Blog, iphone, Kids Say, Month In A Minute

May Recap

Excuse my grandmotherly ways as I exclaim “Oh my, I can’t believe it’s June!” I mean, I feel the same shock every time another month passes so you’d think I’d be used to it. Is this shock going to continue for the rest of my life?

Also, today is National Donut Day–which I normally go crazy over. I can tell you that it’s not quite as thrilling when you’re 22 days into Whole 30. I still let my children celebrate like the festive mother I am. But I’ll rehash that in next month’s post (sorry for SUCH a cliff hanger.)

Back to the real reason for this post–my May recap…featuring a new crib sheet from this adorable shop, lots of new swimwear for Evangeline from Stella Cove, and the most adorable Jedi baby.

These group shots from the abandoned church that we saw a few weeks back are just some of my favorites! (and I just realized that I say that about almost every group shot.)

I’m not sure if I already shared on my blog, but on May 11th, I celebrated 13 years being cancer free. It also happened to fall on the same day that Don had a work meeting out in the city. We ended up dropping him off and finding Turtle Park, which I’ve driven by hundreds of times but have never actually visited. And just as it sounds, it was a park…with turtles. That’s all it was. Big turtle statues. But the kids absolutely loved it and were very sad that we didn’t get to stay long. Their sadness quickly faded because we went to our absolute favorite ice cream shop, Ice’s, to celebrate my health! It was also my last hurrah before I started Whole 30 the next morning.//Also, Clem channeling her inner Mr. T vibes. If you haven’t seen his music video, it is a must.

The best thing about having a big family is all of the relationships. They genuinely love spending time with each other. It is so special to watch their friendships. We are so blessed.// And Clem in her milk bath–totally giving me all kinds of sass in the most adorable way.

Sister pictures are my favorite thing ever (for some reason, the boys don’t get into the brother pictures quite as much 😉 ) They have their own sister hashtag on my Instagram–#sweetestsisterfriends. Also, in case you aren’t on Instagram but still are interested in what I share there, you can always view the web version that I linked or if you are looking from a desktop/laptop, you can see the most recent IG pictures across the bottom of my blog.

She’s only 2 days away from turning 8 months old. Cue the tears. Yesterday I was watching a video of her from when she was just hours old and it made me want to rewind time like crazy. But I am so enjoying the sweet stage she’s in right now.

This picture of Evangeline and Desmond may be my favorite thing ever–partly because I just wasn’t expecting her to come alongside him and put her arm around him.//Also, the picture of Mabel and Clem is another favorite. BFFs, just like their mommas.

I was really bad about getting my Month in a Minute clips this month. I guess just the busyness of life had me forgetting most day so I ended up using my phone instead of the DSLR on a lot of days. Don’s video, however, turned out much better than mine (like always.) If you haven’t already subscribed to our family vlog (Don’s channel,) please do! We need enough subscribers to create a custom URL and we still need quite a few more. Don works very hard on each video (usually taking weeks to complete each one in his free time) so I can guarantee they are very well made.

(my video on top, his on the bottom. As always, if you only have time/patience to watch one of these 1 minute videos, I recommend Don’s .)

And the best way to end the recap–with some Kids Say.
Have a happy weekend and go eat a donut (or two) for me!

As we pulled up to the strawberry fields and saw a donkey..
Evangeline–“Hey look! It’s an elephant.”

The kids were talking about time and AM/PM.
Me–“12pm is when we eat lunch.”
Kingston–**excitedly “is it 12pm right now?!”
Me–“No. It’s past that. We just ate lunch.”
Kingston–**disappointed “Oh. I forget things sometimes.”

Evangeline and Desmond had blankets tied around their necks, like capes, and she was trying to state that they matched.
Evangeline–“Look Desmond, it’s like we’re married together.”

Kai and Kingston kept saying that person mowing the lawn next door was a girl because they had long hair. Liam, fed up with them debating it, finally yelled “He has a beard!”

Blog, Whole 30

Life Lately and Whole 30 Update

Hi!! I’m back to bore you with my Whole 30 update and a little bit of what’s been going on with us lately. If you’re tempted to already click out of this post, don’t worry–I’m not doing a day-by-day update this time. That was not exciting for anyone when I recapped week one. But I will give a brief update for anyone interested.

So when I checked in last time, I didn’t feel like I could form a proper opinion about Whole 30, negative or positive. Then week 2 started. On day 10, we ran out of apples so Don quit Whole 30. I like to tease him about it. But really, the apple incident was just the final straw to his list of complaints. He was losing weight (which makes me want to roll my eyes so hard) and didn’t have the energy he needed to work every day. He was pretty much falling asleep any time he wasn’t at work. So he gave up, weighed himself, and saw that he was 5 pounds lighter than when he started. And he wasn’t wanting to lose weight in the first place. He ate a bowl of cereal and I’m serious, his mood completely changed. And I felt a lot less stress when I wasn’t worried about someone else haha.

Then after my husband (who wasn’t even TRYING to lose weight) quit, I started feeling like I was GAINING weight. WHAT?! I was craving all kinds of junk food–like a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s *gag* (My friend, Maggi, even asked if I was pregnant because of those two complaints. That caused big laughs. Big, big laughs. Nope, not pregnant.) This was actually another point that I wanted to quit. I felt like it was doing the opposite of what I wanted it to do. What is the point of doing it if I’m going to feel worse than when I started? But since it looked like these were pretty typical symptoms at this point in W30, I stuck with it. And I’m glad I did. Because after a few days, I started feeling a little better and have since then found my groove.

One of the big reasons I wanted to do Whole 30 was to venture out and try new foods. While I’m definitely not trying anything adventurous, I have found a few new things that I like. And I’ve also really grown to love things that weren’t that great to me in the beginning. I used to really despise sweet potatoes but I tried dicing one up with a little bit of cinnamon and cooking it in the skillet and now I officially love them. Actually, my absolute favorite meal right now is pulled pork over diced sweet potatoes (with lots of hot sauce.) I seriously crave it all day long. I’m also really loving almond butter mixed with cinnamon. It tastes amazing with sweet plantain chips or honeycrisp apples. And that ketchup that was just okay when I first tried it—now I think it tastes pretty good!

Now I’m on day 20 and feeling excited that I’m in the last stretch. I’m not really sick of the foods yet but I’m excited to be done so I can check the scale.  I still don’t feel any major change in my body though. So I don’t have high expectations. Anyway, I think I’ve bored you enough with my ramblings about my Whole 30 experience.

So on to what else has been going on with us lately. We’ve been gearing up for summer and trying to come up with some kind of summer bucket list. Every time the ice cream truck passes our house (and they do it ever so slowly because they know our house is the prime spot for potential buyers–little do they know we are cheap thrifty with our money,) the kids will beg to try ice cream from them “just one time.” So the plan is to let them try it just once. Although I think we’d be better off going to the store and buying a whole pack for a fraction of the cost and just drive up and down the street in our Suburban, playing creepy children’s music loudly and selling to them. For some reason, I don’t think they’d find it nearly as exciting.

A little funny story about Desmond– the other day Liam and I came up from the basement after starting the laundry to find that Desmond wasn’t in sight anymore. I figured he had run upstairs with the other kids to play but then I heard him starting to cry in the kitchen. I walked in there and thought his cries sounded weird–maybe a little muffled? So I checked the pantry to see if his sister trapped him in there (wouldn’t be the first time.) He wasn’t in there. Liam and I kept hearing his cries but couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. We started checking all of the cabinets and I started feeling like he was a ghost or something because I couldn’t find him anywhere. Then it sounded like his cries were actually coming from outside our house so I peeked out the window–I didn’t see him at first but heard the cries again to see him on the ground, right outside the window. The poor kid managed to fall out our kitchen window, on to a pokey plant, and was too scared to move. Our windows are low to the floor in our kitchen but it was still about a 3 foot drop to the ground. I’m not sure how it happened without Don noticing (he was in the living room the whole time and didn’t even notice the crying.) He must have just been pushing against the screen when it broke. Poor kid. Thankfully he seemed more scared than hurt. **Side note: he is the hardest child to photograph right now. He is always distracted by birds or anything that moves.

We are still a few months out from our family vacation but we’ve been counting down since the end of last year and I cannot wait! I’m a little (okay, very very) nervous about the 2 days of driving that it will take to get there. And then even worse, the drive back–when I seriously contemplate having Don drop me off on the side of a road so I can just walk home. But we will be vacationing with my two very best friends so I am so excited. Hopefully Clementine and Desmond love the beach as much as the rest of their family does.

The milk bath that always appear so easy when a professional photographer is doing it. Not as easy as it looks. I did get a couple of cuter shots on my phone but I wanted to share this one too. Note to self–don’t try using a 50mm lens if ever attempted again.

I had the opportunity to do a takeover on The Bump’s Instagram this past Friday. It was a little scary to share my story with such a huge audience but there were so many encouraging comments and messages. A lot of people came forward and thanked me for sharing about my miscarriages because they were either currently or recently going through one themselves. So I am thankful that I had the opportunity to share. If you want to read, you can follow the link and scroll back until you see our family picture. There are 8 photos/captions that I shared that day.

Today we’re going to check out a couple new parks/splash pads and hoping that they aren’t too crowded. If you have any fun (free/cheap) summer things to add to our bucket list, please share!! And have a great week!

Blog, spring, st. louis

Strawberry Fields Forever

Last year, around this time, I was a little over halfway through my pregnancy with Clementine when I realized how badly I wanted to take the kids strawberry picking. The strawberry season was just about over at the time and there was no way anyone could convince my pregnant self to bend over, so I decided it could wait. Fast forward to last week when we went on the perfect 75 degree, overcast day.

We have been apple picking multiple times at the same orchard, Thierbach, about an hour away from us. But we’ve never done berry picking there. I was afraid Don would want to choose a farm closer to us instead of making the drive but I was pleasantly surprised that he wanted to go the same place. We have just loved our experience every time, so it makes the drive worth it.

Besides our family, there were maybe only one or two other small families there. We ended up having a huge section all to ourselves. We expected to spend quite a while picking strawberries, but when you have 5 kids picking at the same time, our box filled up pretty quickly. We ended up making up a few games for the kids (things like “who can find the biggest/smallest strawberry in 30 seconds”) just to spend more time there and make that 2 hour round trip drive worth it haha. Also, I may have gone on a picture overload.

I think out of everyone, Kingston enjoyed it the most. I wish I knew how many strawberries that kid ate. Every time I saw him, he was stuffing another one in his mouth. His face and hands were stained red.

We did have one certain child who just wanted to go back to sleep. He picked strawberries for a few minutes and spent the rest of the time wishing he was in bed. I had the nerve to wake him up at 8am that morning so we could get out the door by 9. Now he knows what it feels like haha (Says the mom of sweet baby, Clementine, who has not been a very good sleeper the past few nights.)

Speaking of Clem…

Did your heart just melt? Because mine did. There was a sweet woman who was picking berries close to us and asked if we wanted a family picture. I have laughed at it so many times because the kids look absolutely miserable. But besides Kai, they all really loved it. So we’ll continue on the quest for a normal family picture.

A few days before this, I had decided to try a braided crown on Evangeline to see if I could figure it out. I had tried before and failed but I was determined to do it this time. It was a sloppy success! She has asked a couple more times for the crown (and my guess is because I let her play games on my phone while I fix her hair and she has caught on that this hair style takes the longest, haha.) It’s nowhere near perfect but I was so proud to be able to pull off a decent braid! This was only my 2nd time so be kind and don’t judge 😉


We had such a fun time and I think it’ll be our new May tradition! And I think next year I’ll make sure I’m not on Whole 30 when we go because it’s pure torture not to be eating all kinds of strawberry desserts right now. I hope you’re having a good week!

(p.s. Don has been making short little “micro-vlogs” for his instagram stories and is compiling them for YouTube videos. There’s a short snippet from strawberry picking in this video 🙂 )