5 Ways to Prepare your Firstborn for a Sibling

Overall, Winter has taken this whole new brother thing with grace and understanding. However, it hasn’t been without some challenges. I wrote a bit about it in my One Week with Lennon update, but Winter experienced some really strong emotions the the first few days and is still showing some signs of regression. For example, she is wanting to wear her nighttime pull up during the day, asks me to rock her like a baby and at times, does the whole “baby talk” thing. All of these behaviors are to be expected and we are doing our best to meet her where she is at with love and understanding.

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One Week with Baby Lennon

I look at my son and cannot believe that it has already been one week since I first laid eyes on him. It feels like he has been here my whole life. I am just so grateful that we decided to try for him, that we never stopped hoping for him and that we didn’t let my past experience with mental health stand in our way of creating him. I am just so thankful right now.

He is in my arms most of the day, so responding to comments is difficult, but I just wanted to thank every single one of you for your well wishes, congratulations and kind comments.

Life with Lennon is so much sweeter. Below is a little recap of how the first week with Lennon has gone.

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Before Baby Came: A Magical Record Store Adventure

My sweet grandmother was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer about a month ago. She has played such an integral role in my upbringing and I couldn’t stand not seeing her right away. So at 35 weeks and some change, Perry, Winter and I jumped on a plane to Oklahoma to see her.

We spent much of our days talking at the kitchen table, enjoying the garden outside and listening to my grandmother’s favorite records. Our time together was magic. I am so thankful I was able to get out there when I could.

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Letter To Winter: You Were My First

Winter Gates,

These last few weeks with your brother or sister in my belly have been some of the most magical times of my entire life. It’s not that we’ve done anything extraordinary…no big outings, no huge plans, no big surprises. Yet, the every day routine from bath time to bed time to playing in the yard has been some of the most memorable moments of my life.

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Tips on Finding the Perfect Doula

The other day I stopped off at the local greenhouse to purchase a plant for the baby’s nook in our room. I chose a string of pearls, which is one of the plants we incorporated into our wedding decor and have had ever since. It’s currently sitting on our window sill in our bedroom and I can’t wait until our sweet baby is here to enjoy it as well. The string of pearls has always symbolized the connectedness of our family and friends to each other and I know that this baby will make the best addition to our little family.

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Marriage After Baby: How Counseling Is Going Update

We are less than five weeks away from welcoming baby and our household has been in full swing. We are purging things we don’t need, washing things we do, and setting things up. Last night, I didn’t sleep well (hello pregnancy insomnia) and in the middle of the night, I opened my eyes, grabbed Perry’s hand and thought about how all in I am with this man.

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Essential Oils: 5 Reasons Why I Am Hooked

I have so much to say about my journey thus far with Young Living essential oils. I can’t seem to articulate it all on stories so I figured I would type it out here.

And I am so eager to get this post up as soon as possible because from September 12-14th, you can get 10% off the Premium Starter Kit. That’s 11 oils and a diffuser for 10% off!

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34-Week Bump Update

I was 13 weeks along the last time we shot in this same location, bright-eyed, so full of hope and just really excited to be pregnant. I can't stop looking at those photos from that day and compare them to the ones that you see here in this blog post. My belly has grown quite a bit. I have grown quite a bit as a human being also and it's really neat to see where I came from and where I am now. 

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The Art of Slowing Down: 5 Things I am Doing to Pause and Connect

Last week, I announced an exciting new project that I have been pouring my time, energy, money and resources to, The Mindful Mamas Club. It's an online membership site that will teach Moms across the globe how to do mindfulness tools and practices to enrich their lives. With a membership, you also get access to a closed Facebook group where we will be diving into deeper themes and topics. Members get access to videos, guided meditations, mini pauses (1-5 minute mindful activities to do throughout the day to reset), breathing techniques and more. It's something I am so proud of, and I hope to see you all there!

I am a firm believer that if a person has an idea and isn't ready to receive it, bring it to life, or run with it, the idea will be transferred to someone else. This is an idea that I could not risk slipping through my fingers as it is one that pulling at every heartstring that I own.

But with starting a new business endeavor, I am challenged with long hours, stress and emotions surrounding the launch of this project. Up until now, I feel like I have been "keeping my head in the game" so to speak. I wake up every single day and balance family life, building this business and maintaining the blog. I have had minor moments of panic and thoughts like, "What am I doing? Is anyone even going to want to join my membership site or interested in learning mindfulness? And can I do this?"

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Down By The River: Maternity Shoot

I am a wee bit behind on blogging this month. With the ensuing launch of a new project, The Mindful Mamas Club, the half-written blog posts are beginning to stack up.

So sorry that it's been kind of quiet around here. I have some wonderful content coming to you soon, like an update on marriage counseling, tips on finding the perfect doula, more about my birth plan, why I jumped on the essential oils train and more. 

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Natural Birth Plan: What I Learned At Birth Class

We had our birth class at our birthing center last week and we are officially inching our way closer towards trying this intimidating thing called natural birth. Eek!

I'm starting this series, called Natural Birth Plan, to keep you in the loop of all the things that I am learning through my midwives at my birthing center.

I feel like with Winter I wasn't super knowledgeable about all of my options so this time around I want to be so much more informed.

Below are some things that our parent educator taught us. 

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30-Week Bump Update

Tomorrow we take our five-hour birthing class at the birthing center where we learn all about the natural birth process. I know so many women have natural births and I am going to give it my all to do it, but man oh man, I am anxious about the whole thing. 

I tend to have a much higher tolerance for emotional pain than I do physical. To be honest, I am such a baby when it comes to being hurt or in pain. I complain if my back aches, am over dramatic about a hangnail and cry when I stub my toes. Haha, how am I going to give birth naturally?

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Why I Am Not Returning To Work in the Fall

I have stayed quiet about my career as a school psychologist for several reasons, but the main reason is I just wasn't ready to share about it because it's been a lot for me to process.

Since becoming a psychologist in the public sector I have watched myself give more than I have, lost faith in the systems that we call public education, special education, and social services and, when it boils down to it, I have experienced depersonalization, compassion fatigue, secondary trauma and burnout.

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Top Parenting Books + Other Resources For Raising Toddlers

he other day I was desperate for some guidance after two long days of having tantrum after tantrum with Winter.  Even though I have a background in child development and child psychology, raising your own kid can bring on doubt and insecurities. So, I asked you guys to tell me what parenting books you loved and I was blown away by the responses and insight.

This community really rocks!!!

I figured, if it helped me so much, it might help another mama or papa out there. So I have rounded up the top book recommendations tried and true by the Love & LaRock community.

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The Bump in the City

The other day, I had the opportunity to work with some really amazing creatives to do a styled shoot.

Together they created a Mexico-inspired look and honestly, I have never felt more beautiful.

Perry and I got engaged in Oaxaca, Mexico and we both feel so connected and in awe of their culture. We feel like our love story really began in Mexico, so I wanted to honor our love by doing a shoot with a Mexican flare.

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Amazon Lately: Best Amazon Buys

Who here is an avid Amazon shopper? I know my family gets a ton of products from here and I wanted to start a new series that shows you what we purchase and use on a monthly basis. You will find a vast array of things from clothes, kitchen and houseware, health + beauty products and more. The post will cover items for the entire family! I hope you enjoy the round-up and stay tuned for next month's post!!!


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28-Week Bump Update: Hello, 3rd Trimester

Hello, 3rd trimester. I am having so much fun thinking about how close I am to meeting this little nugget. The other day on Instagram I ran a fun little contest to see if anyone could guess the name. I was blown away by how many of you entered and got it right. If you are in the need for some gender neutral names, seriously check out the post. So many amazing ideas. So the hints were: The baby's name is gender neutral and it has to do with imagination. The top ten guesses were as follows: Wonder, Art, Charlie, Story,  Jude, Lennon, Phoenix, Bowie and London. One of those names is in fact the baby's name but we aren't revealing which one just yet. :)

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Hair Extensions with Elle B Salon

This past spring I tried something way out of my comfort zone and went really blonde. It was super fun and I liked the change, but as this due date starts creeping in I realized I wanted to go back to my natural color before he or she arrives. 

I have lived in Denver since 2010 and can you believe I have yet to find a stable hair stylist? Well, not anymore. I recently discovered Elle B Salon and I am over the moon with their services.

I had the opportunity to sit down with owner Lindsay and she happens to be a mom of a 2.5-year-old. We talked a lot about work-life balance and what it was like for her to build her business with a child at home. She was truly a testament to girl power and I appreciated her candidness, vulnerability and insight. 

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