Print of Your Heart

About three years ago, Ian and I decided not to purchase each other Christmas presents. I say that, but usually every time we say we’re not going to get each other presents, Ian still is so sweet and picks me up something beautiful or makes something beyond what I could have ever wanted. That year, in true Ian fashion, he gave me a Christmas present about a week before Christmas. He made wooden frames and burned things he loved about me on the the bottom of each one. He then had square prints from Social Print Studio printed with some of his favorite memories with me. I mean… wow. I love that he’s always been so intentional and personal with his gifts. I guess you could say my love of SPS started then. I loved the quality of the prints and how well made they are. Plus, their company has the BEST customer service and sweetest employees. We’ve ordered from them quite a bit over the years and we usually like to pick up some extra new prints whenever we take…

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It’s Spring: Time To Clean

I can’t say I’m a fan of cleaning… But there is something about spring that really get’s me in the mood to clean out every nook and cranny. Ian has walked in on me multiple times pulling everything out of the bathroom cabinets, closets and our pantry, before asking me why I decided to start cleaning at 9 o’clock at night. I never really have a good answer for it, but it’s just some weird urge that overtakes me, and it always seems to hit me late at night. I am trying to be more proactive by starting earlier in the day and prioritizing so I don’t get distracted. I put together a quick list of things I am doing this spring as well as some of my favorite products I’m using to help declutter and deep clean.

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Framing Gold | Framebridge

I think if I could, I would have my whole home be one giant gallery wall full of all the photos, posters and art we love. EVERYWHERE. But in all seriousness, I do love to grace our home with those golden memories that you want to remember forever. When I came across Framebridge, I was so impressed with the company and all of it’s services. You can frame your Instagram photos in a wide array of gorgeous frames, send in/upload your images or posters to be put in frames, or you can have one of their designers pick out a frame for your piece or create a gallery wall for you. It’s genius. It’s beautiful quality without all the headache. I love the new Carson Gold frame we just got with our most recent family photo. We just got back from California and where we took Cove to Crystal Cove State Park for the first time after talking about it for over a year, and the sunset was gorgeous. Our friends snapped this one of us, and I will remember this moment forever. As a…

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Pumpkin Picking and 12 Fall Family Traditions

It’s the best time of year again, and we celebrated the first weekend in October by doing a little pumpkin picking with our friends. If you remember last year, Cove was still in my belly when we went pumpkin picking. I have to say, it was so much more fun this year with him on the outside. If you look back at the picture of the three of us, you can see how big Styles and Sawyer have grown in just a year. It was so sweet to see the boys hitting pumpkins and picking up little mini pumpkins together, and having them be wheeled around in the little red wagon. As fall and winter are quickly approaching I have been thinking so much about family traditions and which ones we want to start together with Cove. Here is a list of activities that you can do together as a family to celebrate the season: Go to a corn maze and go on a hayride. Apple Picking. Plant your spring bulbs as a family. Carve a pumpkin. Make homemade apple cider, applesauce…

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TIME | Universally Shared & Easily Taken for Granted

We can go years or even a lifetime and never fully comprehend time as the most precious and fleeting commodity that it is. I’d guess the majority of us never really take to heart the stories we see and hear about every day of people who look back on their lives and wish they would have spent this precious gift more fully and without restraint. I don’t always do a good job at this, but over the last couple of years, Victoria and I have been extremely aware of this and have altered a lot of things to make sure we don’t waste what we’ve been given. Since bringing our son Cove into the world nine months ago, time and how we spend it, has been even more amplified. Here are a few of my thoughts…

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Enough

I sat there in my oversized white nursery chair staring in the eyes of the little boy who changed me forever for the better. I heard the door bell ring. Someone had graciously come to bring us a meal a few weeks after we had Cove. I texted Ian (even though he was only a room away) that I couldn’t come to the door. I had just got done prying a breast pump off me, and I was sitting in my pajamas and a robe soaked with post baby hormone tears and milk. Mastitis had me doubled over in pain and my fever had spiked from yet another infection post labor. He graciously greeted the guest and talked with them a bit before they left. How on earth could I come to the door like this? I, in no way, had figured this whole mom thing out yet. I think I had googled ‘how to get your baby to sleep through the night’ and ‘how to survive the newborn stage’ and hit every article on the first three search pages at…

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Stay in Your Lane – We Don’t Have to Look the Same

You’ve probably been there with me. The constant questioning of your self as you get home after meeting with someone who ripped apart a decision you made for you and your family. The comparison of your life against screens with perfectly staged coffee cups, new outfits and people who travel every other weekend. The discouragement you feel when someone makes a comment about how you work full time with kids or stay home full time with kids and makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough or you’re sacrificing too much. Maybe the fact that your 27, still single and not really looking for a soul mate. The defeat you feel when someone judges you for not doing something the way they did it, or lectures you on why your kid would be better off in this program or how it’s unwise that you didn’t vaccinate. Maybe it’s even the judgement you feel for pursuing a dream that doesn’t seem “smart and calculated” to everyone else. You start to look at yourself in the mirror and question why the people who are supposed to be on…

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Maternity Photography The Southern Trunk Victoria Schneider

24 Week Update

My emotions have finally started to calm themselves! Thank the Lord! I know Ian is thankful too. Random tears at Chicfila and the grocery store were getting pretty annoying. We went back in for another ultrasound this week because Cove apparently didn’t want us to see his heart last time. It was totally fine with me since I knew I would get to see him again. We were happy to hear that all of his little valves were pumping and the heart was beating like a champ! Our ultrasound tech, Lindsey, is phenomenal. She was with us when we miscarried and has been with us throughout my entire pregnancy with Cove. She even got to tell us he was a little boy. So when we went in to check out his heart, she showed us some 3d imaging of Cove. Although he barely has any fat because he was only 23 weeks and 4 days at the ultrasound, we could already see the nose, lips and sweet little eye lids. I got to see where all those little kicks I have…

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Bump Style | 18 weeks

Being pregnant is so much fun. I’m not joking. And yes, I did have morning sickness. I am exhausted. And I often feel like my body has aches more than anything else. But being pregnant is so great because you are growing a tiny human inside of you! You get to feel little butterfly kicks at random times of the day, and if you have a husband like mine, you are spoiled and loved on all the time. The best part is, at the end of all of this, I get to meet and love a miracle named Cove. I mean seriously…I know I am being gushy, but I CAN’T WAIT. Now that I am almost to my halfway point, I am in this “regular pants don’t fit, but maternity pants don’t either” stage. Which isn’t necessarily terrible. It means I can wear tons of comfy and stretchy dresses and show off the beginning of my baby bump. Since it’s summer, anything flowy works.

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Surprise! We’re having a baby!

We are so excited to share that we are expecting a baby this December!!! I have been so excited to announce! We went back to the place where we were married almost four years ago, The Foundry at Puritan Mill, to recreate some of our wedding photos with my little fourteen week bump and ultrasound pic. It was so special to be there again, and to think about bringing a tiny human into the world!

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Thoughts on Things: Keeping My Eyes Above the Waves

Some days my feet are in the ocean and there is a warm breeze with peace and comfort. Other days, the wind is knocked out of me. Wave after wave of grief and anxiety hit me. The vacant room we had painted for our baby. Walking by the baby section at Target. The uncertainty of what will be next for our family. I don’t think I fully understood how little control I would have over my body after a miscarriage. I told Ian I felt like a walking bag of tears. I would be in the middle of working on something and then all of a sudden just lose it. Some things I could hear or see and be perfectly fine with, and others would break my heart again. A friend who has experienced a similar loss, referred to these moments as waves and there was nothing I could do to stop them.  Although the time between them may grow longer, I would have no control over when they hit me. What matters is what I did when they hit. Did I trust when…

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My story does not end in ashes | Our Miscarriage

This post was written nearly a month ago… I couldn’t bring myself to post it for quite a long time, but I felt compelled to share because someone somewhere needed to read this.  7 weeks ago, I held a positive pregnancy test in my shaking hands. The night before, I had dreamt for the first time about having a child. I can still remember looking down at the sweet perfection of life God had given me. Excitement overtook me, and I prepared a gift to give to Ian. He had no idea what was going on, but as soon as he opened the box, tears swelled in his eyes and he picked me up and squeezed me tight. It had to be one of the sweetest memories of us together. We cried and laughed and started the plans for the next eight months of our life. Every day seemed like a celebration. Every prayer I prayed for this sweet child growing inside of me. The weeks were long as I waited for that first appointment. But the week finally arrived,…

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Merry Christmas!

So much celebration in remembering what Christ did for us in becoming flesh to give us life. I can’t help but sing my favorite Christmas carol. O Come All Ye Faithful Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels; O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning, O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-20 For those of you who may not feel joy in this season or feel without hope, please know that Jesus came to rescue you. In Him there is hope. In Him there is life. And in Him there is joy.

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Embrace the Pain

Ian and I often pray together asking God to remove things from our life. Things that make us uncomfortable, that challenge us, or that cause pain. For the longest time, we would have conversations where we would talk about what life would be like if that pain was not there. How easy it would be. But a few months ago, we had both been convicted to live differently. As I read through 1 Peter 4, Peter talks about his ministry on earth and suffering as a Christian. I haven’t been able to find a time where Peter prayed for his pain to be removed. I see the same in Paul as he works tirelessly to proclaim the gospel. It is not typical for someone to be told to embrace pain. We are given countless examples through the media, self-help books, and even some Christian motivational speakers to take the easy way out and pursue only what makes us happy. It is constantly becoming more common to quit when things get hard, and sometimes even acceptable for others to quit living. 1 Peter 4:…

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