Three.

Dearest Emmalyne,

Somehow we are here, on your third birthday, and I simply cannot believe it.  I was recently puling out your 12-18 month clothes for Bryn and it felt like I had just put them on your little body and yet now you are suddenly so much bigger!  It seems like yesterday that I was meeting you for the first time, smelling your sweet baby hair, and watching you sleep.

 

Emmie is 3

 

My sweet Emmie Grace … you are the one who made me a mama and you will always have that distinction.  We’ve been on a journey of discovery, you and me.  You have taught me patience, humility, the ability to find the joy in the smallest of things, and what unconditional love truly feels like.  Everyone tells you that your life will change when you have children and you think you know what that means but you simply don’t until you hold your own for the first time.  Holding you sweet girl rocked my world in the best possible way.

 

Emmie Turns 3 2

 

This last year has brought lots of change into your life.  Most importantly you earned the title of “big sister” and you have embraced that role to the fullest.  You currently tell everyone who looks at Bryn, “that’s my sister” and you’re constantly patting her saying, “oh she’s so cute!”  We are still working on sharing our toys but every day you give Bryn a little bit more.  Bryn just loves you little girl and no one can make her giggle the way you can.  I hope you two always cherish and love each other because having a sister is truly one of life’s greatest gifts.

 

Emmie Turns 3 3

 

Little one, you live life passionately and you feel things passionately.  You are a spirited little girl which is sometimes challenging for both of us but truly I hope you never lose that fire that is in your soul.  You currently love to read, horses, painting, dancing, and playing soccer.  You have developed a passion for princesses and love to play dress-up.  Everything is “so beautiful” and you love to give “big hugs”.  You know your numbers up to twenty and all of your letters and are soaking things up at school like a sponge.  At night you love to say your prayers, always including Trigger and Bailey, and insist that we sing “Twinkle Twinkle” and the “ABCs” as your lullabies.  You always ask us for “just 5 more minutes” and are so good with your pleases and thank yous.

 

Every day little one you teach me more and more.  I don’t know what I ever did to get so lucky to blessed with you as my daughter but then again I feel like I have known you my entire life.  I simply don’t remember what life was like before you because you are in the center of my world.

 

You are the sunshine in my life!  Happiest of birthdays.  Mommy, Daddy, and Bryn love you so very much!

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Friday Five

Popping in for a quick Friday Five this morning!  This is my last weekend before going back to class Monday so we are making the most of it and let me tell you, we be slammed.

 

Friday

 

 

1.  My mom is here!  My mom flew in last night for the weekend so she could be at Emmie’s birthday party :)  I haven’t seen my mom since June so I am SO SO SO excited she is here :)

 

2.  Tonight is our Military Police Ball!  I love the Army balls because they are so steeped in tradition and I mean, who doesn’t love getting all dressed up?  I didn’t want to spend the money on buying a dress I’ll never wear again this year so I decided to try my hand at Rent The Runway.  I have to admit, I was nervous it wouldn’t show up but low and behold it came right when it was supposed to.  My dress fits perfectly and I am excited to show you guys it later :)

 

Rent the Runway

 

 

3.  Tomorrow is Emmalyne’s birthday party.  She doesn’t turn three until Monday but in her mind her birthday is Saturday and will tell everyone in sight that!  I have been in full prep mode over here and finished making the cake pops and cookies.  On to cupcakes today!

 

Cake Pop

 

 

4.  I would be lying if I told you guys I was excited for Monday.  I am dreading going back to this quarter because I know it’s going to be my most challenging yet.  Combined with the upcoming holidays I am already stressed out.  However, I know that as soon as I am on campus I will be ready to go :)

 

5.  On that note, few things get me more excited than new school supplies #NerdAlert.  It was always my favorite part of back-to-school growing up and I have an unhealthy obsession with having WAY too many pens.  Target gets me every single time and I couldn’t resist these new notebooks either.  The polka dot one
will fit perfectly in my white coat pocket and I love having a cute notebook in clinic :)

 

School Supplies

 

 

I hope you guys have a great weekend and can’t wait to share all of our adventures with you next week!  Happy Friday!

 

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WIAW

It’s been awhile since I linked up with Jenn for “What I Ate Wednesday” but given the fact that I am in the middle of my clean eating challenge I thought today would be a great time to do it :)  The clean eating challenge is going SO well and my challengers are really embracing it and going all in.  It’s been really cool too getting some new ideas for our meals over here!

WIAWbutton

 

 

 

Breakfast

WIAW Breakfast

 

My breakfast most days is the same – eggs scrambled with spinach and mushrooms, nitrate free bacon, and fruit.  Iced coffee with coconut milk and stevia on the side!

 

Lunch

WIAW Lunch

 

 

Lunch was a leftover salmon burger on romaine instead of a bun, Greek yogurt dill dressing, and some baked Alexia sweet potato fries on the side.

 

Snack

Shakeology

 

 

After my workout in the morning I had chocolate vegan Shakeology mixed with unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 a banana, and ice.  Other snacks throughout the day included an apple, cheese stick, a few pita crackers with hummus, 1 dark chocolate square, and a caramel Greek yogurt.

 

Dinner

WIAW Dinner

 

 

This soup is a winner!  I made Against All Grain’s roasted chicken and vegetable soup.  It’s full of nutrients – sweet potato, butternut squash, spinach, etc. and the flavors just scream fall.  I can see this making a regular appearance in the coming weeks!

 

Overall I am so happy with how this challenge is going.  You guys …. I haven’t had a Diet Coke in 3 days!  That may not seem like much but to a hard-core addict that’s like an eternity.  I doubt I will ever full eradicate it from my life but I am working hard to limiting it to only when we eat out and this challenge was the perfect jump start!  Off to get some stuff ready for Emmie’s birthday party.  Happy Wednesday!

 

What’s one great thing you ate this week?  Any recipes you want to share?

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Bryn: Month 10

Bryn 10 Months

 

We are heading into the final stretch before Bryn turns one and have officially entered double digit months.  She is becoming more and more like a toddler every day!

 

Grow, Baby, Grow!

Not sure about her height and weight but she is current wearing 12 month clothes and heading into a solid size 4 diaper.
Bryn 10 Months 1

 Breastfeeding/Pumping/Baby Led Weaning

Breastfeeding is still going strong and I am confident that we will make it to my initial goal of one year! My milk supply is doing great, so much so that I was able to donate some, and my freezer stockpile is filled. Bryn is taking about 3 bottles a day at school and nursing 2-3 times a day as well. She is LOVING food more every day and baby led weaning continues to prove to be the best choice for our family when it comes to solids. She will eat anything and everything and devoured a salmon burger last night! She now has 7 teeth to munch with ;)

Bryn 10 Months 4

Sleeping

I feel like we are heading to that gray area where she transitions from two naps a day to one. Some days she only wants one and takes a really long nap after lunch. Other days she’s still tired around 9AM. I am happy to say that her overnight sleep is improving and last night she slept from 6:30-7:30! She loves her Aden + Anais blanket and uses that to self soothe. I consider myself very fortunate that she doesn’t take a pacifier (although we tried REALLY hard to get her to in the beginning ha).

Bryn 10 Months 2

 Play + Personality

Bryn is getting some fire to her and I love it. She knows she’s funny and does this scrunchy face while laughing when she knows she’s doing something silly. She loves to play with her piano, play with her walker, chase Emmalyne, and climb all over us. Bryn is definitely still the smuggler of the family and is free with her snuggles and smiles. She continues to be as easy going as ever and I feel very very fortunate. She is waving, clapping, and saying some words and I know that the best is yet to come with her! She is getting more and more BUSY though and is getting into EVERYTHING. It MIGHT be time for some childproofing.

Bryn 10 Months 6

On the Move

This was a big month in regards to moving. She is walking really well while holding our hands and her walker and just the other night took 2 steps. She is now very brave and is letting go more and more often so I know full on walking is just around the corner. Bryn also finally discovered the stairs and can get up them before we can blink. Baby gates have been ordered.

Bryn 10 Months 7

Sisters

Some days the girls do really really good together and some days not so much. Emmalyne is working hard on her sharing skills and has certain toys she will let Bryn play with. Em has taken to shutting her playroom door though to keep Bryn out HA. More often than not though Emmie is very sweet with her little sister, wants to play with her, and is concerned when Bryn cries. I love seeing their bond grow and thank Frozen for showing that sisterly love is pretty awesome ;)

Bryn 10 Months 5

As we head into Emmalyne’s birthday weekend I also know that Bryn’s birthday is right around the corner. This year has gone by so incredibly fast and I am grasping at seconds trying to make them last longer. But I know the best moments are still coming and I am still so very thankful that God blessed me with these two incredibly unique and special girls. It is my greatest joy getting to be their mom.
I love you Bryn! You and Emmalyne are my sunshine :)

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#ShareAwesome: Using Technology Safely

My toddler is a master of my iPad you guys.  Like really.  Emmalyne has her own folder with her educational apps and movies and can easily navigate through the screens to find what she wants.  I still remember when we got our first computer and had dial-up Internet so it kind of blows my mind sometimes about the technology that my children are growing up with.

 

iPad

 

Technology is truly an incredible thing.  We use it on a daily basis in my house for any number of reasons.  Being military, we live far away from our parents so FaceTime is an amazing invention that helps us not feel so distant.  It allows our girls to grow up “seeing” their family on a regular basis which makes building relationships so much easier.  Skype also saved Chris and I when he was deployed to Afghanistan.  I use technology daily for my professional life with school – did you know how many amazing apps there are for healthcare?  MIND BLOWN.

 

However, technology comes with a scary side as well, so it’s important to respect all that technology has to offer and use it in a safe manner.  I am raising girls in a world where social media is king.  You want to be able to share your most amazing moments across your channels but also want to make sure you are keeping yourself safe.  Teaching our children how to do this is an important aspect of parenting.

 

In the military we as spouses are taught about operational security (OPSEC) and personal security (PERSEC).  These lessons certainly apply to civilian life as well and are things we have incorporated into our own life on a  regular basis.  Some of my favorite tips include:

  1. Turn off location services on your iPhone for anything that doesn’t require it.  This means your camera, Facebook, etc.  People are able to hack into your photos and if location services is turned out find out where you were when you took it.
  2. Don’t ‘check in” places.  I had some check-in apps for awhile until I realized how dumb that was.  By ‘checking-in’ I gave people access to the knowledge of things like where I worked out, where I shopped, etc.  Not stuff I want just anyone to know!
  3. Don’t post that you’ll be alone.  I don’t post on social media that Chris is gone until he is back.  I don’t need to broadcast that he’s traveling for work.
  4. Be selective on who to add.  With my blog social media channels I obviously love and welcome all of you!  however, on my personal Facebook etc. I have my privacy settings pretty high and only add people I know.  Got to keep my family safe ;)
  5. Monitor your kids.  My kids aren’t tweeting just yet but when they do you better believe mama will be following along ;)

 

I’m not the only one who thinks this either – the national PTA has joined with LifeLock on the #ShareAwesome campaign to promote using social media to share your life moments safely.  It’s about opening up the conversation between parents and children about using digital tools safely as part of a happy, healthy lifestyle.  No matter what device you’re using, no matter the app, the same safety rules that you follow offline apply online too.

 

You can #ShareAwesome today too!

Snap a photo of an awesome moment in your day and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the #ShareAwesome hashtag!

Students who enter the #ShareAwesome contest between September 15 – November 30, 2014 will have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship!  Visit ShareAwesomeNow.org to learn more.

 

 

How do you stay safe online?  What’s one awesome moment from your week?

Like what you see?  Make sure to follow with Bloglovin’!  I would love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter!  Need a daily dose of Emmalyne?  Find us on Instagram!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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