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POPPY’s (newborn) PICS

so i didn’t really share this with anyone at the time but i had a few minor-ish meltdowns during my pregnancy about having a 5th child. obviously once your pregnant it’s a little late to start worrying about things but there were certain days (probably the hard ones) when my anxiety got the best of me. i just really didn’t know how it was going to work and that freaked me out. however, i’m happy to report that she’s 26 days old and yet it feels like she’s been in our lives from the beginning. funny how that happens. in fact, with the exception of feeling like an on-call milk truck and the drama of her first week, life has pretty much gone on as usual — just a little louder, messier and sleepier. and more in love. granted, my husband is still on paternity leave for another week so i’ll let you know how things go when i’m not so spoiled.

in the meantime, here are my favorite (warning: there are lots of them) pics from poppy’s newborn session with our crazy talented friend, stacy jacobsen.

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(it amazes me that stacy was able to capture so many sweet pictures of the kids being kids seeing as how they were awesome listeners the morning of our shoot. just kidding. they were a ZOO – as usual – but i think it’s a good look on them.)

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now i just have to decide which ones to frame! #wishmeluck

xo . rae

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in my hospital bag + a checklist.

because most of the hospital checklists i found were circa 1990 and because i love to see what other mamas pack for trips, carry in their diaper bags and (in general) how they make life with kids work, i thought it would be fun to share what was packed in our hospital bag for poppy’s birth. a few things to keep in mind with regards to my list: 1) i had a scheduled c-section. if you plan on doing things au-naturale you may want to add a few items to your list for labor.  2) hospitals make me homesick so i tend to overpack in the name of comfort. 3) other than clothes to wear home, hospitals have everything you really need… right down the the (fancy) disposable mesh underwear.

details, links and download are below!

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CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST 

POPPY’S GOING HOME OUTFIT – (pictured) the cutest onesie by HEN & CO (love this one too!), leggings zara, socks (old navy) and baby hat (H&M, similar). i also packed an extra onesie she could wear at the hospital.

FOR MAMA – (pictured) weekender bag (target), denim joggers (similar, similar), head scarf, sweatpantsa couple tank tops, nursing sleep bra, lightweight blanket for nursing. i also packed a simple (and inexpensive) nightie that i changed into ASAP and wished i had packed a cute robe.

THE EXTRAS – magazines (that i didn’t even peek at until our stay in the nicu), healthy snacks like larabars, fruit leathers and raw trail mix to balance out the baby brain and hospital snacks (i.e. crackers, jell-o, pudding, etc.), tumbler even though the water pitchers at the hospital are pretty fantastic and gum because i’m a gum chewer. in addition we packed all the tech stuff (phones, chargers, laptop, tablet) but mostly used our phones.  

if you can think of any must haves that i missed please share in the comments and be sure to forward to any expectant mama friends you have!

xo . rae

(images by alex kelly… my sweet sis-in-law!)

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she’s here + a birth story

allow me to introduce you to our newest addition, Penelope – number 5 and final for our rowdy brood. here’s a little peek into her birth story….

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based on the picture above you would never guess that her lungs weren’t quite ready to be breathing on their own when she was born (unusual for a full-term babe) or that we ended up spending an intense week at the hospital but that is pretty much what happened.

yet there is so much more.

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after hours of observation, a dramatic transport to a bigger hospital and a week spent in the nicu i would love to showoff my new found medical vocabulary (not really) and spill all the details about needles, tubes, and vitals (also not really), however i’m not sure how important they are to this little girl’s story. . . i’m sure one day she’ll want to know everything the doctors and nurses did to treat her and the whole story from beginning to end, but this is what i really want her to know about her birth…

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(a special visit from big brother and sister + the room we lived in for the week)

1. God is faithful and his peace, love, comfort and protection is not dependent on circumstances.

2. your name means weaver (among other things) and you’ve been weaving a very strong and unexplainable bond in our hearts and family since the day you arrived.

3. even at 7 pounds you are strong and spunky. just ask the nurses that cared for you.

4. two years ago when your dad and i thought we were done growing our family i had a very real dream about a baby girl (you) that ultimately changed our minds. at the scariest point at the hospital, when nothing seemed to be helping a friend reminded me of that dream and i immediately felt peace. if you are ever unsure of God’s purpose or plan for you i hope the promise of that dream and testimony of your birth brings you the same peace and reassurance. He’s got you.

5. as displayed by our family and friends who watched your siblings, visited us in the hospital, prayed, brought meals and (generally speaking) went out of their way to take care of us, there is strength in community and relationship. life is not meant to do alone.

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one last thing. this birth story would not be complete without a shoutout to my other half.

johan, i am so grateful for your strength. for asking the tough questions and advocating for our little girl. for leading us in prayer and speaking out scripture over poppy the first few days when i couldn’t get a word out without crying. for coaxing me out of our hospital room to get some fresh air, sunshine and food. i treasure those meals, conversations and brief moments of laughter we shared. for being the one that went back and forth between the hospital and our home and 4 other children.  and so much more. i love you and this family God’s given us.

 we love you more than life miss poppy and are so blessed to be able to watch you grow up.

xo . momma

7

it’s time!

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(watermelon + my baby bump = twinsies)

we’ve been dreaming, preparing and counting down the months and weeks (and even minutes lately!) but it’s still hard to believe we’ll get to hold our baby girl later today!!!

i haven’t shared nearly as much of my pregnancy as i had planned – (still trying to figure out my voice and purpose on this little blog and how to balance it with family and work) – however, i have appreciated so much your sweet words and encouragement over the last 6 months. excited to share more adventures with you as we adjust to a newborn and growing family…

…stay tuned for pics and stats from the hospital!!!

xxoo . rae

4

monday fun-day + a winner

hey lovely! hope you had a fantastic weekend!… me and my swollen feet welcomed a couple days of cooler weather  and lots of hangout time with friends. excited and anxious to say that the countdown to baby sis’ arrival officially fits on two hands (eek!). while the waiting game begins i’m oddly thankful for a never ending “to do before baby arrives” list to distract me.

 monday-funday

(a few iPhone snaps from swim lessons the last two weeks)

oh and before i forget, i have the teepee winner to announce!

thanks so much for playing along with our giveaway last week! i had so much fun reading comments and wish i could give everyone their very own teepee (wouldn’t that be a fun surprise!? maybe one day:) but am looking forward to more giveaways in the future.

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one of the things on my to-do list this week is to finish packing for the hospital. i’m most of the way done but in my research found most of the hospital packing lists online are stuck in the 90’s and would love to hear if you have any suggestions!

xo . rae

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a birthday note to griffin!

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happy  3rd birfffday, griffin william! the last year has been anything but terrible (unless i’m trying to buckle you into your carseat, but we’re working that out!) and just keeps getting better. we love to hear all the silly and clever things that come out of your mouth and your ability to pick up on songs (you’ve jumped onto the frozen bandwagon with big sis) and the expressions on your face while you sing them. your giggle is contagious and you have a remarkable ability to hold your own when it comes to being the youngest (although not for long!) yet you have the sweetest tender side and cuddle like it’s your job. you would like to have a baseball bat or foam sword in your hand at all times and insist on sleeping with all three of your stuffed puppy dogs at bedtime.

wish i could bottle you up and never forget what your like at this age but at the same time can hardly wait to see what the next year holds for you.

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you are the most curious, attentive and excited about my growing belly and announced at breakfast yesterday that you, “can’t wait for baby poppy to come out!”

we are looking forward to seeing you as a big brother – a job i anticipate you’ll take very seriously! thank you for the love and energy you bring to our family. we love you to the moon and back.

a million smooches, momma

(pics from a mother’s day mini session with stacy jacobsen)

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a smorgasbord of S’MORES!

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one of my favorite parts of summer is when we light up the fire pit and breakout the s’mores fixings. not because it’s an insanely yummy treat (i mostly pick at the chocolate bars), but because it’s the perfect way to fill a summer night with family time or entertain a larger group. in fact, i’m pretty sure it’s impossible to not have fun while roasting mallows with kids… (having wet wipes handy helps too)! to keep s’mores nights spontaneous and special i grabbed this camp stove by poppytalk at target (for nights when johan isn’t home – i leave fire building to the fireman of the house) and thought it would be fun to put together a smorgasbord of s’mores options for the kids to choose from.

Some S’more Fixings Ideas

  • Classic s’more with sprinkles
  • Chocolate grahams, mallow and sliced strawberry or banana
  • Graham cracker, chocolate, shaved coconut, nutbutter
  • Graham cracker, cookies and cream chocolate bar or peanut butter cup and mallow

some of those square chocolates with mint or caramel fillings would be a nice addition too as would some chocolate petite ecolier cookies by LU (double the chocolate!) at the store but no luck this time.

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and there is the pure happiness i was talking about!

what do you guys like to do on summer nights with the fam?!

or maybe you have a fave s’more combo?

xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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happy 4th + a simple dessert!

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sneaking in one more 4th of july post before we take off for the long weekend (woohoo!!). i’m in charge of bringing dessert this year but instead of making something from scratch i thought i would highjack store-bought cupcakes, scrape off the extra frosting and decorate with washi tape clad toothpicks and fresh fruit. if you are looking for an easy dessert to make they turned out cute and festive and were super quick to assemble which means more time to play!

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hope you guys have a fantastic 4th of july and long weekend! i’ll be sharing pics on instagram if you are into that and want to hangout, but otherwise will see ya on monday!

mwah!!

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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who that, who that.

sooooo, i was planning on posting all about dating your husband, but then i saw this video + had to share.

the most amazing thing i’ve seen in a long time.

you’ll love it.

xo . rae

(video by girls with glasses)

7

crushing on: sonnet james

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happy tuesday love! how’s it going?

i’m excited to share my latest crush, sonnet james. a company that puts function first, but design and style a close second – all in the name of making it easier for moms to be more playful with their kids while also feeling cute (amen!). if you haven’t heard of them then you are in for a real treat!

i purchased a couple of their dresses  (1 & 2) to wear durning my pregnancy (and hopefully well after) and sport each of them at least once a week. i’ve worn them for everything from date night to playdates and all the kids’ activities. oh, and i must mention how well they wash so there is no need to stress when little ones use you as a napkin!

also, how do you resist a company that uses statements like,

“young at heart, present in the moment, and more playful will the ones you love.”

in their marketing… sign me up ASAP!

well, i’ve gushed enough. time to take a peek for yourself…

xo . rae

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flourless chocolate cookies for a happy weekend

have you tried the flourless chocolate cookies at starbucks yet? they are to die and i’ve bought more than my fair share lately so i figured it was time to try a homemade version. plus there is a budding baker around our home these days (named tilly) and although we’re reaping the benefits i’m always on the lookout for easy recipes with a healthier twist. now if only there was away to make them sugarless too!

(recipe details below.)

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makes 2 dozen, 15 minutes Prep Time, 15 minutes Cook Time (adapted from recipe girl)

you’ll need:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi, milk or bittersweet chocolate chips

here’s how:

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and spray (lightly) with nonstick cooking spray…. the cookies are super delicate so this will help them stay in one piece.

in a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. whisk in two egg whites and the vanilla until the batter is moist bust still thick like brownie batter. if too thick, add another egg white or two – one at a time. fold in chocolate chips.

scoop batter onto the prepared baking sheets and bake about 14 minutes (check after 12), until the tops are lightly cracked. slide the parchment paper onto wire racks and let cool completely.

now go check your pantry for missing ingredients and head to the store or just pop into starbucks and start your weekend on a sweet note!

xo . rae

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