Happy Hump Day, everyone! I hope you're having a great week! We're just trudging along with your typical newborn stuff. As soon as you think you've got things figured out...something changes! Kai went through his first growth spurt a couple days ago and wow, it was a tough long day and night. The next day was pretty wonderful though because he slept sooo well! However, today is Caleb's first day back at work, and I'm a little nervous for it. Thankfully my mother in law is still visiting and isn't leaving until this afternoon, so I still have one last day of help. Tomorrow though, Kai and I are on our own and it's going to be an interesting day, but we'll get through it just fine!
So last month I was only able to get through one book since the end of the month was pretty crazy with giving birth to Kai. But the one book that I did finish was a really good one and here are my thoughts...
Capital Gaines -Chip Gaines
I really enjoy reading autobiographies and motivational books, and Capital Gaines was basically a hybrid of these two kinds of non-fiction books. Chip told lots of stories about his past and how his experiences helped mold him in to being the successful business man, boss, and father that he is today. He was honest about everything that goes on with Fixer Upper and Magnolia and how it's not all bows and rainbows yet he still keeps the tone of the book upbeat and motivating.
This book wasn't what I expected it to be but I really loved it. I looked forward to reading it every day and every time I would sit down to read it, it motivated me to be the best version of myself in all areas of life. I laughed a lot while reading it, which is to be expected because I think Chip is hilarious on Fixer Upper. I also really loved the way he spoke about Joanna throughout the book. The love he has for his wife makes my heart swell. I love their partnership and it's so motivating for my own marriage. I am definitely going to miss Fixer Upper when it ends after this season, but hopefully Chip and Joanna will continue to put out great things in this world like Capital Gaines. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you are in a funk and need a good read to kick start some motivation in your life!
You can buy Capital Gaines on Amazon.
I am currently reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman and I'm almost done with it! I will definitely share my thoughts on it next month in my book review for February with all of you. What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment below!
Happy Monday, everyone! We made it through the first week of 2018! I hope you all had a warm and cozy weekend with all the crazy weather we've been having in the States. Saturday was still freezing here and that was the day we had our maternity photoshoot scheduled for. My body was numb by the end of the it but it was so worth it because I know those photos are going to hold a special place in our hearts forever. I can't wait to see them and share them all with you! Other than that we ran some errands, which if you live in the Chicagoland area, the World Market in Northbrook is closing and everything is on sale right now! I've been twice in the last week and have found some really awesome stuff for our house, so if you have the time, go check it out...their last day open is January 20th. Yesterday we had a nice quiet day in with our family and played Monopoly. I love game nights so much and am really looking forward to having them with our kids for years to come.
So one of my favorite hobbies is reading and I really love to share what I've read with everyone! I thought I'd start a little book review series every month on what I read the previous month, so we'll start now with what I read this past December.
For Whom the Bell Tolls -Ernest Hemingway
I love a good classic, and I think we can all attest that anything written by Hemingway falls in to the category of being a GREAT classic. Not going to lie, I'd been reading this book for awhile, but it wasn't because it was bad. It was just a mixture of not being able to read every day and it being a bit long.
The plot of the novel is set during the Spanish Civil War where an American is helping to fight with the republic. The American, Robert Jordan, is supposed to help a band of republic fighters blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. The novel tells of his journey on how he formulates his plan to proceed with his orders while he has a budding romance with a woman who is a part of the Spanish group he is working with.
I really loved this novel. It kept me intrigued the entire time, and I was always excited to pick it up and read more. I wouldn't say it was the ultimate page turner where I couldn't put it down, but I definitely didn't dread picking it up either. If you like war stories and romance, this is a great pick for you!
Buy For Whom the Bell Tolls on Amazon.
On Becoming Baby Wise -Gary Ezzo & Robert Buckman
I've recently switched over to more parenting reading material over pregnancy material. As I'm coming to the end of my pregnancy, I've wanted to prepare myself for the next stage...raising our baby! I had been recommend this parenting book by multiple people, so I figured I would give it a quick read and see how I felt about it. Well I can tell you this much, I already feel great about it and Nugget hasn't even been born yet!
This book uses the parenting philosophy called PDF (Parent Directed Feeding). To put it simply, this is what it promotes; you feed your baby, you have wake time with your baby, you let your baby sleep. It's a very simple and natural routine. As time goes on, you start to lessen the amount of feedings and naps to get them to eventually sleep throughout the entire night. The goal is to have your baby sleeping 8 hours by the time they are 8-12 weeks old.
So as you can imagine, that would be any parents dream and from the statistics in the book as well as what I've heard first hand from friends who have followed this parenting style...it works! Not only does it sound extremely appealing to have our child sleeping through the night by the time I go back to work so that I'm getting a decent amount of sleep, I think the most important thing is that he is getting the proper amount of sleep, too. We all need a good nights sleep for cognitive development, so if this philosophy is going to help our baby get the proper development he needs, I am definitely on board. I also love a schedule. It makes me feel more comfortable to try to have our baby on the same routine over and over again so that we'll both get the hang of things. Practice makes perfect, right? I believe being on such a great schedule will also help promote my breastmilk production and cause less stress when it comes to that aspect of being mother, too. This is all just speculation though! I will be sure to do an update post on how this PDF philosophy actually plays out for our family and let you know our personal experiences and struggles with it.
You can buy On Becoming Baby Wise on Amazon.
I'm currently reading Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines and I can't wait to share my thoughts on it with all of you next month! What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment below! Also, if any of you use Goodreads you should add me as a friend, so we can keep up with what we're all reading together!
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a safe and happy one and are refreshed to take on 2018! I am obviously so excited for what this year has in store for us. Last year instead of making a resolution or big time goal I tried to focus on a word or mantra to go back to every single day to help better myself in 2017, and that word was balance. It can be really hard to juggle being successful at work, staying healthy, keeping in touch with family and friends, taking care of yourself, having fun, etc, all at the same time. So I tried my best in 2017 to have a good balance between every single thing that was important to me, and I felt that if I could find that balance that I would have a successful year and meet all my internal goals or resolutions that I had stacking up in my head. I definitely feel like I did a great job at finding that balance that was needed as I look back on 2017 because I ended the year so happy and full of positivity. I believe too that having a good balance in my life has greatly helped me through my pregnancy, too. So while I will continue to work on balance throughout my entire life, a new year also comes with the opportunity to add on another mantra or way of life.
So with that being said, the phrase I plan to focus on the most in 2018 is go with the flow. If you don't know me too well or haven't been able to tell already, I'm a very type A person. While I see this as a good thing in most parts of my life because I am very organized and that decreases stress, sometimes I can over plan for things and when those plans don't work out that causes frustration and disappointment. One thing I know for certain that this super type A personality that I have will conflict with is becoming a mom. While I still intend to be organized, get Nugget on a schedule, and plan stuff out, I know nothing when coming to parenting is going to fit in to a nice plan A or a plan B. I want to internally work on letting the need to plan every single thing out go and just go with the flow when it comes to a lot more things in life. Starting with labor...
There's a lot of hype around having a birth plan and you might be wondering what mine is. My "plan" is to deliver a baby. That's it. I don't care what it takes to get him out, as long as we both come out of the experience safe, that is all that matters to me. When it starts, I'm just going to go with the flow. If I need pain meds, that's fine. If I'm doing fine without them, that's fine, too. If I need to be induced or have a c-section, all fine. As long as I can hold our baby at the end of the experience, that's all I want. That's the whole plan. This is a big one to start my go with the flow mentality with, but if I can let go, trust my body, God, and the people around me to get us through this extremely trying experience, I believe I can do it with so many other things in my life like parenting, hobbies, when Caleb and I can go out for dates...anything really.
I feel so good about this mantra and I already know that giving myself grace and openness is going to help me so much to take on my new role as a mother. I am so excited for this year and am really looking forward to what it has in store for us. What are your goals/resolutions/mantras/words of the year? Please leave me a comment below!
As I look back on 2017, I am filled with so much happiness. I spent most of this year pregnant, and I can't believe what a blessing it has been. Excitement, prepping, and waiting have mostly been the name of the game this year, but it's all worth it to make 2018 the best year yet! I wanted to take a little walk down memory lane and share some of the best moments from this year and why I'll treasure every single day of 2017.
Coming off the best baseball year of all time in 2016, going to a couple of Cubs games with Caleb during opening week was so exciting. Even though the Cubs didn't go all the way again this year, it sure was a wonderful season and we had a lot of fun cheering them on all summer long.
Mother's Day weekend was a real sweet one this year. My mother-in-law came to visit us, and we got to show her all around Chicago and Milwaukee. We had one of the best lunches of our lives at Cindy's Rooftop, and I will never forget that lobster roll! I didn't know it at the time but I was barely pregnant with Nugget this past Mother's Day! It was my last one only being a dog mom to Wrigley, too.
Just moments after finding out our family would be growing. Pure, genuine happiness and excitement. This was such a funny moment though. When I went to the store to buy a pregnancy test I wanted to be pregnant so bad but I was so scared that I wasn't. I decided I didn't want to waste extra money and buy a digital pregnancy test. I bought an analog one and thought to myself that if they worked for lots of women before, it'll work for me, too. Well I went home and did my bit (jeez that was the longest 2 minutes of my life!) and when it was time to check it, we couldn't figure it out haha! We we're like two idiots going back and forth between the stick and the box and then it finally clicked that the vertical line doesn't show up at all if you're not pregnant. Well it was clear as day and we we're jumping, cheering, crying, hugging, and Wrigley thought we were absolutely crazy!
Our first trip of the year didn't come until June. We drove out to Michigan for a family reunion and got to spend some time in Detroit. We also got to meet some family we had never had the chance of meeting before and spend time with my dear cousins, aunts, and uncles. Hopefully we'll be having another reunion in 2018 so they can all meet Nugget!
We got to host 4th of July for our family this year at our house and it was our first big summer BBQ with our family at our house. This is the day we chose to announce our big wonderful news to them and it was a day of pure joy!
Our big trip this year was visiting the Pacific Northwest. We started out in Portland, drove up to Seattle, hiked in Mount Rainier National Park, and drove to the end of US RT 12 and down US RT 101 to spend some time near the ocean. My best friend, Ashlyn, lives in Portland and we got to spend a week with her adventuring to all these places! It was my 3rd time out in Portland and 2nd time to Seattle with her but it was Caleb's first! He loved it just as much as I do, and we can't wait to take Nugget in the future!
Finally in August, we announced to everyone that we were having a baby. The month of July was spent telling all of our family and close friends our amazing news. We had lots of great dinners, FaceTime sessions, and visits with all of them talking about our exciting addition to our family. It made the summer so special and exciting even though I was battling through lots of morning sickness from my 1st trimester.
Finding out Nugget was a boy was one of the best moments of the year and of our lives, honestly. We actually knew he was going to be a boy before our gender reveal party. We decided that the way we wanted to find out was at home, just me, Caleb, and Wrigley. We went for our 20 week ultrasound and asked the tech to write the gender down and put it in an envelope. Everything looked great on the ultrasound and we looked away when she was checking that part of his anatomy. When we got home from the doctor, we sat down in our living room and opened the envelope. We pulled out a small piece of paper that said "It's a Boy!"
Last minute, we decided we wanted to take a babymoon, and we chose our favorite place in the whole world, Disney World! We spent our 2nd anniversary there and had the time of our lives. It was the break from reality that we needed. My 2nd trimester was the happiest time of the year for us and a big part of that was thanks to this trip. It refreshed us and we came home ready to fully prep for Nugget's arrival.
My baby shower that my mom and aunt hosted for me was such a special day. I was so overjoyed by all the love that our family and friends showed us and was so grateful to everyone who travelled and came to celebrate Nugget with me. I'm also so blessed that I get to share this experience with my mom and grandma. I made her a grandma and now I get to make her a great-grandma!
The holidays are such a special time of the year, and we we have been blessed to be able to spend it with our family. My father-in-law came to visit for Thanksgiving and helped us host another successful holiday at our house. We've been enjoying Christmastime in our home and making the final preparations for Nugget to join us!
I loved 2017 so much, but I can tell I'm going to love 2018 even more! Cheers to a new year everyone! I hope it's a great one filled with love, happiness, and balance. My goal or resolution for 2017 was finding a good balance of all things in my life, and I think I found that. I have a big challenge ahead that is going to rock that balance but life would be boring without challenges, and I'm so excited to take on this new one!
,Hey there friends! Sorry I was so MIA last week. My to do list has been a mile long, and I wasn't able to get around to baking as much as I'd like so that I could share this recipe with all of you! I was finally able to get into the kitchen for a little bit yesterday and whip up these delicious cookies to share with all of you.. Before I get into the cookies though I'll do a little weekend recap like I always like to do on Mondays!
This past weekend was filled with errands and visiting good friends. We spent Saturday afternoon with a couple of really great friends of ours who we know from Utah State who are also having a baby! It's been so nice to swap stories and learn from each other. We also went to a Christmas cookie party on Saturday night with some of our closest friends and had so much fun baking and catching up. Every year they host this get together and donate the cookies to the Northshore Kellogg Cancer Center! It's such a wonderful way to spread some Christmas cheer in our area. Yesterday was pretty amazing, too, though. We tried out a new place for breakfast in our town's downtown area and it was so yummy! If you're ever in the Libertyville area, we highly recommend Town Square Restaurant for breakfast! In the afternoon, we went to see Star Wars; The Last Jedi! Oh my gosh you guys, it was better than The Force Awakens. I'll leave it at that because I would never spoil it for any of you, but seriously...GO SEE IT!
Anyways, these cookies. Snickerdoodles are my all time favorite cookies. I love making them especially around the holidays. A few Christmases ago, I received a wonderful recipe box filled with family recipes from my mother in law and this recipe was in there. She is seriously the best baker I know. I have slowly tweaked the recipe that I got from her though due to well actually making some mistakes that turned out to enhance the cookies, as well, as having to adjust things for our oven. So without further ado...here is my snickerdoodles recipe!
What are your favorite holiday cookies to make? Please share them with me in the comments! I hope you all have a merry week ahead!
Welcome to Tiny Dapper Fox! I'm Diana, a wifey, dog mom, and mama to a little boy. This is a place for sharing & inspiring the best in all of us and hopefully it will add a spark of joy to your life!
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