June 28, 2012

2 week update and lots of bling

I took Leah to her 2 week check up today.  She is over birth weight.  She's now 8lb 10 oz.  As much as I hate that she is growing so fast, I'm glad to know that she's nursing well.  Overall, she's doing great.  I'm pretty sure she's going to sleep well after the visit today too.  That means I'll be able to enjoy lots of baby snuggles.
I've been spoiled with jewelry lately.  This girl loves jewelry though.  You saw the Tiffany ring Pat gave me for our anniversary HERE.  I never got the chance to show you what Pat surprised me with just after I had Leah.  He gave me these earrings in the hospital the day I had her.  This photo doesn't do them justice; they are beautiful.  I was shocked because with the boys he never gave me a gift, so I definitely wasn't expecting anything.  He has definitely been a very thoughtful husband lately.  
I've been stalking Lisa Leonard Jewelry for a long while.  I just love how much meaning her pieces have.  And you can customize most of them to make it personal.  When I knew we were having our third baby, I had been wanting the Molded Heart Necklace.  I loved that I could fit all my kids' names and wanted the other side to say "my heart is full", which is so very true.  Recently Lisa Leonard ran a crazy summer deal and was offering the Let Love Grow Necklace free with any purchase (pictured below).  When I saw that I knew it was time to make my order.  Both necklaces came yesterday, and I love them so much.  I'm kind of crazy about symbolism, like I can find it anywhere to the point where my husband rolls his eyes and thinks I'm nuts.  The Let Love Grow Necklace feels special to me because to me the dots represent the members of my family, and the message on the back "let love grow" reminds me that even though I have to let my children grow up, my love for them also grows.  I know I'm corny, but that's okay ;)  
Seriously though, you should definitely check out Lisa Leonard Designs.  I bet you'll find something you love there too.  

What are your must wear pieces of jewelry?  

June 27, 2012

Let's Talk About Selling

I'm not sure anyone is fond of the process of selling a home.  Right now I'm pretty discouraged with it.  However, I have to remind myself that things are working out just the way they should.

Remember how devastated I was when our move was cancelled and then pushed back due to the Army?  If that had not happened, most likely given the slow real estate market, I would have been stuck down here in TN giving birth while my husband was working/living up in RI.  So in that regard we're actually lucky.

Would you believe me if I told you that the day I was discharged from the hospital with my brand new two day old baby, we get a call to show the house 5 minutes after we walked in the door?  (And how about the SAME EXACT thing happened when we had our first baby in Oklahoma too).  Neither time did it result in an offer.  And to make it worse this time, we loaded up the car with me, Pat, my mother, the three kids, and two dogs.  We go out for the hour they requested only to find out later that no one ever showed up to walk through.  

So we've been on the market for just over a month.  Showings are slim.  The market is just moving slowly.  There are lots of houses for sale.  I thought summer would be a great time to sell, but it is not quite what I anticipated.

But the biggest blessing in not having a sale yet is that through all the research we've been doing on where we're going, we've revised not only our budget, but also the town we want to buy in.  We're now looking at an area with awesome schools, a town feel, and a great location to everything we want to be near.  However, because it's a smaller town that we're looking at now, there is less inventory on the market.  There is one house that would be ideal, but since we don't have a sale, only time will tell if that house will be our home.

The other good thing about not selling yet is that means less time that our family will be living away from Pat.  However, I am hoping that we can be moving by September.  I'm really anxious to set up the nursery, decorate the kids' rooms, and paint the house.

So until I get a sale, I'll be looking at houses online and pinning decorating ideas to pinterest.  Hopefully more people start coming through the house soon.

June 23, 2012

InstaFriday on Saturday

life rearranged
I know I am a day late. Please forgive me; things are still a little chaotic in the adjustment period.

My love for instagram continues. Follow me @shellymotto.  Leave me your name in comments so I can follow you.

I'm so in love with our little baby girl.  She is quite the little lovebug.  She loves to be cuddled and held...so much so that she hardly sleeps at night if she's not being held.  It's not working out for me getting much sleep, but I wouldn't wish these days away even for more sleep.  
Ryan loves Leah.  He's always asking to hold her.  It's hard to find a good moment for that though because she's usually either sleeping and we don't want to interrupt that or she's fussing and hungry.  But whenever we can we let him have a turn.  He's always so proud when he's holding or helping us with the baby.  
Sean doesn't want to be left out of all the baby fun.  He doesn't quite understand how you have to care for a baby, but he is trying to help with things and hold her.  He's always bringing me the burp cloth, blankets, or extra diapers...whether I need them or not.  He says he likes the baby, so things are working out great.  
Since we brought Leah home, we've felt a bit trapped in the house.  It's so hot out that the baby and I stay inside most of the time.  I did catch this moment out back with Sean though on one of my brief moments of fresh air.  He was loving turning on the hose, making mud puddles, and jumping in them.  Of course he had been bathed that morning, and it wouldn't be right to jump in mud without a Burger King crown, right?  Needless to say we've taken the handle off the hose so it cannot be turned on anymore.  
The new 2012-2013 Erin Condren Life Planners are here.  Since my old one didn't have Leah's name on it with everyone else's, I needed to order a new one.  I am so excited for when it comes.  With all our appointments these days I need to be using it.  I'll post a photo when I get it so you can see the new one.   
Maybe it's that the baby is so tiny, but Sean seems like he's growing faster than the weeds in my yard.  His legs are getting so long.  He's becoming such a big boy.  He's finally trying to use more words.  He's still not listening, but he's two and that's to be expected.  I love watching the boys play during the day.  And nothing is sweeter than a sleeping child.  

June 22, 2012

What the baby books don't tell you...

Jeannett over at Life Rearranged has been doing a series of What the Baby Books Don't Tell You and has opened the question up for everyone to link up an answer.
life rearranged

Being that I just had a new baby last week, motherhood is about all that's been on my mind lately.  I've thought for quite a while about how I'd answer this question.  There are so many things I could say, I just don't know which way to go.  As all moms know I could fill a page about the less than perfect aspects of raising children, and the baby books certainly don't prepare you for a lot of things.  However, I'd rather focus on the greatness that you only realize upon the birth of your child.

Here are some things the baby books don't tell you about becoming a mother:

  • No matter how many children you have, the day they are each born is miraculous.  If I could experience the birth of my children a million times over it wouldn't be enough.  Those were the best days of my life, even if they were not my ideal birth plans.  I am forever grateful for the experience.  
  • Your children will teach you more than you ever thought possible about the world, life, and yourself. 
  • Motherhood is a constant exercise in patience.  
  • Time seems to fly faster when you are raising a child, and you will be desperate to slow it down so you can hold on to every moment and memory.  
  • Letting your children grow up will be bittersweet.  You want them to stay in each phase forever, but as they do grow you realize that every new experience is just as magical as the one before it. 
  • Motherhood can be challenging, but realizing the importance of teaching, molding, nurturing, and loving your child will be more powerful than any other job you've experienced. 
And maybe the last thing the baby books don't tell you is that right after you have a baby when your hormones are raging and you have those little baby blues, you'll write mushy blog posts like this.  You will only see the rainbows and butterflies about having a baby, and you'll be so happy that you cry all the time.  ;-)

Go check out Jeannett's blog.  She has such a great voice.  She is truthful and funny at the same time.  Plus she does amazing things with her blog.  Right now she has a fundraiser for clean water projects in developing nations.  While we can all share the beauty or challenges of motherhood, I cannot imagine trying to raise my family in a place where I struggle to find clean water.  It is such an important cause, you can read more about it HERE.

And if you'd like, go link up your own post on what the baby books don't tell you!

June 19, 2012

My Heart Is Full

Thank you all for the well wishes and congratulations on our new baby girl. We are truly very blessed.

Today Leah is 6 days old. She had a check up yesterday. She is almost back to birth weight and is doing well all around. She is a natural at nursing which has been nice. Leah is a really good baby and so very sweet.

As for me the baby blues have hit. You know the crazy emotional period for a week or two postpartum when your hormones are all out of control. Yes it was me crying to my hubby yesterday that she is growing up too fast because she is going to be a week old on Wednesday (tomorrow). It was also me that woke my husband up at 3 am last night to yell at him for putting the baby to sleep so well because I wanted/needed her to nurse more. My poor husband has been an angel dealing with me though.

The boys love Leah already. Sean loves putting the blanket on her legs and gently rubbing her head. Ryan has been a huge help with everything. He sings to the baby, kisses her, and always want to have a turn holding her.

I am so happy and feel complete. My heart is full.

June 14, 2012

June 12, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Today is Pat and my 8 year wedding anniversary.  8 years seems like a long time, but it hasn't felt like a long time.  It's fun though to think back on how young and naive we were when we were just starting out.  I'm amazed at how far we've come and how much we've grown, both individually and together, during the past 8 years.  

Two weekends ago when Pat took me away to Chattanooga, he gave me a very sweet gift.  I figured I should spread out my bragging on the husband a bit, so I'm sharing it now.   He gave me a beautiful ring from Tiffany & Co. with three rows of hearts to represent our (almost) three children in our 8 years of marriage.  I think it is absolutely perfect, and feel very lucky to have such a thoughtful husband.  
(Please excuse my slightly swollen finger--after all, I am 9 months pregnant in the summer)

When we got married, I didn't know what to expect.  I knew we were moving out west and Pat was entering Army life, but I could not have anticipated the highs and lows we'd face.  However, it never really mattered what was in front of us because with the person beside us we knew we could handle anything.  I know 8 years doesn't make me an expect, and I'm sure we'll learn so much more in the years to come.  However, I think the most important thing I've learned in the 8 years of marriage is how important it is to support you spouse.  I know that Pat is always on my side, he is my teammate, and he is my rock when I need him.  His encouragement has helped me in so many ways.  I hope that he feels I have provided him the same unconditional support and backing that he has given me.  

I look forward to the future with Pat and our family.  I am a very lucky woman.  I've had 8 great years with the love of my life, and I hope for many, many more.  

June 11, 2012

Summer Makeup Routine

I am in no way an expert on makeup or beauty.  But I totally enjoy reading about makeup routines and reviews.  I am not into doing complicated makeup; I'm more of a simple, less is more type of girl.  I wanted to share my current summertime makeup routine.  

About halfway through this pregnancy, I noticed my face was getting some small dark spots.  I know that hyper-pigmentation can be common in pregnancy, but I never experienced this during my pregnancies with my boys.  Thankfully my darkening spots have remained rather small.  In an effort to combat the dark spots, I decided to give Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 a try.  Lots of bloggers had given it a try and most of them seemed to like it.  

In general, I'm definitely a tinted moisturizer user, and I must have SPF in my routine, so this was a good choice.  During the first few days, I was unsure if I liked it.  There was a day or two where I felt like it left a greasy residue, but after giving it a couple more tries, I have had no issues with it and haven't felt greasy again.  I find if you'd like more coverage, you can put a mineral foundation on top with no problem, but I tend to skip that.  It is definitely a sheer/tinted coverage.  It makes me look slightly better than nothing, but definitely not like I have make up on.  It doesn't cover my dark spots.  I also haven't noticed them diminish, but that could be because I'm still pregnant and more of a hormonal issue.  I still find that it provides me enough summer moisture, a little color, and the SPF I'm looking for.  
(Don't mind my wet, undone hair in the following photos.)
After Olay Tone Correcting Moisturizer:

As for eyes, I find the more effort I put in, the worse I look.  I'm sure all the makeup experts out there would laugh at my lack of technique.  I keep it simple though.  I do a light sweep over my entire eyelid with Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin.  It gives me just a slight shimmer and champagne color which is perfect to brighten my eyes.  
The day I did these photos, I was testing out the Mark. eyeliner I won in a blog giveaway.  Normally, I tend to skip eyeliner.  I find it either runs down my face during the day, or I have a hard time getting a nice looking line and smudging just makes me look like I let my kids draw on me.  But that may all change.  I have to say I loved this new eyeliner.  Get In Line Hookup Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner by Mark. was impressive.  The brush is great if you like a very fine and straight line.  I like to just line the lash line of my top lashes.  People always say that liquid liner can be difficult to use, but I honestly lined my eyes quickly without any problems at all.  It really did stay in place all day, and the best part is that it is priced at $6.50.  I think this may be a product I repurchase.  

Here's a kind of scary closeup of my eye.  (In the picture below you can see some of the dark spots I mentioned above on my nose and around the eye area.)
Blush is my must have beauty product.  I'll even put it on if I'm not wearing anything else.  I think a flushed cheek can easily improve ones appearance.  Up until recently I had been using an expensive cult favorite brand/color, but I started to feel like it was too bright and the color just wasn't right.  I decided to try Sonia Kashuk for Target.  I got the Beautifying Blush, which is a powder and has reviewed well.  I was very nervous when picking out a color because I didn't want to end up disappointed.  I ended up choosing the color Pink.  It is a very soft and natural pink.  It ended up being perfect.  It gives a light flush that really does look natural.  And if you haven't tried any of the Sonia Kashuk makeup, the compacts are really nice.  They are sleek and magnetic.  Best of all the price is so much better than the expensive kind I was using before.  
Here's a look at the blush on my face.  
This one makes it look really bright pink, but I promise that is just the lighting.  
I finish up with some chapstick, and I'm ready to go.  I probably should add mascara, but I've just never been a huge mascara girl.  I know for most people it's the item they'd have to have, but for me it's blush and chapstick all the way.  

So there is my summertime routine.  It's quick, easy, and only uses a few products.  What are your must haves for summer makeup?

June 8, 2012

I'm Happy It's Friday

It's been a few days since I last posted.  No, the baby is not here.  I've just been trying to get back into the swing of things after the weekend.  Our house has now had 2 showings.  The feedback is good, but I think it will just take a while sell.  Other than cleaning constantly and the normal stuff like playing outside with the kids, I thought I'd do a quick photo update of things around here lately.  

1.  I won a blog giveaway and received some Mark. makeup in the mail.  I'm excited to try it, especially the waterproof eyeliner.  I like eyeliner on other people, but for me it either looks bad when I put it on or it runs.  I'll let you know if I like this one.  
2.  My new TOMS for summertime came in the mail.  They are so comfy and light.  While I will admit that TOMS are not the most sturdy shoes, the comfort level is unsurpassed.  
3.  Speaking of shoes, my dear, sweet friend sent these adorable baby booties for the baby.  It makes me so excited about having a baby girl.  I cannot wait to meet her.  
4.  I've been craving oatmeal a lot lately.  I tried the oatmeal at McDonald's recently, and it was really good.  Then at the hotel last weekend I had a bowl at breakfast.  I realized that when I make oatmeal it doesn't taste as good.  So finally, I think I've conquered my oatmeal challenge.  I've found that it is the best when cooked on the stove top, NOT the microwave.  Yesterday I had a delicious bowl of homemade oatmeal.   
5.  Despite Pat's plans for a man-cation tonight with friends, leaving me to bring the boys to get the oil changed on my car in the morning, I have high hopes for a fun weekend.  We plan to bring the boys to the splash park on Saturday, and on Sunday my mom is coming to town.  I'm happy it is Friday!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


June 4, 2012

"Pack Your Bags"

Friday morning Pat called early from work.  He had forgotten to pack some clothes and wanted to know if I could bring them to him.  Since I was finishing cleaning the house for possible showings, I thought getting the kids out for a trip in the car was a great idea.

Late that morning when we met up with Pat, he dropped a bomb on me.  After handing him his clothes, he said, "Go home and pack a bag.  We're going to Chattanooga this weekend."  I looked at him incredulously, ready to object.  But then he told me his parents were already flying out and would be there in a few hours to watch the kids.  

It would be completely accurate to say that I was freaking out a bit as I drove home.  I was in disbelief.  I have hardly ever left the boys overnight (except for hospital stays, medical tests that were out of state, and for a military ball or two.)  I was extremely worried how the boys would do, especially since I'll have another overnight trip away coming up in just a couple weeks when the new baby comes.  While it would have been easy for me to be irritated at Pat for dropping this on me, I knew that if he had asked, I would have said no.  The only way for him to do it was to surprise me, and he sure did that.  Even though I was nervous about leaving the boys, part of me was really excited at the prospect of some adult time and dates with my husband.  
We were checked into the hotel in Chattanooga at almost 10 p.m. because of the time change.  I was extremely exhausted from what had been a long and busy day.  After arriving I really wanted to curl up in the bed, but we hadn't had dinner and I knew Pat was hungry.  We went to dinner at one of Pat's favorites, Fridays.  It was so relaxing to be at a restaurant without kids.  After dinner we went back to the hotel to sleep peacefully without interruption.

The next morning we woke up around 8:30, which is late for me, ate breakfast, and headed out to the TN Aquarium.  We've been there before with the kids, but this time we could leisurely explore the exhibits.  I will admit though that at 9 months pregnant, it began to feel like death by walking to me.  The ligaments/tendons (whatever they are) connecting my legs to my body felt like they were on fire with each step.  And I am not exaggerating when I say I was literally waddling around.

After the aquarium we enjoyed lunch on the patio of a local restaurant.  It was a beautiful afternoon and a nice romantic date.  I was also glad to be sitting down for a while.  When lunch was finished we went to the imax movie that was combined with the aquarium.  I had never been to any imax movie, so it was a great experience for me.  We ended the afternoon with a nap.  I guess all the fun had tired both of us out.

That night Pat had already planned a dinner boat cruise for us.  It was a casual affair, but something so different from anything we can usually do and rather romantic.  The food was delicious.  I cleaned my entire plate.  After dinner we watched the sun set on the Tennessee River.  It kind of reminded us of our honeymoon.  When the cruise was finished we weren't quite ready to go back to the room.  We stopped by Ben and Jerry's for some ice cream.  (Can you say expensive?!?  A small cup is the same price as a pint at the grocery store!).  While it would have been nice to continue the date after that, it was already after 10 p.m., and I was exhausted.  We are now old folks I guess, but that is okay.

After breakfast on Sunday morning we headed back home.  I was so excited to see the boys.  They survived just fine, and I almost think it was good for them to experience us going away for a short while.  My in-laws were amazing to travel down here, watch the kids, and help out so much.   I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and his big plans for us.  I definitely needed a little getaway, and it was such a good reminder that I need to put our relationship as a priority in our life too.  This trip was probably one of the most romantic things Pat's done for me, and I will not soon forget it.

June 2, 2012

Fifty Shades of...Weird

I know, everyone is talking about it. It's been reviewed about a gazillion times. I read the first book last weekend, and I just have to share my thoughts on it too.

I didn't read too many descriptions of the book, so when I saw other bloggers saying that it was too over the top, too erotic, full of sex, I thought maybe they were prudish.  Sorry to any bloggers who tried to warn me, and I didn't believe them.  I consider myself quite liberal, so I thought it may have just been a difference of opinion.  After all, the book is being touted as "lady porn" or "mommy porn".

I honestly do not know what ladies or mommies those reviewers are hanging out with.  If you are one of the ones that love this book, please don't take offense.  I just don't understand the descriptions of it.  It's way more up my husbands alley than it is mine.

For the first 40 or so pages, I was completely taken with Christian Grey's charm, propriety, and of course the description of his good looks.  I even commented to my hubby saying "At least Edward Cullen had a known fault...he was a vampire."  Boy did I speak too soon regarding Christian Grey.

I guess I didn't expect a book being referred to as chick lit having so much explicit sex content, including bondage, and very little romance.

I will admit it is a quick, easy read.  It's slightly addicting to see what happens to the characters, but I'm not so sure I want to read the other two books.  I'm almost happy with where it ended after the first one, and I would rather just make up a quick ending and not waste my time reading two more books.  I'm sure my reading time could be spent with more quality literature.

For those of you who have read the other books, do you recommend I read on?  Or should I quit where I'm at since I'm not too impressed with it anyway?

June 1, 2012


I know I've shared my ever growing love for instagram before on the blog.  What I really like about it is that it allows us to share a quick little insight into our daily life/routine.  We are able to show the regular mundane photos that may not be shared otherwise.  I love the bonds that grow from sharing a simple peek into our lives.  If you want to find me on instagram I'm @shellymotto.  Leave me your name so I can follow you back if you want.

I'm linking up today with Life Rearranged for InstaFriday.  I haven't taken too many photos this past week, so this will be quick.

Last night I made BBQ chicken pizza for dinner.  I had a refrigerated crust, but was feeling sick of regular pizza.  I had a left over BBQ chicken breast, so it was easy.  I really liked the BBQ sauce I had on hand.  It was a honey pecan flavor, which was the right amount of sweet and a bit nutty.  Unfortunately the kids didn't eat it.  They've been neglecting their dinners lately, and it's kind of driving me nuts.  I hate putting in the effort to cook and then be the only one eating it.  (Pat's been working late.)  Even though the kids didn't eat it, I thought it was really good.
After naptime our routine is usually to go out front and play.  Ryan found this toy in the back of the garage and wanted to use it.  It's always cute to see them smiling when they play with new or long forgotten toys.  

After Ryan's turn, Sean had to try.  He too thought it was fun.  I love that in the corner of the photo it looks like Ryan is clapping his hands for Sean.  
This one is a bit grainy because it was taken from quite far away.  In an effort to clean up the living room I asked the kids to put the cushions back on the couch.  With all their toys in storage, the couch cushions have become the new toy of choice.  When I walked out of the kitchen and saw they had only built a tower with the cushions I was about to roll my eyes until I noticed they were both perched on top looking so sweet.  I grabbed my phone immediately and got one of my favorite, although grainy, cell phone photos.  Nothing beats brothers being cute together.  
I hope you'll link up too.  And have a great weekend!
life rearranged
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