Review: Spectra S1 Breast Pump + Giveaway

I have been pumping since four days post-partum to give Laken the most precious gift of breast milk.  At first, I was using the Ameda Purely Yours pump that I had.  It was working, but I was having a hard time with sore nipples and I was getting clogs.  I had heard in some of my surrogacy and exclusively pumping Facebook groups that the Spectra line of pumps were REALLY good. 

I got in touch with Brianne at Spectra Baby USA and she hooked me up with the Spectra S1.  I immediately fell in love with this pump.  There are so many wonderful features that this pump has.  Let me tell you about all of the pros. […] Continue reading »

Surrogacy Journey 1×10: Magazine Feature!

We were asked by a friend of our birth photographer if we were interested in sharing our story in a magazine.  Kimberly Whitaker-Enderle, owner and editor of Peekaboo magazine in Northwest Arkansas messaged me and told me about the February birthday issue.  I thought it sounded awesome to be able to share our story to even more people, so I started writing.  Of course the writing brought the emotions and tears.  It was so lovely to be able to share both my happiness and heartache to anyone who was interested to read.  You can read the full story that was published here. 

Along with my own story, I got to read and share the stories of not only Joel and Shannon, but also Joel’s best friend, Thomas.  They all wrote a special little story and letter to me and I will always hold these words so near and dear to my heart.  Since they had to be shortened for the article, I wanted to share them in their entirety here so I have them to look back on any time… […] Continue reading »

We were asked by a friend of our birth photographer if we were interested in sharing our story in a magazine.  Kimberly Whitaker-Enderle, owner and editor of Peekaboo magazine in Northwest Arkansas messaged me and told me about the February birthday issue.  I thought it sounded awesome to be able to share our story to even more people, so I started writing.  Of course the writing brought the emotions and tears.  It was so lovely to be able to share both my happiness and heartache to anyone who was interested to read.  You can read the full story that was published here. 

Along with my own story, I got to read and share the stories of not only Joel and Shannon, but also Joel’s best friend, Thomas.  They all wrote a special little story and letter to me and I will always hold these words so near and dear to my heart.  Since they had to be shortened for the article, I wanted to share them in their entirety here so I have them to look back on any time… […] Continue reading »

GFAF: Beyond The Expo

 I have become a huge fan and a new customer of many of the products and brands that I have discovered over the past two Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expos.  Many might think that I am just a blogger and only go to these events for fun since I do not have Celiac Disease or any food allergies.  I have actually become more health conscious and been able to share great information with friends and readers who have dietary restrictions. 

Getting a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or a food allergy is not the end of the world.  It doesn’t mean you have to eat dirt flavored food.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a meal ever again.  There are SO many things that I buy now that I would have never tried in the past because I figured they would be bland or boring since they were “gluten-free”. 

I look forward each year to learning about new companies and new products from brands that I already love.  There are things you should know before you go gluten-free, so be aware of the nutrients you may lose and know how to replace them. 

I have favorite products from the expo that are in all categories of food from seasonings to decadent desserts.  Let me tell you about a few of the new staples in my home…

Love Grown Foods – Their Super Oats are like amazing little instant oatmeal packets.  Full of good ingredients to fill you up in the morning! […] Continue reading »

365 Arts & Crafts in 2016 – #1-17

Last year, I joined a Facebook group with some of my crafty mom friends and the challenge was to create 365 crafted items over the year of 2015.  ANY craft, no matter how big or small would count and you didn’t have to do one each day.  You could do ten in one day and none for the rest of the week.  It totally worked with your schedule, but seeing as how I had a completely crazy, all-over-the-place year in 2015, I failed at the challenge. 

This year is going to be SO much more stable.  I am not planning a move.  I have learned the ins and outs of my new home (RV).  I will not have a very toxic person interfering in my life.  I am surrounded by joy and happiness.  I have SO many goals.  I have many new things to look forward to in 2016. 

Even at a million weeks pregnant, I have already gotten a head start on my craftiness for the year.  Since I have been waiting for our precious Laken to arrive, I have created SEVENTEEN crafty things!! 

I created four plastic dinosaur necklaces that my children REALLY want.  Those might not make it to my sell pile. 

I also made five pairs of earrings and eight hair bows!  Not everything is in these pictures, but I was super excited to learn how to make the adorable hair bows!  I am hoping with practice, I get better and faster with them. 

Anyone is welcome to join the crafting madness!  Use #365craftsin2016 on your various social media when you post pictures of your wares! […] Continue reading »

Surrogacy Journey 1×08: The End Is Nigh

At least I THINK it is…  Last year was such a whirlwind of craziness.  So many things happened that were new and unexpected.  Mostly good, some bad, but all were a learning experience.  Here I am today, on the 5th of January and nine days over my estimated due date just wishing this little princess would hurry up and make her appearance. 

I’ve been over here at Shannon and Joel’s house since about 39 weeks and I am really starting to miss home, my boyfriend and especially my own kids.  They went back to school today after their winter break and it was SO weird not being the one there getting them up, dressed and onto the bus like I always do.  Of course, I really, TRULY appreciate the fact that I have an amazing and competent man who I can trust to make sure my kids are well taken care of while I am unable to be there, it’s hard to hand over the reins. 

Tomorrow is our 41+ week midwife appointment and unless I go into labor tonight, the plan is to have her strip my membranes.  It’s a more natural way of inducing without using Pitocin or anything else that would require taking my butt to the hospital.  If that doesn’t work, which I am hoping it will because it worked when I had it done with Chevy, we will be having an ultrasound on Friday.  Depending on the results of the ultrasound, as long as fluid looks good, we will have access to a care provider who will allow me to go about another week.  I’m really hoping that we don’t make it to Friday because I am getting pretty uncomfortable and everyone is SO anxious to meet her. […] Continue reading »

DIY Fall Décor Part 1

This year, I decided I wanted to make some of my own Halloween and Fall holiday décor.  I really wanted things that could be left up for Halloween and throughout the Fall season.  I’m not really big into cheesy décor or corny Thanksgiving stuff, so I wanted some more “edgy” decorations.  For part one, I am going to tell you about two projects that we did.  I am going to link to some similar products if I can’t find the exact ones, but for these two projects, I purchased my supplies at WalMart.  You could also shop online or at a local craft store. […] Continue reading »

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is the day that we take a moment to remember all of the babies lost during pregnancy or in infancy.  So many times, these babies forgotten by others because it seems too hard as an outsider to know what to do or what to say to the parents who have lost a little one.  Studies have shown that 10-25% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage so the chances are that you know at least one woman who has experienced a loss. […] Continue reading »