FRIDAY FIVE

Oh hey, Friday! Wait, is it actually Friday though? Thanks to a stomach bug that started with the baby and worked it’s way through the rest of us I’ve barely left my house this week so that makes it hard to know for sure. Yeah, glad to be on the other side of that. This weekend we are looking forward to playing catch up, doing some planning for a certain first birthday that’s on the horizon, and disinfecting every square inch of this house. Amen.

It’s been a minute since I showed my face around here, so I thought we could ease into things with a little Friday Five action!

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Better late than never with an Easter photo, amiright? I know baskets for an (almost) one year old can be a polarizing debate but, I LIVE for putting together baskets and gifts for people so there was no way it wasn’t happening. I got him one of these “Story of” board books for kids that I just love. They are simple enough for kids to understand and spot on theologically – we have the Story of Christmas, too! I shared my favorite page of the Easter book on Easter over on Instagram if you want to take a peek. Other than that I got him some new bath toys (to replace the ones I threw away after a nasty tub/poop incident…), filled some plastic eggs with Cheerios (which he promptly fed to the dog) and called pretty much called it a day. Plus, we had such a fun day with family! Easter is always one of my favorite holidays. So much excitement and hype (like Christmas) without all the pressure and anticipation of gifts. So grateful that he died so we can LIVE!

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Totally not sharing this photo to show off my domestic skills but to tell you that I have been making a big batch of these Healthy Oatmeal Banana Pancakes that Hope shared for Camden on an almost weekly basis and they are a huge hit! I would consider the quantities she put in that blog post a double batch so we store them in the freezer, pop them in the toaster, and serve with a side of fresh fruit for an easy baby (or mom!) breakfast.

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My grandparents gifted us a zoo membership for Christmas and we have been trying to take advantage as much as possible while the weather is nice! We’ve been several times but this past weekend was the first time I could tell that Cam was really looking at the animals and he acted like he was super confused the whole time. It was hilarious. Like, why are all these things moving around? They usually just stay in one place on the pages of my books! Maybe he was just underwhelmed. Our local zoo is no big deal once you’ve been to Animal Kingdom, I guess :)

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Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we all got the stomach bug this week which meant baths on baths on laundry on laundry. I shudder to think of what our water bill will be next month. Also, can someone tell me why I didn’t get one of those babies who gets all snuggly when they are sick? I feel like I was promised that would be a thing and my kid acted totally fine amidst all his…sickness. No extra snuggles at all! I feel jipped. While just one day later I was that mom laying on the ground outside shivering in the 75 degree whether while my kid played with rocks/water/whatever. Kids man.

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I started a new book the other night that I think a lot of you would love! My friend Kristy just published her THIRD (eek!) book Slightly South of Simple and I am loving it! If you are a lover of Elin Hilderbrand, beach reads, or chick lit in general not only have you found the right blog (feel you, girl), I know you will love this book too! I’m hoping to completely finish it this weekend and give you a full review on it and everything else I’ve read lately next week! Read the synopsis on Amazon here.

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Oops, I think this is number six. We are still getting Hello Fresh boxes every couple of weeks and loving it! These grilled cheese tacos were something I picked and thought “my husband is going to kill me for this” and they turned out to be his favorite HF meal EVER. If you haven’t tried Hello Fresh yet and want to, I’ve got four free boxes to give away right now. Just drop your email below and I’ll send you the referral!

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 Katie, September Farm, Meet @ the BarreLiz, and The Slaughters.

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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