CURRENTLY | APRIL

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A C C O M P L I S H I N G 
Finally accomplishing some home projects/decor decisions! I am typically the one who has motivate both my husband and I to do those types of things and being a new mom can really put a damper on your desire to do anything but snuggle and play with your baby (and sleep), you know? I’m also really intentional (picky) about only buying stuff for our house that I LOVE because when I get tired of something it has got to go and go fast. So you know, it can get a little expensive for those of us on a limited budget (who also like to go on vacation #amen). Truthfully, I also feel very accomplished that this is my second time blogging this week, ha!

F E E L I N G
I’m actually feeling pretty good right now! After a few hard weeks (the hardest I’ve had being a mother, truthfully) transitioning from breastfeeding then going right in to a couple weeks of sleep issues (thanks Leap 7!) it’s nice to not feel like we are just surviving, if that makes sense. Not that we don’t have our moments! The lovely Spring weather we’ve had the last week doesn’t hurt, either! Being able to just open the doors and get some fresh air in the house always does wonders for my mood.

N E E D I N G
A dress for Easter! Well, actually a whole new summer wardrobe really, but let’s not get into all that 😉 All of Old Navy’s dresses are 50% off right now (uhh hello $15 beauty!!) so I’ll probably order a few and see what works. Does anyone else avoid the mall with a baby at all costs? Aren’t dressing rooms claustrophobic enough without a stroller and a baby taking up space?! Unless I’m desperate, I just can’t do it.

P R A C T I C I N G
Running with the jogging stroller. It’s a art form that I have not yet mastered, friends. My poor dog nearly gets run over by it multiple times a day.

P I N N I N G
I’m going to go literal here and share the very last thing I pinned. A video popped up in my Facebook news feed yesterday of this Avocado Tuna Salad and I pinned it right away. I would probably switch out the tuna for chicken but I can’t wait to make this for lunch next week, yum. I still love Pinterest dearly and love finding new people’s pins to stalk so go follow me here and I’ll follow you back!

Linking up with Anne and Jenn.

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LIFE LATELY

It’s been a while since we did a little life update around here so here we go:

camden 10 months

Approximately ohh, twenty days ago, Camden turned 10 months old! I’m great at this monthly update thing, no?

Last week at a doctor visit he weighed 22 lbs and was almost 24 inches long which puts him in the 60th percentile for weight and the 90th(!!!) for height.

Many people commented on this Strong Like Mom t-shirt (thanks Meg!) which is a 12 month and not really all that big on him. And I just moved him up to size FOUR diapers. Insert crying face emoji here.

Everything is a phone. Stuffed monkeys, granola bars, water bottles, remotes, the little battery pack on my computer power cord – you will hold them up to your ear and say “Hi!” It’s hilarious and never gets old.

This boy will eat almost anything you put in front of him (not sure about all green veggies yet so we are still pureeing those sometimes), loves to walk behind his Learning Farm and dance to Shape of You, and when offered a pile of toys he will go straight for a book. He is my best bud and even on days when I’m counting down the minutes until dad comes home, I wouldn’t change our life together for the entire world.

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I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes, trying to find some more baby-approved things (aka things I don’t have to spend 10 minutes cutting up!) to make on the regular.

This cauliflower rice from Skinnytaste was a big hit with both of my boys (I set some aside for Cam before adding soy sauce) but I will probably add some chicken or maybe more egg the next time because I felt like it barely made a dent in my hunger.

I finally jumped on the spaghetti squash train, too and really liked this Carbonara and am making this four cheese version later this week. Nathan isn’t sold on spaghetti squash but I’m not giving up 😉

Cam gobbled up this pasta as soon as I set it on his tray. Any food that disguises veggies is A-OK in my book.

Lastly, he has been loving these pancakes for breakfast! I make a big batch with all my other meal prepping on Sunday then freeze to store and pop them in the toaster when it’s time to eat. (Side note: I need to do some research on pancake making. My second batch is always brown on one side! Any tips?)

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Life is hard when your mom won’t let you play in the toilet. Like, EVER. For real though, we’ve started dipping our toes into the glorious world of temper tantrums and most of the time it takes everything in me not to laugh at him.

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I’m loving my FitBit and am thinking of doing a whole post on the reasons why. Would that be something that you all would be interested in? 10,000 steps seems to be the generally accepted “goal” (though admittedly I don’t know why) and now that Spring has decided to come back around, I’ve been hitting that goal more consistently. I need to start adding in some weights with TIU workouts or maybe my 21 Day Fix DVDs – this baby fat is stubborn!

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Love this guy!

We finally got a chance to sneak away and see Beauty and the Beast. It was good of course but, not going to lie, I prefer the original. Obviously, Emma Wastson was lovely I just didn’t feel as connected to the story. Idk, maybe it was because we went to a 7 PM showing and that’s getting late for me these days. I’ve been obsessively listening to classic Disney songs in the car with Cam ever since though – youwilllovedisneymoviesyouhearme?!

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Thanks for commiserating with me over on Instagram about how car naps ruin lives. I can not keep this child awake in the car to save my life (or my sanity). How can five minutes of sleep ruin a crib nap? How? The logic does not work out there but I feel like it’s a proven fact based on the comments to that post. If anyone has any more tips – send them my way!

3-24-17 6I saw this quote on Pinterest when I was looking for Spring printables for our gallery wall and decided it needed a place on my chalkboard – I love it!

That’s a snippet of our life latey! Camden’s birthday party is just barely 6 weeks away and I’m trying to not go completely crazy with the plans, but that is hard for me because I love to plan a party. We are having everyone (we know, basically) to our house so if you could all start praying for no rain on that day…that would be super helpful 😉

Keep up with all my posts on Bloglovin | See day to day pictures on my Instagram | Read my tweets on Twitter | Like the Rachel Emily Blog on Facebook | Pin along with me on Pinterest

FRIDAY FAVES

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Helloooo Friday! Random favorites posts are always some of my favorite to read and this is the first time I’ve had the chance to put one together in a while. It could be due to the fact that my child woke up around 3:40 AM this morning and could not be soothed for around oh, an hour so I was nice and awake bright and early! Who needs sleep? (Me, I need sleep.)

We have a pretty fun, full weekend coming up and I am excited for some time with my boys. Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope you have a great one and enjoy these faves!

Reading/Watching
+ I’m not. I did listen to this book on audiobook a couple of weeks ago and I could. not. stop. I think it took my less than 72 hours to get through.
+ Watching takes much less brain power. I am watching Big Little Lies on HBO Go (based on this book that I LOVED) and let me tell you it is living up to the hype. I forget the ending to books basically as soon as I read them so when I remembered the ending three episodes in I got SO EXCITED.
+ All the spring break recaps. Karly is making me regret not going to the Kennedy Space Center on our Orlando trip last year and Shay has me jonesing for another DC trip. Give me all the museums!

Eating/Drinking
+ I made this Skinnytaste dish this week and it was a HUGE hit. With everyone. I used regular small shells instead of orecchiette (though, what is the difference?) and can I get an amen for a meal that does not need to be cut up for a baby? AMEN.

Shopping
+ I need this clever shirt. Then I need a set of French doors.
+ I want something like this to replace what I have under our TV. Buut I need it at a lower price point. Any suggestions?

Pinning
+ Is this not the cutest idea for egg hunts with little ones? I’m totally doing it for Cam this year. Just a few, though because I don’t think he will actually care much HA. #hereforthepictures
+ So many spring printables to finally update our gallery wall (no you still had fall/Halloween prints in your frames). I went with this one but I really want to find another place for this one because I love it so much.

In Case You Missed It
+ On Grace (And Blogging)

Have a great weekend, friends!

Keep up with all my posts on Bloglovin | See day to day pictures on my Instagram | Read my tweets on Twitter | Like the Rachel Emily Blog on Facebook | Pin along with me on Pinterest

Linking up with Coffee with Caitlin, September Farm, Meet @ the BarreLiz, and The Slaughters.

ON GRACE (AND BLOGGING)

Last week, a sweet reader emailed me and gave me an update on how things were going in her life. She had a baby a few months ago and recently started taking her son to work with her just like I do with Camden. She shared a few struggles and a funny story about how awkward things can get when you tell a man you need to pump (#truth) but my favorite line in the whole email was this one:

“I am so glad I came across your blog–it helped me to realize that I could work with my baby at my side! It’s not always easy but it is so worth it to be with him on more than just weekends! Hats off to you and thanks for the inspiration!

And guys, I cried.

Not because I was so moved that our story inspired her to think she may be able to work and raise her son at the same time (though that part is awesome) but because it encouraged me in two of the biggest ways I have been struggling lately.

The first was just blogging in general. Yes, of course I’m busier now that I have a baby but even more so I have been struggling with constant thoughts like “Why am I even doing this?” “Everything I have to say, someone else has already said/is saying better than me.” “Who wants to read about our boring life?” This sweet email proved to me that those thoughts are lies. Our story is totally unique. Which seems funny to think about because I know almost exactly the number of people in my life that can relate to taking their baby to work with them outside of the home and in the last week that number has risen to two so you would have thought that would have been obvious. But it wasn’t. At least not to me.

The second thing was probably one of the biggest lessons I have been learning as a mother lately, and that is how much I need grace and how much grace I need. I’m just going to lay it all out there – this woman had no reason to A) send me this email or B) be so nice to me in it. She emailed me a few months ago telling me she was going to start taking her baby to work and asking if I had any advice for her. I emailed her back and basically said “Yes! Let me get back to you!” then never did. I thought about it a lot and even took some notes in my phone but just kept pushing it off. What a jerk. Before I was a mom I took pride in being super organized, dependable, and a person who rarely forgot to do things. Now most days, I feel like I am holding on to everything by the shortest, thinnest thread possible and most of the time I have crazy anxiety that I’ve forgotten to do something that I said I was going to do (<— THE WORST). But that’s what grace is. It covers and comforts us when we do everything we can to deserve the opposite. This sweet woman had ZERO reason to think I cared to hear an update on her life (even though I really did!) because all of my actions pointed in the other direction. Thank you sweet Christa for giving me the grace I need in this season! (And thank you to the friends, family, co-workers and probably dozens more people who give me grace on the regular.)

Go out and give grace today, friends. We all need it desperately. But also, ACCEPT IT for yourself. It’s there. Just take it.

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BINGE WORTHY PODCASTS

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If you know me or have been around this blog for more than a week, you probably know that I am obsessed with podcasts – because I never stop talking about things I heard on them or recommending them to you. Tale as old as time, I hadn’t listened to any Podcast ever until Serial came into our lives and I’ve been trying to replace that void ever since the last episode. Which may be why you’ll notice most podcasts I listen to are true crime based and can get a little intense/creepy at times. Which also means I try not to listen to many of them around Camden. If he grows up to be a serial killer my husband would know exactly who to blame for sure.

A lot of podcasts are like radio shows. They have a host (well they all have hosts obviously but stick with me here) or a couple of hosts that interview people or chat about different topics every week and a lot of those are great but I wouldn’t call them binge-worthy. Lately, there has been a surge of podcasts coming out that tell one story over the course of a season and I’ve listened to a ton of them! These are the ones that I can say truly had me hooked like a good book that I could barely put down: (The links will take you to the websites where you can learn more about them than just my brief thoughts)

Homecoming
This one is very unique because it’s scripted. I’ve never listen to (or heard of) a scripted podcast and I was really unsure of how I would like it. Obviously since it made this list, I loved it. It’s about a lady who works with soldiers that have just returned home after fighting in Afganistan and it is riveting. I don’t want to give much more away but it really is a must listen!

Stranglers
This one is about the Boston stranglings that happened in the 1960s and the man that confessed to them and a ton of other crimes (like hundreds and hundreds of crimes). There have been movies and all sorts of things written about him and I can see why. The story is so complex and engrossing! She interviews a lady who had this man in her apartment, managed to get him to leave, then she moved out the next week and the person who had moved into her apartment was strangled. I mean, can you say chilling.

In the Dark
I had to pause this one a few times while listening because it was a little too much for my mama heart to handle. This one is about the case of Jacob Wetterling which actually was solved when someone confessed just before the podcast came out. It talks a lot about all the ways the investigation failed and the effects that this crime had on our society – like the sex offender registry which came directly as a result of it.

Accused
This case is about a female college student who was killed in her apartment in Ohio in 1978. Her boyfriend was tried and aquitted by two different juries, and the investigation stopped after that (as is usual because the police just think the person gets away with it). The host tells the story of Elizabeth, the confession/trials, and looks at/interviews all of the alternate suspects. So interesting! These things are always so complex.

Undisclosed
This podcast actually started as a follow up to the first season of Serial (by the same person who wrote this book I loved so much) but in all honesty, that season was rough to get through. The second season, though, they detail the wrongful conviction of Joey Watkins who was convicted in high school of the highway shooting of the new boyfriend of one of his exes. Undisclosed is hosted by three lawyers so there is a lot of legal jargon you have to listen to but I feel like it really adds to the story, because they point out all the flaws in this poor guys case. Worth a listen!

Serial
The OG of binge worthy Podcasts. I loved both seasons of Serial but obviously the one that is talked about the most is the first season where Sarah Koenig (aka the voice of an angel) lays out the story of a high school girl’s murder, and her ex-boyfriend’s conviction. If you are living on Mars (or ok fine just haven’t thought Podcasts are for you) you really need to start with this one. It’s pop culture iconic and honesty a great example of the reason I like these types of stories – if this was a fiction book, no one would by it (as opposed to buy) because the story is just so unbelievable.

Lest you think I am an actual psychopath for only listening to podcasts about murder, I also love Smartest Person in the Room, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey (duh), Marriage More, Crime Writers On, and The Girl Next Door Podcast. I just wouldn’t classify them as binge-worthy – jump in whenever!

Do you all listen to podcasts? What are some that you love? Always room for one more 😉

See my Snaps on Snapchat rachelemily_49 | Keep up with all my posts on Bloglovin | See day to day pictures on my Instagram | Read my tweets on Twitter | Like the Rachel Emily Blog on Facebook | Pin along with me on Pinterest

Linking up with Annie, Natalie, and Amanda.

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