Happy Halloween + Thank You

{pic from last 2013}

Happy Halloween!

I can't say thank you enough for all your support over losing Rocky. I really needed some time off of the blog to grieve and spend time with our family, but I read (and tried to reply to) all of your comments many different times because they were so sweet. Billy even read them all, too! I have made so many friends through blogging, and I'm really really thankful for you guys caring so much about Rocky and how we've been. 

This past week has been...lonely and difficult. The hardest part, for me, is not having him around to cuddle with when the boys are napping/after they've gone to bed, and also not seeing Camden and him love on each other. Camden has actually been searching our house for him nearly everyday, which breaks my heart all over again. I know he misses his buddy and is probably wondering where he is. They would play together so much all of the time. I'm sure he doesn't understand it now, but I told him that Rocky is in his new home in heaven now and whenever he wants to see him he can look for him in the clouds. Something that gives me a little bit of comfort is that Rocky got to know both our boys, and we have pictures to remember the memories and to show them one day when they're older.

We are trying our best to put on a happy face for trick-or-treat tonight, even though I know our minds are wishing Rocky were still with us. We were always those parents that dressed their dog up for Halloween and walked him through the neighborhood. We are really excited though to get the boys in their costumes (can't wait to show you!) and take Camden trick-or-treating. I keep talking to him about it and he runs over to the door to try to leave...he just wants to go trick-or-treating right now, ha.

Just for fun...here's a little throwback from last year. When dressing up as a banana to match your kid seemed like a great idea...


I will be back with some other posts this week, but just wanted to touch base today and say thank you and I hope that everyone has a fun Halloween!


Our Sweet Rocky

Back in 2007, when Billy and I were just dating, we drove all the way to Kentucky to pick up our sweet 12 week old Rocky and take him home with us. I had wanted a pomeranian for as long as I could remember, and having him be a gift to me from Billy was just icing on the cake. We were so excited to get a dog together.

Rocky quickly fit into our family and soon became my best friend. He helped me grieve over the loss of my mom, and over the years he was always the center of our attention and was present for all of our big life events as a couple. Anyone who has a dog knows they are way more than just a dog. He was a member of our family that we would do anything for. Not to mention, he was the cutest little fluff ball out there and was the best cuddler in the world. Everyone always told us he looked like he was smiling (which we loved hearing and agreed.) He was just the happiest little dog.

He was with us when we moved into our first home, when we got engaged and married, when we had our children, and he went with us on many vacations. In fact, he has slept in bed with us for his entire 9 years of life - always sleeping as close as he could possibly get, right on our pillows. Over the past 2 years, we've watched as Camden and him developed the sweetest bond. Rocky always showed him affection and was extremely gentle and patient with him. And even just in the past few months since Grayson joined our family, he showered him and Camden both with his little kisses. There was no better joy than watching our children love him, and him love our children.

Up until this past weekend, Rocky has always been pretty healthy. This past Thursday evening his health took a turn for the worst. He vomited twice that evening, but was acting normal except for that he wasn't eating or drinking very much. We figured he may have just had an upset stomach, and that he would feel better the next morning. However, on Friday he continued to vomit pretty badly and couldn't keep any water down. We tried giving him some water and pedialyte through a syringe because we were worried he was getting dehydrated, but he ended up vomiting that up as well. That evening (he had not even been acting sick for a full 24 hours at this point) we decided to take him into an emergency pet hospital to have him looked at. Billy took him because I was putting the kids to bed. We had taken him to this hospital before so we felt comfortable bringing him there (since our vet was closed for the weekend) and knew that he needed to be seen. The doctor there did some bloodwork on him that came back with no major issues, except for being dehydrated. The doctor told us they wanted to keep him overnight, or possibly 2 nights, to give him an IV of fluids and anti-nausea medicine. They said we could give him the injections ourselves at home to keep him hydrated, but we both felt it was best that he stay there to really get better. When Billy called me and told me the news, I felt very apprehensive to leave him there. I didn't get to say goodbye to him due to the business of the evening, and I just didn't like the idea of him not being home with us but I knew that it was for the best so that he could get better.

The doctor called me at 830am Saturday morning and informed me that Rocky did well overnight and was responding good to the fluids. She said if he continued to make progress that we could pick him up that evening. At around 10am, I missed a call from the hospital and they left me a voicemail saying to call them as soon as possible. I didn't think much of it, since I had just gotten off the phone with them a little over an hour prior, but because when I tried to call them back I couldn't get through to anyone I just decided I would drive in there myself. I wanted to visit him anyways, and we were growing increasingly worried. Billy stayed home with the kids because Camden was taking a nap. When I checked into the hospital, they called me back and one of the doctors told me that he had passed away. That his heart just stopped beating.

I could not stop screaming and crying, and they had no other answers for me as to what happened. It was obvious that there was an underlying issue, but they didn't know what. I honestly can't begin to tell you what I felt in that moment. I felt like I was being punished and that it was my fault. Like because I didn't personally take him (I was always the one to take him to his other appointments) and was putting the boys to bed, he was taken from me. I know I wasn't thinking clearly, but I felt so guilty and torn apart because I didn't get to say goodbye.

I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest from being ripped into pieces. I could not believe what the doctor was telling me...they just called me and told me he was okay and we could pick him up soon, but now they were telling me he passed away an hour later? He was doing better being on the fluids...how could this be? I could not wrap my brain around it, and receiving the news alone was truly excruciating. Making the phone call to Billy was nothing but a nightmare. My parents immediately went over to our house to watch the boys, so that Billy could join me at the hospital. When Billy showed up I was pacing in the parking lot and we just ran into each others arms and continued to cry. They talked to us about cremating or burying him, but at that point we were very conflicted on what we wanted to do. Ultimately, after the most painful 24 hours, we decided on Sunday that we wanted to get a necropsy done (autopsy) and have him cremated because we felt it would help us get some closure and hopefully some answers.

On Monday morning, we decided we wanted to be the ones to take him down to OSU (to get the necropsy), instead of the hospitals transportation, because it would give us an opportunity to say goodbye and we just wanted him with us for one last day. Rocky always loved going for car rides. He loved sitting on our laps and hanging his head out the window, feeling the wind hit his face. That morning we decided to drive him (windows down) to a local park for one more visit, and we visited the old apartment complex where we lived with him. We wept over him as we said goodbye and told him how much we loved him and thanked him for being the best dog to us.

Dropping him off was one of the hardest moments of my life, but today I can honestly say we are very glad we decided to do so. We needed that extra time with him and to say goodbye. Later that afternoon, Billy mentioned wanting to bury some of his favorite toys in our backyard, so we did that together. It wasn't long after that when I was talking to my vet on the phone about everything that happened (she was consoling us and giving us her opinion), and she told me she received the results from the necropsy. Rocky had a ruptured gallbladder and it put too much pressure on his heart.

We cried and we cried, but we both felt a sense of peace come over us. We had an answer and we no longer had to wonder what had happened. Our vet explained Rocky's gallbladder was diseased, and it all just happened so suddenly considering he was only sick for a few days. Oh how we wish we had more time with him. We wish it wasn't so sudden so that we could've got him help. We wish we would've had more signs.

Honestly, we just want him back in our lives. We miss him so incredibly much. We miss him spinning in circles when we're about to give him a treat. We miss seeing him in the window waiting for us as we get home. We miss his little barks. We miss him playing with favorite pink ball. We miss taking him for walks around our neighborhood with the boys. We miss him sleeping in our bed. The night before we took him into the emergency hospital, I picked up Rocky off my pillow and put him into my arms and we fell asleep cuddling each other. I'm really thankful that I will always have that memory. Right now it's just hard being in our house because every corner we turn we are flooded with memories. We just feel incomplete. We pray that time can heal a little bit of the pain we are currently feeling. I truly appreciate all the prayers that you have sent our way.

(the night before we took him to the hospital, the last picture I took of our first baby)

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 
We will never EVER forget you, Rocky. You were a tremendous light in our lives. We love you.
Aug 13, 2007 - Oct 22, 2016


What I've Learned As A Mom

+You wont be able to do it all. It's OK to ask for help.
Especially in those early days, or during a transition time (new baby, a move, etc.) You are only one person, cut yourself some slack!

+Your friendships will change. You will lose some and gain others. 
Some friends may not understand your new mom life. Surround yourself with those that do, and that you know you can rely on. Having friends who know exactly what you're going through is so important.

+You will learn really quickly that everything is just a phase. 
That or teething. Always TEETHING!

+It's completely normal to WANT a break, to have "you" time.
Don't feel guilty for this. Keep doing the things that you enjoy doing - make time for yourself!

+You will become an expert at multi-tasking.
(In the past two months I've somehow learned how to feed two kids, a dog, and myself all at the same time.)

+Put your marriage first.
This one is so hard once you have kids, but probably the most important. Love your spouse BETTER than you did before. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Tell them what a good parent they are. Get a babysitter and go on those date nights. 

+You will have a new appreciation for your own mom (and other moms you know.)
It's like all of a sudden you just...get it

+Your kids will occupy your mind every minute of every day. 
And sometimes, it's plain exhausting caring for tiny humans so freaking much. But, your heart will grow like you never thought was possible.

+You can do hard things!
Just like everyone says, "the days are long, but the years are short." 


Favorite Baby Shops On Etsy

Baby Etsy Shops

I had way too much fun putting together this list! I've been asked a lot recently what my favorite baby Etsy shops are, so I wanted to round them up and share them today! From personalized baby books...coming home outfits...trendy clothing and accessories...birth announcement pillows, I'm crazy about all of them. Etsy is just one of those websites you could spend hours on, especially for cute little kids stuff.

I've ordered from all of these shops personally (some even multiple times) and the quality of their items are top notch!

+Lulu & Roo (sweatpants, sweatshirts, leggings, beanies, beach shorts)
+Infantly Cute Boutique (burp cloths, bibs, pacifier clips)
+Monogramme Maison (personalized coming home and holiday outfits)
+LP Outfitters (beanies)
+Maine Girl Creations (take home baby sets-this is where I got Grayson's "hello world" outfit)
+2Giggles (albums and keepsakes)
+Finch and Cotter (personalized birth pillows-this is the exact one I got for Grayson's room)
+Sew Sweet Stiches Baby (closet dividers)
+Mamis Little Muse (the cutest handmade baby and toddler clothing)

Oh, and I got matching big brother and lil bro shirts from here.

I always recommend a baby album, personalized bibs, or a blanket when people ask me for baby shower gift ideas. I have this album for my kids - it's great because you can get pretty much any page you'd ever need or want in it...

Share with me in the comments your favorite Etsy shop so I can add them to my list!


Sale Alert: Nike Juvenate

Are you obsessed with running shoes like I am? If so, you'll appreciate this post. I swear to you if I could wear Nike's every single day I would. Honestly, all the heels in my closet haven't seen the light of day in a long time and probably have dust on them. Mom life...right?  

Anyway, I fell in LOVE with the Nike 'Juvenate' Sneaker from Nordstrom that everyone raves about but they are constantly out of stock, and I also kind of wanted to wait to buy them until they went on sale. 

Well, I'm really glad I decided to wait and dig a little deeper to find them elsewhere because the same exact ones just became available online at Finish Line and are on sale for $15 cheaper (only $70!) than at Nordstrom! Shop them here. Don't you love it when that happens?!

 And to top it off, I found this very similar striped pair marked down to $60! I actually ordered both pairs and will return whichever one I like the least (this works for indecisive people like myself...)

I'm obsessed and had to share this good find. I love how neutral they are because they will go with everything. Happy shoe shopping ladies!

Hope you all had a great weekend!


Five On Friday


my most recent purchases: this amazing scarf that is only $19 - such a good find!

this plaid tunic (comes in different patterns - the ivory and the red are my favorites)


 I've finally re-joined my gym after taking one too many months off. I didn't really need it when I was pregnant since we have a treadmill in our basement, but I do now because it motivates me and I can take my favorite spin class again. I went for the first time last night to spin and it felt really good to be back! Although, I did feel a little guilty because I wasn't home to put Camden to bed (I snuck in his room though when I got home and picked him up to cuddle which was totally worth waking him for), but it's good to have "me" time, you know?


Comparing pictures of my boys has been a hobby of mine lately (hobby because I've spent so much time doing so) and I just can't believe how much they look alike! 

They are the same age in these photos (Camden is on the left)

 What do you think? Twins or no?
his "YAY! It's Friday!" face :) Is this outfit not the cutest?!


 Did anyone else sob during this weeks This Is Us episode? I think I had watery eyes the entire episode! Goodness I'm loving this show so far!! 


In an attempt to not wait until the last minute to do our Christmas shopping, we bought Grayson one of Pottery Barn's anywhere chairs (in gray, of course) last week when they were 20% off! Pretty proud of myself for getting ahead of the game. We got Camden one for his first Christmas and he uses it every single day, so I really wanted to get Grayson one for his first Christmas too! 

Oh, and I'm adding this bag to my Christmas wishlist. Billy, don't act like you didn't see this...

Linking up with these lovely ladies today! Next week I will have a post up featuring my favorite boy shops on Etsy so stay tuned.

HAPPY FRIDAY! Hope you have a great weekend, friends!


Pumpkin Patch 2016

Every year I look forward to going to our local pumpkin patch. There's not much not to love when there's sweet treats all over the place, pumpkins to bring home, and fun memories made!

Taking TWO little boys, though? My most favorite year as a family yet. I really hope our kids grow up to love going to the pumpkin patch as much as I love taking them! Last year Camden wasn't walking yet and was too little to be into it, so we just snapped some pictures of him looking cute with the pumpkins (which was awesome - and EASY!) but this year, in true Camden fashion, he was running all over the place exploring everything and had so much more fun.

He ran from pumpkin to pumpkin trying to pick them all up (probably to throw...) and of course, suckered us into getting him some candy from inside the barn...


He also got to have his first bounce house experience which, naturally, he loved and got mad at us when we made him get out...


Grayson also ran around from pumpkin to pumpkin trying to pick one out to take home. We could hardly contain him! Just kidding...when he wasn't snoozing in the carrier, he laid by some pumpkins and flashed me some cute smiles.


We also saw Cam have his little brothers back for the first time...and by that I mean saving him from his pumpkin hat that his Mom dressed him in. ;)

"don't worry brother, Mom made you wear this cheesy hat but I got you!" 

The only downside to the day was that it was a little muddy when we went so we didn't get to go on a hayride, but I hope that we can fit one in on another weekend coming up. It's a good thing their delicious apples made up for it!

Such a fun time with my boys!

And guess who's already looking forward to next year's trip? I'll give you one guess... :)