Finding joy and grace in the ordinary.

39 Weeks

The last few weeks have seemed to simultaneously fly by and drag on.

I pay attention to every moment, wondering if that contraction was the start of labor or just another “practice” contraction. I go to sleep wondering if I’ll wake up with terrible back cramps like I have with both girls. I wonder if my water will break when I’m randomly running errands. Our home is filled with hints that a little baby is coming soon. And yet my daily responsibilities still demand my attention, bringing a welcome distraction.

There has also been a part of me that doesn’t want to say goodbye to pregnancy. I know it sounds a little crazy. I won’t necessarily miss the aches and pains and sleepless nights with frequent bathroom trips, but I love being pregnant. I feel beautiful and womanly when I’m pregnant. I love having a belly to rub my hands over and feel tiny feet pushing against me. I’m very excited to meet and hold our baby girl, but a part of me is sad that this stage is ending. So even though I’m anxiously awaiting her arrival, I’m enjoying my last few days of carrying her so close.

Since I am nearing the end of this pregnancy, I wanted to try and capture a few photos of the baby bump and the girls. I anticipated that it wasn’t going to be easy, and it wasn’t. 🙂 At this age the last thing they want to do is sit still and smile at a camera especially when they are at a park. So unfortunately we didn’t get many photos but it was still a beautiful evening and it was fun to watch them run around and chase each other.

Last night I was hit with an overwhelming sense of fear. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve always struggled with letting go of my need for control. Labor and delivery is about completely surrendering that need and trusting your body to do what it was created to do. You would think on the third time I would be a little better at this, but here I am still having to remind myself of that reality. I was letting my thoughts get away from me with fears and worse-case scenarios when I felt the Holy Spirit remind me to pray. To quit holding onto these burdens like they are part of the deal and just lay them at His feet. So I stayed up way too late talking to God and journaling and creating my birth playlist with a set of headphones attached to my belly while baby girl bounced around. It always feels so good to be reminded that God intervenes. He already knows the outcome and I have to choose to let that be enough.

Parenting, like labor, is a continuous reminder that I am not in control. I can choose how I respond, but ultimately I have to surrender and let the power of God do the work. So that’s what I’m focusing on each day until our little one decides to join the family.

Happy Monday,

Jord.

P.S. Here is the link to my birth playlist if you care to have a listen. I suggest putting it on shuffle.

>> baby bird <<

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Babymoon

Maternity Style babymoon2

// Denim Jacket (American Eagle–similar) Maternity Dress (Gap–similar) Moccasins (Minnetonka) //

Things have been a little hectic this month. Truman has been busy with work, I’ve been exhausted and sore, and the girls have been extra needy (or it just seems that way since I have little energy). As much as I love the sweet, cuddly newborn stage it’s hard work and Truman and I both agreed that we needed some time alone before we enter the land of no sleep and constant nursing (on my end). We arranged for his parents to take the girls for a few days and we decided that we wanted to keep our activities to a minimum, giving us plenty of time to rest and read and just enjoy the silence together. Whenever the girls are gone, my mind naturally starts making this long list of things I could do SO easily without them. Errands to run, projects to finish. But I forced myself to ignore the list this time.

We spent our first night at home where we went out to eat and saw a late movie without feeling the need to rush back to the girls. We slept until 9 (!!) and enjoyed a big brunch. After that we packed our bags and headed to the Inn on Crescent Lake. A few different friends have recommended this place and it looked like the perfect setting to relax and do nothing. We stayed in the Ballroom which is considered the “honeymoon suite” and it was complete with a relaxing whirpool tub and a few cozy reading nooks where I spent the majority of my time.

The Inn on Crescent LakeThe Inn was very Gilmore Girls meets Anne of Green Gables. It’s a beautiful mansion tucked inside of a charming little town called Excelsior Springs, about a half hour from Kansas City. Because our stay was at the beginning of the week we had the whole house to ourselves.

The Inn on Crescent LakeWe spent the afternoon laying in the sun, reading, and taking a much-needed nap. The town was quiet on Sunday evening and most shops were closed so we found one of the few open restaurants called Wabash BBQ and had the BEST pulled pork sandwich. Our next day was filled with much of the same. I woke up and spent the whole morning praying and journaling in the sunlight. I can’t even remember the last time I lingered in that way. I long to one day wake up early enough before my children to have a nourishing devotional time because it was so life-giving. God revealed so much to me that morning–things I already knew but didn’t slow down enough to confess. I remember feeling this exact same way when I reached full term with June. I was excited to meet her, but my fear of change and the unknown overpowered everything. For someone with control issues, it’s hard to let go and surrender to the approaching labor and delivery instead of tensing up and letting anxiety win. I got to have long conversations with God about that and it was very healing.

Figuring out this stage of life hasn’t been easy for Truman and I. We look at our lives and feel so incredibly blessed and, believe it or not, we WANTED this many kiddos. But we’re realistic enough to say that parenting and maintaining an intentional relationship with each other and God is HARD. I know this season of toddler-hood is particularly difficult and thankfully it won’t last forever, but in the meantime we’ve been focusing on the question “what does it look like to have young children but still love each other well?” That question certainly won’t get answered in one weekend, but we’re on the right track and God has been shaping us as we go.

Returning home to our normal responsibilities isn’t easy after a relaxing trip (though I miss the girls terribly). The fridge needs to be re-stocked, the laundry will start to grow again and uninterrupted sleep will be a fond memory. And even though I may be dragging my feet a little bit, I can look forward with confidence that Christ is by my side, giving me the strength that I need to face each task. There is so much joy ahead of us. Celebrating Miss Penny’s third birthday this week and adding a new member to our family soon after. I thank God for the blessing of a restful weekend and I look forward to the next step. (I also highly recommend a visit to the Inn. We plan to return some day!)

Cheers, Jord.

Labor Day Weekend

maternity style// Mama Bird Tee (The Bee and the Fox) Dress (Forever21) Sandals (American Eagle) //

With cooler temperatures around the corner, I feel the need to get as much use as possible out of my summer wardrobe before storing it all away (along with my tears). I rarely shop at Forever21 because I try to invest in higher quality clothing, but I loved the length of this dress and purchased it a few summers ago when I was pregnant with June. It’s not meant for maternity but it’s nice and stretchy and most importantly it’s comfortable. I had to jump on the mama-bird-tee-train because it’s just so cute and even though it definitely does not fit over this 34 week belly I found a way around that. 😉

labor day weekendLabor Day weekend began with our Friday morning tradition of pastries. I even decided to be a fun mom and let Penny wear a princess dress while we ran errands. 😉

labor day weekend(I just like this picture because she’s so dang cute. That’s all.)maternity style

maternity style

Truman and I went on a date Friday night. We visited Sunken Gardens where everything doubled in size (holy giant leaves), we ate at one of my favorite Italian restaurants and lingered on a coffee shop patio until his allergies couldn’t take it anymore. Some date nights we find ourselves quiet and lacking energy, just enjoying eachother’s presence without much to say, but this time we talked and talked and used the most of what little time we had alone. I cherish these moments together knowing that pretty soon we’re heading into newborn territory and we’ll rarely be alone together.

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On Saturday my mom and I took Penny to the apple orchard to pick apples while the rest of the state of Nebraska watched the first Husker football game of the season. It was SO hot (hence the bright red cheeks) but the orchard was nice and quiet. Penny loved to pick the apples and insisted on dragging the bag all by herself. We spent the rest of the weekend lounging around at home. I’m certain that three-day weekends should become a permanent thing.

September came out of nowhere and brought a little anxiety along with it. The realization that I’m about a month away from having three children (all in diapers, I might add…don’t get me started) hit me like a brick wall and I started to panic a little. It doesn’t help that those lovely third trimester woes started showing up like sleepless nights, indigestion, and crampy everything. I try not to complain often because I really do love being pregnant and carrying a life and I love my children so much and I wouldn’t trade the timeline of our family for anything but sometimes a mom just needs the freedom to say “holy (expletive of your choice), things are about to get crazy.” I needed to have my freak out session before I hunkered down and started preparing for and celebrating this new life that we are about to meet.

September is going to look a lot like laying down whatever fears I’m holding onto and giving up my need for control as we enter a new season (literally and figuratively). Even if God has to pry it from my fingers.

Cheers, Jord.

Here Below

Here Below tshirt  There are so many creative and motivating local businesses in Nebraska. Here Below is one of them.

Seth Rexilius, owner and designer of the brand, had a vision to re-create the christian t-shirt; he believes that what we wear should send a message and serve as a reminder to us and those who see it that we stand firm in the faith and build our lives around it. Truthfully, when I think of christian t-shirts with a message, I think of the frameless, usually neon, shirts with a cheesy message (and probably a fish) on it. Here Below has taken quality, stylish shirts and added simple, but powerful messages to them.

Soli Deo Gloria. Glory to God alone. I’m proud to wear this (super comfortable) shirt and I pray that the message stands loud and clear in my life.

I’m also very excited to be teaming up with Here Below to give away $50 and $25 store credit to two lucky Cinnamon Girl Blog readers! Head over to my instagram account to find out how you can win!

Here Below tshirt

Here Below tshirtI asked Seth to give my readers a little information on Here Below and here’s what he had to say…

I launched Here Below in the fall of 2014 for one reason: to reimagine the “christian” shirt. My goal with ever Here Below product is to bring three quality things together: design, material, and messaging. It’s easy to find products that are one of those things, and sometimes two. It’s pretty hard to find something that is designed well (please no more Papyrus font), made on quality material (does anyone truly enjoy those heavy, awkward cotton tees?) with messaging that is actually meaningful and inspiration (please stop with the cheesy pop-culture references and trite idioms).

I’ve been a professional designer/art director/creative director for the past decade, so I’ve always had an appreciation for good typography and thoughtful design. Additionally, somewhere along the way in the past five years I developed an affinity for these soft, light triblend shirts. And I’ve always marveled at the poetic beauty of grace in our everyday lives. So after years of thinking and planning and imagining what this brand should and could be, I finally decided to go for it.

If you believe that every life is a story with purpose, and there are no wasted characters or moments or tasks, then there is incomprehensible wonder brimming under the surface of every single day. But we’re so easily distracted and numbed. We get discouraged and we disconnect from the reality right in front of us. Life, at times, is hard and tragic. But it’s always full of beauty and hope and joy if we can open our eyes to see it. Truth and goodness win.

The things we wear should be a reflection of the things we believe and live for. It seems simple, but rare. Here Below is trying to do a small part in filling that gap, and inspiring both the people who wear the shirts, as well as the people who see the shirts, to remember and reflect upon the truth we build our lives on and the joy set before us. Our shirts can actually be an encouragement to those around us. If we can do that – and be really comfortable while doing it – then I believe that’s a cause worthy enough to craft a brand around. Praise God all creatures Here Below.

Here Below tshirt
here below

Pink Blush Maternity

maternity dress            I’m a stubborn gal. And during my first pregnancy I was stubborn enough to think that I could get away without having to buy maternity clothes. Assuming that all maternity clothing was too expensive and a waste of money, I stretched out my regular t-shirts and lived in leggings and felt “blah” almost all of the time. I’ve been around the block once or twice (or three times, if we’re counting) with this pregnancy thing and I can confidently say that investing in maternity clothing is worth it. Even if it’s just a few staple pieces here and there. I have found that my overall attitude and self esteem changes when I invest a little in my physical appearance and that’s important when your belly is growing and making you feel sore and tired.

maternity dressThis is where Pink Blush Maternity comes in. Stylish AND affordable. They have a huge selection that caters to every personality and size. Even better, most of their pieces can be worn long after that baby belly is gone. That’s always a bonus in my book. This light-weight cardigan above is the perfect transition piece from late summer to early fall. I can put it over many of my summer dresses or even over a pair of shorts or jeans and it adds the perfect bohemian touch.

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maternity maxi dressThis peach maternity maxi dress is my way of holding onto summer. Even though I love many things about fall, I never grow tired of the bright green landscapes and warm summer sun. Changing seasons are fun for a while but I think I could be happy with summer forever. This maxi dress has that easy-going, bohemian vibe that I love.

maternity maxi dressmaternity maxi dressmaternity clothesAnd lastly, an essential to every maternity wardrobe: the kimono. The kimono has this beautiful way of taking a plain outfit and giving it character. You can be comfortable in your favorite basic maternity tee or dress and when you throw a kimono over the top you can be stylish and comfortable. Again, this piece fits right in with my preferred bohemian style and I’m excited to wear it a ton as we transition into fall. (OH! And major bonus…it doesn’t fall off your shoulders!!! I have had a few kimonos that gradually slip down your shoulders and it drives me crazy. This one stays put.)

maternity clothesmaternity clothesSpecial shout out to the hubs who would rather have teeth pulled than take my style pictures, but does it anyway because he loves me (and I still haven’t found a go-to photographer). Love ya, babe.

maternity clothesI probably sound like a broken record, but summer maternity style is just the best maternity style. Head on over to Pink Blush to check out all the goodies. (And they have non-maternity clothing so everyone wins!!)

Cheers to feeling pretty and growing humans!

Jord.

Feya Candle Co.

feya1   It’s no secret that I’m a lover of candles. I firmly believe that they are an essential piece to a cozy home and I think they help create memories without you even knowing it. Not only am I proud that this candle company started out of Lincoln, Nebraska, but they are going beyond just selling candles to make a difference in the world.

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I met with Sarah Mullins, the brains behind the operation, earlier this summer. As we got acquainted on my patio, her passion for this business became so apparent. This isn’t just a job for Sarah, but a lifestyle. She opened her store, formerly known as Hallow Candle Co, in 2010 but as her vision for the business grew, she decided to re-brand and expand the company in 2013. Feya Candles can now be purchased at many boutiques across the United States and with every candle purchased, a child in need will receive a meal. You can learn more about that process through this video.

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To find out how you can purchase a Feya candle, visit their website. These pure soy, hand poured candles burn with pride in our home and we are so excited to follow along as we watch Sarah make a difference.

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Over the summer, Sarah is embarking on a cross-country giving tour where she is selling candles at over 30 different cities and using the profits to feed the hungry at various soup kitchens and homeless shelters. You can follow along on her journey through her Facebook page. If she stops at a city near you, be sure to show your support! I’m so excited for her final stop here in Lincoln on September 18! Find out more about the event here.

A business with a purpose. I’m so proud to support Sarah and I cannot wait to watch her company change lives. (P.S. My current favorite is the Creme Brulee.)

Cheers!

Simple Stripes

 Simple Stripes

// Hat (American Eagle) Shirt (Madewell–similar) Maternity Shorts (H&M) Boots (Old Navy–similar) //

I’m a big fan of the stripe. This shirt, in particular. I found it on the Madewell sale rack and even though it was a little bolder than I usually go, it has become one of my favorite tops. It’s not a maternity top so my days wearing it are numbered, but I decided to take it for a spin over the weekend. I prefer loose dresses on most days, but every now and then it’s nice to put on a pair of pants (or shorts). I think that investing in a pair of maternity shorts is necessary and these little guys from H&M won’t break the bank! So this is my it’s-almost-time-to-transition-to-fall-but-I’m-still-in-denial look.

Simple Stripes

Simple Stripes

I like fall, really. We aren’t enemies or anything. But my idea of a perfect day is 80 degrees and I plan on enjoying it for as long as Nebraska lets me.

simple stripes

After a long week of hardly seeing my husband and having little energy, the weekend was just what I needed to relax and rejuvenate. Of course, I didn’t let myself do any cleaning so I have a long list ahead of me, but sometimes you just have to know when to put the chores on hold and give yourself a break.

Cheers to you on this Monday!

P.S. If you’re looking for a little somethin’ to wake you up, head on over to my Spotify account and listen to my ‘Killer Boots, Man’ playlist.

Third Trimester Style

maternity style// Tank (gap) Skirt (vintage) Sandals (American Eagle–similar on sale) //

I don’t do as much vintage shopping as I would like, but this $5 skirt that I scored when we lived in Omaha is one of my prized possessions. I LOVE mid-length skirts. My husband, Truman, says they remind him of a Sunday school teacher from the 90’s (haha) but I think they are timeless. One of the great things about mid-length skirts is you can hike them up a bit when you’re pregnant! It’s a great way to get use out of your normal wardrobe during pregnancy.

maternity stylematernity styleI am officially in third trimester territory and I’m SO excited about it. Baby girl is kicking so much when I slide into bed each evening and I never get tired of enjoying her movement. Big-sis Penny has become very aware of my growing belly and frequently asks “how’s your baby feeling?” Conveniently, this is around bedtime when she’s trying to stall ;). Or she’ll gently nudge my tummy and say “oh! I’m kickin’ her!” I know three girls is going to be ca-razy but I’m so excited for the girls to meet their baby sis.

We have finally reached the time of year where all of the beautiful pregnant mamas I know are starting to have their babies (my sister included). I love, love, love all of the fun new lives entering the world but I must admit it’s not helping my patience. For most of this pregnancy I have been doing so well– enjoying the freedom of not having a baby attached to my boob 24/7 and whatnot, but when I hold a tiny newborn it makes me ache to meet my baby girl. I was so fortunate to be able to witness my niece being born and it made me strangely excited for labor and that wonderful moment of bringing a baby into the world.

I love summer. So much. And I’m not ready to say goodbye to it AT. ALL. But I’m okay with knowing that if fall is around the corner, so is our new family member. So for the next two months, I plan to enjoy every hot day, every night of decent sleep, every outfit that doesn’t need to be easily accessible to my chest, every kick and push inside my tummy, the beautiful way I feel when I see a round belly in the mirror, and every special moment I can get with the girls. We’re still in the season of waiting, but excitement is on the horizon and it gives me butterflies…or maybe gas. But whatever.

maternity style

Cheers, Jord.

Back to Basics

maternity style

Now that I’m in my third pregnancy, I’ve learned a thing or two about maternity clothes. The first rule of building a maternity wardrobe is that quality basics are essential. These are the pieces you live in for the next nine months (and postpartum), the pieces that grow with you and most importantly make you feel comfortable.

I’m so excited to share that I have teamed up with local business Borrow for Your Bump to give away their Tank + Tee Basics box to one lucky mama! This box includes one tank and tee in the color of your choice. Borrow for Your Bump is all about helping the expecting mama build (and borrow) her wardrobe. What I love about their basics is that they are form-fitting and long–the perfect pieces to layer under an outfit or wear around the house.

maternity style

maternity style

Another thing I love about basic maternity clothing is that it can be dressed up. Add a shawl (or cardigan when it gets chilly) and you can still be comfy and cute without much effort. Win, win.

maternity stylematernity stylematernity styleIf you’re interested in signing up for the giveaway, head over to my instagram account to enter. Even if you’re not pregnant, this would be a perfect shower gift for a loved one! Borrow for your Bump not only offers quality basics, but outfits to fit every occasion. If you have a special event that you don’t want to splurge for maternity wear on, you even have the option to “borrow” a dress that fits the occasion! Lucky for you, the folks at BFYB have kindly offered a special 20% discount for Cinnamon Girl readers! Use discount code: cinnamongirl1 at check out and treat yourself!

Cheers to cute (and cozy) baby bumps,

Jord.

Summer Lately

summerlately6   // Dress (Loft) Sandals (Target) //

summerlately1^^^ 25 week bump! ^^^

This dress isn’t technically maternity, but finding cute, affordable maternity clothing isn’t easy so I like to turn regular items into bump-friendly items. All you have to do is hike up that belt and you’ve got plenty of room to grow! Plus, you get more bang for your buck since you can wear it even after pregnancy. Win, win.

summerlately7We have settled into a slower pace of life this summer. I can hardly believe it’s already almost mid July. I like knowing that we have a beautiful fall ahead of us (and a new baby) but I’m not at all ready to even think about saying goodbye to these warm, lazy days. Once the warm weather hits, I find that my to-do lists get smaller and our plans for the day become less structured. This is good and bad. Good, because sometimes I need to let go of my need for control and just enjoy the moment in front of me. Bad, because there have been many a nights where it’s dinner time and I realize I don’t have anything to prepare (way too many PB&J’s)!

summerlately3Along with the slower pace comes a guilt that I have to frequently fight off. When it comes to the blog and the Lincoln Style account, there is so much I want to do and so many ideas brewing but truthfully all I want to do is lay around with a good book and play outside with my girls. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing personality. I dive fully into something or it fades away; balance has never been my forte. So I’m in that foggy middle of trying to just enjoy being a mama and the freedom that summer brings while also trying to awaken my inner #girlboss. I’m far from finding the formula, but I’m working on being content with that.

summerlately4With each day I get more and more anxious to meet my baby girl. I feel a very strong bond with her already. It could be the fact that I’ve dreamed about her before she was even conceived or the fact that it took a lot of patience to get pregnant with her. I adore my growing belly and our times spent together in the evening, feeling her move around. Penny is so proud of her ultrasound pictures and even informed me once that her baby sister was crying in her tummy.

summerlately5Little Miss June is finally walking around (like a drunk, I might add) and still carries quite the attitude. She’s 100% incapable of hiding her emotion on her face and it’s hilarious.

summerlately2One of Penny’s favorite things to do is gather rocks and throw them into the lake. Watching her imagination and sense of adventure unfold has been one of my favorite things about the summer. She loves to dramatically prance through the grass, pretending she’s Belle from Beauty and the Beast or twirl her “cumbrella” around singing “it’s a jolly holiday with Mary!” Dirty fingers and scraped knees have been her constant wardrobe, as it should be.

summerlately9Summer has been good to us thus far and we intend to enjoy the rest of it to the fullest! If you found the special formula to relaxing while also staying motivated send it this way!

Cheers, Jord.