Backyard BBQ Backyard BBQ

A few weeks ago, my friend Jessica helped me throw a BBQ in our backyard for some friends to help celebrate Blake’s birthday slash help load our first U-haul of stuff to take to our new house in Boise! These are some of the photos from that day 🙂 Oh what fun it is to have talented friends to make your work look cuter than it actually is! {Thanks, Jess! What am I going to do without you?}

It was an overcast day {oh, Portland} and rain threatened to ruin our evening, but alas, we stayed dry.

We’re Moving! We’re Moving!

That’s right, you crazy kids! Come summer, the Brennan Family will be MOVING to….wait for it….Boise, Idaho!

We’ve had to explain our reasons behind this move to lots of people who don’t understand the whys so hopefully this will give you a little insight as to WHY we are heading to Idaho of all places.
Why are you moving?

We have quite a few reasons why we felt this was the right decision for our family. The main reason was actually because of this wee little blog that has blossomed and grown into our full time jobs! Paying for this blog in a state that is really unkind {tax-wise} to small businesses was our biggest reason. We’ve done everything we could to maximize our deductions personally and for a small business with the help of our accountant. Though that has helped, this last tax season really was the last straw to break the camel’s back. Comparing how much we pay in Oregon to the four other states we were thinking of moving to, it was literally painful to do a few quick calculations to see how much money we could have saved if we lived there instead of here. We’re talking thousands, people. Do you know how many outfits I could buy with that?

Another big reason to move was to get all the sweat equity out of our small 1400 square foot home that we’ve put into it over the last 3+ years of living here. With the housing market going CRAZY in Portland, we’d be foolish not to. Crunching a few numbers and selling our house meant that we could pay off ALL of our debts, get my husband a newer car {he was driving a janky, rusty old honda!} and have more money in the bank for retirement and stock up our emergency fund. Another pragmatic reason to leave.
I suppose another reason could be it just felt right. We love Oregon and it kills us to leave some of our wonderful friends that we’ve made here, but we felt it was time to move on, get a bigger home {one that we wouldn’t have to move out of for a long long time} and make the switch now, before Brooke got older, into those higher school grades.

Edward at 3 months Edward at 3 months

Well, this rascal keeps growing! And his personality keeps getting bigger too. Sometimes we think a little too big for his teeny body, but whatever. We love him just the same 🙂

Here’s the latest and greatest on our Eddie-boy:

Eating

Still loving his mama’s milk. I try to nurse him every 3 hours or so, but sometimes we can go for longer stretches {4+ hours} and sometimes they are much shorter. But generally, this little guy is growing and getting all the nutrition he needs. Sometimes I wish he would suck out more fat from my body, but at this point I’ll take anything I can get.

Sleeping

Eddie is a champion night sleeper and a sucky nap taker. He will typically go down for the night between 7 and 9 pm {though sometimes a little earlier or a little later} and can sleep 8 solid hours. Generally he’s up between 4 and 6 am for a feeding, but then he goes right back down for a few more hours. Last month, there were a few days where I saw the light…meaning he was just starting to give me a taste of those longer stretches with zero consistency night to night. But the older he’s gotten the more consistent he’s been. So thank heavens for that.

Brooke and Blakeisms Brooke and Blakeisms

These two older kiddos of mine are quite the characters. Between the silliness they’ve inherited from their Dad and their incredible intellect from me {HA! not.}, we are pleasantly surprised by what they tell us every single day. So here lies the first of probably many Brooke and Blakeisms posts. Our children are the light of our lives and I suspect that this post will be one of the ones I cherish the most.

Enjoy! Have a great day!

Losing that Baby Weight, Part I Losing that Baby Weight, Part I

Well, howdy friends! TGIF for sure. This has been a loooooong week. So many lose ends to take care of! So many recipes to test! So many calls to make! So many children to tend to! So little sleep to get! So many husbands to cook for! Waaaaaait. **Husband. NOT plural.

ANYWAYS, this business is my life right now so I’m not completely convinced I should even be writing a weight loss post because getting rid of the chub is quite the slow process the third time around and I am clearly no expert {and I love pie} but alas, here we are.

So, before you all jump down my throat, let it be known that I’m not doing anything drastic, crazy or insane that would mess up my milk supply. I worked hard at getting that beast up and running, so I refuse to do anything that would change it in any way. Also, it’s never too early in my opinion to start eating healthier and getting more active, not that I’ve been diligent about either one these past few weeks.

I was pretty dead to the world for the first 6 weeks after I had Eddie, but after that I’ve been trying to stay on top of my weight loss as best as a working, business running, recipe developing, stay at home mother of 3 can do.

Overall, I’m slowly getting back to where I once was. I’m hoping by July I’ll be at my goal weight.

Bassinest Giveaway! Bassinest Giveaway!
Edward at 2 months Edward at 2 months

Well, incase you’re wondering, time is not standing still. Sometimes I wish it would and other times {usually right around the 3 am feeding} I wish it would hurry up! But generally, I’m being really good at savoring the quiet and not so quiet moments with sweet Edward.

Eddie is such a wonderful blessing, even though his pregnancy was my hardest and his sleep habits are basically non existent. Time is fleeting when they’re this little so I’m doing my best to enjoy his sweet face and personality.

My Kiddos! My Kiddos!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post talking about my lovely children. A handful they are, but man oh man do I love them like crazy. I’ve talked a whole bunch about the baby because he’s the latest and greatest ’round these parts, but Brooke and Blake are learning and growing by leaps and bounds too.

Brooke

Brooke continues to thrive at school in first grade. Most days, she LOVES heading out the door to school. She loves her teachers and has a small group of friends that she tells me all about when she gets home. Her favorite parts of school mostly revolve around being social: lunch time, recess, being on the bus with her friends, music class and then library & technology. Her reading level is at end of year second grade level and we fully expect her to be at a third grade level by the time she finishes school in June. She loves to read Diaries of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants and Fairy Princess books.

Brooke still enjoys her ballet class, but likes dressing up for ballet more.

She just recently got her hair cut short and LOVES it short. I loved it long because it was easier to pull back out of her face, but her strong will prevailed. Hopefully it will grow quickly so I can pull it into a bun for her end of year ballet performance.

Birth Announcements! Birth Announcements!

Happy Friday 🙂

I finally got around to printing birth announcements of sweet Eddie! It took me a hot second to get them ordered and printed, but hallelujah, they’re here!! I’m behind my original schedule of when I wanted to send these suckers out, but I do have three kids and one of them, like, never sleeps. So, I’m giving myself a break. Haha!

ANYWAYS, thanks to Minted, I was able to find an adorable foil-stamped birth announcement that I fell in love with and get them printed asap. I love love love how they turned out! It’s hard to tell in these photos, but the ‘hello’ is a shiny gold foil and the writing underneath is just printed color. With this black and white photo of Ed, I think they turned out beautifully 🙂

This Season of Motherhood, part I This Season of Motherhood, part I

So, if you haven’t noticed, I have a blog.

Oh this little thing?

Yes. It’s called a blog. I also have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Pinterest page and Instagram. On all those social media channels, I get countless comments from people who think I’m wonder woman.

“How do you do it all?” they ask.

“You live such a charmed life!” they say.

“You make motherhood look so effortless!” they email.

“What’s your secret?” they ask.

Well, folks, I hate to break it to you but I’m just another average joe that is trying to make it to bedtime without murdering a toddler.

Contrary to popular belief, I DON’T do it all, I DON’T live a charmed life, things are NOT easy and I have NO secrets.

I’m just a normal person who happens to put her life and recipes online. That’s all.

To be honest, I think my life is pretty…unpretty{?!} for a young-ish mother of 3 and I’m going to prove it to you.
So, here lies my first installment of This Season of Motherhood. Enjoy?!

Eddie Update: 1 Month! Eddie Update: 1 Month!
A Special Day for Eddie A Special Day for Eddie

This afternoon at church, we were able to bless our sweet Eddie!

As I was getting ready for the day and getting this sweet baby all dressed and ready in white, I couldn’t help but feel so grateful for the chance I have to be a mother to three beautiful children.

This past week, I’ve been struggling to find the joy in motherhood because it’s hard for me to have a good attitude when my house is a mess and I’m physically and mentally exhausted to do anything about it. {–>the definition of taking care of a newborn, right?!}

Anyways, I read this quote and it was just what I needed to hear in the midst of my frustrated moment:

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.

“The fact is most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. …

“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.

“The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

-Gordon B. Hinckley

At Home with Edward At Home with Edward

It’s been a little over 3 weeks and I feel like I’m getting into somewhat of a new normal.

Mama got her groove back?! Perhaps.

I don’t want to jinx it, but lets just say the new groove is starting to emerge.

Even though our lives are hectic and busy than ever before, I always take the time in the *few* quiet moments late at night or early in the morning to say small, quick prayers of gratitude. I am so thankful for so many things, but especially this little boy. Thankful my body was able to get pregnant {which is not an easy thing to do}, grow a healthy baby to term and be able to care for this new little person! Bodies are amazing.

Motherhood is not for the weary or faint of heart. It’s hard and I’m exhausted and emotional 104% of the time. But holy hannah, I feel like my heart has grown 17 sizes bigger–>just making more room for all the love in my life.

This little guy is starting to be not so little anymore and it makes me sad, but I’m so glad I have these pictures to remember when he was an itty bitty lil’ nugget! Our photographer, Kate, did a phenomenal job capturing the love, joy and beauty that encompasses our new family of FIVE!

Enjoy! xoxo

At the Hospital with Eddie At the Hospital with Eddie

So happy to be sharing with you all some beautiful photos taken 12-hour old Eddie! This boy already has personality, loves to cuddle, get cradled in my or anyone’s arms, hates diaper changes and being naked and is growing like a weed. I can’t believe he’s two weeks old already!

All these pictures were taken when Brooke, Blake and Grandma Ernhofer {my Mom} came to the hospital to meet Eddie for the first time. I’m SO glad I had an amazing photographer there to capture these memories.

Join the Lauren’s Latest DietBet! Join the Lauren’s Latest DietBet!

Hi Friends!

As some of you may or may not know, I HAD A BABY! He is glorious and squishy and adorable and wonderful and we are so so lucky to have him in our family. He hasn’t been here long, but we can’t imagine our lives without him! But along with baby comes that squishy tummy and thunder thighs that I am not a fan of….it happened to me with the first two pregnancies and lo and behold, here we are again.

I really don’t ever feel like myself unless I’m finding little pockets of time for meditating, eating moderately healthy and exercising regularly. And since I missed the whole new year’s resolution thing by {pregnancy} default, I was needing a little kick in the pants to get me going again. I know myself and if I don’t start now, then it’ll take me another 6 months to start! After I had Blake, I told myself “when I have the energy to exercise, then I’ll exercise” HA! That’s why it took me SO LONG to get back into shape after him because when does anyone have the energy to exercise? {I’m talking to all you Mom’s out there!!}

So, I’m trying a new approach this time to see if it can be helpful in getting a new routine down for healthy eating, exercising and meditating. I imagine I’ll be able to lose a good chunk of weight because I’m breastfeeding too, but I’m doing this to get a new routine down, hopefully gain a little energy from the small amounts of exercise I do and to be accountable for what I put into my mouth.

Welcome Baby Eddie! Welcome Baby Eddie!

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to announce the birth of our third child, Eddie!

This sweet boy was born Thursday, January 28th at 4:26am. He was 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long with a 13 1/2 inch head. Labor and delivery was a breeze compared to my last two pregnancies and believe it or not, the same doctor who delivered Blake {who I ADORE} was on call to deliver Edward. And we even delivered him in the same room as Blake too!
Here are more details of how things went down; feel free to just scroll through to see the pictures 🙂

So, Tuesday and Wednesday I was having contractions on and off that weren’t really getting anywhere; just more of an annoyance reminding me that I was still pregnant. I had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday afternoon where I had my membranes stripped and then reassured that my baby would, in fact, come out soon. Tuesday night I started having contractions after my husband left to pick my Mom up from the airport. That was an interesting few hours! Nothing came of it, but it was fun trying to figure out who I could call just in case this baby decided to come early.

Baby’s Nursery Baby’s Nursery
Baby Must-Have’s Baby Must-Have’s

Today marks 39 weeks pregnant *exactly* for me! YIKES.

I think I’m ready?! Haha!

I have a long list of to do’s to really feel like I have things under control, so hopefully by Friday, it’ll be complete and I can focus on getting this little boy out of my belly and into my arms. Hopefully, I only have 7 days left {or less!!}

Since I’ve been talking and posting all about this pregnancy, lots of you have emailed me, asking for recommendations of baby products I use and love. Well, ever since Blake has been getting older and older {and I’ve been out of the baby loop for a while now} I’ve been doing my research and compiling a list of new baby products I would be excited about trying. Since I have no idea how much time I’ll have AFTER baby is born, I figured I’d post about all these items now. Here is my list! Keep in mind all the links are NOT affiliate links and these companies aren’t paying me to say nice things about them. I just genuinely like their stuff…time will tell if baby likes their products too 😉

Pregnancy Update {weeks 37+} Pregnancy Update {weeks 37+}

Well, shalom friends.

I think it’s safe to say that this will be the last Pregnancy Update I do before I switch over to doing baby updates!! At least, I really really hope this is the last pregnancy update I will have to do before the baby comes. I keep wishing and hoping that this baby will be early, but the first two weren’t so why would this one be any different? I’m not counting on it. Here’s the latest and greatest.

Happy Birthday, Lauren! Happy Birthday, Lauren!

Hello everyone,

I have commandeered Lauren’s blog to wish her a wonderfully happy birthday. As her husband, it is obviously my job to ensure her day is, indeed, wonderfully happy. As an honest man, my wishing for her to have such a day is actually creating more work for myself, because a wish like that is really only lip service if not followed up with actions. So I’m starting with a public compliment-fest for her by mentioning just a few things I love about her. As a behind-the-scenes character of the blog, I will give you a behind-the-scenes perspective of the woman who continually invites you over (virtually) for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and dessert with our family.

For my 29th birthday she reached out to many of my family and friends to have them each write about a good experience, memory, or impression of me. It was very sweet and impactful on me to read such kind words from so many people that I look up to. Before we were married, she would write notes to me and leave them in my textbooks, or in my car, and to this day she continues to leave notes for me.

Pregnancy Update {weeks 32-35} Pregnancy Update {weeks 32-35}

How have you been feeling?

TIRED. So so tired. Third trimester exhaustion is real, people. But I’m also getting excited! I think with all things considered, I’ve been feeling as good as possible. All things meaning: baby kicking me in the lungs, not being able to sleep comfortably, having that round ligament pain whenever I move, feeling lots of low pressure on my lady parts, not being able to eat very much at any given time but still feeling starving most of the time, etc. etc..If you too are in your third trimester, I feel your pain. I keep telling myself it could be worse so that makes me feel a little better about things, but it’s rough. This by far has been my most taxing pregnancy.

But, I do have to say that my husband has been AMAZING these last few weeks as I continue to get bigger and bigger {meaning less and less helpful}. He gets up with the kids in the morning so I can rest longer, he lets me nap, he does chores here and there, he takes the kids out so I can have more quiet time and he even goes out and gets me things I crave at 10:30 at night! He’s seriously the MVP of our family all day every day.

Christmas Pictures in Portland Christmas Pictures in Portland

Hi friends! We are closing out 2015 uneventfully at our house. Earlier in the week, we had a wonderful photographer snap a few pictures for our {probably late} Christmas cards and thought I’d share with you our favorites! This year has been quite epic for us, but thankfully mostly in all good ways!

In 2015:

Gordon was GONE January to May for Army training and I was a single parent. I got to see him in February for a quick weekend, but that was it!! It was a pretty rough transition for me, and it was very hard for Gordon to be away from his family so long, but looking back it was 94% worth it! Haha.

In March, I was able to travel home to visit my parents in Eastern Canada with my kiddos. It was a fun time where we got to visit some cousins and family members we usually don’t get to see other than on Facetime. I wish those flights weren’t so darn expensive!

In April, I started creating videos featuring all our favorite spots in Portland! You can see a few in my sidebar. Oh how I love all the fun things there are to do here.

Gordon came home from training in May and I realized that I am even more in love with him than I ever thought possible. Distance does in fact make the heart grow fonder. And all the heavens sang the hallelujah chorus for the following 9141 hours.

December Stitch Fix + Giveaway! December Stitch Fix + Giveaway!

Well, howdy friends.

It’s been a while! I used to get Stitch Fix every month and write allllllll about it, but with my ever growing bump, I was a little uncertain about whether or not I’d want to continue with the service because when I’m pregnant, clothes turn into the annoying, uncomfortable enemy. It’s like a consistent, unfriendly reminder that yes I’m getting LARGE. And while that is a great thing that my belly is getting HUGE, so are my thighsbuttboobsarmsface and that’s the part I don’t like.

So, I put it off for a while.

But, I am here to testify that the Stitch Fix gals know what they are doing, especially when it comes to dressing us pregnant ladies. Nothing makes me feel prettier than taking the time to put on makeup and getting dressed into cute, new clothes. It’ll work wonders for your psyche.

Pregnancy Update {weeks 28-31} Pregnancy Update {weeks 28-31}

How have you been feeling?

Well, compared to how exhausted I was in the second trimester because of all the traveling, I’m feeling pretty good. But the third trimester seems to bring a whole new level of….how should I put this….pregnancy annoyances?! This round ligament pain I’ve been having off and on is now consistently ‘on’. I never had this with my first two kids, but this little dude is ensuring that I will feel his wrath. Also, I’ve started feeling contractions {Braxton Hicks 99% sure} and an overall aching in my pelvis area where my round ligaments are causing me grief. It is no bueno. I’ve tried taking tylenol, rubbing this and this on at night, stretching, cursing and generally moving less. So far nothing has really made it go away, though all of this has helped to a degree. I’ve heard that NOTHING can take it away, but giving birth sooooo that’s cool. I’ve looked into going to see a Chiropractor because they can allegedly help with this?! Any other moms and/or Chiropractors out there that have experience with this?