11.30.2016

5x5 Holiday Gift Guide | Gifts for Gals

If you've been following along lately, you've seen two posts as part of my 5x5 Holiday Gift Guide and today I'm so excited to share my Top 5 gifts for the gals in your life, including Moms, sisters, aunts and dear friends. These are all gifts I would not only love to receive as a Mom of 3 but have so much fun giving, because they are unique but useful and fun!

Find the 5x5 Guide for Guys here | Find the 5x5 Guide for Hosts here


I'm not sure there is anything more special to me than receiving jewelry that symbolizes my three daughters or being a Mama. Of all the jewelry I own, those pieces are the ones I wear with the most joy because they represent who I love most and my life purpose. My go-to shop for custom jewelry is Made by Mary, run by Mary Moody, Mama of 2 boys, and based out of Utah. Launched in 2013, Made by Mary started when Mary discovered a desire to design & create handmade jewelry with heartfelt meaning. She offers countless pieces for every style and so many options for personalization. I love her skinny bar bracelets (perfect for a child's name, nickname or birthdate), the sleek bar necklaces (beautiful with a child's birthdate or wedding date in roman numerals) and her disc necklaces for initials of multiple children. Jewelry is something I rarely buy for myself but that holds so much meaning to me, so it makes a perfect gift for any Mom or a dear friend. Enter BLESSEDNEST10 at checkout for 10% off your Made by Mary purchase today through December 6.




I was introduced to these delicious granola bars when I was pregnant with Poppy and oh my goodness, they are still my favorite snack whether I'm nursing or not. Oatmama was started by two dear friends, Kristy and Eliza, and specializes in handmade small batch lactation granola bars in the yummiest flavors. All their bars come individually packaged, perfect for throwing in your hospital or diaper bag, purse, car and more. My favorite flavors are chocolate almond coconut and peanut butter chocolate chip. You can shop each flavor in packs of 7, 14 or 40 bars and they also offer a 10 pack sampler so you can try multiple varieties at once. They are the perfect gift to give a new or expectant Mom, because they're not only practical but delicious! Enter BLESSEDNEST15 at checkout for 15% off your Oat Mama purchase today through Sunday December 4.




One of the best decisions I've made as a Mom is to have diapers delivered to my door. It is so convenient and makes the transition to motherhood much smoother, because it takes one thing you have to do -- buy diapers -- totally off your to-do list. And let's get real, hauling big boxes of diapers while I've got two kids in my cart and my hands full...totally not practical. Our favorite company for diaper and wipe subscriptions is Parasol Co. Their diapers are fluffy and so soft, eco-friendly and they come in fun, hand painted modern patterns that you don't even feel like you need to cover up because they're so cute. Their wipes are the closest thing I'll get to a day at the spa because they smell so fresh and can be used on faces, hands and everywhere else in addition to your baby's bum. We've been using them for almost 6 months now and couldn't be happier. If you have a best friend with a new baby or expecting one, a diaper and wipes gift subscription would be a gift that rocks her world this Christmas. Parasol's Holiday Cheer Box comes with 2 packs of diapers, 2 full size packs of wipes & 2 travel packs of wipes and 1 surprise gift. Parasol Co. also recently released a gorgeous diaper tote bag...another perfect gift for a new mama! Enter BLESSEDNEST at checkout for 20% off your first subscription.



four | a native wilds nest

One of my favorite products since having Penelope has been a Native Wilds Nest. Made of the softest (seriously, so so cozy) eco-friendly fabric sourced from sustainably grown Eucalyptus trees, the Nest is a motherhood game changer -- making it the perfect gift for new or expectant mamas (or to add to your own wishlist). It functions as a nursing cover, carseat cover, cart cover and more. It can also be worn as a scarf when not in use. I love the stretch it has without stretching out as its used, something I've run in to with every other nursing cover I've tried. Each Nest is US-made and designed without a tapered end for flexible coverage options; it also has a built in pocket to store essentials like keys, pacifiers and more. In addition to being ultra-soft, it's breathable, naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic. It regulates temperature, wicks moisture and protects your little one from the sun's UV rays. If that isn't enough to convince you, Native Wild Nests come in a handful of modern, stylish patterns and shipping is free. Our favorite pattern is the Lyla Nest in black and cream stripe but I also absolutely love the Indy NestEnter BLESSEDNEST20 at checkout for 20% off your Native Wilds purchase today through Tuesday December 6.


five | a book or journal

I recently came across a book in a tiny boutique called the 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration. As soon as I saw the word "lists" in the title, I was curious (because I love making lists!) and after flipping through it, I knew it would be a perfect gift for some of my girlfriends that love to (a) make lists like me, (b) enjoy journaling but (c) don't have hours and hours to sit and write long posts or do it daily. There are so many fun journaling books available that make a fun and thoughtful gift and encourage a little alone time to sit and write creatively, and pick up right where you left off as you're able. A few other favorites of mine are Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal, Start Where You Are, One Line A Day and Mom's One Line A Day, and for us sentimental Mamas, Letters to my Baby.

Stay tuned for next week's final two gift guides coming out -- all about babies & kiddos! 
Happy shopping!!

11.28.2016

5x5 Holiday Gift Guide | Gifts for the Hostess with the Mostest

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and relaxing holiday weekend! We had a small gathering in our home on Thursday, stayed up late playing games after the girls went to bed (a favorite tradition of mine) and enjoyed the delicious leftovers all weekend! Dustin and I did some Christmas shopping on Friday and then on Saturday we went to our local tree farm with the girls, took a horse drawn wagon ride and cut down our tree. We spent the rest of the weekend decking the halls and watching lots of movies in pajamas. I also decided I wanted to redo our master bedroom before baby girl arrives (something about pregnancy that always has me finding projects...) so my Dad and Dustin painted that this weekend and we picked out a new bed, bedding and curtains. Can't wait to share more of that soon!

Last week I launched my 5x5 Holiday Gift Guide, where I'll be sharing my Top 5 favorite gifts in 5 different categories. I started off by featuring my 5 favorite picks for the men in your life, because let's be honest, they are the hardest to shop for, am I right?! You can find that post here

To kick off the week I'm so excited to share my Top 5 gifts for the "hostess with the mostest," a phrase I grew up always hearing my Mom and Grandma use and just adore. I have the opportunity to host a few different events this season, including an annual girls night + Christmas Cookie swap alongside my best friend, as well as our marriage small group in our home each month and of course, big and small gatherings with friends and family to celebrate the season. We'll also be going to a handful of homes over the coming weeks and I love having a few simple gift ideas that any host would love.



There is something so cozy & comforting to me about an oversized mug. Maybe its the endless possibilities of how it can be used -- coffee or tea in the morning, your favorite cereal for breakfast, a big bowl of chili on a cold winter night, icecream (for those of us that could eat it seven days a week...), and hot cocoa of course. I love giving mugs as hostess gifts because they're versatile, inexpensive and you can find them just about everywhere to fit anyone's style. Even if you've never been to someone's home before or don't know a host that well, you have so many neutral options and who could turn down a beautiful mug?! You can pair it with a tin of cocoa, bag of coffee beans, a favorite seasonal treat and more. My go-to mugs are from Sir | Madam, sold online and locally in a lot of my favorite boutiques. They are easily recognized for their classic black and white color scheme and large illustrated word that circles around it. I love them for all the uses listed above and more and they are gorgeous sitting out on open shelves in the kitchen when not in use!

two | a letter folk co board

I always think the best gifts to give are the ones you'd most love to receive, and our Letterfolk Co. Boards are some of my very favorite pieces in our entire home. Offered in a handful of different sizes (The Poet pictured below), these US-made felt letter boards allow you to share all your favorite quotes, lyrics, scripture, reminders, menus and more. They make great photography props too and most definitely a beautiful, memorable gift that you might just want to keep for yourself...Not to mention a fun way to leave surprise love notes!


three | beautiful dishtowels

I love dishtowels. I use them everyday and between our fridge, oven, dishwasher and farmhouse sink, I have about 4 hanging in our kitchen at any given moment. A beautiful dishtowel or dishtowel set makes a lovely gift that is equally practical, perfect for a host gift, some even under $10. You can find them online and in many small boutiques. If I ever come across one I love, I buy a few and save them, roll them up and tie them with brown twine and I've got simple but thoughtful gifts ready to go! I love this set of three in seasonal colors (without being too red and green) and this good day dishtowel set.

four | a market pad

We love all things Rifle Paper Co. and this magnetic market list notepad is one of my favorite things on our fridge -- so handy for jotting down groceries as we run out of things so I don't forget what I need the next time I'm at the store, but still pretty enough I don't mind looking at it every day! I also love this to-do list notepad, this neutral market list and this bright one. And if you're as big of a fan of RPC products as I am, now is the time to stock up because everything (including their amazing art prints!!) is up to 30% off online through today only (no code needed).



five | edible gifts

One of my favorite gifts to give a host when I'm headed to a holiday get together is something edible!  Whether it's something they can put out that evening for the guests they're hosting or a treat for them to enjoy later, who doesn't love yummy food?! Plus the options are pretty much endless! One of our favorite brands, Pipsnacks, makes delicious mini popcorn (fittingly called pipcorn), perfect for adults and kids alike for a fun and unique host gift. We love their Rosemary Pipcorn and their Kettle Pipcorn (my favorite!!), but they also offer Sea Salt and Truffle flavors. Of course, everything is cuter when it's mini and around our home we love the Mini Snack Packs, available in all 4 flavors in packs of 16. Popcorn is one of Olivia's favorite treats and these are the perfect size for her. I love throwing them in my diaper bag, and if I'm going to a party (especially one that will have kids at it), bringing a few of these in a gift bag along with some pipcorn kernels they can pop themselves is another great gift. The best part? Everything from Pipsnacks is 50% off today for Cyber Monday and they are offering $5 flat rate shipping anywhere in the US. This is the perfect time to take advantage of an incredible deal if you've been wanting to try it! 


Hope that gives you a few new ideas if you're on the hunt for hostess gifts!! Stay tuned for my 3rd gift guide coming up later this week for all the gals in your life, including us Mamas!! XO

11.23.2016

5x5 Holiday Gift Guide | Gifts for Guys

Happy Wednesday! I am so excited to be launching a one of a kind gift guide this holiday season to share my very favorite products by category to make shopping simple & fun. Over the coming weeks I'll be featuring 5 Gift Guides by category, each with my Top 5 Favorite products. All of these products are either things our family uses & loves or ones that I have on my own wishlist this Christmas! I find so many gift guides to be overwhelming because of the endless options and wanted to launch a unique format that gives all of you a handful of tried and true ideas for each of the loved ones on your list.


First up: Gifts for Guys. 

Finding unique but useful gifts for Dustin and my Dad seems to be the most challenging part of my shopping each year. Maybe because when I ask Dustin what he wants, he never comes up with anything...he is a contractor by trade so he owns every tool you can think of. He's the least picky person ever -- which I actually think makes it harder to shop -- because he will appreciate anything I get him, but then I'm overwhelmed with options. So to kick off my 5x5 Holiday Gift Guide, here are my Top 5 picks for the men in your life.



This Christmas Eve will mark 10 years since Dustin and I met. Yes, we met on Christmas Eve! And I was only 16 years old then...wow how things have changed! For such a special occasion, I wanted to give Dustin a Christmas gift that he could not only use on a daily basis, but one that would remind him of the journey we've been on together and how much he means to me. To be totally honest, I find 95% of wallets in stores to be so boring...they are all the same, mass produced and therefore lacking in character and quality. When I stumbled upon Red Leaf Leather, the handmade leather wallets immediately caught my eye; then having the option to personalize them?! Hands down, best gift ever. Each wallet is handmade in Salt Lake City, Utah by Kelsey Roberts. The leather is as soft as butter, and such high quality. Being able to include a special quote for him inside the wallet sealed the deal. A wallet is something every guy uses, and I love giving practical gifts that still hold sentimental value, so this was a total win. Now the hard part is waiting another month to give it to him! Enter BLESSEDNEST10 at checkout for 10% off your Red Leaf Leather purchase today through Thursday December 1.


Daniel Wellington watches are just so classy. They are thin, minimalistic and refined, making them perfect to pair with any + every outfit and style, even for guys that normally skip the watch altogether. Dustin wears his casually and equally as much when he's all dressed up (find his brown one here + his black one here). The leather bands add to the overall elegant look of the watch and with so many options for the face (including their new classic black collection below, my favorite!), you can be sure to find one that suits his needs. Enter BLESSEDNEST at checkout for 15% off your DW purchase today through January 15. 

three | bluetooth wireless earbuds from sudio sweden

Featuring cutting edge Bluetooth 4.1 technology, the Sudio Vasa BlĂ„ earbuds offer up to 8 hours of unlimited play-time. Offered in 4 colors (rose gold black, rose gold white, blue and pink), these are one of the gifts going under the tree for Dustin that I'm pretty sure I'm going to borrow for myself (and had to try out before I wrapped them...oops!) I love their modern look, outstanding sound quality and light weight design. Oh and anytime black and rose gold are paired together, sign me up. Enter ABLESSEDNEST at checkout for 15% off your Sudio Sweden purchase. No expiration.


four | handmade soap from mirasol farm

This may seem more like a gift for the women in your life but handmade soap actually makes a great stocking stuffer for your man. Our favorite soap company, Mirasol Farm Organics, offers a wide range of gender neutral and masculine scents and it's the only soap I buy for Dustin (and our whole family!), we love it so much! Their soap is vegan, organic and made with essential oils, plus lathers really well and they all smell amazing! His favorites are Rosemary Mint, Litsea & Avocado and Northern Lights, which is a nice woodsy scent perfect for Winter. They offer soap sampler packs where you can get a pack of 4 mini bars and can try a variety of scents. PS If you're in the market for your own soap, I can't get enough of the Lavender & Patchouli. The Lavender Oatmeal (yes, I'm obsessed with lavender!) is another favorite of mine for exfoliating.

five | a one of a kind bookmark

Dustin loves to read. He can be found reading a half dozen books at any given moment; he just finished Driven By Eternity and hasn't stopped talking about it since. A few weeks ago I asked him for a few ideas of small gifts he'd like and he mentioned he'd love a nice bookmark. I loved this idea and honestly had never thought of it before (probably because I barely have time to read...) but it makes a simple and inexpensive gift, an ideal stocking stuffer or even something you can have your kids help you with to make by hand. I love this classic leather bookmark, this bookmark that can be personalized (a name would be fun but I thought a favorite quote or lyric would be even better), this longitude latitude bookmark (another option for personalization), and this set of sprout bookmarks, which I love for marking multiple pages or sections. Olivia and I decided we would make him some by hand for Christmas, she loves crafts and I have loads of supplies on hand from my scrapbooking days (another pre-kid activity) so we'll see how they turn out!

What are you giving the main men in your life?! Hope this gives you a few new ideas if you're stuck like I tend to be! And Happy Thanksgiving Eve!! We are dreaming of our family recipe cranberry apple salad, Nana's stuffing and our favorite pumpkin pie! XO

11.22.2016

our kitchen tour

I'm so excited to finally share our kitchen tour! We renovated June to August and it was a huge project. I found out I was pregnant the weekend after we started demo (which was an answer to prayer but also hilarious timing!) and Dustin did the majority of the renovation himself, being that he's a contractor and master licensed plumber. His buddies helped with sheetrock, electric and tile but he took on about 90% of the project, working nights and weekends, while I tried to keep two little girls occupied while feeling miserably nauseous 7 days a week in the hot summer heat. Ha! Sounds fun, doesn't it?! Sometimes I look back and still can't believe we made it through the summer, it was definitely a long one. But once we finished, I couldn't have imagined not doing the renovation and it turned out even more perfect than I envisioned it would.

As for our old kitchen, it wasn't terrible but certainly lacked in storage and function for our growing family. I had next to no cabinet space and everything was so brown...it was by far the darkest and oldest looking room in our home. We removed the soffit (which made such a difference in being able to take cabinets and tile all the way to the ceiling), completely took down the ceiling to replace all the old insulation (that was a mess...I remember coming downstairs and seeing Dustin standing in insulation up to his waist) and took all the walls down to studs, reinsulated and put up new sheetrock. 

The final steps were all new custom cabinets, new appliances, new flooring, a new white window and door. Paint, white subway tile backsplash with dark gray grout, white quartz counters, a white farmhouse sink, the faucet of my dreams (seriously) and adding shiplap to our accent wall (one of my favorite parts)! We hung live edge open shelving above the dishwasher (open shelves are so much fun) and then added additional counter space where our old oven used to be mounted into the wall (our range and oven were separate before). When all was said and done, it was a big undertaking but such an amazing transformation. I still can't believe my dream kitchen exists in our house! This is our first home and we've taken on 5 major renovations over the past 4 years (and 3 pregnancies!) since we bough it, and the kitchen was the final piece of the puzzle to really transform our house into a home and a space we love to be as a family. Enjoy!

Sources are linked at the bottom of the post. 

Sources: Cabinets / Drawer + Door Pulls / Wall Color: Natural Gray by Behr / Ocean Foam Silestone Quartz Counters / Farmhouse Sink / Faucet / Fridge / Combination Oven + Range / Microwave Oven / Dishwasher / Subway Tile Backsplash / Grout in Natural Gray / Open Shelving Brackets / 24x30 Come Thou Fount Canvas c/o Lindsay Letters / Love Letter Canvases c/o Sugarboo Designs / Gather Sign c/o Feather and Birch / Light fixture above sink from local lighting shop, 2014 / Shiplap (painted with Behr Ultra Pure White) + live edge lumber for floating shelves from local lumberyard

Have you done any renovations in your home?! By now I feel like we could do them in our sleep! As much work as they can be, seeing the transformation from start to finish is one of my favorite parts and it's always worth the hard work in the end. Realizing we lived the first 3 years in our home without it (and without a dishwasher and hardly any storage!) really makes us appreciate every part of it! Hope you're having a great week so far! Watch for the first of my 5 holiday gift guides, hitting the blog tomorrow morning! XO

11.21.2016

our weekend

Every year we have a tradition of visiting a local nursery & garden center for their annual Holiday Open House. We have been doing this since Olivia was just 6 months old in 2013 and it's become a fun way to kick the season off and get in the Christmas spirit. Waking up to our first snow of the season didn't hurt either ;)

Shortly after we arrived, Santa and his live reindeer "landed" from the North Pole. There was live music, cookies, crafts, different holiday activities and of course lots of fun photo ops! We met up with a handful of my girlfriends and their kids while we were there, so that was extra fun...sneaking in a little girl time even if our kids were in tow! I just can't get over Poppy's smug look in this photo! She cracks me up.


The rest of the day we relaxed, napped and I decorated the house a little bit more. We had beautiful sunshine all afternoon so I had some time to (finally) photograph our kitchen tour since our renovation this summer. We went to my parents, Nana and Grandpa's, for the evening for dinner. Girls were tired after a full day so it was an early bedtime for them and a Christmas movie and cocoa for us! 

Sunday was spent at church, grocery shopping, putting flannel sheets on the beds (my favorite!!), reading lots of books and homemade pizza for Sunday night dinner. Olivia has been asking to make snow angels all month long, but there isn't quite enough on the ground for that...yet! We are looking forward to a short work week for Dustin and hosting Thanksgiving on Thursday, then going to the tree farm to find our tree on Friday and finish decorating throughout the weekend. This time of year is just my favorite!! It makes me so happy to think next Christmas we'll have three little girls to take to meet reindeer. And I can't believe the 3rd trimester is already here!!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!! Do you have any special traditions this time of year you look forward to all season long?! I love hearing what other families love most as the holidays approach!
P.S. Stay tuned for our kitchen tour and the first of my 5 holiday gift guides coming this week to the blog! XO

11.18.2016

friday favorites

Happy Friday!! Hope you all have had the best week!! Snow is in the forecast tonight and I'm actually really excited about it. Normally this time of year we've had quite a bit of snow and in some ways November has felt empty without any (though the 50-60 degree days the last few weeks have been incredible)


Yesterday afternoon I had my 28-week OB appointment and 1 hour glucose test and for the first time my whole pregnancy, was able to fly solo since I didn't want the girls to have to sit and wait with me. My clinic is in one of my favorite parts of the city on the most charming street with darling little shops & boutiques and our favorite grocery store. I passed my glucose test and to celebrate, did a little early Christmas shopping and picked up some fresh cut greens for the kitchen. I told myself I would wait to decorate until after Thanksgiving (we cut down our tree every year on Black Friday and then decorate throughout the weekend) but once I got home and lit my fresh balsam candle, I had to pull a few trees out of storage to pair with my greens. Dustin already had the girls fed and ready for bed so I curled up on the couch with a Hallmark Christmas movie, a big mug of chili and a sliver of my favorite chocolate cake. All my cozy November dreams came true! 

Our biggest plans for the weekend are taking the girls to see Santa tomorrow morning and meet live reindeer, decorate Christmas cookies and do a Christmas craft at a local flower shop and nursery. We've done it every year since Olivia was born in 2013 so it's become a fun tradition we always look forward to. And to kick the weekend off, here are a few Friday favorites!

one || I love these vined monogram ornaments for the tree, I picked up one for each of the three girls. We have a lot of ornaments that I've had since I was a little girl, passed down from my grandparents and parents, but every year I love finding a few to add to our collection and these are simple but so pretty.

two || These suede bow boots (below) are some of Olivia's favorite, she wears them almost every day and everywhere we go. She can easily get them on and off herself and I love that they're neutral to pair with every outfit. They're on sale with an additional 40% off right now too!


three || Our absolute favorite bows are by Free Babes Handmade and a few weeks ago she released the most gorgeous hand tied velvet bows as part of her holiday collection. They have been sold out since her release but she is restocking her shop today!! Berry (above) and Ginger are our favorites!!

four || My go-to shop for handmade personalized jewelry, Made by Mary, is offering 20% off everything in their shop through November 19 (or until they sell out) using the code HOLIDAY20 at checkout. I love so many of their pieces, especially the skinny bar bracelets and hammered crescent necklace. They are elegant and timeless and with personalization, hold so much extra meaning. A perfect time to start shopping for the special gals in your life with a little extra savings!


five || This picture book is one of our newest favorites; it's beautifully illustrated and with a creative, unique storyline. We've taken almost all our Christmas books out of storage so those tend to be what we read the most of this time of year and this is a fun non-Christmas one to add in to our rotation!

six || You all know my undying love of floral and I especially love floral dresses. It's not often I shop for myself but this black floral dress is at the top of my wishlist from one of my favorite online boutiques, Piper and Scoot. I also love this cozy Cabin Fever sweatshirt.

Hope you have a fun + festive weekend!! The first of my 5 holiday gift guides will be kicking off next week, so excited to share them with you all!! XO

11.16.2016

the beauty of motherhood & what I've learned so far

Even though I've been a Mom for nearly 3.5 years, I'm certainly not an expert but I think the beauty of motherhood is that you learn as you go. Every day is a new opportunity for growth and thankfully, there is grace for it all. Motherhood is life's greatest learning curve. Some days it feels like motherhood comes so naturally for me, maybe because I know I was always meant to be one; I found my purpose in life when Olivia was born and I became a Mama. For the first time in my life, as I held her in my arms, I felt fully and completely alive and understood so clearly why I had been created. Other days as a Stay at Home Mom I feel like a hot mess and just want to hide in the bathroom eating peanut butter cups until Dustin comes home from work and rescues me ;) Ever been there?!


As we prepare for our third baby girl in just 3 short months, I have been reflecting on the past 3 years and how I've grown, changed, what I've learned, what I've let go of and the beauty of it all. I thought I'd share a few things I've learned for those of you reading -- no matter the season of motherhood you are in, and even if you aren't a Mom yet but hope to one day be one.

|| one || 
Every day is a little different. 

I am a creature of habit and I thrive on routine. I see this in Olivia as well, she is happiest and most well-behaved when we are in a solid routine. This may seem obvious, but I still catch myself forgetting that every day is going to be a little different than the day before as a Stay at Home Mom. Some mornings the girls sleep in late (and I do too, seriously sleeping in is one of life's greatest pleasures), and some mornings they are up before the sun (and I'm thinking about what time I can go to bed before the day even starts). Some days we stay home all day, I cook delicious meals, offer healthy snacks and get a lot of quality time with both of them. Others are spent running around, eating on the go and racing home by nap time to get them down. Some nights they are in bed earlier (way earlier) than usual and some nights they are up much later. Some days are smooth, where everything just goes according to plan and it feels so easy I start thinking to myself I could have 10 babies. Others? Lots of tears and meltdowns, myself included. I often find myself expecting each day to be the way yesterday was or the day before that, and that tends to set me up for disappointment or frustration. When I go to bed I try to remind myself that tomorrow will be different than today, maybe in just a few small ways or maybe in every possible way, but knowing that & starting my day with that in mind has helped me a lot. And that's also what makes each day exciting, fresh and new. New joys, new possibilities, new experiences & new memories.

|| two || 
You will miss them when they sleep. No matter how good or bad of a day you had.

The other night I was sitting on the couch and Dustin asked what I was doing, of course I explained I was scrolling through my camera roll looking at pictures of the girls I had taken throughout the day. He just laughed. I said, "No really, every Mom does this. There is even a hashtag on instagram for photos posted from late night camera roll scrolls." Motherhood is this beautiful dichotomy where you have moments all day long of aching for bedtime so you can finally step away and get a break, take a deep breath with no one around you, at your feet or asking for a snack for the 1839 time that day. But the moment you pull the door closed behind you, part of you wants to run back in and give them one more kiss, one more hug or just 5 more minutes of snuggling.

Perhaps its because as Moms we watch firsthand how quickly they grow up, how time slips out of our hands in the blink of an eye and before we know it we have years of motherhood under our belt and the first days and weeks of being a Mom feel like a lifetime ago. Or perhaps its because even as exhausted as we are during the day, even as much as we long for a break, we love them more than life itself and want to soak up every chance we can to be present with them, just taking in their every feature, every word and every movement, basking in their beauty -- in awe over the fact that they are ours. Perhaps its because those little people that nearly push us to the brink of insanity are also the ones that give our lives the most meaning, purpose and joy. That make us who we are and shape us to become the best possible version of ourselves. Perhaps its a mix of all of the above. Either way, I guarantee you will miss them when they are sleeping, sometimes even so much so that you can't sleep yourself.


|| three ||
Getting out of the house is always good for the soul. Even when it feels like more work than its worth.

Some days, especially early in my 3rd pregnancy this past summer, the last thing I felt like doing was leaving the house. Or doing anything for that matter. We were in the middle of a major kitchen renovation (aka living in a dusty construction zone, not exactly ideal for anyone pregnant, organized + totally Type A), I was taking care of both girls all day long and most nights + weekends on my own (while Dustin worked on the reno) and had nausea that seemed to last 24/7; the summer heat + humidity certainly didn't make those long days any easier. In fact, I don't think I have ever been more exhausted in my life. It was a long, hot, hard summer, to put it lightly. BUT we soon got through it. Summer ended, we finished our renovation, I could start enjoying my dream kitchen and before I knew it my second trimester arrived and I felt like a whole new person. I finally had energy to get out of the house and take the girls on special errands, little day trips and out for fresh air when we needed it most.

All this to say, when that new season of life started in August and we approached Fall, I was way way happier than I was during the summer. Just getting out of the house, packing the girls up and doing something out of the ordinary did wonders for all of us. Maybe it's a walk at a local park or nature reserve instead of just around your neighborhood, maybe it's a half-day trip to the zoo or children's museum that you can conquer solo, maybe it's a picnic at the park or grocery shopping + errands you turn into a treasure hunt with little treats or stickers along the way. Maybe it's having a long slow breakfast in the backyard to breath in fresh morning air, going to the bookstore to browse and read new books or heck, maybe it's going to the carwash down the street for 10 minutes so your kids can oooh and aaah over all the soap colors while you close your eyes and pretend you're on a tropical island on vacation. Not like I'm speaking from experience or anything.... ;)
Ultimately, I find that the days I get the girls out of the house doing more than just preschool pick up and drop off, we are all happier. Even when I may not "feel" like it, I just do it anyway and notice it makes a huge difference.

|| four ||
It's so important to take time for yourself as a Mom without feeling guilty

Dustin and I try to go on dates a few times each month (seriously, date nights have been instrumental in us staying so connected and growing even closer as our family has grown instead of growing apart) and we also make it a priority to schedule time for ourselves (by ourselves) regularly. We are so grateful to have my family so close by to sit anytime, and the help they constantly offer us is unsurpassed. When I do things for myself (run errands alone, plan a Saturday morning coffee date with a girlfriend, get a pedicure, etc) it feels so good to be "off the clock" for those few hours I'm away and just be Megan instead of operating in "Mom Mode," which let's be honest, I tend to be in 24/7. 

When I initially plan things, I notice sometimes I find myself feeling guilty, even though I totally know I need those times away. What is it about motherhood that makes us Moms feel guilty when we take time for ourselves or put ourselves first? Somewhere along the lines we must have been told or taught that once we become Moms that's all we are. But that couldn't be further from the truth. 

Even though being a Mom is one of the greatest parts of my life and a calling I truly believe I born to fulfill, I am still so much more than that and it's so important not to totally lose who we are when we have children. To regularly take that time for ourselves to nourish our mind, body, spirit and soul in the ways we did before we had children and in new ways too. To do the things we enjoyed doing when we had all that time to do them. To spend time with people that build us up and to spend time away from our children so that when we are with them again, we are even better Moms than we were before. I am continually learning that the more I fill my own cup (take care of myself and find opportunities to put myself first or do the things I truly enjoy that fill my soul and give me life), the more I have to pour into my children. The better I feel, the better care I give to them. And I can absolutely do that without feeling guilty!! Because when I invest in myself, I am also investing in my little girls.


|| five ||

Being in community makes a world of difference. 

I have really found I am the happiest and the best mom when I have regular opportunities to connect with other Moms in similar seasons of life. I am so thankful to be a part of a few different mom groups that are held weekly or every other week, as well as a leader alongside Dustin in a marriage small group through our church, with a lot of other couples in similar life seasons with children close in age to our own. 

Connecting with other moms who have kids the same age as mine or just slightly older (and have been through whatever it is I am going through) has been one of the best things I've done for myself over the past three years. Whether it's a bible study through your church, MOPS (an International organization held in communities all around the country), a small group you meet with regularly in your neighborhood, or something totally different, it's amazing what a difference having those friendships and building those connections makes. It feels so good knowing I have so many women I can depend on -- women that understand the challenges that come with being a Mom, raising kids, staying at home, being pregnant, etc. and can not only walk alongside me through it, but also help me as I reach new seasons with my daughters...sharing recommendations for preschools, how to handle the transition from 2 to 3, kid-friendly indoor activities during winter, favorite pediatric dentists, etc. Yes!! These (and more) are all topics I've sought insight and wisdom on from all the Moms who I have met in these groups over the past several years. And to be totally honest, sometimes getting myself and both girls out of the house in the morning when I'm tired does not sound appealing at all, but every time I make the choice to show up, I am so blessed by the relationships that God has put in my life with these other Moms. I walk away feeling so fulfilled, joyful and encouraged, knowing whatever I'm facing, I'm not alone. I have women that encourage me through the challenges and celebrate in the victories with me, who pray for me and our 3 girls, and who just totally and completely get it.

What have you learned through motherhood? Has anything stood out to you that you'd love to share with other Moms? I'd love to hear from you below! Hope you're having a wonderful week!

11.09.2016

sibling spacing + age gaps

As adding baby girl #3 into our family nears, I have been thinking a lot lately about the spacing between my girls and the family dynamic it creates. I thought in addition to posting about my own experiences with the age gaps in our family, it would be fun to ask a handful of my favorite Mamas to share theirs as well, including what they've found to be the biggest advantages and toughest challenges when it comes to how their little ones are spaced. 

I think a lot of what we've chosen to do personally has been influenced by how we grew up. Obviously, when it comes to pregnancy and having a family, there are a lot of factors beyond a person's control. But overall when I look at how we've spaced our girls, I can definitely see we were influenced by our own childhood. I grew up as an only child and while part of me enjoyed it, I really just longed for siblings. I wanted a sister so badly, a built in best friend who was always around to play with. Dustin was the middle child of three boys. When we got married, our hope was to have at least 2 kids, but deep down desired 4-6. With #3 on the way, we go back and forth if we'll have more or not after she arrives, that's still undecided and for now, I like it that way ;)


Olivia turns 3.5 this month, Penelope is 14 months (tomorrow) and Baby Girl #3 is due in early February, making her 17 months apart from Poppy and roughly 4 years apart from Olivia. I knew I wanted to space my first two out quite a bit, just to experience motherhood with one, to soak up every "first" and give her a taste of being an only child like I was. Our hope was to have our third closer to our second than our first two were, for something different and new and it ended up working out that way. Ultimately, no matter how you space out your babies or how big or small your family is, it's perfect for you and finding the positive in it is what matters. There is no right or wrong way to space your kids and certainly nothing wrong with only having one (or maybe none!). That being said, this post is just for fun to give you a look at others' experiences and hopefully find a family (or a few) similar to your own that you can gain some insight from.

The biggest advantages in our own family with the spacing between Olivia and Penelope (27 months apart) is that Olivia is so helpful and very independent. She was 2.5 when Poppy was born and potty trained shortly after, which made life 100x easier once she was out of diapers. Having her more than two years older than Poppy has allowed her to be independent in many areas (able to dress herself, make her own lunch, brush her teeth, pack her backpack, get buckled into her carseat without help, etc), and help me with everything I'm doing (even folding her own laundry and helping Poppy eat with a spoon and fork). They are still close enough in age that they enjoy similar toys and activities, read the same books and play together really well, which gives me more free moments to just sit back while they have fun together and stay engaged.

The biggest disadvantage I've experienced with their gap of 27 months is that as of this Fall, Olivia is in school and I am toting Poppy with to drop her off and pick her up, often having to wake Penelope from her morning naps to pick O up, one of the hardest things for me to do (never wake a sleeping baby, right?!). Also, being she's not fully walking yet, having to lift her in and out of her carseat and carry her up and down flights of stairs to drop Olivia off while 6+ months pregnant is tiring. 

Below are a few ideas of advantages and challenges that come with both smaller and larger age gaps, as well as insight from a handful of other mamas with more than one.


ADVANTAGES to SMALLER Age Gaps 
(Less than 2 Years): 

+ If you want a larger family, having them closer together allows you to finish having kids at a younger age

+ With a smaller gap, your children are going through similar stages all at the same time, so while you may have 2-3 in diapers (which undoubtedly presents its own challenges), they will also be potty training around the same time and all out of diapers within a small span of each other. Oh happy day.

+ They enjoy the same activities, books and toys because of their ages, which allows them to (hopefully) play really well together and keep each other entertained

+ They grow close to one another in friendship because they are always together, in similar stages and enjoying the same things

+ You can often reuse clothing, bedding, swings, baby gear, etc. without having to store it for years and then you can also get rid of all of it at the same time!

+ Children spaced closer together often create a very unified family. You have a sense of we are all in it together as you are going through the day to day routines, meeting similar needs and doing similar activities as a whole family. No one is being left out, the outings you plan allow all children to participate and siblings bond as they are all navigating similar tasks and learning similar skills.

CHALLENGES with SMALLER Age Gaps 
(Less than 2 Years):

+ Lack of self sufficiency. This is probably the one I've thought most about when I think about the 17 month age gap between Poppy and her baby sister. I will still be helping Penelope dress herself, put shoes on, buckling her in a carseat, lifting her, etc. while also caring for a newborn.

+ During my first trimester this past summer, Penelope was only 8-10 months old, getting her first teeth and going through a developmental leap and sleep regression. It left me very exhausted, being nauseous and getting up at 3am to feed and comfort her. I never experienced that the first time around because Olivia was older when we got pregnant with Penelope, sleeping 12 hours a night without waking and already through 90% of her teething.

+ Exhaustion and lack of sleep -- especially for us Moms who are carrying, delivering, nursing and caring for multiple babies close in age one after another.

+ Being so close in age may mean you are less able to enjoy your babies as individuals or give them regular one on one time

+ You are more likely to need a second crib, second highchair, etc. if they are close enough in age that you haven't transitioned one out of something before the new baby arrives. Olivia was in a twin bed by the time Poppy was born, so we reused her crib but we will be getting a 2nd crib for our new baby because Poppy won't have transitioned out of hers until closer to 2 years.

+ You may just be entering the "terrible twos" and dealing with toddler tantrums, separation anxiety or misbehavior while taking care of a young baby who is still very dependent on you. 

ADVANTAGES to LARGER Age Gaps 
(More than 2 Years): 

+ If your children are 2-3 years apart, you'll still remember how to care for a newborn while also having the confidence that comes with 2+ years of motherhood under your belt, knowing much more about how to handle each situation that comes up than you did with your first.

+ Your body is able to better recover from pregnancy and childbirth before getting pregnant again, nursing and being up all hours of the night

+ You're most likely more rested when you enter into the newborn phase, because your older child(ren) is/are no longer waking up in the night

+ Your first born (or older children) are more capable of waiting and practicing patience before having their needs met, understanding their baby sister or brother can't wait as easily when they need something

+ You'll have one on one time with your baby (or youngest children) while your older child is at preschool or evening activities

+ Your first born (or older children) are mature enough to enjoy the new baby, participate and help while also being able to enjoy time away from you without seeing it as a threat

CHALLENGES with LARGER Age Gaps 
(More than 2 Years):

+ Having children further apart most likely means they are in different stages and seasons. You may be toting your older child around to sports practices and spend the evenings helping them with homework while your younger child is interested in completely different things or unable to participate in what their older sibling is doing

+ Possible regression of your preschooler's skills (potty training, sleeping, etc) when a new baby comes into the picture because they see the baby getting attention in those areas and they desire it

+ Your preschooler or school-aged child can bring home illnesses from school or their extracurricular activities that they pass on to their younger siblings (this happened when Poppy was only 2 weeks old...Olivia caught a cold from her ECFE class and gave it to Penelope immediately; obviously it's going to happen at some point but it made the first few weeks with a newborn that much harder for me)

+ Having a gap of 4-5 years may present challenges when you are faced with caring for a newborn again -- nursing, sleep training, etc. -- things you haven't done in many years and possibly forgot a lot about or find to be difficult because it's been so long since you were in that stage

+ Depending on the gap, your children may be less likely to play together because their abilities, interests and toys are so different

Below are a few thoughts from Mamas I adore.

Erin / @helloerinv / www.helloerin.com
Children: Lex (4.5) & K (1.5)
Age Gap: 3 years apart

What did you primarily base your spacing on?
We based our spacing off of me. pregnancy is not a happy fun time for me. i gain a LOT of weight, and toss my cookies each and every day of the 40 weeks of pregnancy. mike and i needed to be ready to hop on that train again. i always knew i wanted a larger age gap- and we just kinda looked at each other when lex was 2 something and realized we were ready to hop back on the train. 

Advantages? What do you love most?
Lex is currently in her helpful stage of life. She wants to help with EVERYTHING, including her little sister. She wants to do things for her- get her water, teach her to talk, potty train her (she takes her diaper off and puts her on the toilet!). It's so sweet to see her want to be helpful and it makes her feel SO special and big. On the flip side- K has an awesome role model to look up to. 

Also, having a big age gap makes it almost impossible to compare the two kids. After three years my memory about milestones is a little hazy. I never, ever, ever want to compare the two girls- and this makes it even harder! They are each unique and different and I want to celebrate that instead of figuring out who was doing what when. I also love that well only have to pay one year of overlapping college education ;) 

Disadvantages? What is the most challenging?
We had a ROUGH start to sisterhood over here. Three was a hard age for us in general and Lex didnt take to big sisterhood well. She refused to acknowledge her sister even existed. It took TEN months -- and now they have the cutest and best relationship. I think lex being older gave her a lot more awareness of the alone time and attention she was missing out on when her little sister came along. 

When it comes to a challenge, I’d say schedules! Lex dropped her nap a year ago and has all sorts of activities. But the trick is still to schedule her activities around k’s schedule. which is sometimes hard when activities start right in the middle of nap time. Even school pick up is tricky because of k’s nap schedule. 

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Paige / @thelovedesignedlife / www.lovedesignedlife.com
Children: Adriano (5.5), Alessandra, (almost 3), Diego, (14 months)
Age Gaps: 2.5 years between Adriano and Alessandra; 21 months between Alessandra and Diego


What did you primarily base your spacing on?
My husband and I always knew we wanted two or three kids and that we wanted to have them relatively close together. Our first two babes were very intentionally spaced. When we first had Adriano, we both thought maybe we'd start trying for #2 around when he turned one. However when that time came, we were still recovering from the new baby-ness stage and decided neither of us were quite ready yet. We started trying when he was around 16 months. We didn't get pregnant right away which actually was kind of stressful. (Although I know so many families who have a MUCH harder time, so I'm not complaining!) Still, it made me realize a bit of what those families go through and how hard it can be. 

After about five months of trying, we had a successful pregnancy and that made them 2.5 years apart. During the time that we were trying I think part of what made it stressful for me was that I had this idea in my head that then needed to be 2 years apart. But when baby Alessandra arrived, it was actually perfect. Adriano was potty trained, and could more easily be distracted with things like the iPad, and was just generally more self-sufficient. Of course there were still trying times just generally juggling two. But I felt the transition from 1-2 babes was easier in a lot of ways than from 0-1.

When Alessandra was 11 months old, she had basically weaned herself from breastfeeding. I was sad because I was so close to making it to a year! (You can read my breastfeeding story with her here) I had one period after that and on my next cycle we got pregnant. Ooops! Again, we both knew we were open to the idea of a third, but we hadn't really planned it all that well AT ALL. haha. This made our third little babe 21 months younger than his sister.

Advantages? What do you love most? Disadvantages? What is the most challenging?
For me the less than two year gap was a lot harder than the over two year gap. In so many ways, Alessandra was still my baby and I felt she was very much still needy of my time and affection. On top of that, I had a preschooler! To be perfectly honest, the first year of having three babes was probably the most challenging of my life and certainly of motherhood. However even though this moment of motherhood is quite challenging, I know in my heart this is how our family was meant to be. I also know it will get better because it already has! I am so happy our children are close in age and will get to experience a lot of the same things at around the same times in their lives. It is truly a blessing to have them spaced just the way they are!

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Ashley / @_ashley_noel_ / www.ashleynoel.life
Children: Karis (almost 2.5) & Bexley (3.5 months)
Age Gap: 26 months

What did you primarily base your spacing on?
 I wish I could say we thought long and hard about this one. We didn't, not at all really! We were just ready for some more babies in our life!! And honestly, I think you can't rack your brain too hard about it! You can sit there and think about how old everyone will be and what month would be perfect to be pregnant, but honestly a family is a family no matter what the size, age, genders! Heck, my sister is ten years older then me and I love her just the same as I would if she was 10 months older then me!!! 

Advantages? What do you love most?
I know when they are just a tag but older the advantages will be their ability to play and have so much fun together!! I can NOT wait until they are able to play house and dress up and I just pray every night that they will be the best of friends!!


Disadvantages? What is the most challenging?
Well, I have a TWO year old and a newborn. Need I say more?? And of course it's the two year old that tests mamas patience! 

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Kacey / @kaceyjane_

Children: Avery (5), Emmie (3) & Will (8 weeks)

Age Gap: 26 month gap between Avery and Emmie; 3 year gap between Emmie and Will; 5 year gap between Avery and Will


What did you primarily base your spacing on?

We had always envisioned having all of our children about 2 years apart. It was important to me that they were close enough in age that they are in school together at the same time and could easily have close relationships due to the fact that they were close in age and experiences. Will is by no means way younger than his sisters, but he will be four years behind Emmie in school, and to me that's a much bigger gap than I thought we would have.  

The reason our sibling spacing did not go according to our original plan is because shortly after Emmie (our second) was born, my husband and I came to a really hard time in our marriage. We were in a place in which we had no friendship, intimacy, and found no enjoyment together or in our family life. I struggled to find joy as a wife and a mother and I was carefully maintaining a facade that everything was a-okay when it was not. We were both not talking about how evident it was that we needed help. There were many factors for this, and even though it was HARD, we decided to fight for something better and focus on our marriage above all else. After seven years of marriage, with Jesus and professional therapy, a whole lot of hard work and prayer and guidance, our marriage is an entirely new, healed, healthy and joyful gift in our life. We spent a year piecing it back together. And at the end of that year we decided it was time for another baby. Now we've got this family and home life that brings us so much joy. We've got this marriage that is an unspeakable blessing we hadn't actually experienced fully in the seven years before. I never realized how much healthy communication and trust and friendship between spouses affected parenting until this third time around. I thought I understood Grace, but it turns out He had more to give me and more to teach me in that regard. I think that will make me a better, more humble mother. 

I believe without a doubt that a healthy marriage and home life is the most important thing we will ever do for our kids no matter their ages or number. I can't imagine what would have happened had we decided to stick to our original schedule and throw another kid into the mess that was us. We are not perfect now, but I know with certainty that I can trust Him to bring us through ANYTHING. I didn't really believe that before. God had better plans for our family and I'm so thankful for the dark, painful road that he used to bring us where we are today. I am happier than I've ever been. I am able to find joy and thankfulness even on the hard mama days (wine and Netflix help). I look forward to the minute my husband gets home. These four humans God has given me and are my greatest treasures and Will being the baby of the family with a larger gap will always be a reminder of God's Grace.

Advantages? What do you love most?
The current advantages of having a 5 and 3 year old with a newborn is that he has three mamas! They are pretty helpful with the baby when they can actually help, but I've found their independence as a result of their ages is a huge differentiating factor this time around that has made baby #3 a lot easier than when we had our second.  They can dress themselves, use the bathroom, play independently or together, etc. Also, Avery is in kindergarten five days a week and Emmie is in day school for three of those days, so I have large chunks of time during the week to work from home, run errands, or just spend one on one time with the baby!  

I also love that the girls are old enough to understand how special it is to have a baby and that they will remember him like this. They absolutely adore him. They tell him stories and hold him and brag about him. I suspect if he could communicate he would tell us they also drive him crazy... I think sometimes this kid gets way more mothering than he signed up for. There's also something so sweet about the combinations of ages and genders we have in our family. I think two older sisters and a baby brother is absolutely darling!

Disadvantages? What is the most challenging?
I think the biggest disadvantage is that the current newborn stage we are still in plus the fact that they are both in school, means the girls get A LOT less mom time. There are many hours spent nursing or tending to the baby while they are at home that used to be time spent outdoors with them or on the go. While we have by no means halted life and activities because of the baby, it naturally follows that a large portion of my attention is given to the baby and I find myself missing the girls. For example, night time is hard and while my husband does bedtime with the girls, I'm usually holding/nursing/comforting the baby because its his fussy period and I'm focused on getting him down for the night. I miss my night time cuddles with my girls!

So far the challenges have been few. The baby nurses and sleeps mostly now, but I anticipate difficulty when he gets older and his nap times are disrupted when we need to pick up sisters from school and things like that. I highly value nap time at home for my growing babies/ toddlers, but I know that I will have to be creative and flexible at times as he gets older since the age gap is much bigger with him than with the girls -- he's just simply in an entirely different stage than them and always will be! There are more seasoned mamas out there I look to for support on this! Aren't mom friends great?!

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Makelle / @makelleahlin.and.thelostboys / www.lostboysarewe.com
Children: Cooper (4) & Boone (20 months)
Age Gap: 29 months


What did you primarily base your spacing on?
So when I had Cooper (our first) he was totally unplanned. My husband and I were trying to finish up our schooling before the thought of kids ever crossed our mind, but someone had other plans for us. Cooper came into this world and it was quite the life changer! I took 6 months off school and then dove back into it. Jared and I had always discussed we wanted our children to be close in age; Jared wanted them to be less than two years or no more than two years apart. I was all for that gap pre-kids because I loved growing up with my siblings (we are all 1.5 years apart.) but as as time went one I still wasn't ready for a second child, Cooper just seemed so small and was my baby...a very hard baby at that!! And I had since began going back to school. Cooper had just turned three when we found out we were pregnant with our Boonie boy. The age Cooper was in during my pregnancy was awesome. He was old enough he could entertain himself but young enough he would still come take naps with me -- I was/am a huge pregnancy napper!

Advantages? What do you love most? Disadvantages? What is the most challenging?
Once Boone was born Cooper (3 1/2) really didn't know what was going on. He just really paid no attention to the new baby, but continued to entertain himself with toys, books, playing in our fenced in backyard, getting into his own car seat etc. For sibling spacing purposes this rocked for ME! But I didn't feel that it was good for THEM! The bonding I was hoping to witness just wasn't happening. They were so spaced out that Cooper just ignored Boone and even as Boone got older the ignoring continued. 

I feel like the gap of friendship and wanting to do things together has just barely started to begin right now, but Boone is almost 2 now and Cooper 4. Now Cooper will come grab Boone by the hand and ask him to play, and Boone is old enough that they can share toys now. 

That being said, I decided I would like to space my next babies closer in age, but to my surprise I am already almost hitting that spacing gap again, but Boone still seems like a baby to me! I do like having a larger gap to allow your body to heal, to become (somewhat) emotionally stable, and to get your routines down...yes it really has taken us almost two years to get the routines down with having two kids and we are still learning. I still really wish for a smaller gap in age for sibling bonding purposes. I mean I am already home with the kids so a smaller gap in age wouldn't have caused any conflict anyway. 

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Morgan / @laughinglatte / www.laughinglatte.com
Children: Annabelle (3) & Betty (1)
Age Gap: 2 years (almost to the day!) between them

What did you primarily base your spacing on?
I’m not sure why my husband and I decided that we wanted a two year gap, but we were definitely unified in that decision! It was probably because that is the gap that we both grew up with. 

Advantages? What do you love most?
What I love about this gap is that we were really able to get through some of the tough teething stages and set a solid routine for our first baby before the second arrived! We co-slept with Anabelle and she really loved it. But by the time Betty arrived, we were able to transition Anabelle into her own big girl room. We got through the nights of never knowing what that night’s sleep was going to be and had a solid routine in place. This helped ease the transition into two babies as well. 

I love the two year age gap because they are far enough apart to give us time to breathe and actually get some good rest, but close enough together that they can be best friends. I’d love to have them even closer together, but I do value my sanity and just can’t imagine being ready to give up a couple months to fatigue and nausea any sooner!

Disadvantages? What is the most challenging?
We plan on having more -- and now would be the time to get pregnant to have that 2 year age gap again -- but I am spending some time in between nursing Betty and getting pregnant with baby #3 to work on some health factors. Each baby takes so much out of a woman's body, and my gut has sacrificed a bit. I think it’s important and crucial as a mom to recognize when to prioritize yourself. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer though! 

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I hope this gave you a good look into the many factors that go into sibling spacing and a few tips for age gaps in your own family. I love stumbling upon blogs and reading about other moms' experiences and hope you enjoyed it as well!! XO

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