this too. The pain is SO REAL. Every day you have to fight. I think going through labor again would be easier, put it that way! I hope this blog post reaches one person who will have an aha moment. I pray it helps you 🙂

My journey continues from here and I will be focusing on this yoga series for now. One day at a time. My babies need me to be at my best.

Please comment below if I left anything out or you have words of wisdom. This is an ongoing journey and I can’t do it alone.


Thanks for reading!


Postpartum life after your second baby

In hindsight, postpartum after having my first baby wasn’t nearly as bad as with the second. Not to say it was by any means easy or to say others haven’t had a rough time. From what my experience has been, most people think that once the baby comes things get easier. Not sure where that idea came from.  I’m here to tell you what postpartum life is really like. It’s not easy friends! Cute baby faces help, but it’s often a struggle.

DSC00185AT4A5083Throughout my second pregnancy I constantly heard that the baby would deliver faster and easier. In my case, I went into labor at night so going all day and not resting didn’t help. With my daughter (first born), I labored in the morning so had a full nights sleep. So that at least made it seem easier looking back. My doctor told me throughout pregnancy that my uterus is more sensitive now with the second, and I believe that!

Once I delivered I was ready for the second night cluster feeding. I was ready for all I expected having done this before. What I haven’t been ready for is experiencing back pain to the point of not being able to pick up and play with my kids. I don’t always have help so I have to do it regardless. This makes the healing process feel like it will never progress. Add in the late night feedings and holding the baby and it becomes excruciating. There have been many nights where I just held a crying baby and broke down myself.  With my husband on night shift, I have texted him just to vent and hear someone say it will be ok. That’s what I need to hear. That my feelings are ok. It’s ok that I’m frustrated because right as I get comfortable the baby is once again crying.

I am now three months in and still having this back pain. I know it will take time to heal and I have an amazing community of support giving me exercises I can do to strengthen my core. Having two babies within two years wasn’t easy on my body, especially my abdominal muscles. When I asked my doctor if I have Diastasis recti (ab separation that is common in 2 out of 3 women with multiple children) he shrugged it off. I did a plank around my six week mark when I was released to exercise again. My low back overcompensated for it. The hardest part is just doing the day to day with two babies; the constant getting up and down, carrying a 25 lb toddler and making sure everyone stays safe.

DSC00163The care women receive here in the United States is not where it should be. If you remember after my first I became so frustrated with the system while trying to figure out if I had mastitis. I recently found this article on the Fit4Mom blog that shows what different cultures do to support mothers postpartum. It really is sad to see where the United States is in comparison. We often feel like we have more love to give (i.e. have more babies) but don’t have the support we need to stay happy, healthy, and mentally sane.

Breastfeeding is another thing that happens to your body. It actually HAPPENS to your body. Your breasts become huge, saggy, squirting, leaking, sweaty, rashes and oh so uncomfortable. And I’m not really sure if my back rolls are breast tissue or what. Forget those bras you already bought during pregnancy. They don’t fit. Go spend another hundred dollars and maybe get a little bit more comfort. But try to leave the house with two kids in tow and focus on trying clothes on. I didn’t even mention the first few weeks of breastfeeding nipple pain. Brace yourself and scream at the same time your baby does.  Then cry because your baby is frustrated now too and not latching. And moms who feed another way you are amazing too! I am not here to complain or take it for granted because I know so many moms have different journeys and that is totally fine!

DSC00598DSC00600I debated talking about the emotional side of things. There is a lot of shame surrounding it. There is a big difference in feelings between my first and second. But not because I love one more than the other. You love them differently, as a friend of mine explained it perfectly. Savannah will always hold a special place, being my first born. She made me a mommy. And Owen, well we are seeing his personality more and more every day. It’s really tough to soak in the moments the same as when Savannah was a newborn. You don’t have the time you once had, nor the patience. These feelings lead to a lot of mom guilt; where you feel like you can’t help either child 100%. You also miss when it was easy, just the two of you. So then you have more guilt for thinking that, as if its the same as saying you don’t love your second.

DSC00532I use to say I could never handle two kids. Somedays are better than others. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it, especially when these two little faces look up at me with wide eyes (especially when Owen should be sleeping). And the sweetest thing is seeing them in awe of each other. Savannah is 22 months older than Owen and it has taken a little while for her to warm up to him. But the moments she kisses him or asks to play with him make my heart melt. Their dad going to work everyday working so hard makes me sit back and appreciate this family dynamic for now. I know that some day I will miss all of it. So if I cry more some days, so be it. They will see a strong, but vulnerable mom. Maybe someday they will want to be like me and have a family of their own. Each day that both of my tiny humans are safe and happy is a win in my book!

**Edited to add that since having my Mirena (IUD birth control) recently removed my symptoms of back pain and emotional side effects have significantly improved. And that’s a post for another day. The doctors had done very little to forewarn me of these additional hormonal side effects after having just gone through labor & delivery.

Baby Owen’s birth story

DSC00113Every pregnancy is different and leading up to 39 weeks, the anticipation was building. Not knowing how or when I would go into labor left me just waiting for the moment. My entire second pregnancy was different from the first (and not sure if it was because we were having a little boy vs. a little girl). Savannah was born pretty much on her due date and this little guy decided to come early at 39+2 days. So here’s my birth story:

Leading up to the day of labor, things were changing rapidly. I was even cleaning baseboards the day or two before. Full on, sitting on the floor cleaning. Crazy, I know! The evening of Monday, March 12 I began having slight cramping and little bit more intense Braxton Hicks contractions. The morning of Tuesday, March 13 I had a friend over for a play date and I felt a lot of pressure when I would stand up or walk. A noticeable difference from the previous day. As the morning went on, I called my mom and she decided to drive down since she was going to be taking care of Savannah while we went to the hospital. My dad ended up driving me to my last OB appointment since Dan was working. He knew something was happening, but not enough yet to take off work. And with my parents here, I did have help in the meantime.

Around 8pm that evening we decided to finalize everything and make our way to the hospital. With Savannah, we waited too long to get to the hospital so I didn’t want to take that chance this time. I was told by my doctor that with the second, things would progress much quicker. That didn’t really seem to be the case for this little guy.

Upon arrival at the hospital, triage checked me in and hooked me up to the monitors so they could keep an eye on contractions and the baby’s heart rate. Several doctors came in and checked my dilation. I was at 2cm and seemed pretty comfortable according to them so I had several choices. We decided to walk the hospital to move labor along and after an hour returned to triage. I was still at 2cm but I was definitely more uncomfortable and could tell labor was coming VERY SOON. We decided to leave the hospital and return once the contractions were even more intense. This was around 11pm.

I labored at home until around 3:30am, woke Dan and he popped out of bed. He knew it was happening and couldn’t wait to meet his little man. We headed back to the hospital and this time it was clear that I wasn’t going anywhere. I was 4cm and the contractions were getting worse. DSC00065I labored at the hospital until I got my epidural around 7 or 8am. Once the epidural kicked in, I was much more comfortable. The nurses kept coming in and rotating me because Owen’s heart rate kept dipping. And they had me wear oxygen to help regulate his heart rate as well. They came in at some point and broke my water. This would help move labor along.

Around noon I was at 10cm and they made all the preparations for me to start pushing. The doctor was worried about his cord possibly being wrapped so they wanted me to push fast and get him out. I pushed for about 20 minutes and he was here! That part was much quicker than with Savannah’s birth.

And here he is! 8lbs, 4 oz of pure baby bundle! Sweeter than we could have imagined and looking a lot like his sister! We love you so much little man! DSC00135DSC00132DSC00070DSC00145DSC00163DSC00085We say he came early to catch the tournament. GO CATS!!

Thanks for reading!

It’s a boy! Owen’s sweet nursery

With a few weeks to spare, the nursery is complete! For some reason, it was a lot more difficult to design a boy’s nursery than with Savannah’s room. Something about little girls and all the girly stuff is so fun! You can see Savannah’s nursery (once in this room) and her now big girl room! Not to say this wasn’t fun, it was just different. I can’t wait to experience what everyone keeps telling me about little boys. Owen’s nursery took a lot of inspiration from his daddy. It’s filled with UK Blue, Blue and Army stuff! I also threw in a little scripture that has kept me looking forward throughout this journey. And Savannah made sure he had a book wall so he could keep up with her love for reading! And I’m sure they will share a lot of it. It will be fun for her when I am nursing, changing, or playing with him in the nursery.DSC09957DSC09934DSC09931DSC09932DSC09940DSC09935DSC09954
How fun is this wool ball garland? If you know me, I had to throw in some handmade items! And this big print of Blue framed above the crib. Can you believe this print and frame came in under $25 total? A little DIY magic.DSC09948DSC09920DSC09943DSC09952DSC09929
As you can see, we still need to decide on a picture for that frame. The random little girl eating ice cream is cute and all, but maybe a sweet family picture would be better. And I have a thing for using what you already have to decorate, like hanging special clothes on the wall. I did the same with Savannah’s first year dress. DSC09925DSC09939
This little burlap hoop was a gift from a dear friend, made locally by Tina at Go Big or Go Home. It’s hand painted and so much love was put into this. What a sweet welcome to his room.

Now to get my bag packed for the hospital. I’m a little behind, but at least my laundry is done! He could be here tomorrow or in a few weeks! AHH… the anticipation of it all!

And then there is this girl. She is going to be the best big sister. I can’t wait to see their love for each other when Owen gets here. Little Owen is going to be a charmer, brave, and strong just like his daddy. We already know he is pretty wild and he hasn’t even arrived. God really did have a plan for our family and I am witnessing it first hand. It’s not easy, but it is so worth it! DSC00005DSC00041DSC00061DSC00050Thanks for stopping by and peeking into Owen’s room. We will keep you posted once he gets here!


How physical therapy saved me during pregnancy

Photo by Olivia McCarty

I always heard how your second baby would be a tough pregnancy, but I was in for a surprise. Being fairly healthy and working out consistently didn’t make a difference for me. Being only 15 months out from my first baby, my body still hadn’t fully adjusted back to normal yet. By about month 4 or so into my second pregnancy, I started having terrible back spasms at night, waking up screaming. Thankful for my husband all these nights for waking up and helping me, massaging it and comforting me. I was familiar with normal achiness from my first pregnancy, but I knew this was different. It was my upper right back and nothing was helping. Heat made it worse and I was at a loss of what to do. I became so frustrated and sad, not being able to do everyday tasks or fully able to play with and take care of my daughter. That was truly the worst part. I was already going through the anxiety of welcoming another baby where she wouldn’t get my full attention. So like any determined parent would do, I sought help and answers. I wouldn’t take no for an answer and chalk it up to “normal pregnancy symptoms” as many doctors and others had told me.DSC04790

I called around to my insurance to see what would be covered. I reached out to my facebook mom groups for guidance to see if anyone experienced something similar. I talked to physical therapist family members. A lot of people recommended chiropractic care. So I decided to try it. I went to one complimentary appointment and left there not feeling convinced it would offer relief. It wasn’t for me. (And this doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, I just felt uneasy about all the adjustments during pregnancy) And honestly, I left there with a suggestive problem of scoliosis. And I wasn’t convinced.

I reached out to my Fit4Mom family and several people recommended a physical therapy office near me. My first visit was amazing! They listened to what was ailing me, took measurements, gave me exercises to build strength, and did deep tissue massage in my upper back. It was instant relief (although still had a long way to go). This was early January and I am still going 1-2 times a week. I have built up strength, learned to be more aware of my posture, and do exercises daily to maintain my strength. I can’t say enough good things about the therapists at Performance Physical Therapy here in Lexington, Ky. I have spent the most time with Erin and she has done more than I would ever expect to help me. She is one of the most caring, kind, human beings I have ever met. With two small children of her own, she is familiar with everything that comes with pregnancy.

With a growing belly and other areas getting bigger contributing to the pain, carrying a toddler around, and prepping for a new baby, physical therapy has been life changing for me. I can sleep through the night and enjoy my daughter during the day. The pain is not fully gone, but it is manageable. No more spasms and screaming at night. In the evening I have exercises to do after a long day to help the muscles relax. And a massage chair has been great too!!

DSC_0748Photo by Olivia McCarty

So all you fellow mamas with pain- DON’T GIVE UP! There is hope for your pain relief. I hope to take these techniques and lessons into postpartum care too. You know, the times where you hunch over breastfeeding. I will definitely be more aware of posture and continue to strengthen the muscles. One thing I did learn is that your upper back/shoulder/rotator cuff area is super sensitive and you have to make a conscious effort to build strength. It is very fragile. IMG_7201

Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts! I hope if you are reading this, you advocate for your body during pregnancy. Only you know if what you are feeling is normal. You got this mama!

Thanks for reading!