July Highlights

We are in the second day of August!  Can you believe it??

We said goodbye to July.  Our last full month of summer vacation.  Not that summer ends here in Florida anytime soon. 😜

July was filled with lots of good times and a making of fun memories.  There was the celebration of July 4th, (one of my favorite holidays.), Kyle going on a special trip with just his dad and brother, movie dates and lots of water play outdoors.

I didn’t capture a whole lot of pictures on the Fourth of July.  It was a full day of family, good food and watching fireworks by the water at a park from my childhood.

Anna has officially started gymnastics.  She absolutely loves it and we love watching her shine through it.  She practices her cartwheels and handstands any moment she gets.  If there’s any open space around her, you better believe she will do one or the other.  If not both.

 

 

 

 

Puppies!  Have I mentioned that we will be getting a puppy?  My parents in law’s dogs had a litter of 5.  So, we get one.  We go and visit them any chance we get.  They are just about 6 weeks old.  July was certainly filled with lots of puppy holding and cuddles.  😉

Kyle went on a quick weekend trip to Miami with his dad and brother.  They went to three baseballs games!  One game each day.  That’s a classic Hock boy.  While there, Kyle’s brother surprised him with a tour of the Miami Dolphins stadium.  He was pretty stoked!

 

 

 

It was a lovely month.  Lot’s of late nights and sleeping ins.  Playing out back until the sun goes down.  Sticky fingers from melting popsicles.  Sleep overs and ice-cream trips.  July in Florida can be brutal with the heat and humidity but I sure do love summer time.

So long July!

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Kid’s Room Tour

We finished up the kids bedrooms!  Finally!  We’ve been living in this house for almost 3 years.  Every time we thought we had the rooms set up and decorated to our liking, something would happen and we would be changing things around.  Which, I am sure we will be doing so again at some point but for now, I am liking things the way they are and so I am hoping we get to enjoy it for a bit. 😜

We have the older two in one bedroom and the baby in her own room.  We just find that it’s easier to have a baby room for sleeping purposes.  Eventually we will put the girls in one and Nolan in the other but again, I am looking forward to just enjoying the finish product for a while.  We will cross that bridge when we get there.

With the older two sharing a room, I had to figure out a way to keep it gender neutral.  Which isn’t too hard really.  We repainted the room as well.  We decided on a soft grey because it’s easy.  Just being honest.  Haha.

We’ve minimized their toys some.  What you see in the cubicle dresser is what’s left.  Minus tiny legos we have put up in their closet so Harper can’t get into.   We also removed their dresser and started a “no folding” system.  You can read all about that from a previous post, HERE.   It’s added so much more space.

I purchased Nolan’s bedding from Target.  We were able to find a vintage quilt for Anna at a local flea market.

We did a “his” side and a “her” side for their gallery walls.

Nothing fancy and very simple.  It’s just nice to have it complete.  Our kids love it too.

Next is Harper’s room.  It took a long while to decorated her room.  For a few reasons.

This was Nolan’s room and we didn’t transfer him out until….honestly, I can’t remember.  I was about to say after Harper was born but I think we did before to get both him and Anna used to sharing room but also because I think I needed a place to store baby things other than my room.  Haha.  Regardless, it wasn’t anything until after she was born because we didn’t know she was a she until she was born.  Because we didn’t know the gender, we also didn’t buy anything before.  Besides, we also knew she would be in with us for at least the first few months.  Again, we just needed somewhere to put her clothes and diapers and such.

Harper showed signs of being ready for her own bed and space when she was just a few months old.  Just like big sis.  So, we put the crib back together and I began to slowly collect things to decorate her room.  She didn’t even have a bed set that wasn’t previously her siblings, until very recent.  She turned a year old in April.  Just a glimpse of how long it’s taken us.  Haha.  We purchased her whole bed set at Target.  They have a new baby line called Cloud Island.  Adorable!  The blanket was what I’ve been looking for!  And for $15?  Can’t beat that.


So, there’s the tour.

Nothing magezine worthy.  Heck, not even pinterest worthy.  😅 I wouldn’t make a career out of home interior design by no means.  However, I love decorating my own home.  I love finding pieces that fit our family’s personality and working with it.  I love the feeling of my home because it’s us.

And I hope you enjoyed this tiny tour. 🏡

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday my friends!

We had an amazing family weekend here.   With Kyle’s work schedule, he alternates every other Saturday and Thursday off.  The last few weeks have been so busy.  Lots of fun!  Nonetheless, very busy.  It’s only going to continue getting busy, if not busier, as the summer continues.  This past weekend though had nothing on the calendar.  Meaning, we were making it a family weekend.  And that we did.

Kyle got off early on Friday making it a Fri-yay!  I was then able to go to the next town and do a little shopping.  Solo!  That is always a huge treat for any mom.   I bought what I actually went for in the first place and then hit a few of my favorite stores.   Traffic was crazy on the drive home.  We live in a very touristy area.  So, during spring and summer the roads get very heavy and congested between drivers and pedestrians crossing the busy highways.

Once I finally got back home, we took the kids out to dinner.

Saturday we took our older two to go see Despicable Me 3 while Harper stayed with Grandma and Papa.

 

We all loved it.  It was a movie worth seeing in theaters for sure.  As you can see, Nolan’s best buddy, Monkey, came along too. 😍

After the movies, we went to see the puppies at Kyle’s parents house.  We were amazed how big they’ve grown since we last saw them.  Sorry I didn’t get any photos of them.  I will remember to next time.  They are so cute!

We were able to get a babysitter that night and go have a date night.  We went to my favorite local taco restaurant.  The best there is!  We then went and watched our friends band perform at another restaurant off the beach.  It was there that I remembered, 16 years ago this month is when Kyle told me that he was in love with me.  Was a great ending to an amazing day.

Sunday was church and Kyle played some golf with buddies of his.  Then just chilled with the family.

It’s these kind of weekends I wish I could bottle up and do over and over.   It was nothing too exciting but those are the best.  Spontaneous and relaxing times spent with my most favorite people are the best.

What is your perfect kind of weekend? 💖

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted last.

It’s summer time here and so we’ve been super busy enjoying it.

There’s been lots of water activities, family visits, and traveling.  As well as the lazy, not going to do much kind of days thrown in too.  I’m loving it all.

Within a month, I was able to visit two of my dearest friends from out of town.  My BFF of 28 years lives in Georgia.  I went to go visit her for a weekend.   It’s always a good time when we get together.

 

It was also my first time leaving Harper for longer than 24 hours.  I was a bit nervous how she, (and let’s be honest- how I, myself), would do.  She did great.  (Praise Jesus!)

 

 

It was also my first time leaving Harper for longer than 24 hours.  I was a bit nervous how she, (and let’s be honest- how I, myself), would do.  She did great.  (Praise Jesus!)

It was good that she did so great because a little two weeks later I was flying to Oregon to go see my other friend, Rachel.  It was so good to visit my friend on the west coast.  She’s my soul sister.  God knew we both needed that visit and connection.  It was my first time visiting the west coast and wow!  So beautiful.

         

 

Long distance friendships are not the easiest and require a lot from both parties.  But oh so worth it!  Getting to visit both of them this summer has nothing but taught me that.  I cherish their friendships, (as well as the others I am blessed to have), and getting to go on adventures, have heartfelt conversations and laughing until it hurts are so very good for the soul.

Other fun stuff happening this summer so far:

We have signed Anna up for gymnastics.  To say she is excited is such an understatement.  She has been wanting to join for about a year now.  We saw that she is now really ready.  She was able to do a trial class and she was a natural.  Mainly because it’s become a hearts passion.  I am so thankful that we are able to get her in.  My prayer is that whenever and whatever my children are into, we are able to support them and the Lord provides for them.  He is such a faithful and giving God.

We are also getting a puppy!  My in laws have two Bichon Frise dogs and their female just had her litter a week ago.  So, we will be getting one sometime in August when she’s ready to be away from mama.  We are all very excited.  Of course, I am also a bit nervous because my life is about to be a bit more busy taking care of another living thing.  LOL  But I really am more excited than nervous.  My wonderful husband and my older two have been waiting a long time for this.  😉

That about sums up our summer excitement so far.  To think, we are only a day shy of July.  Summer really is just getting started.   So, cheers from my iced coffee as I finish this post outside our backyard as my kids play in the sun with their cute little tan lines and golden hair.  Here’s to summer time and the easy living. 😎💖

And a just because picture.  My beautiful family who I love.  Every season is fun and adventurous with each of them.  This was taken on Father’s Day. 💗

Unassisted Birth Story of Harper Joy

As we celebrate Harper’s first birthday today, I figured I would write her birth story for the blog.

From conception to her birth, God taught me so much regarding hearing His voice and trusting Him and His perfect plan.  Such a testimony and one I love sharing.  All glory to Him.

Kyle and I felt guided for me to birth unassisted, (having no medical team present for the birth).

It wasn’t one we took lightly.  We truly and earnestly sought God.  I could write a whole other post about this journey and all that God taught both Kyle and I, (and perhaps I will eventually).

Without further ado….

Unassisted Birth Story of Harper Joy

April 24th Kyle set up a babysitter last minute for us to go out on a dinner date. We decided to go to target first to pick up a few things we needed.  While walking around I had a very mild contraction followed by another at check out.  I didn’t say anything to Kyle until we got to our restaurant as other signs were appearing.  I didn’t want to get too excited as contractions were very mild and sporadic.  I also figured this could still be a few days or another week until baby is born.  I did contact my two sisters who were my birth support team just to keep them updated.  We talked names for the baby just about the entire dinner as we were waiting to find out gender at birth and still didn’t have a name.  It was there that the name Harper Joy came to Kyle,  When he said it, I just knew that was it!  Again, we didn’t know gender but the feeling of her being a girl was so strong.  We discussed boy names for a few minutes but were still empty handed. 

When we arrived back home my sister came over so I could show her where all the birth supplies were just in case things went quickly.  However, things slowed down tremendously once I went to bed.  I had consistent contractions for one hour in the middle of the night that even woke me up but those too slowed down.




Monday morning came and I was no longer comfortable laying down. I got up and went walking around outside in my backyard.  I began to pray for me, the baby and the birth.  It was so peaceful.  Just the early sound of the birds and feeling so close to God.

We went on with our day like normal. My good friend Ali came over to hang out.  She was going to be our birth photographer and I told her about the night before.   Explaining that it could still be another week give or take.  I had a few mild contractions while she was over and would have to even stop talking to breathe through them.  I even tried to just ignore a few.

As the day went on they did become more intense.  I had to get in the bath mid afternoon to help with them.  I then took a nap with my older two.  Once we were up I had a little burst of energy.  I went on to prep meals that I wanted to have on hand for after birth, (though I technically didn’t get to finish said meals) and make dinner.  Again, would have to breathe and dance through each contraction when they came.

The kids and I were outside when Kyle arrived home from work.  I was outside rocking on the patio chair while kids were playing.  I told him about how my day was.  Explaining the rushes I would have but adding that this could go on for a while.

As the night went on I had to get in the bath again to help relieve the pressure from the contractions. I also tried to do some stretches and exercises to try and help relieve some of the pain. I did some lift and tucks from spinning babies to try and get baby in a better position.   I shed a few tears by this point and prayed that this please not go on for a week or so.

By 1030 pm I was exhausted and was ready for bed.  I, thankfully, was able to fall asleep and get some rest for a few hours.

1230 am in mid sleep I jumped out of bed because I had such an intense contraction. I leaned over the wall swaying and breathing through it.  Once it passed I laid back down and fell back to sleep until the next contraction came.  This happened three times until I decided I would go get in the bath.  When I went in to get ready for the bath I realized that my water had perhaps started leaking. I woke Kyle up to inform him.  He joined me in the bathroom while I sat in the tub.  He wanted to start timing the contractions and I was fine with that.  I know it helped him feel like he was doing something. I also needed him to rub my back during the contractions. The contractions were roughly 10 minutes apart.  After a while we decided to go ahead and inform the birth support team who included my two sisters, mom and my good friend, Ali, who would be taking pictures.  Because my last birth with Nolan was so long we figured this one could be too and told everyone not to rush over. That we would let them know when it really started.  Thankfully, one of my sisters, Kristen, decided to come on over.  When she arrived the contractions were already getting closer and I was getting more vocal with them.  I was ready to get out of the tub as it was getting really uncomfortable but the water was helping so much.  I told Kyle to go ahead and prepare the birth pool. I remember thinking that I hope I didn’t regret requesting the pool just yet in case everything stopped and it wasn’t time for the baby yet. I was clearly still in denial.   While Kyle was getting the birth pool set up, Kristen stayed with me and would rub down my spine during each contraction.  We would talk a little between each contraction.

Once the birth pool was ready I got out to move to it. I had to stop half way there and had a good contraction by my bed. More water began leaking. I remember thinking the pool looked so far away though it was just a few steps away. Once I got in the pool, I felt so much better.  The contractions were still coming, even closer and intensifying.  That’s when I accepted and knew we would be meeting our baby very soon.

It also is here when fear tried creeping in. All the what ifs started filling my thoughts. What if something is wrong?  What if baby gets stuck?  What if I can’t do this?  Right then, Kyle turned on some worship music. It’s exactly what I wanted and needed.  It was like he was able to read my mind.  The song “It is well with my soul” was playing. I began to sing along and then praying. Remembering the promises God had spoken over me during my pregnancy in regards to this birth. Kyle then began praying over me, the baby and the birth.  Words can’t describe the amount of peace that came over me.

I told Kyle to go ahead and contact the photographer.  A few more contractions after requesting that, my body began to bear down. I didn’t say anything but just followed my body’s lead until it became serious urges to push. I then vocalized that my body was pushing. Kristen encouraged me to listen to my body.

I pushed with the first real urge and the head came out.  Two more pushes and Harper Joy was born into daddy’s hands at 2:11 am on April 26th.  Kyle announced it was a girl. I knew she was a girl. My dreams and intuition was right.

I turned around and Kyle placed her in my arms.  Harper gave a little cry and then peacefully just rested on me.  She was so serene.

Anna and Nolan woke up soon after. They came in our room and saw me in the birth pool holding their new baby sister.

My friend and other sister arrived shortly after as well.  We all couldn’t believe how fast she came.

I sat in the pool for about 30 minutes.  I kept trying to latch Harper on the breast to encourage the placenta but she just kept sleeping.  There looked like quite a bit of blood was in the pool as well so that’s when I decided to get out so we could manage the blood better and get Harper to latch. I got in the bed and blood was doing fine.  It was clear that my placenta must have detached.  I then told them I wanted to get on floor and squat to help the placenta.  I was in squat position for maybe 5 minutes when my placenta came out.



I got back in bed and we allowed Harper to stay attached to it for a while longer. I also inspected the placenta to be sure it was whole.  All was good and we just all sat around talking while Harper nursed.

Kyle made me some eggs and cut up some cantaloupe. 

Nolan helped and brought me food 🙂



 My friend snapped some photos and my sisters and Kyle cleaned up the birth space.  We all were just talking and laughing. I couldn’t stop talking about how shocked I was that she came so fast and how everything went so smooth. I couldn’t believe how great I felt.

It was the birth of my dreams. Of my prayers.

I was able to take a shower as Kyle did some skin on skin time with Harper.

We weighed Harper at this time and I couldn’t get over how little she was- 6.10 lbs. (We forgot to measure her but did a few days later and she was 18 in. long😉)

By 530 am we were all back in bed and resting. Now as a family of 5.

First family photo after Harper was born a few days before 😉