Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Husband Rocks: Vol. 20 with Kristina @ The Streeters Ultd






No husband is perfect and it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how I set myself up to think about him. If I focus on his failures, his annoyances, or ways in which I’ve felt hurt by him, then I will interact with him as a hurt and frustrated and disappointed wife. That makes for miserable living for me and my husband and those around us. But if I focus on his strengths, his potential, and the ways in which I feel blessed by him, then I will interact with him as a forgiving, blessed, and contented wife. And there’s no greater need a man has than to feel respected by his wife. If he feels like all he does is hurt, disappoint, and frustrate, then the same atmosphere and the same actions will be perpetuated. But if he feels that his wife can be happy and responsive regardless of his shortcomings, he feels respected and empowered. Then a positive atmosphere is perpetuated and actions, once destructive, can improve in an environment that is rich for cultivation and growth into deepened respect and intimacy."


 
 
 
This week I am joined by the super sweet Kristina! This is the last time she will be hosting with me so be sure to drop by her blog, leave her a comment and convince her to stay!! To check out her post, click the photo:

 


This week we are doing another free for all because I am writing this post in advance! You are probably aware that currently my family and I are in New Jersey at the Prudential Center, home of the Devils, for the NHL draft! I assure you that I am having a fantastic time, and I have to say that My Husband Rocks for entering this contest and scoring us this amazing experience and turning this into a little mini vacay/ last hurrah with Natalie as an only child before Cameron arrives on Tuesday!

So, since I don't really have anything other than that to say right now, I'm just going to flood you with pictures of recent days with our only child, while she is still our only child!

Because My Husband Rocks for giving me both of these wonderful children, and I can't wait to meet Cameron, see his face, try to figure out what he looks like, see if he was also blessed with his father's eyes, and to hear what he sounds like when he cries and smell his skin and hold his soft baby squishiness! And for Natalie, who is just astounding us every day with her amazing new quirks, words, actions, and her ever growing personality! She is so much FUN right now!








 
 
 
 

We want to hear all about the loves of your lives!

The Growing Tree



*Next Sunday*

Jill from 99 WPM will be back again hosting with me! Topic of conversation will be:

Another free for all, because I really think that's all I will be able to handle with a newborn next week! But for the record, next week is also Hubby's and my anniversary so I will probably end up talking about that!

* If you would like to participate *

Follow the prompt, or just wing it and blog about whatever you want, as long as it is about the love of your life! Don't feel like you can't contribute if you are not married, this is for anyone who wants to celebrate their significant other!  Then come back here and link up in the collection at the bottom of this post. Please grab the button and use it in your post, or post it somewhere on your blog!

The only thing I ask is to follow my blog and my co-host Kristina's  blog via GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook or Twitter (icons at the top of my page - be sure to comment below and let me know how you follow and I will follow you back!) Then, take a look around at the other blogs linked up and leave them some love too!

* If you want to add the blog hop to your post *

If you want to participate in the hop and add the link-up to your post, click here and highlight the first code!

* If you would like me to add you to the advance email OR if you would like to co-host in the future*

If you would like to receive the code for the post before it goes live, or would like to co-host your very own My Husband Rocks Sunday Link-up, send me a message with the subject My Husband Rocks to:

 
See you later lovebugs!



Rachael

Friday, June 28, 2013

Baby Cameron Update

We might be insane. No, I'm pretty sure we are insane.

Let me clarify:

Hubby and I are taking Natalie on a four hour trip to Jersey this weekend. Mike won tickets to the NHL draft being hosted at the Prudential Center (home to the Devils - our team) and they are providing us with VIP passes, swag bags, possible floor seating and lots of things for little kids to do as well, which I am thinking Natalie is going to have a blast! It is her first long car ride, and it is going to be a little uncomfortable for me, but we're going up the night before, stopping halfway to eat, and staying in a hotel that has a pool and free wifi and TODDLER BEDS so that is really cool. We are also staying the night after the draft as well in the same hotel, and then going home in the morning, so I'm really not all that worried. It is going to be a lot of fun. But, at the same time  I am almost 38 weeks pregnant. I hope I don't go into labor while we're up there, but if I do we'll figure it out. I'm not holding my breath because Cameron seems to be pretty dang comfy.

So comfy in fact, that they are going to be inducing me! I will work a half a day on Monday and then Tuesday morning we go in!

And so, Cameron's birthday will hopefully be July 2, 2013 or July 3, 2013, almost two weeks before his sister's second birthday. I think we will be allowed to go home on the 4th of July more than likely, which is perfect because I picked out fourth of July outfits for both Cameron and Natalie and they match perfectly! I can't wait to dress them both in their outfits!

It's real and it's really happening! I'm not sure whether to freak out, or be excited, or FREAK OUT! In FOUR days I will have my first (and possibly last) boy, my second (and possibly LAST) child, and Natalie will finally be a big sister!

I can't wait!!

So, forgive me if I fall off the face of the blogging world for a while, in order to take in the smell of my new squishy and enjoy some MUCH needed time to rest, love, and be with my family. Because that's what it's all about!


Please excuse the horrible bathroom selfie... this is probably the last preggo picture I will ever take, except maybe one Tuesday morning. =)

See you later lovebugs,


Rachael



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Palette Giveaway!

I have got a fantastic giveaway that I am participating in this month that I want you all to know about! I am actually jealous that I can't win this one myself! Here we go!



The Urban Decay Naked Palette is a must have this summer because we all want to look good! As another makeup favorite of mine the timing is perfect to give it away.

Enjoy, from LeChateaudesFleurs.


Urban Decay NAKED Palette Giveaway
This long, lean, seductive case is packed with TWELVE gorgeous neutrals. Shades range from delicate champagnes to dark, gritty gunmetal, with names like Darkhorse, Virgin and Buck. We've also included a range of textures: everything from glitter to shimmer to matte.

RainShadow Labs

RainShadow Labs
RainShadow Labs provides the highest quality wholesale cosmetics. They offer lotions, washes, cremes, candles, soaps, gels, essential oils and so much more. 

Visit them here: 


One of the favorite products from RainShadow Labs: 

 

AEWR Turbo Wrinkle Smoothing Treatment
The name says it all. If there is one turn back the clock product that every person over 25 with skin should have, this is it.  Restore firmness, heal sun damage, increase hydration, erase wrinkles, smooth texture, nourish at the dermal layer, minimize irritation, increase skin brightness and even out skin tone.

Enter to win the Urban Decay Naked Palette:

Open worldwide. Ends 7/8/13. Entries will be verified. See Rafflecopter for full Terms.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Husband Rocks: Vol. 19 with Ashley @ Him and Her






No husband is perfect and it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how I set myself up to think about him. If I focus on his failures, his annoyances, or ways in which I’ve felt hurt by him, then I will interact with him as a hurt and frustrated and disappointed wife. That makes for miserable living for me and my husband and those around us. But if I focus on his strengths, his potential, and the ways in which I feel blessed by him, then I will interact with him as a forgiving, blessed, and contented wife. And there’s no greater need a man has than to feel respected by his wife. If he feels like all he does is hurt, disappoint, and frustrate, then the same atmosphere and the same actions will be perpetuated. But if he feels that his wife can be happy and responsive regardless of his shortcomings, he feels respected and empowered. Then a positive atmosphere is perpetuated and actions, once destructive, can improve in an environment that is rich for cultivation and growth into deepened respect and intimacy."


 
 
 
This week I am joined by the awesome Ashley! To check out her post, click the photo:

 


This week we are having another free for all! I want to share with you what I made for my husband this year for Father's Day.

Those of you who are a follower of my instagram got to see the photo already but if you haven't seen it, here it is...

This is the one that I made for Mike last year:


And here are the photos that we made for him this year:


Needless to say, Daddy loves it and is having a hard time waiting to buy the frame and hang it with the other one! He also got to order his hockey jerseys, a goal light with horn, and a few other little things =) Plus we went to a local zoo, and had a blast, and had a steak dinner at home as well! He was one happy Daddy!

What did you do for Father's Day?


 
 
 
 

We want to hear all about the loves of your lives!

The Growing Tree



*Next Sunday*

Kristina @ The Streeters Unlimited will be back again hosting for her last time with me!

* If you would like to participate *

Follow the prompt, or just wing it and blog about whatever you want, as long as it is about the love of your life! Don't feel like you can't contribute if you are not married, this is for anyone who wants to celebrate their significant other!  Then come back here and link up in the collection at the bottom of this post. Please grab the button and use it in your post, or post it somewhere on your blog!

The only thing I ask is to follow my blog and my co-host Ashley's  blog via GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook or Twitter (icons at the top of my page - be sure to comment below and let me know how you follow and I will follow you back!) Then, take a look around at the other blogs linked up and leave them some love too!

* If you want to add the blog hop to your post *

If you want to participate in the hop and add the link-up to your post, click here and highlight the first code!

* If you would like me to add you to the advance email OR if you would like to co-host in the future*

If you would like to receive the code for the post before it goes live, or would like to co-host your very own My Husband Rocks Sunday Link-up, send me a message with the subject My Husband Rocks to:

 
See you later lovebugs!



Rachael

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Blog Swap Linkup!


Hello everyone! I am so excited that I was able to connect with Rachael through this blog swap. I blog over at Work from Home with Kids and would love for you to stop by! Since connecting with her I have been brought back to last summer. We had a fantastic summer, but we spent a lot of time at home. This summer I needed a change, especially with now three kiddos walking/running around my house.

planning a Spectacular Summer

Today, my little Monkey turned one and I am remembering and appreciating the changes that have come to our lives since her birth. Last summer I had a newborn and an 18 month old, well actually two 18 month olds, including my daycare boy. We didn’t do much outside of our home, but this year I wanted it to be different. Money is tight, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Originally I was a bit hesitant because we live in a smaller town, but I have been surprised with my results!

Monkey 1 day v 1 year
 
First, I thought about how many days a week I would want to go out of the house and what I wanted to do. I also took into consideration that I would need to get 3 car seats and 3 kids into our van. I set our schedule for two days a week for outings; one of the days would require car seats and the other would be within walking distance. Next, I set out to find events. I only had to look in two places, our public library and parks and recreation. I was amazed at the events that I found; we are going to a magic show, an inflated jump room, several water activities, story times, ice cream shops and the beach! In addition to these “field trips” I have at least one art activity planned for each day, many that extend past the making, like our DIY Binoculars. To help keep all of my ideas organized and maximize the kids learning I do weekly themes. For example, the week that we are going to the beach, we are doing a beach theme. Learning about the ocean, what lives in/near the beach and how to take care of it.
 
 
our summer so far
 
Rachael, thank you again for having me, I hope we can do this again soon! Enjoy your days approaching and following the birth of your sweet little baby. My favorite part of having two is seeing the bond between them grow. It’s truly magical!
 
sisterly love
 
Written by Heather a wife and WAHM of two little girls ages 1 and 2.5. I blog over at Work from Home with Kids sharing work from home ideas, kids crafts and meal ideas. You can connect with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Sverve.
 
 
Isn't she amazing?!?! If you get a chance pop over to her blog, and read the post I have written for her today! I hope you all like it or find something to groove about!
 
 
See you later lovebugs,
 
 
 
Rachael

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Husband Rocks: Vol. 18 and Happy Father's Day!

SIDE NOTE: I want to sincerely apologize to my readers and especially to Harley for not getting this post up yesterday! Our family spent the day enjoying life at the zoo, and I completely forgot to make sure it was ready to go! Submissions are open until Thursday so you can still write and link up! I hope to see you all!







No husband is perfect and it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how I set myself up to think about him. If I focus on his failures, his annoyances, or ways in which I’ve felt hurt by him, then I will interact with him as a hurt and frustrated and disappointed wife. That makes for miserable living for me and my husband and those around us. But if I focus on his strengths, his potential, and the ways in which I feel blessed by him, then I will interact with him as a forgiving, blessed, and contented wife. And there’s no greater need a man has than to feel respected by his wife. If he feels like all he does is hurt, disappoint, and frustrate, then the same atmosphere and the same actions will be perpetuated. But if he feels that his wife can be happy and responsive regardless of his shortcomings, he feels respected and empowered. Then a positive atmosphere is perpetuated and actions, once destructive, can improve in an environment that is rich for cultivation and growth into deepened respect and intimacy."


 
 
 
This week I am joined by the super sweet Harley! To check out her post, click the photo:



 




This week we are talking about Father's Day, and Harley and I will be talking about how our families came to the decision to have children. If you don't have kiddos yet, feel free to write about whatever you would like!


For Mike and I we had talked about kids just about our entire relationship, but we didn't start to get serious about it until the Christmas of 2009, about 6 months after we got married. I wrapped up the rest of my birth control pills, and gave them to him as one of his Christmas gifts and agreed that we could stop preventing, and if it happened it happened. He was so excited about it.

Fast forward to Christmas 2010, and I was wrapping up a positive pregnancy test for him to open. I have a video of him opening it, but videos don't load on here well for me, so you will have to take my word on it! I had to keep it a secret from him for almost a whole week! It was the longest 6 days of my life, but SO worth it!

Fast forward again to 33 weeks and 6 days later, and our little pink bundle was being handed to us, a little over six weeks early! It was scary and fascinating, and wonderful all at the same time! We weren't planning on expanding our family again QUITE so soon, but we are over the moon happy to complete our little family with this little boy who is on his way any day now!

And that is how we decided to start having a family =)

On a side note, I want to personally wish all the Father's a wonderful Father's Day, especially my Hubby because....


Well, because he rocks! =)

 
 
 
 

We want to hear all about the loves of your lives!

The Growing Tree



*Next Sunday*

Ashley from Him & Her will be back again hosting with me! We won't be having a topic of discussion so it's a free for all! Write about anything you like!



* If you would like to participate *

Follow the prompt, or just wing it and blog about whatever you want, as long as it is about the love of your life! Don't feel like you can't contribute if you are not married, this is for anyone who wants to celebrate their significant other!  Then come back here and link up in the collection at the bottom of this post. Please grab the button and use it in your post, or post it somewhere on your blog!

The only thing I ask is to follow my blog and my co-host Paige's  blog via GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook or Twitter (icons at the top of my page - be sure to comment below and let me know how you follow and I will follow you back!) Then, take a look around at the other blogs linked up and leave them some love too!

* If you want to add the blog hop to your post *

If you want to participate in the hop and add the link-up to your post, click here and highlight the first code!

* If you would like me to add you to the advance email OR if you would like to co-host in the future*

If you would like to receive the code for the post before it goes live, or would like to co-host your very own My Husband Rocks Sunday Link-up, send me a message with the subject My Husband Rocks to:

 
See you later lovebugs!



Rachael

Friday, June 14, 2013

52 in 52 Update: June



I last updated on May 11, 2013. You can view the full list here.

1. Blog at least twice a week. I think I accomplished this again.
2. My Hubby Rocks posts each Sunday. Go here to view them.
3. 52 in 52 updates once a month (4/12 )
4. Post Desire to Inspire posts once a month. Here and here (4/12)
5. "Little Miss Natalie" posts twice a month. Here and here (4/12)

6. Rename all photos, organize, and delete duplicates. I've been working on this one a little bit more. I have them all in folders by year. Now I just have to go through each folder and re-name and delete.
24. Get a meal planning system going. We've been getting better, but still don't have a full operational system going yet. I think this will happen soon, we plan on going grocery shopping in a week or two.

30. Update baby book monthly. Ha. I'll get to it eventually. I saw the book the other day and said to myself "I really need to do that before Cameron gets here and I REALLY don't have the time."
32. Finish 0-6 month scrapbook. Haven't touched it. Hopefully will have some time soon.
37. Bump shots weekly starting at 18 weeks.
I've been horrible at this. In fact I've pretty much stopped. I really should make sure to take them these last few weeks, especially since I never got this far with Natalie.


45. Have a set bedtime and wakeup time and stick to it, even on weekends. I've got weekdays down pretty good, just need to stop sleeping in on weekends. Still haven't gotten any better.

49. Read 25 books. (2/25) Read: Fifty Shades Darker. Currently: Fifty Shades Freed.

50. Buy a pool this summer. Does a baby pool count? If so, working on it!

That's it for now! Looks like good progress for being an 8 month preggo mama. My next update will be July 12!

Until later, lovebugs!



Rachael

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On My Heart: Faith vs. Religion


I will be linking up with Amanda @ A Royal Daughter for today's On My Heart post. Amanda's blog and the way she lives her life inspires me, which is what this post is all about.

FAIR WARNING: In this post will probably be at least a few controversial points of view. One of the greatest things about the internet is everyone is free to talk about their own opinions. This is mine, and mine alone. Please try and be respectful if you don't agree with something I am about to say.
 
 

I have struggled all my life with "religion." I was baptized and raised Roman Catholic, had my First Communion, was an Alter Girl for about two years, and never had my Confirmation. I've been to Protestant, Baptist, Non-Denominational and Roman Catholic services. I've had people invite me to their church, but I've never gone. I've never felt comfortable in a religious establishment and I've never found my place in any church, and I personally don't believe that I am meant to. I'm just not that kind of person who feels comfortable with the whole "church" situation.

I think what it boils down to, is I am more faith-based than religion-based. Let me try and explain. I like to believe that there is something wonderful after this life. And I do believe that there is a "God" of some capacity watching over us, whom I talk to on my own often. But, at the same time, I also believe that absolutely NOTHING is guaranteed. No one has ever been there and come back (at least not anyone that I know personally) so we really don't know. And that unknown is what worries me. What if we are ALL wrong and there is just nothing after we pass on? So, I have begun to live my life so that I am satisfied at the end that this life was enough. We are all blessed with the time we are given, and we should use it to the best of our ability. When I am old, I want to know that I have done all I can to live my life to the fullest, and be satisfied that it was enough, so that I can leave this world with no regrets, regardless of where we go next, if we go anywhere.

All I really want is to have a great relationship with my family, watch my kids grow up and have successful lives and families of their own, and to love them to the best of my ability. The rest is just filler. Of course I have things that I would like to go do, and go see, but at the end of the day, if I never again leave this little town I live in, and my family is healthy and happy, then so am I.

And I truly believe, that even though it might not be enough for everyone, that it is enough for me. =)



 


 
Until later lovebugs,
 

Rachael

A Royal Daughter

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Husband Rocks Vol. 17






No husband is perfect and it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how I set myself up to think about him. If I focus on his failures, his annoyances, or ways in which I’ve felt hurt by him, then I will interact with him as a hurt and frustrated and disappointed wife. That makes for miserable living for me and my husband and those around us. But if I focus on his strengths, his potential, and the ways in which I feel blessed by him, then I will interact with him as a forgiving, blessed, and contented wife. And there’s no greater need a man has than to feel respected by his wife. If he feels like all he does is hurt, disappoint, and frustrate, then the same atmosphere and the same actions will be perpetuated. But if he feels that his wife can be happy and responsive regardless of his shortcomings, he feels respected and empowered. Then a positive atmosphere is perpetuated and actions, once destructive, can improve in an environment that is rich for cultivation and growth into deepened respect and intimacy."


 
 
This week I am joined by the super sweet Paige! To check out her post, click the photo:



This week we are talking about The First Date - Where did you go? What did you do? Was it awkward or love at first sight?

Mike and I never really had a "first date" scenario. We just started hanging out after work at Waffle House, or in our cars, and I would say that probably our first official date, was on Valentine's Day about four days before we "officially" became a couple. He took me to Ruby Tuesday's and I had my favorite, the chicken parmesan.

That's really all I remember!

For us, it was never awkward because we had already known each other for 5 years at that point. We met in middle school, dated (when I say dated I mean, oh my gosh I'm holding your hand and it's not allowed!) in 8th grade, I gave him his first kiss on our school's Hersheypark trip, and then we stayed friends all through high school while I was dating someone else. During the beginning of our adult relationship, I was divorcing my first husband (his choice) and so it was probably more awkward for him, because I wouldn't shut up about my problems with my ex! But it all worked out, and we knew we had never stopped loving each other, so it was always just there, we never really even had to think about it.

And so, that is the result of our first "date." Not really a date, just a continuation of something that should've never stopped. =)


 

We want to hear all about the loves of your lives!

The Growing Tree



*Next Sunday*

Harley from Becoming Mummy will be joining the ranks hosting with me! Topic of conversation will be:

Father's Day! Harley and I will be talking about how our families came to the decision to have children. If you aren't parents yet, feel free to talk about anything else you would like!

* If you would like to participate *

Follow the prompt, or just wing it and blog about whatever you want, as long as it is about the love of your life! Don't feel like you can't contribute if you are not married, this is for anyone who wants to celebrate their significant other!  Then come back here and link up in the collection at the bottom of this post. Please grab the button and use it in your post, or post it somewhere on your blog!

The only thing I ask is to follow my blog and my co-host Paige's  blog via GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook or Twitter (icons at the top of my page - be sure to comment below and let me know how you follow and I will follow you back!) Then, take a look around at the other blogs linked up and leave them some love too!

* If you want to add the blog hop to your post *

If you want to participate in the hop and add the link-up to your post, click here and highlight the first code!

* If you would like me to add you to the advance email OR if you would like to co-host in the future*

If you would like to receive the code for the post before it goes live, or would like to co-host your very own My Husband Rocks Sunday Link-up, send me a message with the subject My Husband Rocks to:

 
See you later lovebugs!



Rachael

Friday, June 7, 2013

Little Miss Natalie


You, my beautiful girl, are growing up WAY too fast! Here's what you've been up to lately:

You took your chicken nuggets off your plate, one at a time and counted "1, 2, 3, 4, 5!" I was FLOORED! I didn't even know you knew any of your numbers yet! Nana has been busy teaching you things at her house!

Any time you want me to hold something, or I ask for something you say "Heeere ya go!" with a big smile as you hand it over! It is too cute.

As I mentioned in the last update, we had family pictures done. You did so well! We had fun walking around with you, and even though we've only gotten a handful of pictures so far, I know we will have a ton of great ones!

 
 


We celebrated Memorial Day with the family and you had a blast! You played with Daddy and the boys with the football, and just generally had a good time running free around the backyard. You swung on your first big girl swing, and you went down the slide almost completely by yourself! It doesn't seem like you're going to need Momma's help with that for very long! You are a very brave little girl already!



 

You are OBSESSED with Bubble Guppies! I know I said this last time, but you literally go into a trance and can watch over two hours of the shows in a row without moving. It's a good, educational show so Momma doesn't mind too much.





You love to sing, and pretend to play instruments. You have played the straw, and you hum, and you play your Sesame Street piano very well!


You LOVE frozen yogurt! This time you did a lot better with not getting it everywhere, but I think that was just because you didn't want to waste a single bite! I think it's going to become a tradition that whenever Daddy gets his hair cut, that we go to SweetFrog. You love it!


You have become very animated, and opinionated! You are not afraid to tell us when you are happy, and you are definitely NOT afraid to tell us when you are NOT happy. Case in point:


This is your "But I wanna go outside NOW" face. TOOOO adorable!


You love rides. Any time we go by one, you run to it! It's a good thing Daddy had some change on him last weekend! You also love to throw change into the pond at the mall now that you know how to do it! You didn't want to leave after Momma ran out of change!

You are just so. much. fun. Momma and Daddy are having a blast with you right now! We can't wait for baby brother to get here to see how you react to him!

We love you more and more every day!


Row Merrily my beauty,


Momma
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