Sweet Liam


Liam has nearly hit 2.5 years old! We've officially entered the "terrible twos" with a very strong willed little man. ;) I stumbled upon this letter I wrote him before his second birthday and it reminded me of how much I love this child.

Sweet Liam:

Oh, buddy. I'm stuck in an emotional state of disbelief that my baby is turning TWO. One was tough, but two? TWO!? You're officially a full fledged toddler and there's not much "baby" left in you anymore. You've lost that cute baby look and turned into a handsome little boy seemingly overnight. Your smile is every bit mischievous as it is sweet. You are constantly plotting to either give me a head of gray hair or the biggest laugh yet. There is never a dull (or quiet!) moment with you.

I love that you still need your momma, but I slowly see you becoming more independent and doing things all by yourself. You don't need me for many of the daily tasks anymore, and you claim that independence on anything you can. You can use an iPad or iPhone better than me. Your brain is incredible and you won't stop trying until you figure out exactly how to do something. You are persistent and stubborn... something that I'm sure will get you far in life.

Lately you've developed a very tender spirit. I hope you keep it. You are fiercely in love with your family, and so protective of your baby sister. You are constantly soothing her when she is sad, and supporting her through all her baby milestones. Just yesterday I walked into the room while Kate was on her tummy and found you laying next to her rubbing her back the entire time. You are so sensitive to her. The first thing you do as soon as you wake up is RUN to find her. You giggle the entire way!

You have a way of making your momma feel like the most loved person in the world.  You are always seeking me out for a hug or kiss. Your favorite place to be is as close as possible to wherever I am. My favorite feeling ever is when I catch you looking up at me with a sweet smile or feel you grabbing my hand to hold. You've changed my life in 2 years more than it's ever been changed in my 26 on this earth.

My favorite day from this year is when I took you on a date. Daddy was gone at school camp, and I decided to take you on a special day. You probably won't remember it, but I'll hold it close forever. We started off meeting our cousins at the aquarium. We had so much fun looking at all the different sea creatures! You were hilarious. It was so hard to keep up with you as you ran between exhibits! After that I took you to the Disney Store to pick out a Mickey Mouse.

I'm so proud of the little man you are becoming. You are smart, sweet, and kind... AND a whole lot of mischievousness in there too. I love you, Liam Scott. I'm so thankful you're mine.

Love, Mommy

When Your Toddler Refuses to Talk- Encouragement for Mommas


Liam, my sweet 2 year old (27 months,) is incredibly smart, understands literally everything we say, and has met every milestone ahead of time. All except one. He had the hardest time with talking. He would jabber all day long with a small handful of words thrown in, but man was it discouraging when other kids his age were talking circles around him.

After writing down every word he could say, he was at the level a typical two year old needs to be able to say (50 words) but barely used them and flat out refused when we would give him prompts like "Say dog!" Because he was at that 50 word vocab, he didn't qualify for speech therapy; however, I knew in my heart he needed help.

I started looking up videos online for speech at home. It. Worked. Miracles. I found a fantastic lady named Alina Mihai Coaching. Her videos are so simple but helped me learn how to coach him along through play and music. He loved watching the videos with me and really enjoyed her alphabet sound song. Best part? They are free!

We started watching these about a month ago, and randomly over the last two days he started busting out new words like crazy! In the past 48 hours he has said at LEAST 50 new words or more, plus started saying short sentences!

This morning he brought me my shoes from the closet (he wanted to go outside) and said in the sweetest voice "Momma? On!" I've waited SO long for my boy to address me by Momma! It was such a breakthrough for him and such a relief to my heart.

If you're a momma with a slow-to-speak tot, check out these videos. I can't recommend them enough! I hope this brings you a small little piece of comfort. Now that he's started talking we can't get him to stop. ;)

So proud of this boy!

Half a Decade of Marriage


As promised, I wanted to share some pictures from our big day FIVE years ago. I still can't believe it has been that long. We've been together nine years this month. Strange to think that I've been with Joe for 1/3 of my life! A little background for you: We met when I was around 2 years old. We both went to the same little church and went through the Awana program together there. It's so strange to grow up with someone and fall in love with them. I love looking back at our childhood pictures together and seeing how far we've come.

We were married at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan. If you ever have a chance to visit DO it! It's absolutely beautiful. Our wedding was actually very budget friendly. I was surprised that we were able to get the Castle rented so cheaply during a promotion they were running. The best part? You get to bring your own food! So much saved in just that!

My dress was by Maggie Sottero. Funny enough, I never tried it on before I bought it. I fell in love with it after seeing it on another bride and scoured bridal resale pages to be able to afford it. I found it brand new (a bride had changed her mind!) for less than 1/4 of the original price. It fit like a glove and no alterations were needed. I felt like a princess! The beading was incredible and it was so well made.

I'm so thankful for the man I married! It hasn't always been easy, but it's been so good doing life with him. We've grown up together. I am forever grateful that I'm loved by him.

Fifth anniversary and the realization that we are not the camping type


June 25 marked our FIFTH wedding anniversary. I can't believe how fast it went by, but I also am completely shocked at all the changes five years brought! Four different cars (oops!), our first apartment, our first house, two babies, two jobs, moving from my corporate office to a home office...and that's only the beginning!

We decided to join a group of friends of ours camping in northern Michigan. We proooooobably should have known better as we started to pack the car and the bags were piled to the ceiling.... but hey, we're newbies. Our two year old was literally acting the craziest he ever has in his life. Tantrums were abundant and I'm pretty sure I saw horns popping out of his noggin a few times. He's always been a relatively easy toddler. He's pretty laid back and is great at entertaining himself. This trip? Nope. Boyfriend was bonkers. The highlight of the trip came as we all sat down for a calm dinner in our little wooden cabin by the lake. Stories were being told, friends were laughing, memories were being made... then out of the corner of my eye I see a little stinker HIGH tailing it to the waterfront. With. My. Husbands. Phone. In. Hand. He looked back with a devilish glimmer in his cute little eye and as my husband yelled "Liam, NO! Come back here!" I watched helplessly as he confidently shaped his little 35 inch body into perfect diving stance and DOVE IN. IN THE WATER. WITH THE PHONE. Keep in mind my dear child cannot swim, so the phone was thrown into the murky lake and he was struggling to stay above water. My husband jumped in the throw him out of the lake and then desperately searched for his phone. RIP iPhone 2016.

We immediately took the kids back to the cabin to put into bed so missed out on the times with friends. We went to bed cracking up at how our anniversaries have changed. Joe sighed as he glanced over at me in bed that night, "We just aren't the camping type." HA.

The next day we remedied the situation by heading over to Lake Michigan where my child finally transformed back into his sweet self and away from the little terror he was the day before. If you've never experienced the Great Lakes, do yourself a favor and go NOW. It is absolutely beautiful here. Lake Michigan especially has incredible beaches and sights. This is the time of year I love my state.

Stay tuned for some wedding photos as I glance back on our five years together!

The BEST Bow Shops- Volume 1


First off, sorry for the wacky text in this post. Not sure how to fix it, but I have to share this one with you! :) 

As soon as I found out I was having a girl I JUMPED to buy the hair accessories. I scoured etsy to find the cutest ones and now girlfriend's bow collection is something that dreams are made of. Ha! I want to highlight a few bow shops I LOVE regularly to introduce you to them. This week's shop is Pickles & Co. bows! 

I absolutely adore fabric bows on nylon headbands for baby girls. I love that the nylon doesn't hurt their little heads, and grows with them so you don't have to buy multiple sizes as they get bigger. I've bought lots of bows from many well known shops, but Pickles & Co. are definitely the best quality I've tried so far. I've tried so many shops where the bows flop around on the head, but these stay in place and look great! 

The owner was very easy to communicate with and the bows are fantastic quality. Silliest thing in the world, but I absolutely love when shop owners interact with their customers through their social media outlets. It really shows that they go above and beyond for their customers and I definitely take notice. Pickles & Co has the cutest page and I love that she spends time talking to her customers! I will definitely be buying more! 

Great Wolf Lodge- Making the most with a toddler and newborn!


It's been a crazy few weeks! My beloved Macbook Pro (going strong since 2011!) seemingly took a turn for the worst a week ago. I brought it in hesitantly to the Apple Store and they said there was a recall for that part so they fixed it and multiple other things for FREE! Even out of warranty. I LOVE Apple products. They are so great about standing by them and fixing any quality issues! All that to say I've been out of commission for a while during the computer's time away.

We just returned from a fun trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, OH. We decided on a whim to go with our friends Ben, Brittany, and their 8 month old daughter Allie after catching a great Groupon deal. I was hesitant to say the least. The idea of a waterpark with a 2 year old, a 4 month old, and an 8 month old seemed daunting at best, but we had a blast!

I scoured the internet before our trip desperately looking for tips on these age groups, but it was hard to find anything that told me what I wanted to know. So, I want to fill you in on everything in case you end up going in with the same questions I had!

When we first got there for check-in they gave us two pairs of those precious wolf ears in the pictures above for the kiddos for free! They were such a sweet souvenir and so appreciated. Liam didn't want to take them off!

You can use the waterpark starting at 1pm the day of your check-in even though technically the rooms aren't ready until 4pm. Our room was ready early, but it was nice to know we had that extra time to come early and swim.

Quick tip: You can bring your stroller into the park! We didn't realize this until the second day and it was perfect for naps and storing all our stuff.

One thing that I could't find anywhere for the infants in our group: you cannot bring floating devices for them (other than coast guard approved lifejackets) and they don't have any there to use. So... you either have to hold them the entire time OR you can invest in a water baby wrap. I bought this one online and was so pleased with it. It was nice to wear Kate in the water so she was safe, and I could still chase after my 2 year old with ease.

We brought Liam's own Puddle-Jumper Lifejacket, and I'm SO glad we did. They do provide some at the resort, but even on a non-crowded day there were none left. We would have been in a bind with that!

Liam was able to do the two slides at "Whooping Hollow," and the tiny one at the toddler zero entry pool. Kiddos can't ride on parent's laps, so he wasn't allowed on any of the other slides. He mostly enjoyed swimming in the bigger pool with the basketball hoops.

The hotel room had a wall to split off the living room from the other beds and that worked great for setting up the pack n' play where my toddler couldn't see us. We didn't sleep too well with an infant and toddler, but I think we did pretty good for the situation. The room also had a mini fridge and a microwave! We were able to bring our own breakfasts and snacks because of that, and it definitely saved us a few dollars.

We really enjoyed our trip and other than coming home sick (ah, the joys of lots of people in close proximity!) we had a great time. We will definitely be back someday!

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