One thing I wholeheartedly admit I struggle with is uncertainty. I turn into a nervous, emotional train wreck when I feel uncertain and right now there is a lot of uncertainty in our lives. I find myself repeating Isaiah 41:10 over and over, praying for a sense of peace with the impending decisions to come. Chris will be graduating in about six weeks now, but with this highly anticipated achievement comes a heap of questions we soon need to find answers for. Where will he work? Will we have to move? If we move, should we list our house now (knowing winter is coming and our house will be buried in 3 feet of snow) or wait until the season passes? And so on. And so on. I feel sad about the possibility of leaving a city that finally started to feel like home. Sad about selling the place we brought Cohen home to, where he first laughed, crawled, and made our days infinitely more exciting. Yet, on the other hand, I feel a bit of excitement about the possibilities that come with a move. About having a new place to make memories in, a new city to explore, and for Chris to have the career he has work 12 long years for. I keep thinking about one of the many things that made me fall in love with Chris, one of those being the fact that I could look down the road 5 years and not know where we would be. I liked the sense of adventure he brought out in me. It’s funny that what made me fall in love with my husband, is the thing I struggle with myself? Sometimes the Lord really does have a sense of humor {whether i like it or not}. He knows what I truly “need”, which isn’t always what I think i "need".

 I'll be sure to keep you updated on the decisions to come, hang on it could be a bumpy ride.
happy friday! {monica}



when it comes to documenting cohen's monthly milestones, i have failed majorly. if keeping track of his milestones were a class assignment, the teacher would have got out her/his giant rubber stamp and placed a big fat "f" on the top of my mom card right around month four. it's not that i don't notice his monumental transformations or day to day happenings, it's just i forget to write down when they happen. i vow right here and right now to get better at this.

these photos are a perfect representative of cohen at the seven month mark. he was a very early crawler {about five and a half months to be more exact}, but it wasn't until the seven month mark that he truly became increasingly mobile. like barricading the entire house mobile. like pulling himself up on everything mobile. like being able to get into the bathtub by himself mobile {which also happens to be the scariest thing ever}. around seven months he also became adorably inquisitive. when he gets his hand on a new bauble {like chris' mouse for his computer in the photos above} he looks over the "new toy" with evident inquisition. he tilts his head from side to side, flips it over, stretches out the cord, and then gives chris and i the, "what is this thing?" look.  it's the cutest.thing.ever.

here's all of his stats, facts, and things only my parents/sister/family will care to read:
height/weight: not sure, at his 6 month appointment he was 27"/20.8lbs.
teeth: four
favorite things: attention, his parents, anything on wheels, food, trying to feed himself, animal noises, watching someone blow bubbles with their gum, being tickled, and riding in the shopping cart.
talking: real words, no...baby words, lots
happy thursday! {monica}


thrifting finds. designer baby clothes

i've been mentioning for weeks now that i would share some of the awesome designer children's clothing we have picked up at thrift stores/garage sales recently, and i'm finally getting around to sharing our great finds with you.  as i said, in this post, chris and i are avid thrift store junkies when it comes to clothing. especially when it comes to children's clothing, because we have realized quickly that kids go through clothing very quickly. whether it's making a mess on clothes or just plain growing out of them, believe me when i say...you don't need brand new designer clothing for your kids. don't get me wrong, we occasionally buy new, but normally it's because it's on clearance {wow, that makes us sound cheap, but it's true}.
i think i would be more tempted to buy new clothes, if i didn't now all the great deals you can find if you take the little bit of extra time to hit a garage sale instead of the mall.  you wouldn't believe what you can find at thrift stores/garage sales if you peruse what they have to offer.  no seriously. we have saved hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars shopping second hand.  don't believe me? here a few highlights from our recent finds, you may be surprised by how much we really did save.
left-emu children's size 4 boots we purchased for $1.99
{couldn't find a similar style online but here is a cute pair for  $49}
 right-red salt water sandals children's size 6 we purchased for $2.99. 
{found here for $31.95}
left - children's size 6 gap sleepwear we purchased for .50 cents
{similar pair found here for $24.95}
center - 2 pairs of gap herringbone pants we purchased for .50 cents each
{similar pair found here for $17.99}
2 striped tops we purchased for .25 cents each
{similar sweater here for $41.60}
right-hanna andersson (which happens to be my absolute favorite children's clothing store) stripped long johns children's size 6 we purchased for .25 cents
{similar set here for $28}
left - gap sweater size 24 months we purchased for $1.99
{similar sweater found here for $39.95}
right - ralph lauren vest size 18 months we purchased for .25 cents
{similar one found here for a whopping $85}

can you believe how much we saved? i know i didn't find exact replica's of everything but if my calculations are correct we saved roughly $325.00!! crazy isn't it?  

happy wednesday! {monica}


autumn craft #3 complete

it's been almost a month since i displayed my autumn craft goals for all the world to see (or at least those of you who read this blog). i may not have mentioned this when i wrote my original post, but part of my decision to list these goals to all of you, was to keep me accountable for my lack of crafty follow through as of late....and i'm happy to report this rational seems to have worked because i'm halfway through my eight crafty goals. yay.

here's the newest edition to our fall mantel.  thanks a beautiful mess for another super simple tutorial.

normally i'm not one to decorate the house seasonally (except for christmas when i go a bit over the top), but now that there is a kiddo in our house, chris and i find ourselves getting much more excited about holidays. besides our new leaf garland, this year's fall decor includes lots and lots of pumpkins and gourds. 

what is your favorite holiday to decorate for?

happy tuesday! {monica}


i've decided...

i've decided sweden has the most beautiful people on earth.  no, seriously.  every single person on stockholm streetstyle (i am completely obsessed with this website by the way) looks like they stepped straight off the pages of a fashion magazine.

don't you agree?  absolutely beautiful people.

{all images found in archives here}

happy thursday! {monica}


i'm gonna copy these looks

at times i feel like having this blog makes my closet look a bit limited, as i often find myself scouring our closet thinking i have nothing to wear.  because i chronicle what i wear on this little ol' blog (although i have been seriously slacking on look of the day posts), sometimes i feel pressure to never wear the same thing twice?!  is that weird?  maybe it is, but it's how i feel at times.  does anyone else feel this way? in no way am i blaming my blog for feeling this way, it is something i've always struggled with (blog or no blog). when i look at some of my favorite style blogs and realize, it's all a matter of perspective. given another person's perspective, i really do have things to wear, in fact, i have lots of things to wear. with a little inspiration from my fellow bloggers, the styles are endless.

take these looks for example.  i have all of these pieces; they may be different colors, cuts, or patterns, but i have them all.  in fact i think most all of us do.  i just would never think of styling them in these ways.
{via, via, via}
or these
{via, via, via}

in fact, i love these so much i just may have to copy these (or steal) and make them my own.
what do you do to reinvent your wardrobe?  i'd love to hear advice and tips on making the most of what i have.

happy wednesday! {monica}


family time.


we've been in davenport the past couple days soaking up as many seconds with my family as possible. the people i love the most are all gathered here together in little davenport, iowa celebrating my grandpa's extraordinary life.  tomorrow is his 80th birthday party, so today will be dedicated to setting up for his shin-dig.  we can't wait to see his face when he sees everyone there.

have a great weekend!
happy friday! {monica}


puzzles, books, and poodles oh, my!

growing up, my mom kept everything my sister and i brought home. and by everything...i mean EVERYTHING! our drawings, paintings, sunday school projects, writing assignments, rocks, toys, clothes, etc. in fact, her hoarding has been a running joke in our family for years. well, a few months ago, my mom finally decided to begin purging some of these "collections," as she calls them.

so when chris and i ventured back to oregon this summer (pictures from our trip here and here), my mom had tons of old toys and books she wanted my sister and i to go through to see if there was anything we wanted to keep. reluctantly we started delving into the storage bins, preparing ourselves for having to sort through 900 million childhood "masterpieces", but what we found were boxes full of fantastic memories.  postcards from all the places we travelled, our collection of carebears (my grandma bought my sister and i carebears every year for christmas), our favorite books, hilarious stories we used to write, dolls, games, and so much more.  for the first time i was actually happy my mom kept everything.  my sister and i sat on the floor in my parents guest room for hours looking though everything, it was such a fun evening.

now that i'm a mom, i find myself collecting all of cohen's "firsts".  we have a box of things we've been "collecting" over his first year, and i'm sure we will continue to amass an ridiculously doting amount of storage bins in the years to come.  kinda like my mom did.  kinda like what i made fun of my mom for doing.

here are some of our favorite books and puzzles we have now passed down to cohen.  i love watching his eyes light up just as ours did 25ish years ago when he opens the pages of these classics.  we have a ton more stuff saved in the basement we will give him as he grows up, but for now these are perfect.

thanks mom for not listening to our constant jokes about all you saved.  as always you were right...and probably always will be. 
happy wednesday! {monica}


when grandpa's come to town

when grandpa's come to town they spoil their only grandchild rotten. they give lots of shoulder rides, feed their grandson food that their mother would never give them (aka.. spoonfuls of gravy), take them to the pumpkin patch and buy their ONE grandchild FOUR pumpkins, purchase the most expensive big-boy car seat at babies-r-us because the salesman really worked the safety features ploy, and babysit while mommy's are at work.

it's pretty dang great to have my dad here again.  there is something about having my parents around that makes me feel like i'm 10 years old again.

my parents are both actually here (in iowa) for a whole 9 days, but my mom's over in davenport helping my grandparents finalize all of the party plans for my grandpa's pending 80th birthday bash. we'll be driving over to meet up my my mom and grandparents on wednesday, my cousins/aunts/uncles will be flying/driving in throughout the week, and then my sister and brother-in-law are flying in on friday.  i can't wait to see everyone.  it's a rarity to have my entire family together in the same place at once (we are spread out all over the country), so i have to pinch myself to believe it's true.

i just hope the next couple days fly by because i'm ready for a vacation with my family.

happy monday! {monica}


killer mojitos

nothing screams warm friday evening like a killer mojito. last friday, after a long work week, chris and i whipped up a batch of these mint-y, citrus-y, icy cocktails. we basked in the last few rays warm sunshine and sipped away while cohen napped. it was simply lovely.

Ice, 6 ounces light rum, 12 mint sprigs or spearmint (8 roughly broken apart), 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 4 tablespoons sugar, Club soda, 4 slices lime

Place ice in beverage shaker (we used a mason jar) then add in the rum, 8 broken up mint sprigs, lime juice and sugar. Shake well and serve over ice in a high ball glass. Top off each glass with a splash of club soda.
Garnish each with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

happy wednesday! {monica}


the sewing projects are almost done.

remember my sewing to-do list for the past couple weekends?  well i am happy to say, i was able to get nearly ALL of it completed with the help of chris, who was on daddy duty for the past couple saturday's. while the boys were out grocery shopping, bonding and picking up odds and ends, i was home crossing off my to-do list (and drinking lots of coffee).

this is what my list looks like as of today...

-hem kaylee's jeans 
 -fix a broken zipper on tess' fleece
-finish pennants  for rebekah's wedding (didn't she choose pretty fabric?)

-make seam adjustments to 5 (now 6) thrift store dresses (more on this later)..(i didn't get them finished, but i did get them pinned and ready for the sewing machine).
-patch work on a couple cardigan holes/rips.
- finish burp cloths for baby showers.

all that's left to do is finish my thrift store dresses.  can i get an amen?

i finally feel like chris and i have been able to establish a bit of a weekend routine, leaving me some time for myself.  i know this may sound a bit selfish, but i am adamant about the fact that every mom needs "mama time"! being able to do something creative lets me unwind, rejuvenate, and recharge and makes a huge difference in my weekly outlook. this "mama time" makes me a better mom, wife, and person. it's funny how just a few minutes to myself really does make a difference.
what do you do do recharge yourself?

happy tuesday! {monica}


look of the day, baby! blue and white stripes

i didn't realize cohen and i were wearing semi-matching outfits until chris was getting ready and said, "do i have to wear blue and white stripes today too?" i had to giggle, because we did look pretty coordinated.

me: sunglasses/tank/flats-target, stiped shirt-f21, pants-j.crew, earrings- h &m, ring-vintage
cohen: stripped tee-thrifted, white shirt/pants-gifted, socks-trumpette

happy monday! {monica}