Friday, August 28, 2015

fall family bucket list

Around here, the mornings are getting crisp, and although I love me some summertime and never want to rush it....September and October are my favorite months by far. I love dressing in layers (myself and the mini), eating and drinking fall treats, being able to enjoy the outdoors without sweating like man (tmi?), and celebrating our October 18th wedding anniversary! It's just good all around. 

I created a checklist for our family's fall bucket list, and at the end of the season I'll do a follow-up post (with pictures!) to see how many we managed to check-off!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

weekly links: 34/52

It's late on Sunday night so I thought I'd play catch up and share my favorite links from this past week (week 34/52). This week we have a little of everything: inspiration, fashion, food, wisdom, and a smart tip that can bless other women! 

Ps., if you find a blog that you want to follow on a regular basis, a great way to keep up with them is with Bloglovin'.

images via links 3, 4, and 5 below.

{ we are that family }
WISDOM of the week: the six words that can change everything at home. 

{ the small things blog }
INSPIRATION of the week: I shared a "beauty" post from Kate last week, but this is more of a "day in the life" from her perspective as a mom of two under two (makes me need a nap just thinking about it). I think this will be reassuring for those of you who find yourselves in that season.

{ see vanessa craft }
RECIPE of the week: I am currently obsessed with raspberries, and chocolate is always a YES in my book, so this recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry Cake is definitely on my To Make list. (which is a short list, by the way.)  Also - - I can appreciate the detailed step-by-step instructions for this recipe! 

{ one little momma }
FASHION of the week: I've learned that cardigans, kimonos, and ponchos are staples for my wardrobe. (Also stripes, because Duh.) I love layering, and these kind of pieces make it easy to be comfortable and look cute. Maternity or not - I love almost all of these outfits.

{ redhead baby mama } 
TIP of the week: Lindsey is a friend of mine and she is now a mom of two! If you used a Medela breast pump while nursing, Lindsey tells you how you can pass it on to a mom in need (it's really simple!)

Hope you've had a happy and relaxing weekend, friends! Let's make this week a good one. 

This picture is brought to you by my mother who complains if a post is missing this face. Here ya go, mom. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

For the Love {book release today!}

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the writing here at Beloved Nest. 

Do you guys remember this post about how I became part of a sisterhood tribe led by Jen Hatmaker? If you need a reminder, I was given the opportunity to be part of the launch team for Jen's new book, and finally it's the big day - For the Love officially released today! I'm joining in on the book's Blog Tour along with other bloggers who inspire me. (To learn more and join us, click here.)

image by Joana Studer

One of the (huge) perks of being a Launch Team member is that some of our endorsements were actually published in the front of the book! What an honor. Mine was not chosen, but after reading through the ones that were selected, this one by Katie Howard stood out to me because it's exactly how I feel about the book:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

when motherhood gives birth to loneliness.

It's been over a year and a half since I first became mom to a feisty baby girl with a quivering lip and bird cry that I could pick out instantly among the chorus of babies sharing our hall in the hospital. 

I still remember those first months vividly, despite the postpartum hormones and feeling like an legit zombie for at least six solid weeks. 

Such a time of transition and learning and becoming.

My world as a brand new mom naturally orbited around my baby in a perpetual three-hour cycle, day and night, and consisted of breastfeeding (full time job on it's own - somebody back me up on this), naps, relentless diaper duty, and "playtime"....a.k.a., laying your newborn on a colorful mat to stare at toys they can't quite reach and can't quite see. Too nervous to brave outings with my "spirited" newborn, and no close friends with small babies meant I spent most days within the four walls we called home. It was a sweet time, just me and my babe. It was also a lonely time, just me and my babe. 

It doesn't take long to discover the polarity of motherhood:

lonely and never alone.
chaotic and peaceful.
sweet and demanding.
noisy and quiet.
monotonous and ever-changing.
blissful and heartwrenching.

the best ever and also the hardest ever. 

Glancing over that list, it's hard to believe anyone signs up for this emotional turmoil. It's messy. But then, like most great things in life, none of us know what we're getting ourselves into until it's too late; and then we'd do it 500 times over. Easy.


weekly links: 33/52

Here we are with some good reads for week 33/52! (Posting this late because my arms were full with a sick baby for half the week!) This is the third post in a series I'm doing of my favorite finds each week. This is hopefully a way for you to read something you might have missed otherwise, and discover new blogs to follow. If you have a favorite link for this week, please post it in the comments so we can check it out!

{ You can catch up on the past posts in this series here and here. }

images via links 1, 2, and 4 below.

{ kate elizabeth conner }
I think I first discovered Kate Connor on Instagram, and I adore her writing. This post about the messy parts of life has me nodding in agreement and feeling so grateful for people who are willing to be honest.

{ country living }
I think pretty much everyone adores HGTV's Fixer Upper, and I'm no exception. I've even said I wanted to be on the show just so I could tour the Gaines' farmhouse and hang out with Chip and Joanna! Here is a photo tour of their house and it does not disappoint. My favorite spot? Probably that dreamy master bedroom. 

{ thrive moms }
This ministry has been so affirming to me as a mom, especially this post as I've spent hours on end holding my sick baby (and not getting much else done) this week. It couldn't have come at a better time. 

{ the small things blog }
This is one of my favorite blogs to check in on. Although Kate is well known as a beauty blogger, she shares family updates on her little boys as well. This is her attempt to look "fresh in fifteen," as she's now a mom of two, so primp time has diminished greatly. I even tried this myself and was surprised at how much I was able to do in just 15 minutes!

{ coffee + crumbs }
Well if you haven't already become a fan of this blog, this is my third attempt in three weeks to convert you. :)  Read this for a guilt-free perspective from a fellow mom on the hard days.

{ vintage revivals }
And lastly, how cute is this baby announcement? Ps. her DIY blog will rock your socks off. 

Enjoy your Sunday!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

weekly links: 32/52

Here are my weekly link picks for week 32/52! If you didn't see my last one, this is a series I'm doing of favorite blog finds each week.

And here we are with three of my favorite topics in general - Jesus, home decor, and babies. I mean, really - what else is there?

{ bower power }
I have been dying to decorate a bedroom like this - light bedding + dark walls. Cozy, right? Now that we actually have a guest room in the new house, this might have to happen. (ps., this blog is written by a mom to FOUR BOYS! She keeps it real, too, which I appreciate.)

{ coffee + crumbs }
(I warned you that this site will be popping up often in my weekly here ya go): A reminder on why solid friendships are so life-giving, and why it's important to allow friends to share in your pain.

{ magnolia homes }
I heart Joanna Gaines and all her ideas. This one is so simple and beautiful!

{ (in)courage }
Finding significance in who you are in Christ. And that's more than enough.

{ little baby garvin }
How I know i'm not ready for more than one kid...

Hope you enjoy these good reads! Monday is coming....make it a good one!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

1 8 m o n t h s

So listen. I now have an 18 month old. I've been a mom for 18 months. A year and a half year old kid calls me mom. 
Hold the phone. 
I'm obviously having a hard time wrapping my head around this.
I try really hard not to lament over time and how quickly all of this goes, but instead focus on the current milestone. The current phase. The current weight of her in my arms (25 pounds if you're asking). But DANG. I do believe this second year is going by even quicker than the first one did.

As of late, Aven is really becoming her own little person.

She's still very social and thrives in groups, especially when she knows and loves those people. Her vocabulary has really grown and even if it takes a little while to learn people names, it only takes her a few minutes to learn dog's names. (Little pet lover.) 

She occasionally throws tantrums now which is super fun. (sarcasm abounds). They usually start if she doesn't get to go play outside (aka, where she would live if we would let her). She then falls on the floor dramatically and bangs her head on the floor - a move that my little brother used to do so it kind of makes me want to laugh. Just a little. Charlie, did you teach your niece your head bangin' ways? 

We are encouraging independence as much as possible because it has never been her strong suit. Even when she was too small to notice if I left the room...uh, she noticed. And this many months later she still hates to be by herself. I've even resorted to propping a gate up in the doorway of the playroom, just so she'll play for 5 minutes without me. Any advice on this is welcome :)

She's very routine-oriented, which I would assume is true for most little kids. These days, she's up at 7-7:30am and eats at the same times we do, with a snack around 4pm. She naps after lunch for 1.5-2 hours, and then its bath and bedtime 7:30-8pm. No more bottles, only milk from sippy cups (this was a big deal for us because girlfriend adored her bottle!)

So although there are always bumps in the road of raising a child, there is also a whole lot of fun going on around here lately. 

Toddlers. Are. Crazy.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

organization: kids name labels

I recently bought a small backpack for when I don't need Aven's larger diaper bag. It's much more compact and manageable for quick outings, but I know several other kids will have this bag wherever we go. Because of this, I was thrilled to try out some new custom name labels from Minted to help personalize it. I chose to put only her first and middle name on them since I doubt she'll be running into another Aven Harper anytime soon. 

How stinking adorable is this one with a kitty face? And I don't even like cats. But Aven does and she says "mow" when you ask her what cats say.

I also stuck one on the bottoms of all her snack catchers - these round labels fit perfectly. (p.s., they are dishwasher safe and waterproof!)  Snack catchers are one of our most misplaced and left behind items. I'm hoping these name labels will help!