Dearly Noted

Wallace Harold: Month 3

Do you ever look at your child and wonder how they can actually be yours? How can God be this good? How can my baby be this precious? How can my heart feel this much love and, in certain moments, feel like it is going to burst with pride? I daily find my affections for this boy have grown to new heights I never thought possible. He is my sunshine baby who’s smile radiates joy.img_5241Wally’s Progress:

My little man LOVES to eat (as evidenced by his adorable cheeks and chunka thighs). He continues to be solely breastfed or, while I’m at work, fed with breast milk from a bottle. He, like Flora, didn’t struggle at all with the bottle which is a huge blessing. I think my babies just love food, no matter what container they are being offered from. Ha.
I’ve stopped pumping in the mornings b/c we have a large supply of frozen milk now and it’s also quite hard to pump consistently every morning (usually our most crazy time of day).

There isn’t much change from last month. Wally wakes only one time per night (HALLELIUAH) and goes right back down after he fed. I’m immensely grateful for this b/c Flora has been getting up one or two times each night and we are dealing with that currently. Any tips for helping toddlers sleep through the night? I never thought I’d wake up more with my 2-year-old than my newborn! Lol.
We still haven’t established a daytime nap routine with Wally. He just sleeps in the car here and there, and on occasion, will nap when Flora naps. He is a pretty flexible baby and seems to be able to sleep when he’s ready no matter where we are.

We’ve stopped visiting the chiropractor b/c at about 8 weeks Wally stopped being so fussy. It was like suddenly he just grew out of it or something. He still spits up a little here and there, but he really turned a corner and is just such a happy and easy baby now. Praise Jesus.

Wally loves to try to ‘stand’ and put weight on his legs. From the beginning he has just been my strong little dude, holding his head up, looking around, standing with help, and grabbing with a grip of death. Haha. I always tell him not to grow up too fast on me and to remember to be my baby for a little while.

This last month he has started to smile SO big (see pics) and also giggle a bit as well! I can’t tell you what a precious sound it is. Flora didn’t laugh for the longest time, so I’m extra excited he has begun this sweet phase much earlier than she.

Ironically Wally has the same lazy eye that I had. We have a picture of me at 3 months and we look quite similar.🙂

Each day I put a ‘bandana bib’ on Wally b/c he has started to drool like CRAZY! Flora never drooled much at all, but Wally is just all boy. He is somehow always dirtier and droolier than Flora ever was.

Mama Updates:

The biggest change this last month was Flora turning 2 and me going back to work, leaving Wally for the first time…which all happened on the same day. It was actually a great day, Flora did super great at her daycare program (which we are calling ‘school’). She just waves goodbye to me and starts to play before I’m even gone. Ha! Wally stays with my mother-in-law who takes such attentive care of him. This allows me to get back to work and help bring in a little income for our family.
I was SO anxious leading up to that day. My baby was turning 2 and any sense of rhythm I had down with my ‘new mother-of-2 normal’ was thrown out the window for that day. But, God was SO gracious and it’s all gone very well.

Some of you may have seen that I started to do a capsule wardrobe for the first time (see this post), and it has been something that is really causing me to re-think a lot of things in my life. I plan to do a full update on that next week. But, basically God is really revealing to me just what is important to give my time, attention, and money toward. I’m seeing how I need to be conscious and a good steward of all things in my world. He is also just showing me that this particular season of life for me is about these babies. I need to raise them well and STOP FEELING GUILTY or putting so much pressure on myself to be good at…well really much else. Ha. I can learn and grow in new areas, but not cast this weight upon myself to be the best. It’s just not reality for me and it’s not what God is calling me to.

My body is still recovering from the birth, but has definitely come a LONG way. Some days I don’t even think about it, then suddenly I’ll twist or stand up too fast and realize I’m not quite there just yet.

Best Moment:
This last month has been a bit of a blur and still a bit of survival mode, but I’d say the very sweetest moments were celebrating Flora turning 2 and being blown away by her verbal skills. I am constantly in amazement by the milestones she crosses everyday.
And of course, sweet Wally. When he laughed this month I about fell over with joy. Baby laughs are from the Lord, y’all. Sent down straight from heaven above to help a strugglin mama’s heart make it through.❤

Hardest Moment:
Life with 2 babies just continues to show me my selfish ways. It causes me to realize that having children is so beautiful, but also means sacrifice. You can’t always get together when your friends are having a girl’s night. You can’t be as spontaneous or walk out the door looking put together. These are small things in the grand scheme of it all…but things you learn, none-the-less, as you add kids to the mix. All of this continues to challenge my thinking when it comes to friendships in my life. I have such little brain-space and free-time to offer to anyone outside of my little immediate family that I want to choose those friends carefully. Time is something that I must steward better than ever before. Friendships are ones I must select with care.

To be terribly honest, I’m super struggling with our house flip. When you are home with 2 babes by yourself all week and you are tired and sweaty and want a break, the weekends come and you get excited to have help…to have the weight taken off a little. But then Daniel ends up working on the house flip all weekend and I am, at last, alone again (for the most part) to wipe the snot, change the diapers, feed the meals. I keep telling myself it’s just a season with this house and I know that is true. But is a hard season and one I’m trying not to be bitter about. I don’t want to leave this house with a sour taste in my mouth. But I already know I will walk away having learned a lot about priorities.


Guess that’s about it! My brain is fried and I’m sure there is more that’s happened, but for now, this is it! Farewell to my precious newborn Wally. Hello baby Wallace!

Capsule Wardrobe: The Why & The Plan

For the last year I’ve been really intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Most of you probably know what this is…a wardrobe of around 37 higher quality items that are worn with more frequency. The thought is that each piece is selected with intention so it can be worn in heavier rotation, mixing and matching with several other pieces in the wardrobe. Instead of having a closet full of rarely-worn clothing that may be cheap and ill-fitting, you have only items that express your style, fit like a glove, are of higher quality material, and are your natural ‘go-to’s’.

Why is a capsule wardrobe appealing?

There are several reasons for me:

  • Quick & easy! What really propelled me forward to actually try a capsule was having a 2nd kiddo. With just one baby to care fore, I managed to plan out outfits and get myself ready each morning. With a toddler and a newborn…it’s just a game changer! What I need in the morning is something quick and easy that requires little to no thought but still looks put together. So the idea of having just a few items in my closet that all mix well together, I can essentially grab-and-go!
  • Identifies personal style. Many of you know I am a recovering fashion blogger.😉 When I was in my prime of fashion blogging I was always on the hunt for something new, whether it was thrifted or not, to add flare and style to my wardrobe. Often times this resulted in quick impulse purchases that left my personal style all over the map! I guess you could say I didn’t really have a personal style, I would try anything, wear any color, go with any trend, etc.
    As I get older I’m much more interested in building a wardrobe that reflects who I am (as I learn more about who I am) and functions well with my lifestyle as a mostly stay-at-home mom.
  • Budget friendly. Instead of making impulse purchases on a whim (and usually regretting them), a capsule forces you to stay within boundaries. With each new season, I can identify what items I might be lacking for my next capsule, and save up to purchase higher quality versions. It requires a bit of research and patience, but honestly I’m excited about that part. It seems hard to spend several hundred dollars on 1 pair of shoes, but if you will be wearing them daily and for several seasons, they will quickly show their value. The thrifter in me might struggle with this part, but I’ve been having a mind/heart shift with all of this lately. Which brings me to…
  • Appeals to my faith. As I started to read the blog Un-Fancy (check her out!), I was resonating with so much of Caroline’s journey to a capsule wardrobe. She doesn’t come at it from the context of a Christian faith (I have no idea where she stands), but I feel that the idea of consuming less and appreciating what we have really lines up with my values as a Christ follower. Like Caroline, I have realized that I use shopping as a way to deal with stress or feel better about myself. Like a little high that will fill today’s hole. Instead, I need to be running to my heavenly Father when I’m struggling or stressed…not to TJMaxx!
    Additionally, as a seamstress I’m beginning to realize how complicated it is to sew clothing! This leads me to ask, who is making the clothing I wear? How much are they getting paid? If I’m paying so little for this Forever 21 shirt, who is getting the short end of the stick?
    This is a shift I’m slowly starting to take in a lot more areas of my life. I am craving quality and honesty not only in my wardrobe, but in the items purchased for my home, and even in my relationships! As I start my capsule wardrobe this first round, I’m using clothing I already own which does include pieces from fast fashion stores. But my goal is to be increasingly aware of the purchases I’m making and honor the Lord in that way.

So where do you start with all of this?

Caroline’s blog has a handy capsule planner that I utilized, in part, to help me take a step back and think through my life and identify what kind of style I wanted to have.

To start, I simply thought through how I spend most of my time. I went through each day of the week and came up with percentages that would help me narrow down the clothing I would need for each activity.

57% of my time is spent on the go with the babies. I need to be comfortable, able to move easily, and wearing something that I won’t mind getting spit up on (thank you, Wally!).
14% of my time I’m doing something where I want to look just a smidg more cute and put together. This could be going to Bible study or out with friends.
29% of my time I need to be a little more dressed up. I work one day in an office and we go to church on Sundays where I enjoy dressing up a bit more. Neither of these places require anything too fancy, but something a step up from my mommy moments would be nice.

Next, I thought through words that I want to identify myself and my ‘vibe’, if you will. I came up with:

Comfortable, Natural, Feminine, Effortless, & Classic

I think this step is huge. In order to curate a wardrobe that speaks to your personal style, I think you have to stay within a color category. It might sound boring, but I find that I’m always drawn to certain bloggers and instagrammers that have a very consistent color scheme. To figure this part out I simply looked in my closet and saw what I had already been drawn to the most, the colors that naturally appealed to me and that I felt comfortable in. For me they are:

Major Colors (2): Blacks/Greys & Indigo Hues (denim, chambray, navys)
Minor Colors (1): Whites/Creams
Accents (3): Blush Pinks/Berry, Earthy Greens, Cognac Browns

What are my final selections?

A true capsule wardrobe has 37 pieces not including accessories or lounge clothing. For this round I am allowing myself 40 pieces b/c Kansas has a wide range of temperatures in the Fall. If all goes well, I will wear only these items in rotation for 3 months, Sept-Nov!

TOPS(1-16), JACKETS (17-20), BOTTOMS(21-28), SHOES (29-37), EXTRAS (38-40):

  1. Grey & white striped tank
  2. Blue & white striped tank
  3. Navy blue plaid high-low button up
  4. Blush pink t-shirt
  5. Heather black t-shirt
  6. Plain white v-neck t-shirt
  7. Burnt mauve 3/4 sleeve top
  8. Oatmeal long sleeve flowy top
  9. Tan & white striped thicker boxy top
  10. Blush pink & white striped side-split top
  11. Jersey knit berry colored flowy top
  12. Short-sleeved denim flowy top
  13. Navy blue jersey knit 3/4 sleeve
  14. Thin striped blue button-up
  15. Hunter green dressy blouse
  16. Mustard boxy top (made by me!)
  17. Denim jacket
  18. Black leather jacket
  19. Green military jacket
  20. Light khaki trench jacket
  21. Grey distressed high-waisted skinnies
  22. Black high-waisted skinnies
  23. Denim high-waisted skinnies
  24. Boyfriend jeans
  25. Army green skinnies
  26. Black leggings
  27. Dark gray a-line skirt
  28. Chambray skirt
  29. Cognac brown crisscross sandals
  30. Black Birkenstocks
  31. Cognac brown ballerina flats
  32. Tan strappy leather booties
  33. Leopard flats
  34. Open-toe cognac brown heel
  35. White Converse
  36. Cognac brown ankle boots
  37. Black chelsea combat boots
  38. Brown open sweater
  39. Burnt orange open sweater
  40. Denim vest

For accessories I’m utilizing 2 scarves, 1 braided leather belt, 1 white leather backpack(diaper bag), and very minimal jewelry. Easy for my mommy lifestyle!

Final thoughts?

Given that I just had a baby 2 months ago, I’m allowing myself the freedom to switch out items (particularly pants) if my body changes during this 3 month time. For me it’s not as much about sticking hard-fast to the rules as much as challenging myself to live with less.

I’m really excited to try this out and thankful for my sweet friend, Krista, who is doing it with me! The whole idea of consuming less and living more is just so appealing to me. Less stuff to manage and more time to give to those I love!

(I’ll be sharing pics and updates to come! I start on September 1st, this Thursday!)

Wallace Harold: Month 2


Yesterday my adorable baby boy turned 2 months old. It’s a bit surreal to think that in a few weeks I will have a 2 month old and a 2 year old!


As I reread my 1 month update I’m astounded by how far we have come in just 4 short weeks (insert praise hand emoji here). Slowly but surely we are starting to find our sense of rhythm with 2 young babes and our days are beginning to have more structure. As the temperate starts to drop, I find myself longing for Fall, a change of season, and the inevitable patterns that occur as the school year begins. There is something refreshing about everyone around your city having a similar pace. I enjoy that sense of reliability.


Wally’s Progress:

Thankfully, not long after I wrote last month’s post, Wallace really found his groove with nursing. Just like Flora, he is a wonderful eater and our nursing relationship is so very sweet. He feeds on both sides every 2-3 hours, burps, and is either ready to sleep or ready to hang out.
I’ve continued to pump each morning, storing about 3-4oz each day to have reserves for when I begin working again (in 2 weeks!). I’m also hoping to have enough around so Daniel and I might be able to have a date night soon!

I’m happy to say our nighttime schedule has been really wonderful with him. He usually cluster feeds during his fussy hour (about 6:30-7:30), then I swaddle him and lay him down for the night. He wakes up only one time anywhere between 2-3:30 to eat again, then can sleep until 7 sometimes. We are always up with Flora before then, but it’s nice to have him down for that long! I’m very grateful for this!
Our daytime looks a bit different. Because our mornings almost always involve an activity or playdate, we haven’t had a super consistent nap-time. Generally he falls asleep in the car on the way to our activity and sleeps most of the time. Then we get home, I put Flora down for her nap, then nurse Wally and he either sleeps more, or we cuddle and chat. The afternoons are a bit random so depending on if we are home or out running errands, he may get another good nap, or just little ones here and there.
I felt like with Flora we found a pattern a bit sooner, but I wasn’t juggling a toddler schedule at the same time!
It’s wonderful when they both nap at the same time b/c then I can usually get a chore accomplished and tidy up the house which makes the clean-freak in me happy.


Wally is officially in size 0-3 month clothing and size 1 diapers. The last week he has had a really hard time pooping and we even had to give him a baby suppository. I’m hoping his little body is able to start regulating a bit more.

This last month I began taking Wallace to a chiropractor because he was having very fussy times during the day, particularly in the morning and evening. He would cry in a way that made me wonder if he was in pain. He was also arching and spitting up a fair amount. After 4 sessions of chiropractic work, I do feel like he is doing better. Since I pushed for 3 hours, I wonder if he got a bit misaligned in the process of birth (something my breech little stinker, Flora, never had to deal with!). It’s so hard as a mom to know when your baby is just…being a baby, or if there is something you should do and when to seek help. But ultimately, I’m very glad we’ve taken him in to help his body function better.

Wallace loves to be held…like a lot. Haha. He really enjoys eye-to-eye contact and being talked to. You can almost always elicit a smile when doing this and his whole demeanor changes when you interact with him. Thankfully, I’ve tried wearing him again and he has started to like it more than month 1. He also enjoys trying to stand on his legs and he has a very strong neck and grip. I keep telling him not to grow up too fast on me, and it’s ok to be a baby! I don’t recall Flora being quite this ready to support herself so early! Maybe it’s a boy thing…


Mama Update:

This last month has been a transition from ‘complete survival mode’ to a mixed bag of ‘hey…I think we are getting this!’ and ‘am I going to survive?!’. Some days I feel on top of the world, both kiddos seem to do well and there aren’t too many breakdowns. Then other days I call my mom more times than I want to admit, crying and asking for support. Our days are a mixture of such sweet moments where Flora cuddles with brother and gives him kisses (melts me!), and times where both babes are crying, one needs nursed, the other is begging for juice, I’ve got one eyebrow filled in, and we need to leave the house in 5 minutes to make it to our scheduled play date. Whew! Somehow, it always ends up working out though. And I’ve learned if I can just get us into the car…often that gives us the transition we need to make it through. Admittedly we leave early for most play dates and drive around for 15 minutes to get everyone (including myself) calmed down.

I’m happy to say I am not on pain killers anymore. The last 2 weeks I haven’t had to take anything and I am starting to feel a bit more normal again. At my 6 week check-up my doc told me it would probably be another 2-6 weeks of healing for me since the tear was so significant. I’m very grateful that I’m at least able to sit normally now and not be thinking about the pain or discomfort constantly like it was before.

Lately I’ve been trying to schedule playdates each morning of the week, which is a lot and a bit exhausting sometimes, but I’ve really enjoyed them! I’ve gotten to know some really sweet mamas so much better and I feel like my sphere of friendships is growing. The more I talk to other mothers, I realize everything I’m feeling, all the questions, doubts, concerns, guilts, joys…they are NORMAL. I’m not alone in this season, and, in fact, there are a lot of wonderful ladies out there trying to juggle it all too. There has been such a sense of camaraderie with my mama friends lately and I’m so blessed by them.

Hardest Moment:
I had an interesting situation come up this last month that really challenged me. It was unexpected and a bit sad…but ultimately it made me face something that was good. God is teaching me over and over lately that the ONLY person in this life that I need to desire approval from, is Him! If the world rejects me or disapproves of me, I am OK b/c I am His child. And as long as I am trying to follow Him, listening to His voice, being obedient in my actions…that’s all I can do! By nature I am a people pleaser, I don’t like discord, I long to be friends with everyone and I enjoy it when everyone gets along! But, sometimes this can mean me bending over backwards to try to make everyone and everything ‘right’, when really…it’s not my responsibility. I’m responsible for me, you are responsible for you. It’s funny how that works, right?😉

I’d say the other hardest thing has been those heightened moments in my house where there are 2 crying children, one barking dog, a sink full of dishes, toys scattered everywhere, and one tired mama. It’s a recipe for being overwhelmed and it happens about once a day. BUT, I’m  s l o w l y  learning not to freak out. My therapist encouraged me to take a few deep breaths in those moments, remain calm, and remember it will pass. I’ve been attempting to put this into practice and it does help. Sometimes Daniel still receives a text. That sweet man, always putting up with my meltdowns.

I will admit, I’ve never experienced a season quite like the one I’m in. Most moments I feel so stretched thin attempting to take care of these small helpless beings that I wonder if I will every be able to think a thought again. Will I ever be able to read a book? Get back to my love…sewing? Pee in privacy? Not take a lightning fast bath b/c a baby is crying? Have time for my husband? I know in my head the answer is ‘yes! this is just a season’ but I will admit that, none-the-less, it is hard season. Giving of yourself 100% of the time is just hard. In the same breath, it is also the most beautiful and rich season I’ve ever known. The stark contrast of these feelings, the stress and joy, the guilt and successes, the crying and the cuddling, the chasing and the nursing, the fullness and the exhaustion…it all holds so much. It’s full. And it’s full of it all.

Best Moment:
I’m still in that amazing newborn love haze, the one where it’s like you’ve taken the strongest love potion in existence. It’s like you can’t hold your baby close enough, breath them in deep enough. Even when I manage to slip away for a moment to bathe, I find myself missing my Wally. It’s as if he belongs in my arms always, and when he’s not…something is missing. A part of my heart isn’t with me.
That being said, my best moments are holding my little man, staring deep into his amazing blue eyes, and having sister right there too, giving kisses and saying his name in her adorable toddler way…’wawwy’. I imagine the friendship they will have, the mischief they will get into, the things they will learn together.
Even now my eyes are welling up letting it sink in that I have a family. My body grew 2 beautiful healthy babes and they are here in my arms. I know this is not everyone’s story and there is so much heartache out there. For that reason I hold them even more tightly…my little tribe. My little undeserved blessing from God.


Y’all. Thank you for letting me share all of this with you. Please know that in these posts, these vulnerable records of my life, you are getting me in my raw form. You are seeing me grow and process. Sometimes I read former posts and want to delete them. How could I have said that? Or not understood that? Or thought that thing was so important?
But, you know what, I don’t delete them. B/c that’s where I was then, and this is where I am now. I’ve grown. And I’m still growing. I’m ALWAYS in need of grace.
Thank you for allowing me that space.❤

Wallace Harold: Month 1

‘Because I feel that, in the heavens above the angels, whispering to one another, can find, among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of ‘Mother’.’ -Edgar Allen Poe


Here I sit, one month into this ‘mother of 2’ business. A ‘mother of 2 under 2’ at that. I long to process all that this last month has entailed, what I’ve learned, all of my baby’s progress…but all I am coming up with is a haze. A cloudy mind tossed around in a storm. Because this month, much like a storm on the sea, has had its beauty, its chaos, its fear, its lack of direction. There have been waves of tears (ohhhh the tears), waves of joy, waves of humility, and not to mention far too many diapers than I can even count. I have found myself fighting to stay afloat, to find moments to breath before the next crashing wave hits.
So I will try my best to share our last month with you. To actually sit and put a thought together…we will see how it goes.


For Flora’s first year, I blogged each month about her accomplishments, how I was doing, any significant changes, etc. While it was a challenge to get done some months, I find myself SO thankful I documented her first year of life in this way. Now I go back and read those posts and see myself growing, struggling, and surviving! I am filled with hope that, yes!, I might just survive again! And I see how each month got a little easier in its own way. I hope to do this again with Wally, and share with you (but also more for me!) how we are doing.


Wally’s Progress:
I suppose I’ll start with eating…b/c a newborn doesn’t do much of anything else!
My sweet boy had a few rough days getting started with nursing. But after ridding his body of remaining amniotic fluid on day 2, he has been nursing pretty well since! I did go visit a lactation clinic and get some input about my milk supply, positions to hold him, and how to get him as full as possible. He had been wanting to nurse constantly and I feared I was having a supply issue. It turns out he was getting plenty, but they figured he was just going through a growth spurt! Never-the-less, I started taking fenugreek and blessed thistle, 2 supplements that are supposed to help with supply. I believe those have helped!
In these last few days I had reached a point of desperation. This boy just loved to eat all the time. He would fuss and fuss and only be consoled by nursing. What I finally figured out is that he was never getting a full feeding! He was just ‘snacking’ and not napping well to-boot! So for the last 2 days I have implemented a new ‘system’ where at each feeding I really focus in to keep him awake and have him eat on both sides as long as possible. I burp him. Then we go at minimum 2 hours before the next feeding. If he fusses, we use the paci, bounce him, hold him, take him outside, or whatever we can do to ‘distract’ him. Usually he will fall asleep for a little while which is so wonderful (something he wasn’t doing before). I’m very excited to get in a better rhythm with him and feedings. This makes life SO much easier with 2 I’m learning!
It’s no surprise that we are all a bit sleep deprived around here. For the first 3 weeks we had absolutely no sleep routine happening. Flora kept waking up and Wally, again, just wanted to nurse all night. I was in tears most nights, just so exhausted and at a loss for what to do…so I would nurse and nurse. BUT this last week I had a thought to try the swaddle again. We had tried swaddling Wally in the hospital and he haaaated it. So I thought he was just different than Flora and didn’t need it. However, last week out of desperation, I swaddled him in the SwaddleMe, nursed him, and put him down. He slept from 9pm-2am! FIVE HOURS! Of course I woke up panicking b/c why would he sleep that long…but apparently the swaddle was our magic ticket! For the last week he has been sleeping from 9-2 then 3-5:30. Not too bad! Only 2 feedings per night.
The other trick we’ve used is placing our small heating pad in his moses basket for a few minutes before we lay him down. We ALWAYS remove it before placing him in there, but it just warms up his blankets and he goes right down! This is something that was never an issue with Flora, but Wally despises being cold…just like his mama. (Random aside, we also bought the wipe-warmer for him. Something I swore I would never ever get b/c it’s just one of those ‘ridiculous spoiled American children things.’ Lol)
Wallace is still in a few newborn-sized things but he is starting to transition into 0-3 months. He wears newborn diapers still, but I have a feeling that will be changing this next month!
Wally has been a much fussier baby than Flora was, but I’m learning all his nuances and trying to understand his needs. I think our new feeding and sleep routine will help with this.
He hasn’t loved all the wraps (sad!), but I’m hoping this changes b/c I love baby-wearing!
Since they first layed Wally on my chest, he has had the strongest neck! At 8 days old I got a video of him on his tummy holding his head up for quite some time. He is my strong little dude!


Mama Update:

Like I alluded to before, this month has been all about survival. Between little sleep, loads of family and visitors, healing from a big tear at his delivery, nursing constantly, pumping daily, keeping up with laundry and dishes, chasing a toddler around, and all this Kansas summer heat…I have had a LOT on my plate. One thing I’ve tried to do (which I did in my pregnancy too) is get ready each day. This means I at least try to get my makeup on and a comfy/cute outfit. It’s been a struggle to make it happen some days, but I feel more ready to tackle the day when I’m dressed and feeling put-together.

When Daniel was home that first week I remember thinking, ‘Hey! We can do this! This isn’t that bad!’. And even that next week I had lots of help from my wonderful mothers. But these last 2 weeks have been more of a glimpse of reality: me at home {alone} with a 22-month-old and newborn. Some moments I’ve about lost my mind. Flora has watched far too much Daniel Tiger and I will admit that every toilet in my house is in desperate need of cleaning. But! Both of my children are still alive and my husband still loves me. I consider that a win!

One challenge I wasn’t expecting to face, is how hard my physical recovery has been. I am still taking ibuprofen every few hours to cope with the pain of the tear. I can’t sit normally and any sort of bending is painful. I keep longing to feel ‘normal’ again and pray everything is healing correctly. I’m SO grateful that I was able to have a VBAC, but the longer-term recovery has in some ways been harder than my csection.

With Flora I remember spending the afternoons on our couch nursing her, staring at her, falling in and out of sleep, and watching my favorite shows. It was such a sweet bonding time with her where we cuddled and I tried to memorize her every feature. There are some days that I manage to get both kids napping at the same time and I try to pause from cleaning up all the mess, to stare at Wallace and breath in his sweetness. He is so handsome (of course I’m not bias) and smells like heaven. He looks at me with an intensity of a deep thinker. And I swear I’ve even gotten him to smile a few times!🙂

After I had Flora, I was so focused on loosing baby weight and seeing that magic number on the scale. I remember being ashamed of my postpartum body and thinking far too much about that. This time around, while I do want to focus on my health, I am not going to share my weight loss journey. It just doesn’t matter. I know that chasing 2 kids around will be ample exercise for the time being!

Hardest Moment:
I think the hardest thing about this last month has been the feeling of inadequacy. There is just NO way I can ‘do it all’ or keep up with life. I can’t do a good job taking care of my children, be a wife, cook the meals, keep the home, look cute, have energy, meet friends, blah blah blah. It just hasn’t been possible. There aren’t enough hours in the day. All in all this has been humbling me to my core. B/c the fact is…I can never do it all. When I think that I can I am just fooling myself. Although I haven’t had an actual ‘quiet time’ since the birth, I do find myself talking to Jesus and just admitting I’m a mess and I need Him. I am oh-so weak right now, so I ask Him to be strong for me!
Additionally I have really been wresting with the idea of friendships and what that looks like in this season. I’m finding motherhood is just quite lonely at times and the little extra time and energy I’ve got left needs to be spent of people who are ‘cup-fillers’ and not ‘drainers’. Those kind of friends who meet you in the mire, tell you it sucks, and bring you a Dr. Pepper. You know what I mean? Well anyway…one goal I have is to not wallow in the ‘lonely motherhood mire’ and to reach out and have more playdates throughout the week. I’m really pumped b/c we purchased a double stroller and I’m hoping this makes getting out of the house with 2 much more possible.

Best Moment:
This month was such a blur, but the support of our family and friends (THANK YOU FOR ALL THE MEALS!) has been a great encouragement to me. And I am just so utterly thankful for my healthy children. ChildREN…that’s multiple! Because I have 2! It’s still sinking in, guys. 2 sweet healthy babes, my gifts from the Lord!


So, that’s it guys. Our first messy month of being a family of 4

Dressing a Post-Partum Body

After my last style post on pregnancy fashion, I thought it’d be fun to do a follow up post on postpartum style and how to flatter your figure after you’ve had a baby (hello 4th trimester). I had my baby a little over 2 weeks ago and am in that fun stage of trying to dress my ever-changing figure!


If you’ve ever had a baby you know the postpartum season can be tricky. Just like pregnancy, you don’t want to go buy a whole new wardrobe b/c you know your body will be continually changing for quite some time. But, you probably still want to look stylish and also wear clothing that is functional for nursing, carrying a newborn, and chasing other children around (hello comfort!).

Here are a few ideas for dressing after baby:

  • Find the right shape:
    If you’ve just cranked out a baby, chances are your tummy will be a bit poochy for a while. This is nothing to be ashamed of, I mean, you just grew and birthed a human for crying out loud. But if you don’t want to accentuate your midsection, here are the types of tops to keep in mind:
    as pictured, boxier tops help hide a bulging tummy as well as provide lots of room for movement as well as ease for nursing. Win!
    pictured below, peplum style shirts flow away from the body at just the right place. I opted for a top that fit more loosely all around as apposed to a fit-n-flare style.
    not pictured, but I’ve been keeping my babydoll-style tops in heavy rotation these days. This style is typically more fitted around the shoulders than flares out right above the bust all the way to the bottom of the shirt.



  • Keep fabric in mind:
    Fabrics that carry a little more weight tend to stay put and not cling to the body. Although it’s tempting, if you are trying to flatter your postpartum figure jersey knits aren’t the best option. These types of material will hug and cling to each curve and crease. Look for tops that hold their own shape.

IMG_5091-2 IMG_5096-2

  • Consider a girdle: There are a myriad of postpartum girdles out there ranging in price. I opted for one from Walmart that was $10. I don’t wear it every day but it’s nice to have. And they are actually proven to help your uterus shrink back down and offer support after all that bodily change. Win!


  • Organize your closet:
    It can be a little depressing to see an entire closet of clothes that don’t fit, but try not to let that get you down. I suggest creating a space in your closet for the clothes that fit you now. You could even pack away the clothing you know won’t be fitting you for a while if you find yourself discouraged every time you look at your closet.
    As you start loosing baby weight, remember to keep evaluating your closet, slowly you will be able to add more items that fit and hopefully it feels like a success each time!


  • Stay positive and creative:
    Like pregnancy, I think it can be easy to just ‘give up’ during these seasons of constant bodily change. But, for me, keeping a positive spirit and challenging myself to stay creative with my wardrobe (and in other areas!), I found this season a fun chance to think outside the box and utilize what I own in new ways.


And finally, remember you are so much more than what you wear. We are children of God, we have purpose and talent, we can love and create and embrace and smile. Even if you don’t feel quite yourself in your postpartum season try to embrace today. Embrace the woman you are in this moment in time. You are a child of God, His design, and He adores you!

{As a gift to my followers I am offering 15% off one item at Penelope & Olive using the code STARLEE. That is where I ordered both of my tops in this post and I LOVE them! All items at Penelope & Olive are $40 or less which is so great when you live on a budget like me!}

Much love,

Wallace Harold: A Birth Story


As I sit here and type, my one week old son is snoozing peacefully beside me in his Moses basket. We have been home a little over a week and have even began finding a sense of routine and our new normal. Now that we are getting our wits about us (although, I am still on pain meds…thank you Jesus for pain meds), I thought I’d share the story of Wally’s birth, a vastly different story than that of my daughter’s (which you can read, here).


After having an emergency c-sections with Flora, it took us a while to decide what we wanted this birth to look like. We had a much better understanding that even the best laid plans can go awry, but we wanted a plan as a starting point. Something we could hold to, but not cling to.
After prayer and discussions with my doctor, Daniel and I felt confident moving forward with a drug-free VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). With Flora we had studied the Bradley method of childbirth and we wanted to use those same techniques with Wally, but this time planning on going to the hospital much earlier to be monitored due to the risks involved in a VBAC.

So…the story…

Friday, June 24th, 2016

  • 3:30am: As usual, I was getting up to pee for the 3rd time that night when I felt what I was sure was a contraction. A low burning in my uterus that had a definite starting and stopping point. The pain was dull but very present. I went back to bed, not waking Daniel yet until I was certain.
  • 4:00am: I let Daniel know I thought we were in labor. We counted a few contractions but kept resting in bed to get as much sleep as possible, knowing it was a long road ahead.
  • 4:15am: Not able to sleep, I got up and took a bath to try to stay relaxed. I had started my ‘low moan’ technique through each contraction. This helped me greatly with Flora and it was my ‘trick’ this time as well. By keeping a very relaxed face and turning your head downward, you make a low moaning sound as you feel your contraction start. You continue to moan deep into your tummy, almost pushing the pain down, never letting your body tense up. In this way you ‘relax’ through each contraction and focus all pain down down down…the direction the baby is moving.
  • 6:30am: Both mothers were called and began getting ready to head over. My mom was my labor coach alongside Daniel. Kathy, my mother-in-law, was ‘on-call’ to come get Flora at a moment’s notice. We knew once Flora woke up I would have a harder time concentrating on what my body was doing. At this point I had moved to the exercise ball, we had the lights low in our room. We lit a candle and I had ocean sounds playing on my phone. The atmosphere was calm and relaxing. For the next few hours I labored at home. Contractions were consistent but I felt no urge to push or need to get the hospital just yet. Daniel and I took a few walks around our cul-de-sac to help me change positions and keep moving this baby lower and lower. I had several snacks between contractions knowing once we got the hospital, they wouldn’t let me eat.
  • 9:30am: We gathered up all of our ‘go bags’, tidied the house a bit (wouldn’t you know…I was planning on doing some deep cleaning on Friday so the house would be clean for baby’s arrival), then headed to Wesley hospital. We arrived, got all checked in, I had several contractions in the waiting room (pretty sure that freaked a few people out), then followed our sweet nurse into the room I would deliver in.
  • 10am-2pm: For the next few hours I labored at the hospital. For the most part it was pretty peaceful. There were a lot of random people who came in to ask questions, verify information, and try to hook me up to the IV. With the help of my mom, Daniel, and our nurse, we were able to communicate that I wanted a drug-free delivery.
    I have to say our nurse was just the best. She had never had a patient deliver without pain meds before. This made me nervous at first, but she was super cool about it all and really open to whatever we wanted to do. She even copied our Bradley Method documents so she could take time to read it while I labored. I thought that was so awesome. We did go ahead and get the hep-lock put in my arm so that way if there was a need for IV or other meds in case of an emergency, we were ready.
    I labored off and on the monitors changing positions from the bed, to an exercise ball, to walking up and down the halls. Things progressed nicely at this time, I came into the hospital at 5cm and moved to 8cm by 2pm. All this time my water hadn’t broken (again…soooo different with Flora) so after talking with my doctor we decided to go ahead and have him break it once I had been at an 8 for some time.
  • 2:00pm: Dr. Jensen broke my water. He said it would probably help things progress a bit more and make my contractions more productive since the bag of waters was shielding things from moving downward as quickly. We debated whether to do this, but he felt like it was safe and might not wear me out as badly.
    After the breaking of the water, my contractions were much more intense, just how I remembered with Flora. Before this they were easier to focus through and didn’t feel quite so deep and burning. Pretty quickly I was feeling the urge to push. I tried to fight it off for a while, but soon it took over.
  • 3-5:43pm: I began to push with every contraction. At first I had no idea what I was doing. The relaxing technique was out the window…I just couldn’t fight them off anymore. Honestly it was a horrible feeling. My body felt overcome by this urge and it was SO exhausting. For the next 2hrs and 45mins I pushed, each contraction getting more intense. Daniel and my mom were on either side of me helping me hold my knees to my chest and pressing against my feet each time I pushed. Jennifer, the nurse, would have me breath in and out as the contraction started, then breath in one deep breath before I pushed as hard as I could for 8 seconds. Oh lawd…the longest 8 seconds of my life. For each contraction I was supposed to push 3 times. THREE TIMES! Y’all, that was the worst. For the first bit, I could only get 2 pushes in each contraction. I just couldn’t find my breath to do a third. But eventually I found my determination and with the help of my husband and mother, we started getting three good pushes with each contraction. I was so hopeful when they said the could start to see the head. Even so, it took a while longer, but then….


(I had just done the hardest work of my entire life. I was so exhausted and so relieved.)


(My sweet mother holding my hand as they stitched me up.)

  • 5:44pm: My Wallace Harold White entered the world! After pushing out the head then his body a contraction or 2 later, my son was placed immediately on my chest. The extreme pain and burning of the last few contractions subsided. They wiped him off as I held him and saw his chunky little face for the first time. As I was catching my breath, trying to soak in my son, I delivered the placenta and I noticed a lot of nurses in the room as well as my doctor and the 3rd year resident who had checked in on us throughout labor. They informed me that I had torn quite a bit and they had some work to do on me.


  • 6-7:15pm: After 3 hours of pushing in the same position with my legs up in the air I had to stay in that same position (hello world…here is my ripped up nether-regions) for another hour and 15 minutes. My legs were shaking the whole time…I was so exhausted.
    Sweet Wally was a bit of a big fella at 8 lbs 7oz and his head was large. Because of this he tore me up pretty good on the way out, including a very important muscle that they had to put back together. They informed me that I had internal as well as external tearing going in different directions and had lost a lot of blood. Not exactly sure what all that means…not exactly sure I want to know. But finally after a very long hour of stitching  (they didn’t have me quite numb eep!)…I was DONE! I was finally able to hold my boy and close my friggin legs.


For the next several hours we remained in the labor and delivery room. I had lost over twice as much blood as a typical vaginal birth and they had to monitor my hemoglobin levels. At one point they tried to get me up to clean me off and move me upstairs to recover, but I fainted back onto the bed. They had me rest a few more hours and gave me more fluids. At 11pm we were finally able to move to recovery where a very sleepy Wally, mama, and daddy spent our first night together. We had done it, we were on the mend!


They continued to assess me and decided to keep us one more night which I was grateful for. My hemoglobin had dropped to an 8 which is pretty low, so they wanted to keep an eye on things as well as get Wally nursing a little better. He hasn’t been the ‘natural’ that Flora was, but he continues to get better and better.


By Sunday evening we were in our own home. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such peace. No more poking, prodding, pushing on my uterus, stitches, or blood…just me and my family home together!



I can’t tell you how vastly different the vaginal birth was from an emergency c-section. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. There was chaos and disappointment with the c-section and a long road of physical and emotional recovery. With the VBAC, it was intense and painful, and although I still have a fair bit of recovery ahead of me, I already feel more ‘me’ than I did months and months after the c-section. I can see why God designed us to have vaginal births and I’m beyond grateful for the chance to have had one.
I am already on my feet, I could help change Wally’s diaper within a day of his birth, I could nurse him without having to be cautious of my incision. I can bend over, twist, pick things up, get in and out of the car, help clean the house, and just so much more. I feel a sense of happiness, of a deep joy that wells up in me, that I don’t remember feeling after Flora’s birth. I don’t feel weighed down by the birth or held back like I did before. There is a sense of hope and confidence I have in myself and my abilities as a wife and mother. How much of all of this is just being a 2nd time mom, I really don’t know. But I do know that I’m very glad we tried for a VBAC. It isn’t something that is wise for everyone to try for, but for us it was what we needed and what was right. It wasn’t a fairy tale birth (who has those anyway?), but it is Wally’s unique story that I am happy to share.


After thinking we lost this baby at the beginning of our pregnancy (read that story, here), I have no words to express how thankful and humbled we are to be holding our healthy baby boy. To breath him in, to hear his cry, to smell his newborn goodness when we were certain he was gone…it is overwhelming to me. God’s grace and goodness has been poured out overflowing with our gift of Wallace Harold. To God be the glory and praise for creating and sustaining his life.

If any of you want to chat further about our decision for a VBAC, feel free to message me!

Thanks for reading our story.❤

Much love,

Star, Daniel, Flora, & Wallace

Frugal & Functional: My Best Maternity Fashion Tips & Where to Shop

IMG_3349As I draw near to the end of my 2nd pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to share my best tips for getting through pregnancy when it comes to fashion. Some women feel their most beautiful when pregnant, others feel like a giant balloon, but either way, you gotta dress yourself! And if you are like me, you don’t have a lot of extra money to go buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate this short, beautiful season. So, here are my tips for a functional and frugal maternity wardrobe…

  1. Stick with the basics.
    For the first few months of pregnancy, you can probably get by wearing your normal clothes, but as you progress you will definitely need a few things. I would recommend investing in a few pieces:
    -2 pairs of maternity jeans
    -5-6 basic maternity t-shirts (short or long sleeved depending on the season you are pregnant)
    -1-2 comfy dress options (I have 2 jersey-knit throw-on casual dresses)
    -1 nicer maternity dress (think for church or special occasion).
    It may not sound like much, but these are the basics of what I have used particularly through this 2nd pregnancy as I have realized I can make do with much less.
    If you are working away from the home and have to look more professional, this list may look different. I work 1 day/week in a professional office setting and I usually pair a dress with leggings and some flats to create a comfortable yet dressier look.IMG_2632
  2. Utilize cardigans, sweaters, or kimonos.
    With baby #2 I have been pregnant through mostly colder months and my go-to combo has been a long sleeve fitted maternity shirt under my open cardigans and sweaters. These are cardigans I already owned and simply paired them over my maternity shirts. If you are pregnant in the summer but still want a little more coverage, I would recommend buying 1-2 cute light-weight kimono style open tops.
  3. Let your accessories take the stage.
    With such few maternity pieces in my wardrobe, it’s easy to feel like I’m wearing the same old boring outfit over and over. But I’ve had a lot of fun challenging myself to wear some neglected accessories that pair well with basics. Do you have a statement necklace you like but that has been gathering dust? Pull that baby out! Do you, like me, have way too many scarves that never get worn? Put those in rotation! Try a fun hat, a funky earring, or stacking some bracelets in a new way. These things shake up an outfit and take away from the fact that you wear that simple black tank dress every week (guilty).IMG_2900
  4. Borrow from friends.
    Do you have a close friend who is a similar size and not pregnant right now? Ask them if they have a few pieces they would share with you. I was lucky enough to have a friend who just had her 4th and last baby and she passed down several wonderful pieces to me that I wore a lot over the winter. This is a frugal method to get some maternity clothes, and since it it such a short season of life, why not share the love! Then, when you are done with your season of growing babies, you can pass on your clothes too! Cool!
  5. See what you already own that will work throughout your pregnancy.
    You might be surprised to find that you have more pregnancy-friendly clothing than you realized. Flowy shirts are wonderful for accommodating the bump. I have worn my elastic high-waist skirts with a  tied up t-shirt through both pregnancies (these are easy to find at thrift stores!). Pull out any empire waist dresses; these can be easily worn with leggings as your belly grows and your dresses get shorter.IMG_3239
  6. Don’t forget about undergarments.🙂
    Until I had Flora I didn’t realize just how much various parts of my body would change…not just my belly. Once of my 2 saving graces have been my seamless panties from Victoria’s Secret. They are the stretchy kind that have no seam around the legs or waist which accommodates growth in the bum area without cutting off circulation. My other secret weapon is my bra extender! As baby grows and takes up more space in your body, all your organs shift around and get pushed up. This means your rib cage widens and your bra size will change quite a bit. From my last pregnancy I had purchased 2 new bras, but this time around they just weren’t wide enough. For about $7 I ordered a 3 pack of bra extenders from Amazon that simply clip to your bra hook, and voila! No need to buy more bras (which can be dang pricey!).
  7. My favorite places to shop.
    So where do you find these few, but important pieces? This is where I have gone…
    -For inexpensive basic tops, shop at Ross! They have a small maternity section where I have found short and long-sleeve simple tops. They aren’t the most amazing quality, but for $3-5 a shirt, you can’t complain!
    -Check out Old Navy, online and in store. Both of my jersey-knit comfy dresses are from there. They also have great sales.
    -On Cyber Monday I ordered a pair of nice skinny jeans from Motherhood Maternity for $20 and they have been great. I don’t adore most of what Motherhood sells, but for a basic like jeans, it’s hard to go wrong.
    -Check Target for jeans, tops, and dresses. While there prices aren’t always amazing on maternity, the selection is usually pretty cute.
    -For a fancy dress, look at ASOS online. Be warned…it’s all super cute and not necessarily budget friendly.IMG_2985

Hopefully a few of these tips are helpful and you can learn from my experience and mistakes.🙂 The season of pregnancy has really show me how little I can live with in my wardrobe and it’s kind of refreshing!



*top image by Neal Dieker Photography