Settling In

The last two weeks have been filled with lots of family time as I recovered from giving birth. Every morning Maryanne wakes up and is just as excited over "the new baby" as she was the day before. She smothers her in kisses just like Shane did to her when she was a baby. Little Maggie has been a very easy babe so far and is the best sleeper I've had yet. When she is awake she has a calm, sweet little disposition. I'm always amazed how the love is so immediate, it's like she's always been a part of the family even though she's so new. I guess it's just another one of the mysteries of life :)
The birth went really well! As you may or may not know, I had a hospital birth this time and was pretty nervous about it. For several reasons I don't want to go in to, I decided to let the doctor induce me (thankfully it only took a very low dose to get things going). I knew that getting an epidural* would be very tempting for me since I know all too well how painful giving birth is, so I let Ruben know that I would really need his support. He did not let me down! When my moment of desperately wanting relief came, he was there to encourage me on. I'm SO thankful for his help in moving forward from that place of mental anguish because once I did, things moved very quickly.

This was the most focused and present I've been during a birth. As things progressed I was turning within and starting to close my eyes with each contraction. I know all too well, from all my natural birthing books, that your eyes need to stay open and focused on something or someone but I've never been able to do it. The nurse reminded me how important it was to keep them open and I made a full blown effort to do it this time. It was extremely helpful and I believe it aided in the quickness of labor. Once the hard contractions started it was only about 45 minutes until I had the baby.

I'm not sure if it's because this was my fifth time giving birth and practice does make perfect, but I finally felt like I was control and knew what I was doing. Anyway, the good news is that I'm not pregnant anymore and let me tell ya, that's something to be happy about! The last 6 months have been really hard because I couldn't exercise at all. I got winded just walking up the stairs. Needless to say, I've never been more excited to exercise in my life!
My friend Maia brought this delicious salad over for me. I've asked her for the recipe for the dressing and plan sharing it here when she gives it to me because it ruled!
Today Ruben went back to work and I'm here with all 5 and a week of Easter break ahead. Wish me luck ;)

♥ anne

*I just want to say that I don't think women that have natural births are superior to those that choose not to. I have had 2 births with an epidural and 2 (now 3) without one and I prefer feeling everything even though it hurts like hell. I knew that since I had to be induced, which I wasn't thrilled about, that if I gave in to an epidural as well, I would be disappointed with myself. I just wanted to make sure you all didn't think I was getting judgey and whatnot.


She's here!

Margaret Mae
born April 6
8lbs 9oz

♥ anne



Let not the year go round and round, without a break and interruption in its circle of pleasures. -
Blessed John Henry Newman 
I read that quote yesterday morning and thought it was perfect for the onset of Lent. I am usually happy and ready for this season when it finally approaches and this year I feel I need it more than ever. "Offer it up" has been a phrase that has been running through my head a lot lately. If you are/were Catholic you are probably familiar with this saying. I'll briefly explain the best I can. Offering it up is a way to turn an undesirable task, sacrifice or any suffering into a prayer. Or said a little differently, it means to offer your suffering to God as a sacrifice. It can be a very small suffering or a great one. For example, I'm pregnant and as you most likely know, being pregnant is difficult for me. With my previous two pregnancies and this one I've offered all the discomfort, pain of birth, sickness, etc up for a particular intention/petition. This doesn't alleviate any of said discomforts but it sure makes it feel like it's not all for nothing. In fact, it's one of the main aspects of being pregnant that I actually enjoy.

Unfortunately, I have a hard time keeping this mindset in place. I quickly fall into my habit of complaining and negativity. I certainly have to remind myself often and attempt to correct my thoughts and actions and words. The other night I went to Confession and was telling the priest that I felt like a child throwing a tantrum. He told me a story about when he was a boy and had gotten hurt. He was crying and a family member asked him if crying made it hurt less. He sniffled and stopped and thought about the question and said, "well,  no". This was JUST what I needed to hear. I've been crying and complaining over something I can't change. Yes, I'm pretty miserable but crying about it isn't helping, it's actually just making it worse.
He wasn't being insensitive rather he was showing me a different way to look at the situation. Is it an easy solution? Absolutely not! Sometimes you need to cry out and throw a tantrum but not every day :) I have a lot to be grateful for and need to focus on those things rather than the perceived negatives that I'm so good at identifying.  

So here I am, ready to make the most of these last few weeks. I can't guarantee I'll be super successful but with the help of God, I'm certainly going to give it one hell of a try!

♥ anne


An Interview

I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Ashley, from The Stork and The Beanstalk, a couple weeks ago. She had asked if I'd be interested in a maternity shoot...I decided to go ahead even though I'm not feeling super photogenic and I'm really glad I did! Check out the photos and an interview I did here. You can also follow her on Instagram @thestorkandthebeanstalk. Thanks again Ashley!

♥ anne


It's been awhile...

Hi all! I am indeed alive and still pregnant. This past month was a rough one so I decided to take a break from blogging and focus on surviving. Thankfully I'm feeling much better now!

I'm due at the end of next month so I'm in the home stretch finally. We also found out that this little babe is a girl. I wanted it to be a surprise but I'm happy to know so we can attempt to come up with a name for this lamb. If it was up to Marianne her name would be Old Man Coyote (we've been reading this series by Thornton W. Burgess ) and Shane has suggested a variety of names involving superheros and poop or fart. I guess I shouldn't expect more from a 2 and 5 year old!

Although I was pretty frazzled and depressed over the last couple of months we did manage to do some fun things. The week before last we visited Griffith Observatory and Park. Neither Ruben or myself had ever been there. It was a fun day and I can't wait to go back when it's not the smoggiest day of the year. You could hardly see downtown, it was pretty yucky.

We went to the beach several times.

I  made lots of soup.

We went on a desert adventure with Nicky and family.

And we visited my sister.

I look forward to getting back to regular postings and hope all has been well on the other end of the screen.

♥ anne


2 0 1 4

Well, it's a new year friends! I'm glad to have a clean slate and a new beginning. I know a lot of people aren't fans of New Year's resolutions but I actually like them. I don't set unrealistic goals for myself but I do like to look over the areas in my life that I'd like to improve and set to work on bettering them. My main goal this year is greatly improve my spiritual life which has been on the decline for the last couple of years. I'd also love to be able to keep up on my laundry but with baby #5 on the way I'm already having my doubts :)

I have been living in this tube dress from Forever 21. I have a black one as well and they are perfect for this stage in my pregnancy. I rarely shop anywhere other than thrift stores but I was having a hard time finding basic pieces so these have worked out perfectly. It's funny, I would never wear this type of dress if I wasn't pregnant so it's a good thing that it will most likely been worn out by the time baby comes. Oh, and my sweet sweater! A surprise gift from Milla that I've been wearing almost daily. Isn't it a beaut?! Thanks again friend!

I hope your 2014 is off to good start!

♥ anne


gift giving

My favorite gifts I gave this year were the two photo books I made for my parents. In the age of digital photos that sit on your computer, never to be seen, this my friends is the answer. For the Yosemite book I used Picaboo and for the smaller one I used Artifact Uprising. Both turned out lovely. Artifact Uprising has a high end catalog feel to it which I really like. After it came in the mail I was pretty sold on their product and will be using them for future books. But, regardless which company you use, this gift is a winner every time!

♥ anne