my sunday best \\ father's day 2017

Linking up with Rosie for a Father's Day edition of My Sunday Best! 
Some affiliate links below, thanks for supporting my blogging habits.

Shirt: H&M, old. 
Skirt: J. Crew Factory, old, similar here (same cut but a different blue).
Shoes: Target, old.
Wildbird ring sling in dove, aka my (still ongoing) obsession.

I had to take a picture in the church bathroom to document my first time successfully nursing in the sling, so I had a picture for this post! yay! I felt like a total badass and that should always be documented, right?

Unfortunately I failed and didn't get a picture of the honored dad in question with his offspring, because he spent the morning digging a ditch for a drainage system in our front yard, and then we drove to Lincoln to eat dinner with my dad. There wasn't a lot of downtime, in other words. But I did get him a new dopp kit and a (free with my rewards) caramel frappucino to celebrate, so that's better than nothing right?

We'd tried to celebrate a little bit on Saturday too with a Sonic run (that we've been craving for like 3 months) but I ordered him the wrong thing, and then Saturday evening we used a gift card for a pizza place near his work but they made David's wrong (they put his least favorite food on there, black olives!) but it was too late and the girls were too fussy to try and complain about long story short, I had some making up to do on Sunday. And like the selfless dad he is he did hard manual labor all morning while I took the girls to Costco and cleaned up a little. Aka a pretty typical Sunday.

I'm so glad Cora is getting big enough to be in the cart. She is way too heavy to be lugging around in the infant seat, so I'm extra grateful for places like Costco with two kid spots! Every place should have them (ahem Target ahem).

A lot of our weekend prior to that was consumed with stressing about how our power went out on Friday night about 7:45 p.m. and didn't come back on til Saturday around 6:00 p.m. We had all these plans of things to do - but most of them got canceled with no electricity! So Friday night we played Catan in the dark until we ran out of light, and Saturday we ran errands for awhile and tried not to sweat too much.

It honestly wasn't all that bad except both Kitty and Cora are totally dependent on their sound machines to sleep, so our night of sleep on Friday was pretty terrible. Kitty, who hasn't woken up in the middle of the night for a year (except when sick), woke up 4 or 5 times, and Cora was up her usual amount plus had a cold coming on, so it was just a very little amount of sleep all around. We were all pretty exhausted and also hot because it was crazy humid. Luckily it was back by bedtime on Saturday, otherwise we were going to be in for another very long night.

Head to Rosie's for more outfits & Sunday stories!


Summer summer summertime

Ahh, summer. The time of year where, once you're an adult, it's just miserably hot (in Nebraska) and nothing else really changes about your day-to-day schedule.

Usually we have some big event to look forward to in the summer -- in the past couple years it's been vacation, the birth of one our kids, moving, a family wedding -- but this year we don't have hardly anything planned. No vacations, not moving, just a lot of relaxing and hopefully some house projects with nonexistent deadlines except ones we impose on ourselves.

Last weekend we spent some time outside in the heat and even though it wasn't long, it was great to just be at home, together, doing a whole lot of nothing. Kate thought it was the funnest thing ever, and it reminded me how easy she is to please at this age. All of us hanging out together, David pulling weeds, me lounging and reading, and Cora hanging out in the pack-n-play -- that's all she wants. It's easy to fill up time with things that have us going here and there, but I want to enjoy and appreciate more these times we have just being together as a little family. 

(Also, I can't decide if I like Spindrift as much as La Croix. It was at Costco and worth a try once but I miss my fancy La Croix flavors.)

Cora continues to be just about the happiest baby on the entire planet -- except when she's tired. And even then you can usually crack a smile out of her if you make goofy enough faces and persist in your attempts to make her laugh. She turned 6 months old yesterday and we haven't done pictures yet but it's hard to believe she's been in our lives for 6 months. I'll blink and it'll be December and her babyhood will be over. I'm trying to soak in her baby smell and her sleepy cuddles more and more, because I realize how rare they are in the long scheme of time.

Going to Target for an escape from the house has become more of a chore and less relaxing with the addition of two kids in a cart, now that Cora is just freaking way too heavy to keep her in the newborn car seat for more than just a car ride. (I think I strained my knee the other day lifting her into our car. She is a chunk.) But it is nicely air conditioned and there's nothing quite like an iced coffee when it's 100° out. Kate always wants "just one dwink of coffee?" and wants to say hi to every person we come across, which is somewhat horrifying for introverted me. Luckily she diffuses most social interactions because she's so talkative and willing to make conversation with anyone and everyone.

As for house projects, we're in the planning stages of garden beds now that the paint is finished at the front of the house: thinking something like this is what we're going to go with, maybe with a seat, maybe not. We still haven't found a good replacement sideboard/buffet (Craigslist is a dearth of stuff! there is nothing new on there and I stalk it ALL THE TIME), and I have dreams of shiplaping our living room like this (David's laughing while he reads this but it's gonna happen!).

We might head to the zoo for Father's Day this weekend, or try to start on the garden beds, depending on how hot it's going to be for both activities...haha.

How's your summer?

Recent media recs

totally unrelated picture of my cuties. Cora's first time in the cart!

I've been trying to get back on the reading train, after a long break -- I tend to do that, I've discovered. I read like 7 or 8 books in a row and then take a month off to catch up on sleep or do all the adulting things I should have been doing while I was reading. But as I'm just at the beginning of this reading swing, I've also included in this post some other media (entertainment?) David and I have been enjoying, just to mix things up.

I've linked them all below, Amazon affiliate just so you've been warned. If you click through and make any purchase, a tiny percent comes back to me at no cost to you! My bookworm and library-building self appreciates it.

books: Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
Girls on the Edge by Leonard Sax

After all the discussion on Haley's Facebook group, I finally managed to get my hands on the only copies the last few of the Anne of Green Gables series in our library system. I read Rilla of Ingleside first because it came off the hold list first, and then just finished Anne's House of Dreams and started Anne of Ingleside late last night. Guys why did it take me so long to find these? They are so good! And I immediately added a bunch of the gorgeous redesigns to my Amazon wishlist because they are so beautiful and I want to own them.

I've also finished Girls on the Edge by Dr. Leonard Sax, and I'm immediately recommending it to every single person out there who either is raising a girl, works with girls, teaches girls, you name it -- you need to read it. Dr. Sax goes into the issues of raising a modern girl and so clearly outlines problems & solutions that you'll not be able to put it down. (Thank you to my brother-in-law for the great Christmas gift!) There's a boy version too that'll be on my list to read soon.

Some books I have on hold at the library: Outlander, The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1), and David Sedaris's new book.

board games: Carcassonne

After years of being recommended this game, especially for two players, I finally bought it for David for an Easter gift after seeing it on a clearance endcap at Target. I'm SO glad I did! It is honestly really fun and has broken us out of our board-game-slump. If you like Catan, or honestly pretty much any strategy game, I guarantee you'll like it. Plus it's so much easier to clean up/set up than Catan so that's a huge win in my book! Highly recommend. (And so far, I've won twice and David has won once, if my memory serves. Last game I more than doubled his score, I know that much. ;))

tv shows: Elementary

Elementary is a show I used to watch, and then the, ahem, vehicle I used to watch it online stopped uploading episodes, and I couldn't find them anywhere, so I stopped. Luckily we're borrowing a Hulu+ subscription from David's sister, and all the episodes are on it! So we started together from the beginning and gosh, it is fantastic. I think I'd watch any remake of Sherlock, no matter what, but Joan Watson just makes the show for me from the very beginning.

She is serious fashion #goals. Source.
I need another show to watch over the lunch hour though, because that's the reward I give myself everyday for working at home with two small children and a dog, and I'm sticking with it. I tried Aziz Ansari's show Master of None and it was HORRIBLE, and I don't know what to go to next. I watch the Bachelorette every week but that's not quite enough.

I think I'll try Jane the Virgin based on Caitlin's recommendation but if you have another recommendation hit me up! (Preferable that it's okay for a toddler to watch, too, because she's just getting old enough to recognize things on the TV and I like to keep it clean for her.) My mom recommended Wallander, my sister's been trying to get me to watch Peaky Blinders for ages, and we haven't watched season 3 of Kimmy Schmidt yet so you can tell my taste is all over. Hit me up!

Or really, hit me up with any suggestion of all 3 categories above, plus podcasts -- I'm all ears. Always need an excuse to feel behind the times, right?


We've been busy bees the last few weeks/month or two.

David keeps urging me to blog some more about it, because we're going to rely on these old blog posts when we're old to look back at memories, but we've just been go go go for so long that my brain hasn't been able to rest & process into blog posts for awhile.

Primarily, we were out of town, not sleeping at our house, for 6 solid weekends in a row. SIX WEEKENDS IN A ROW, PEOPLE. It was a combination of graduations, birthdays, wedding, ordinations, and other family functions that all collided into the busiest end of April and month of May that I can remember. Maybe the whole bringing-two-kids-with-us had a little bit to do with it, too. Just maybe.

In the midst of all the travel, we finished painting the brick on the front of our house, finally got the backyard to where it needs to be grass-wise for Murphy to come back home (yay!), organized and completed my craft closet project, and did all the things you have to do on a regular basis even when you're traveling all the time (laundry, cleaning, dishes, food making, yada yada yada).

I've also been taking lots of photos on David's phone because mine's at the end of its tether so I had to get all the photos from him to put here.

Here goes nothing to try and recap it all!

First things first: we spent a weekend driving to Valentine/Atkinson for two of David's cousins' graduations + parties. It was great to see all the family but we left Saturday morning to drive 5 hours (plus an hour for potty + nursing breaks), drove around that afternoon for the girls' naps, then drove another 2 hours back to where we were sleeping so it was like a day of 10 hours in the car and we will NOT do that again without hefty hefty reason. Luckily both the girls were only marginally crabby towards the end of the day - the drive home on Sunday was worse - so it was tolerable but still not something I'd like to repeat anytime in the near future.

Kate was a little apprehensive about the potty chair on a country road, but soon warmed up to the idea with plenty of Kindle movie motivation to goad her on. She also made friends with some cows and we had some nice views to accompany our hours in the car, so those were bonuses.

The next weekend Cora experienced her first thunderstorm, and wanted to be held in the sling every time the thunder roared...I was happy for the cuddles.

The sleeping Kitty picture is from a wedding in Sioux City, where she got a hotel bed all to herself and was 90° from a different position every time I looked at her. The 4 of us sharing a room actually went much better than I anticipated - but it helped that both girls were completely worn out from the wedding and fell pretty much right asleep.

Also Kate has this magical ability to tune out Cora's crying when she's sleeping, which is something that there's probably a good reason I can't do but seems impossible. Cora could be screaming her head off in the car, literally 2 feet from Kate, and Kate will not.wake.up. It's glorious and really impressive. So that helped the overnight sleep when Cora was in her pack-n-play about a yard from Kate's bed.

The following weekend was my birthday on a Friday -- graced with a breakfast in bed and David surprising me by taking the day off! He kicked me out of the house to go to Starbucks by myself and read and it was literally all I'll ever need and want from a birthday. Then we had a visit from Lauren (internet friends meeting in real life! it's not a scam, guys!), a lovely meal celebrating my & Kate's birthday at my parent's house, and then ordination celebrations two days in a row afterwards.

Kate and Granny and Grandfather...contrary to Kate's expression she was happy, just very concentrated on getting 3 fingers up correctly...haha.

We then celebrated the THREE birthdays (me, David's sister Jenn, and Kate's) later that weekend with a beautiful cake and pie and a lovely breakfast out at Green Gateau where I tried my first eggs benedict.

Eggs benedict has literally changed my life.
I'm on a quest for the best recipe to make at home now so if you've got a winner please let me know.

I stole this photo from the Facebook page, please don't sue me I just don't think any of the rest of us took a pic while we were there.

We also did a really fun Escape Room as a birthday gift for me and Jenn and wow, was it hard but also super duper fun. We made it out with like 1:30 left, so we were cutting it close but it was awesome nonetheless!

Did I mention I got the BEST gift ever for my birthday -- a Bob Duallie?!? I've been eyeing one forever - really since we got pregnant with Cora - but I wasn't sure if I'd really want a double stroller once she was born. In the 5 months she's been around I think I've wanted a double stroller to either go on a walk or go somewhere at least once a week (factoring in the weeks of cold weather where I didn't want to go anywhere) so I was super excited to get one! Be assured it will be showing up in plenty of pictures to come. Thank you to all who got it for me and especially David for listening to my incessant whining and fielding all my emails telling him when it went down in price on (affiliate link here!) Amazon.

As promised, here's a picture of our house painted now! David is on the roof painting the chimney if you can see that, as that was our very last step. We used just two gallons of Dutch Boy MaxBond paint - practically every last drop of those two gallons, but still just two gallons - which worked out to about $60 and the transformation has been totally worth that $60. We got it painted in about 6 or so hours of work total, with both of us painting during 4 of those hours. Oh and the color is Ship's Anchor. It was the perfect dark gray.

Oh and I finally got around to finishing my craft closet organization! Started it way back here and now we here, y'all. It makes me extremely happy to open it and see all this lovely organization but it's way too hot to be crafting right now so I'm just basking in it being clean & pretty and I'll start something else maybe later this summer.

I shouldn't go so long without blogging again cause that took me an entire naptime to get written. Ah well, I'll appreciate the time put in when I'm 80, right?

Pax --->

Kateri Amelia, THREE

Kateri Amelia "Kitty" "Kate" Gokie is 3 years old! 
I can't believe it! David and I did the math and we've officially had Kitty as part of our family now longer than we were together before we got married (if that sentence makes sense...).

She has quite a personality but really is a total sweetheart most of the time (aka when she gets her way). She loves all of us and prays for everyone in her family every night by name, and heaven help us if we try to shorten the prayer.

We think the terrible twos were avoided, but the threenager in her is coming out something fierce in the last couple weeks. She whines and throws neat little tantrums/crying fits when things go her way, but that's to be expected for a three year old, I suppose.

She is a dream when it comes to imaginative play - most days. She loves to wheel her little cars around, make dinner for her stuffed animals and Cora and me, vacuum and sweep her house, go to the "grocery shopping" and the post office. I can count on a good 3 solid hours of independent play from her in the mornings, and usually more outside after naptime when it's nice.

Kitty's known to make friends wherever she goes - she is 1000% extrovert to the core, which is exhausting for this introverted mama. It's so great to see her grow into this little independent person, who will go up to strange kids on the playground and ask them to play with her. She can win over the hearts of pretty much anyone when she sets her mind to it, knowing that a smile and hug and kiss will make everyone ooo and ahhh over her - she uses them to her advantage.

All around she's a loving little girl, an adventurer, a risk-taker, and a friend-maker. She's just great.

Some of her favorite things include:
+ Playing outside with her bicycle and mini car
+ Reading books, anytime & anywhere
+ Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ( for lunch)
+ Pushing her stroller/shopping cart around in circles
+ Hide and seek with Dada
+ Wearing necklaces, dresses, headbands, ribbons, anything girlie
+ Watching Clifford and Daniel Tiger
+ Praising Cora when she rolls over
+ Coloring and painting
+ Putting things in the mailbox "Just wike Daniel Tiger does!"
+ Going to rosary group or the playground to visit Dada
+ Facetiming with her family

Some stats about our sweet Kitty!
Height: 38"
Weight: 33-34 lbs
Shoe size: Toddler 8
Clothing size: 3T-4T

Some recent quotes:
"Dis isn't married. Dis is just church!" (with her arms spread wide and a concerned look on her face)
referring to the fact that at my cousin's wedding, we were just in a church, nothing special here...

"Row row row your boat, gently down the STREET."
Will not be corrected to stream, no matter how hard you try.

"Cobuz you haz a headache?"
Me when I ask her to stop being loud, pretty much anytime. Cobuz is her cute way of saying because.

"Mama, I wanna see Cora's diaper."
Why? It's yucky.
"I wanna see it!"
No honey, it's gross. Why would you want to see it?
"I just want's complicated."

I finally remembered to take a birthday interview video! Click through to watch if you're on a reader, I don't think it'll show up right.

Kateri Amelia turns 3! from Hannah Gokie on Vimeo.

If you're curious:

Having a three year old seems out of the realm of possibility. I keep saying that with these growing up posts but it's really true, the 3 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. We can't imagine our lives with out her joy in them.

Happy birthday sweet Kitty!
your mama, daddy, and sister

Cora, 5 months

Little beauty is 5 months old! Time keeps flying by in the blink of an eye with Cora. We can't imagine our lives without her, truly truly.

Weight: old-fashioned way this time, since no well-child check at 5 months, and the verdict is 18 lbs 9 oz! (18.6 lbs on our scale). No wonder she gets heavy to wear or hold for longer than about 10 minutes. :)

Height: not a clue. She's probably about the same as last month, as it doesn't seem like she's much longer. Buuuuut I suppose she's officially too long for her 6 month onesies now, but that could be from girth rather than length, so who knows!

Firsts this month: transitioned to sleeping on her tummy overnight, and making a tiny bit of progress on the sitting thing (but she's definitely not there yet), trying baby cereal and HATING it. Also rolling whenever she wants, pretty much! She only gets stuck every so often.

Nicknames: nothing new.

Other things to note:
:: Girl cannot make up her mind on her overnight sleep and eat patterns. She is crazy unpredictable! Some nights she'll just wake up once to eat, somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. Other nights she'll wake up at 11, 2, and 5 a.m., all starving like she's never eaten before.
:: We're trying to somewhat night wean her, because she's obviously not a skinny little thing, but she's too emotionally attached at this point to stop eating overnight, and I'm too lazy at 4 a.m. to try and put off her feeds. Last night she was up at 2 a.m. to eat, then randomly stayed awake til feeding her again at 3:45, so who even knows! Babies, man.
:: Bedtime and nap routines are pretty set, which is a big help. She'll usually nap twice in the morning/early afternoon for around 45 minutes, then a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon, and then a 20 minute catnap before bed. I'm trying to transition her out of that 4th nap just for convenience sake but it depends on when she wakes up for the day.
:: I know, these are fascinating. Most riveting details ever, I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat.
:: We traveled in the car for 8 hours on Saturday and another 4 on Sunday, and she was a serious champ until the last 2 hours on Sunday. Props to her though because I was seriously sick of the car at that point too, and I wasn't strapped into a car seat!
:: She makes fans wherever she goes. But she also has a serious streak of "stranger danger" -- aka she only wants mom if there's lots of unknown people around her, and she'll earnestly scared-cry until I take her back. Even with grandparents, who she sees all the time! After a warm up period, she's then usually okay with others holding her but it takes some time.
:: Cora is completely enamored of her big sister. She will just stare at her for hours. Kitty will lovingly sit next to Cora and read her books for a solid hour (basically eternity in toddler time, am I right?). It's adorable and melts my heart.

Currently ^^^
We love you baby!

7QT #59: Yard work, fun mom, & new music!

Typical Hannah, write a deep post for once and then don't post for two weeks. Oh well, quick takes to jump back in!

Being finally in Omaha for a longer period of time, we bit the bullet and got a Costco membership last week (yay!) - Lincoln only has Sam's Club, although they're getting a Costco soon. So far I love Costco, but I haven't been enough times yet to really compare the two. BUT - I will say, the only thing I miss from Sam's is a bag of pre-chopped & washed romaine lettuce for salads. Costco has a decent alternative in the bag of romaine hearts, but I am majorly lazy and I really miss the pre-chopped kind. Womp womp.

All the news things this week plus a baby who had a couple nights of terrible sleep have made this a suuuuuper long week. In order to fight the blah during the witching hour last night, I busted out Kate's paints from Easter and she got to paint! for the first time ever! (I'm SO not a fun mom, this is a rare rare occasion.)

She loved it. She has talked of literally nothing else since she woke up this morning.

I've found my newest Netflix obsession - if you follow me on Instagram & watch my stories, you will see Kate and I perched in front of the TV every day at lunch watching Escape to the Country. If the title throws you off (like it did me for awhile), it's basically BBC + HGTV so...BBTV...or HGBC...

The acronym is not important. What IS important is how freaking fantastic this show is. If you are a fan of cute British couples, looking at really old houses in the country, great accents, and cute segments about historical places in the UK, this show is 100% right up your alley. I'm legitimately obsessed with it, so much so that I think I've decided our 5 year anniversary trip should be to England. (I have this whole theory that it's just a ploy for the British tourism industry to get foreigners to come visit and it's totally working on me.)

Like the episode I watched the other day, for example, the realtor host on the show helped give an award-winning show chicken a sink bath. Yes, you read that correctly. It's a gem and I highly recommend it.


If anyone has tips on how to get a 5 month old to nap later in the day, I'm all ears. Cora is pretty easy to get down for naps unless I'm trying to fit in that last 30 minute cat nap during the day. Usually she'll nap from 2-3:30, and then I'll try to get her to nap again around 5:00 or 5:30 (because a 4 hour gap between the last nap and bedtime at 7:30 is a recipe for a bad night's of sleep) and she just does NOT want to nap.

Any tips for me? Just a phase she'll grow out of (hopefully)?

Some new music I've discovered, in case you need some new tunes (these open in YouTube, all are also on Spotify):
Drunk by Mating Ritual (weirdest title ever, amazing song)
Right Now by HAIM (their new single! so excited for their album yessssss)
Hurricane by Luke Combs (country song I can never get out of my head once I hear it on the radio)
FUTURO by Café Tacvba (an awesome Mexican rock band I heard on NPR, don't you love how cultured I try to be?)

I was scrolling back through my camera roll trying to free up space by deleting old photos, and came across this old photo of our backyard, soon after we moved in last summer.

And this is what it looks like now!

David will probably be embarrassed that I posted a photo of the grass so long, but we're trying to get our last round of seed to take so we've been putting off mowing for as long as possible. He's going to mow tonight.

What a difference, right? That's what happens when you spend lots of thousands of dollars removing a big a$$ tree AND your rock star husband spends every free moment for a solid season cutting down bushes and doing general cleanup and then planting and maintaining a new lawn.

This year we've decided to just concentrate on getting the lawn to come in better, and then next spring and summer we'll do more landscaping. I'm thinking some small fruit or flowering trees, and maybe a couple lilacs in the corners, and some wooden flower boxes.

Now that the grass situation in our back yard is mostly where it's going to be for the summer, I'm now dreaming of nights spent on the patio and enjoying the yard. But we don't have any dining furniture, so I'm on the hunt for a very very cheap set to fill the void for awhile. We have a nice lounge chair donated from my mom's friend that I plan to spend hours reading on this summer to get a little bit of a tan, and a few chairs from a cheap sale at Target end of season last year, but not a table!

I'm on the hunt for one - Craigslist is being stalked pretty religiously. Who's the patron saint of Craigslist? Send them a prayer up for me if you get a chance. ;)

Head to Kelly's for more!

Motherhood and art

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about motherhood, and writing, and in general being creative as a mom and wife. I'm sure any of you who have a side hustle, or a passion for writing, or a "lowly mom blog" have gone through this introspection too. This article about writing about motherhood someone shared the other day on Facebook (I can't remember who, sorry if it was you!) spurred my latest round of thinking -- too late at night when I should be trying to sleep instead.

I'm going to wait for you to go and click over to read it, because the author makes a really compelling argument about motherhood and writing I've thought subconsciously since having kids, and she articulates it thoroughly in a way I haven't seen before. Here's a good quote, if you need motivation to actually click and read - it's not long I promise:
"Patriarchal culture has reduced motherhood to an exercise no serious artist would tackle as a subject. The result is not only the marginalization of motherhood as a literary topic but the real-life marginalization of mothers, obscuring the difficulties of childcare, the intensity of birth, the complexities of working and writing as a mother, and the profound ways having a baby changes a woman’s life, body and mind."
I'm a writer. Or at least, I self-identify as if I'm a writer. (How long until I feel confident writing that? Do published authors ever get used to saying that they're writers?) I wrote a lot in high school and college, and I write when the stars align now that I'm in the period of small children and babies. Lots of times this writing is devoted to just small family updates on the blog, writing about the ins and outs of my experience as a mom, trying to capture the details of these two beautiful girlies I'm blessed with on a day-to-day basis. Occasionally I'll write little bits of fiction, or journal by hand, but those times are few and far between. 

Often times in the last {almost} 3 years of motherhood I've started to write something fiction, and I've stopped myself because what I wanted to write about was being a mom...but my brain retorted with "who reads about mom stuff? Write about something serious." But at the same time I believe motherhood has been the defining act of my life, and I am more proud of my role as a mom than any other aspect of my life. What gives? 

I've failed to consider that heck, I love reading about other moms and their rites of motherhood. That's mostly why I read other blogs, let's be honest. I want to know how moms do it - how they're feeling, what they're learning, how to grow as a mother myself. I've failed to treat my own experiences with dignity. I've internalized the idea that being a mom is somehow a lesser role, something not to be proud of, something not to celebrate, something to be shifted away in pursuit of a higher art.

And I agree with the author of the article, that in degrading art centered around motherhood, we end up degrading mothers themselves. I know far too many women who have to sacrifice parts of their roles as mothers in pursuit of their passion, and likewise those who sacrifice their passion because they think they can't handle motherhood at the same time. 

I'm no longer going to treat being a mom this way, especially in my writing. I am capable of being a great mom and pursuing whatever I choose at the same time. And I can write about motherhood and babies without feeling like less of an artist. Sure there are plenty of subjects out there to write about - I hope someday I'll have enough energy to write about all the ones I want to explore. But in this season of changing diapers and having tiny faces look up at me in awe, I want to write about whatever I'm inspired by, and not belittle my own existence because it's not widely considered "art." I see an enormous amount of beauty and pain in motherhood that should be explored by art, writing, what have you - the ache you feel when a child suffers and you can't fix it, the joy of a cheek-splitting grin when your baby catches sight of you, the self-sacrifice required to wipe a messy face time and time again. 

Motherhood is hard, and beautiful, and sanctifying, and I want to embrace it all in pursuit of my art. 

Photo courtesy Unsplash: Dakota Corbin.

What I'm loving recently

It's been awhile since I did one of these, so why not, right? (some amazon affiliate links below, you've been warned!)

This yoga nursing bra from Target (20% off right now!). It's the best of both worlds - cheap enough for my budget, but actually comfy and doesn't dig in and has enough support.

The West Wing Weekly podcast, recommended to me by my friend & fellow huge TWW fan Katherine. I'm only on the 4th episode but I love it already.

The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander. I read this on the recommendation of Laura, and because I've been looking to find a book to read that I'd never pick up otherwise. This memoir/love letter to the author's husband after his untimely death is simply beautiful. Highly recommend.

Those premade bottles of Starbucks drinks you can get at the grocery store (ahem, Target). I've been riding a long wave of a Christmas gift card to get drinks at Starbucks in the last few months, but as I'm trying to stretch it as long as possible, those bottled things are way way cheaper and just as good to get me my caffeine fix every morning. I really like the cold Vanilla Latte and got the Passion Tea premade box from a friend which is also really good!

This article detailing Elon Musk's new adventure, Neuralink. Fair warning: it's extremely long and detailed, and my brain hurt by the end of it, but super interesting (and fairly end-of-the-world-vibe-y).

My go-to lunch lately, a tortilla wrap of deli meat & sliced cheese. Simple, healthy enough, and doesn't get too much worse if I have to make my lunch and then feed the baby or deal with the toddler in the mean time.

David and I started Stranger Things, but in a total rookie move with a shared Netflix account with my family, accidentally watched episode 6 first...and didn't realize it til we were all the way through the episode. So then went back to watch episode 1, etc., and I think last night we just watched episode 4. So far it's really good, really sad as a parent too, but might have been a leeeetle more hyped than I think it deserved. (Don't hate me! It might get better, but so far seems overrated. Good but not like, amazing. Like I said, don't hate me. I have high standards for TV.)

Poor Cora got another little bit of a cold (or never got over her last one, I'm not quite sure) so I've been loving our humidifier to help her sleep and also be able to breathe at the same time. This version is the one we've got, and a good price on Amazon right now! In related news, if someone has a recommendation for a reliable baby thermometer, I'm all ears. We've tried 2 different ones and both are kaput. Halp!

Ta, friends.

Cora, 4 months

Late as always, Cora turned 4 months old last Thursday and I'm just getting around to writing about it. Wow no one is surprised. :)

To the stats!

Weight: 16 lbs 14 oz. Which makes me think that our home scale from last month was a little off, or she's tapering and that's fine (she's still 90% for weight, lol).

Height: 26.5", long baby,  99th percentile, which is why nothing fits her! I put her in a 12 month sleeper last night and she fit into it perfectly. At four months old. Sheesh girlie.

Firsts this month: She's rolled over 4 times at this point from back to tummy, once from tummy to back. Go baby go! She also does all the blowing bubbles stuff, chewing on everything, tracking, lifting her head 90°, just all those great cute non-mobile baby things.

Nicknames: nothing new this month!

Other things to note:
++ 4 month sleep regression is kicking our butts. Last night David and I were both up with her 3 times, for a grand total of 6 times. In the last couple weeks I've just been letting her eat any time at night because she was fighting a cold, but we got the OK from the pediatrician this morning to cut those night feeds out so we're going to tackle that next week! Plus, she barely actually takes in any calories during those nighttime feeds, she just wants to be awake and smile and pretend like she's hungry. Little stinker. ;)
++ Eating during the day has been great, spacing out a little more so it's like every 2.5-3 hours and I feel like I have all the time in the world! It's crazy how quickly it goes from 8-10 times a day to 5 times a day and how much more free time it feels like I have.
++ We got rid of the swaddle about two weeks ago because she was waking up with the swaddle completely undone and had rolled over a few times so it was time to say goodbye. We used this (affiliate links heading your way!) swaddle transition thingy, but didn't use it for too long before we just went cold turkey. She sleeps just fine without it now! And seems like such a big girl just laying in her crib with nothing wrapping her up.
++ Naps have gotten on a little bit of a schedule which is nice. Most days she's up between 7:30 and 8:30, a nap around 10:30-11:30, 1:30-2:30, and then 3:30-5:30, with bedtime at 7:30. (Both girls at the same bedtime now! Tis glorious.) She can still occasionally cat nap in the car seat or while running errands, but it's less common.
++ I think she's officially outgrown her 4Moms Rocker, so we should probably pack it up and move it out of the living room. She'd much rather be on her playmat, scooching herself all around and grabbing the toys and shoving them into her mouth or batting them around.
++ She likes to just hang out on her side, halfway through rolling over and just taking a break. It's adorable.
++ It's so different having a baby with my coloring, because I can tell the colors she looks best in and now I'm like, should I be wearing that? I took this picture below of her wearing a cream hoodie and she looked SO cute that I was like, hmm I should buy myself a matching one, right? haha. Crazy mom thoughts.
++ She absolutely loves our Wildbird sling, and I love cuddling her in it. I will take all the cuddles I can because I'm sure it will end too soon!

^^^ crazy coloring idea photo from above
Happy four months, baby! We love you!

Obligatory Easter post!

Happy Easter everyone!

Because I'm still deep in a sugar coma from yesterday (oof, my system does so much better without sugar, note to self, Hannah) and my brain's not quite recovered, I'm going to picture dump and leave it at that. Mostly, anyway.

Easter was in Columbus this year with David's family and filled with Easter egg hunts, plenty of euchre and pitch games, a lovely fire, 7 a.m. Easter Mass, and copious amounts of toddler candy-induced meltdowns (that's how it always is, right?).

First off, the two girlies in their matching Easter dresses. I searched high and low for a store that carried matching dresses in 4T and 9 months, and these were from Gymboree (50% off clearance, so actually in my price range compared to their normal prices, haha). Kitty was very excited to match with Cora and I'm so glad I've started the tradition of matching clothes at least for Easter!

Don't look too closely around our eyes in that middle one, taking a family picture at 6:30 in the morning results in both parents looking like mummies awoken from a 20 minute nap and definitely not fully rested.

Of course Cora needed to nurse right during church because we'd woken her up 2 hours before her normal wake time, and when she finished I popped her in my Wildbird and she zonked right out. I'll admit, Easter Mass always makes me teary - and the combination of her snoozing peacefully on my chest, and watching Kate take up a dollar to the collection like the biggest & most independent girl in the world made me cry. I tried to sniffle as little as possible but these two girlies just make me so emotional! It was a beautiful morning and a beautiful Easter Mass and just sheesh.

Saturday morning Kate participated in an Easter egg hunt and we think there were over 1,000 eggs for about 30 kids. Each kid went home with at least two huge bags of eggs - it wasn't much of a battle for eggs as a "please keep picking up eggs, there are so many, I know you're tired but keep going!" type of situation. Hilariously cute nonetheless.

I did have matching outfits for them for this too, but Cora OF COURSE had a huge blowout in hers an hour before the event, so Kate went solo in hers. Oh well. Story of a baby, right?

We also went golfing a full round on Saturday afternoon and 2 holes on Sunday after Easter brunch. Saturday Cora was an absolute dream - we just stuck her in her carseat, put the cover on, roped it onto the golf cart, and she was 100% happy the whole time. In the first picture you can see we eventually put it on the floor because our rope situation didn't last the whole time, but she was a happy smiley baby the entirety of the game. Kate was a different story, but still pretty stellar for it being 80° and not knowing the rules of golf (the whole stay behind the golfer concept is hard to teach an almost 3 year old).

Sunday Cora was NOT happy during our two rounds of golf so I held her while everyone else golfed and then we headed back early. But cute nonetheless!

David got me this absolutely gorgeous print from Blessed Is She as an Easter gift and I just had to show it off. So pretty! I'm so excited to frame it and put it up in our dining room.

Anywho that's all the Easter deets I have now. Both girlies are recovering from a packed weekend by being extra cranky today so I'm probably going to go collapse on the couch for a nap. Happy Easter (still!) to all of you!