Evie’s First Birthday: The Post of a Thousand Pictures

As I mentioned the other dayEvangeline Grace turned one on the 26th. One! My sweet little baby girl!!! Man, I have all the feelings about this. We even had a party for her- go us!

I say “even” because if you have more than one child, you know that it suddenly becomes way harder to do the things you did for child #1, i.e. taking monthly photos documenting their growth (or lack thereof: come on people, sometimes they don’t look that different depending on the month, amiright?) or in this case, planning and throwing their first birthday.

Let me disclaim that a major reason I didn’t even think a birthday party was doable for Evie was because we have almost no free weekends in the months of September and October this year. They’re either filled with traveling out of town or time-consuming events and commitments. (Side note: I like the word “commitments” better than “obligations”; doesn’t the latter just sound like you’re being a reactionary victim of your life instead of a proactive liver of your life? That sounded like I was describing a proactive internal organ…whatever, you get it.)

BUT. Thanks largely to my mom, we carved out some time during one of our weekend trips to their house the weekend before her birthday! There was even a theme!! Well, the cake had a theme. It counts. AND she had an amazing, epic birthday outfit. So, if that doesn’t prove my love for her is equal to my love for our firstborn, I don’t know what will.

Without further ado, here are a thousand pictures:

Look at her. She’s just presh. Also? She was tired, because the party was right after church on Sunday. I mean, she was real tired. Here’s a better representation of where she was at emotionally:

She has also been teething hardcore for awhile. And her allergies are acting up (thus the snot. soooo pretty). But all things considered, she kept it together as long as she could.

See? WOODLAND CREATURES. Theme. Mom even got her this adorable deer stuffed animal, which she totally loves.

Plastic woodland creature rings because THEME.

Don’t even care that my eyes are closed. I love this picture of us. Isn’t it great that photos don’t have to be perfect to be special?

I feel like I took a million pictures just of her sitting in that same chair eating and/or glowering… But again, I don’t care. And check it out- you can see how tired she is in this next one:

Bless her heart. She was so tired she wasn’t even interested in her smash cake. Not even a little. Like, I tried to offer her a piece and she smacked it away. So, finally I conceded defeat and laid her down for a nap. She was a trooper; AND she left that birthday hat headband on the whole time! Way to go, Evie.

Like I mentioned, the party took place two days before her actual birthday. So, on Tuesday, September 26th, I got out the leftover cake and the birthday hat headband again and let her at it.

I MEAN. I know she’s my child, but SO CUTE.

Clearly, she was in a better state of mind, because she destroyed that cake. I hadn’t planned on taking the girls anywhere on Tuesday, but looking at her in that hat and thinking about the epic tutu that went with it, I decided we needed to go somewhere and show off.

So, we went to Target, obvi.

I even let Lucy wear her Sofia the First dress, because birthdays necessitate the wearing of ballgowns. (Don’t mind that scary red mark on her face. I told her not to jump on my bed…and she did it anyway. Thus, scary red mark and tearful requests for Mommy to get an icepack.)

It was a good time. Errbody in Target was jealous of our epic tutus and ballgowns.

My favorite photos (other than the awesome grumpy face) are probably these two:

Evangeline Grace.

We’re just so thankful for her. We had planned to start trying for a second baby about six months after we found out we were expecting, which is kind of awesome, because it’s totally reflective of how Evie has been a step ahead of us ever since she was born.

I love this photo from the day she was born. My husband and dad had gone out on an errand and came back with a mocha for me from my fav local coffee place called Cavu Coffee. I mean, beautiful newborn plus good coffee?? Does it get any better???

I also thought she was a boy when I first found out I was pregnant with her. But I remember discussing names with Ryan and suddenly thinking of “Evangeline.” I think I gasped aloud when I paired it with “Grace” because GUYS. Evangeline means “Messenger of Good News” and “Grace” is the good news of the gospel. GAH I just love it. I’m sure I love it more than people who aren’t the parent of my child, but still. Isn’t giving your baby a meaningful name just awesome?

God knew we needed Evangeline. He knew the world needed her. The two words we most often use to describe her are fierce and sweet. Because she is the physical embodiment of them! She’s so feisty, and yet she also loves people.

Being a witness to her life is like hearing an ominous crash of thunder and feeling the weight of the air thick with the makings of a storm. You know that sense of awe you feel deep in your spirit in those moments? That’s what it’s like being around Evie.

Happy Birthday, you sweet and fierce girl.










How I Happy: May 2016 Edition

How I Happy is making it’s second official appearance today! To visit the first and most epic introductory post, click here.

So, here’s how I’m happying this month.


  1. This Blue Willow tea cup and saucer. tea cupWe actually use my grandma’s set of Blue Willow dishes in general, but this little friend was purchased on our honeymoon at a little antique shop in South Haven, Michigan. Lately, I’ve just been digging drinking some afternoon tea out of it with little cookies on the plate. British style (ish). It motivates me to drink tea instead of coffee, because when I’m not pregnant I’m at a steady 3 cups a day… So, herbal tea it is. (I really like the raspberry zinger kind.)


How I Happy (aka this awesome maternity t-shirt)I have never been so enamored with a t-shirt in my life. Ryan and I saw this one by Wicked Clothes while he was looking at various funny maternity shirts online, and I was like, “That is AWESOME AND SO TRUE.” Because literally that’s all I want from him…or anyone.

But seriously THIS tshirtBut seriously.

Even if part of the statement is thoroughly untrue. (And before you think of trying to tell me I’m a petite pregnant beauty and other lies, let me just say that there ARE times when I truly am not pretty right now, people. It’s cool, just tell me I’m pretty anyway.) 

We first came across the shirt a couple of months ago I think, and even though I loved it (let’s be real- Ryan loved it too), we were like, there’s no way we’re paying whatever this shirt costs (if a t-shirt is more than $10 I’m not buying it). Well, blame internet cookies for continually featuring links to this t-shirt on Facebook or just the fact my husband is awesome and loves to make his pregmonster wife happy, but a little over a week ago, he told me he broke down and ordered it for me. #husbandforthewin

I was so happy, I literally talked about it every day waiting for the shirt to get here. FINALLY it arrived on Tuesday!!! I basically threw a party in this t-shirt’s honor in my head. And I think I texted a picture of myself wearing it to like, 3 different people.

If you need this t-shirt in your life, click here(They also have one with a sad bear that says, “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” That one was a close second to this one. But definitely second.)

3. These Pioneer Woman mugs.

Pioneer Woman Mugs

Let me just tell you, I am in LOVE with the Pioneer Woman line of dishes at Walmart– that’s right- there is something cute at the Walmarts and it is those dishes. However, as previously mentioned, I already have dishes. But coffee mugs are my happy place…as well as tea cups. So basically, any type of ceramic or glass vessel intended for hot-beverage-drinking. These delightful mugs carry on the floral theme from last month’s post. 

I am a firm believer in the power of an aesthetically pleasing coffee mug. It takes the whole experience of drinking a cup of coffee to a whole new level of delightful.

4. Beethoven. Yup. Just Beethoven in general. I recently made a playlist on Spotify called “Because Beethoven.” And it’s awesome. It’s great for working as well as background music for when my toddler is awake and we’re playing and/or I’m doing housework etc. In my professional undergrad-Fine-Arts-with-a-Music-Emphasis opinion, that guy was like, a super good musician. (I opine so articulately… Wanna know what I think of Dickens? I think he writes words good.) Click here to listen to it yourself!

5. Essential Oils. Guys. I know. I’m super late to this trend train. But my amazing mother-in-law recently gave me several oils, and I’m officially loving them! So far, she’s gifted me with a lovely handful of different kinds from Doterra, as well as some fabulous cleaner made from the OnGuard oil that you dilute with water in a spray bottle and it smells like cloves and citrus and wonderfulness when you clean with it! Here’s what the OnGuard stuff looks like:


Also, my favorite one to wear is the citrus bliss oil! It’s summery and citrusy (as the name suggests) and basically makes me smell like I peeled a bunch of oranges and lemons.

6. This post on marriage by Alia at gracetable.org. Girlfriend knows how to write about marriage- here she talks about the “hospitality” of marriage. It is so good and you need to read it like yesterday.

7. This post about how dumb it is to have mom guilt over feeding your kids cheeseburgers. Seriously- punch your mom guilt in the face, friends!

8. Evangeline Grace- because another girl, people! We found out a couple weeks ago that we’re having a girl, and I shared the following announcement on Facebook (because gender reveal parties are so first-child…although we didn’t do a gender reveal party for Lucy either. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Or at least, we don’t.) 

Another Princess 2 CONTRAST

Another Princess 3Another Princess FILTEREvangeline means “messenger of good news.” (Pronounced [eh-van-jel-een]) I love that. And I love that her middle name, Grace, IS the good news. This is as powerful a name as I could give her, and I’m praying it will be something she clings to. Btw, we’ll call her “Evie” (pronounced ee-vee, which maybe you were wondering). 

She’s already having a great time kicking me in the bladder.

Your turn: How are YOU happying this month?