Leslyn's Lovely Life: 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

*tap tap tap* is this thing on?

I haven't written on this old page in a while. There are so many things I want to talk about, but because I'm very scatterbrained at the moment, the best way for me to do this is to talk in bullet points. 

- I feel the need to deeply apologize for being "That annoying girl with a blog" for many years. I will confess that one recent sleepless night, I went through my twitter account and deleted a ton of tweets that were basically begging people to read my posts. I was trying to turn this thing into something that would bring in a significant amount of income. As you can guess by my many recent posts, it never happened. But stepping away for a long time helped me realize the value of what this blog could be.

- From here on out, this is going to be a space for me to document the little moments that happen in our lives. Not because I'm trying to advertise them to the world, but because I want to look back and remember sweet memories. No more obnoxious, self-promoting social media blasts (unless it's something super important. Then obviously I will shamelessly blow up your twitter and facebook feeds). 

- I started a new job, and it's the best thing that has ever happened in my career. I'm an elementary music teacher, and I couldn't love my job more. I nearly stepped away from teaching last year when we moved down here, but I knew God was telling me to give it one last shot. I'm so glad I listened. 

- It took a really long time (almost a year) for me to get into a groove here in Houston. In hindsight, I really think I struggled with depression the first few months we were here. I guess having a baby, selling your house, leaving all of your friends, and starting fresh can do that to some people. But I'm in a much better place now, by God's grace.

- I can't wait to post about Emmett in the near future. He's talking, walking/running, and doing the most hilarious things ALL THE TIME. His daddy and I are more smitten than ever with this kiddo.

- Speaking of kiddos, if you aren't following me on social media, you're the last person to find out that we're having another baby! Due date is May 5th, but today I learned that this one will be a scheduled C-section, so it will probably be born in April. We find out in a few weeks what we're having, so I'll be sure to give you an update.

Okay, I think that's everything for now. Have a happy weekend! 
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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Emmett: 12 Months

My sweet Emmett,

You are one today! I'll never forget the first time I saw your sweet face in that operating room- I felt like my heart burst with a love that I had never quite experienced before. And ever since that first moment, my love for you has grown exponentially. 

You have a crazy huge head (and you did when you were born), so you sometimes look like a little baby to me. Bless your heart, you're still trying to grow some hair, but it's just not coming in yet (except for the back of your head). Maybe you'll have your first hair cut by the time you're two? We'll see. 

You have 4 teeth, and you love to use them to eat yummy big boy food like chicken, spaghetti, watermelon, peaches, and sweet potatoes. You started drinking apple juice last month, and Daddy wanted to be sure that it was organic and didn't have any added sugars- and you didn't seem to mind one bit! Remember when we were so worried that you were too little and not gaining enough weight? Well let's just say we aren't worried anymore- your little leg rolls are my favorites. 

You've been to Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, and right now, you're on your first international trip to Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Italy (just wait until you try real Italian spaghetti next week- it will rock your world). 

You sleep through the night 95% of the time- you sure took your time to get to that point! It wasn't until we introduced protein to your diet that you decided to sleep all night long. You crawl everywhere, and you love to pull up on anything in sight. 

You love our dogs, Luna and Chip, and they love you too- they give you sweet puppy kisses and you don't seem to mind one bit. You make a grunting "ooh" sound whenever you see any animals- I think that's your way of communicating to them. We'll work on animal sounds this year. :) 

You enjoy playing with your friends at church, and the sweet ladies who keep you a few times a week can't get enough of you! Most of the time, they say you're one of the best-behaved little ones in there, and they tell me that you rarely cry for more than 30 seconds after mommy and daddy drop you off. 

I hope that you grow up to be a man who loves and serves the Lord and people. I hope that you are courageous, have integrity, and that you will have a great work ethic like your daddy. I hope that you love to play outside and read books every night before bed time. I pray that you never forget how much we love you.


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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Firmoo Glasses

I am so excited to partner with Firmoo for this post. They were kind enough to send me a complimentary set of glasses for review.

I've worked with Firmoo in the past, and they are a wonderful company. Their customer service is excellent, and their website is very user-friendly. It took me a couple of days to decide what pair I would like to review, and after using their special "Try On" feature (where you upload a picture of yourself so you can see if the glasses work for you), I was able to select the perfect glasses for me.

One of the things that I love most about these glasses is that they are a fun burgundy color. I usually stick with brown or black frames, so I wanted to break the mold a bit with a different color. I also loved the fact that the glasses fit me perfectly, and that the ordering process was easy (and the shipping was speedy).

I think that the best thing about Firmoo is that their glasses are affordable for anybody, but the price of the glasses does not compromise the high quality of the product itself.

Do yourself a favor and order some glasses from Firmoo the next time you need to add some frames to your collection!
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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Emmett: 11 Months

Weight: 21 lbs 1 oz (58th percentile)
** I didn't check his height or head circumference, but he has outgrown a ton of clothes over the past month, and his head is so large that it's a challenge to get him dressed. Haha

Milestones: Our little guy has teeth now!!! He cut his first two teeth last week. His top teeth are about to come in any day now! He wasn't grumpy at all with the bottom teeth, but the top ones are a whole 'nother story. He's also gaining more balance, but he still gets a little scared when he stands up on his own so he usually falls down to his knees.

Sleep: Our little man sleeps through the night now! Woohoo!!! We usually lay him down between 8-8:30, and he doesn't wake up until about 6-7. I'm so thankful that he sleeps more. I think it all had to do with him getting more nutrients (especially protein)

Favorite Things: Eating (all. the. time.), watching videos of himself, listening to music, watching a TV show called Notekins (about music, because duh), blowing bubbles, watching the puppies, and pulling up on every single thing in our apartment.

Health: We've had a healthy boy for the most part- his reflux started acting up again for a little bit, but that's worked itself out.

Eating: We have given Emmett a ton of different foods this month. I did some research and realized how behind we were with giving him "big boy food". So we tried to give him food that he could gnaw on with his little gums (until his teeth started coming in last week). He loves chicken and spaghetti! Here are a few pics from his first spaghetti experience.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Emmett: 10 Months

Weight: 20 lbs
Height: 29 inches 
Head Circumference: 18.5 inches 

Milestones: Emmett has gotten to the point where he pulls up on anything and everything, which makes this mama nervous!  Yesterday, he said "Mama" for the first time (it's about time, am I right?!). He's been eating a lot more solids, and loves drinking water out of mommy's cup. He went to the zoo for the first time, and he loved it. I don't think I've ever seen him happier! He especially loved the monkeys. 

Sleep: He's slept through the night four times in a row, but I know better than to think that this is a routine that he'll stick with. I'm hopeful that this will become a more regular thing. 

Favorite Things: Crawling everywhere, putting things in his mouth, watching (and imitating sounds of) dogs and monkeys, cuddling mama and daddy, and being tickled. 

Health: Little buddy had a few more respiratory issues this month, but those cleared up after about a week. 

Eating: He has gotten over his texture aversion- thank goodness! We added meats to his diet (turkey, chicken, and beef), and he really seems to love it! At first, I was nervous about giving him jarred baby food with meat, but I realized that the protein keeps him full much longer, and he seems to like the taste of it! 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from this past month! 

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Emmett: 9 Months

Weight: 19 lbs
Height: 28.5 inches 
Head Circumference: 18.5 inches 
(I'm too lazy to look up percentages this time... I'll add them later! Ha!)

Milestones: Our little E is crawling, army crawling, scooting around and pulling up all the time! He also said "Dada" for the first time this past week! Woohoo!!! He loves saying Baba, Dada, Gaga, and OOOOH! He cries any time we sit him down or walk out of the room (at least we know he likes us, right??).

Sleep: He slept through the night a couple of nights this month, but he typically wakes up once or twice every night. He usually takes one long nap in the day (while I'm at work).

Favorite Things: He loves chewing on everything imaginable, bananas, making new friends, music, fighting his sleep, watching the puppy dogs, and going on walks! 

Health: He is a super healthy boy- we haven't had any issues this month! PTL!

Eating: He has tried most fruits, vegetables and several grains (oatmeal, rice, and quinoa). He's still a little weird about textures, and I think that's mostly because he still doesn't have any teeth. Emmett loves Cheerios and flavored puffs. He's not a fan of homemade baby food, and I think it's because the flavors are so strong. But he loves it when his mama shares a sweet potato with him.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from this past month... I had to dress him up in his clothes that he was outgrowing (or the clothes that were too warm for this weather).

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Brand Highlight: The Lil Cupcake

Hi, wonderful friends!

I'm not going to lie- this post is partially to show you how adorable my child is. Sorry I'm not sorry. But really, I want you to know about how wonderful The Lil Cupcake is!

Like, Emmett can't even with this adorable bib. 

Crystal's shop was initially for baby girls, filled with adorable headbands, bows, head wraps, bibs and teething rings (and she still sells those items at incredible prices). But recently, she started using boy prints! The moment I found out about the boy prints, I had to contact her!

As you can see in these pictures, Emmett is drooling like crazy (no sign of teeth yet), and these bibs are saving our lives these days. He wears his almost every day, and loves them. They're super soft and made with organic cotton!

I have seriously eyelash envy.

Be sure to follow Crystal on Instagram (@thelilcupcakeshop) so you can see her adorable designs, and so you can see when she has fabulous deals! Last week, she was selling her bows for only $5. That's unheard of, y'all!!

Thanks so much for the bibs, Crystal! You're the best!
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Emmett: 8 Months

This kiddo is growing up so fast. We started thinking about his 1st birthday party a couple of weeks ago (we need to plan ahead since his big party is going to be in Arkansas). So basically I have an almost 1 year old and I can't handle it.

Weight: 19.5 lbs (49th percentile)
Height: 28 inches (92nd percentile)
Head Circumference: 18.5 inches (97th percentile)

Milestones: He has been trying to crawl for a while, but he's still rocking back and forth and scooting backwards. DJ didn't crawl at all- he went straight to walking! So who knows- maybe Emmett will do the same thing? He has made the "d" sound (but still hasn't said "dada"), and really likes drinking water out of mommy's cup. He will put anything in his mouth (even more so than usual... maybe this means his teeth are coming soon). Emmett will cry if either of us set him down to play, then he'll stop when he forgets that we're nearby. And then he'll see us again and start crying again. He's already trying to play THOSE games. ;) The other day, he kind of played peekaboo by himself, which was the sweetest thing ever.

Sleep: I have come to accept the fact that my child will sleep through the night when he feels like it. Sleep training hasn't been successful, and we've been working on it for a while. He usually wakes up at 3 and 6. Sometimes, he sleeps (again) until around 8:30-9. I'm just letting it go and trusting that I'll sleep again in about 25 years.

Favorite Things: The rodeo (he was fascinated by all of the animals), singing (but seriously), playing the piano (we "practice" every day... lol), dancing with mommy and daddy, his vibrating strawberry teether (Y'ALL. A LIFESAVER), and watching TV when mommy lets him.

Health: He's in the middle of a growth spurt right now, so he's a little more fussy than usual. He's been a little congested this month, but nothing too bad. Other than that, he's a healthy boy!

Eating: He loves fruits! We've added apples (not his favorite on their own, but he loves them mixed with other things), strawberries, oatmeal, bananas (probably his favorite), mango, spinach, and papaya! I have tried to give him little chunks of food, but they make him gag. He definitely prefers pureed food.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Emmett: 7 Months

Weight: 17 lbs 15 oz (41%)
Height: 27 in (38%)
Head Circumference: 18 in (97%)

Milestones: Emmett is now pushing up on all fours. I bet he'll start crawling pretty soon (I am SO not ready for that). He loves imitating sounds that we make, although he still hasn't figured out how to imitate "mama" or "dada". He sits for long periods of time now, and he only falls over whenever he is ready to roll around on the floor. He loves giving kisses and getting them.

Sleep: We were doing really well with sleep training (he only woke up once a night, and I was able to soothe him back to sleep without feeding him). And then the RSV happened, so we're starting at square one. DJ and I just got back from Mexico yesterday, so we were able to enjoy 3 nights of uninterrupted sleep (Thank you, Lord! Oh, and thank you grandparents. Haha!).

Favorite Things: Red is still this little boy's favorite color. He loves playing with colorful toys (and he likes eating them too). He could spend hours in his activity bouncer- he especially loves pushing the buttons that play different songs. Emmett also loves sitting in his high chair at dinner. We give him a few toys to play with while we eat, and he throws them on the ground and thinks it's the most hilarious thing.

Health: This last month was a little rough on our little buddy with RSV. It was not fun for anybody. He used a nebulizer, inhaler, antibiotics and steroids for two weeks. Thankfully, he's made a full recovery! Also, he's continuing to gain weight, which we're super thankful for!

Eating: Emmett eats two solid meals a day, is still breastfeeding, and we occasionally supplement with formula. He has now eaten sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, prunes, peas, green beans, and asparagus (and rice, of course). I think we're going to start introducing more fruits this month.

Here are a few pictures of him, since I don't think I post nearly enough. :)

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Journey to the Past

April 25, 2007

Dear Leslyn,

I hope that you loved every second of college. I hope you loved being in [this a-capella group that would have put Pitch Perfect to shame], that you had the opportunity to be on Program Board, and that you excelled academically. I hope that you remained friends with Carly & Hailey. You might still be dating [an ex-boyfriend]. You will be an amazing nurse. I hope you will stick with your job, and become a mother and wife in the next few years. 

I hope you're still an encourager, that you are trustworthy, and that you are a hard worker. 

I hope that you've learned to be happy with who you are, and that you've learned that you don't have to change for everybody or anybody. Stay true to who you are, and keep on smiling!

I remember writing that letter. It was a sunny day, about 75 degrees, I was with a group of other people who were on a freshman leadership board, and we were sitting under the trees in the middle of the main lawn at Belmont University in Nashville. But more than the beautiful setting, I remember where my heart was.

I felt so lonely. I only had a few good friends. I decided to become a nursing major so that if things "worked out" with my boyfriend at the time, he could pursue his dream of being a musician, and I could support us. Of course, I had no desire to be a nurse (that's why I had to tell myself to stick with my job! Ha!). As you can see in the last paragraph, I was unhappy, and I was trying so hard to be accepted and loved, to the point where I changed the way I looked, the way I dressed, and my personality. I lost 30 lbs in one semester, and I got to the point where I could wear a size 0... and I'm 5'7". I spent all of my money on expensive clothes that were pretty, but uncomfortable. In spite of the pretty clothes, I still felt disgusting and unworthy of love. I was a mess.

When I received this "time capsule letter" in the mail a few months ago, I felt overwhelmed by God's grace and His divine plan. I learned a lot from my time at Belmont, but I am thankful that ultimately, there was a better place for me where I would come alive, make a TON of lifelong friends, and meet a man who loved me as I was, and still loves me unconditionally to this very day. I was so broken before, but I was healed and restored during my time at Ouachita. I am forever thankful.

So if you're reading this and feel trapped, rejected, and alone, know that you're adored by the Creator of the universe and many others, whether you realize it or not. There is always, ALWAYS hope.


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

God Knew.

This morning, I find myself in complete awe of God and how he orchestrates things. It's actually something I've been thinking about over the past few days.

God knew that I would have to go to 2 colleges before ending up at the right place. Had I not done that, I probably wouldn't have met DJ in the most perfect way... If you want to read the story, click here.

God knew that there would be failed attempts to pursue what I thought were my dreams (this even happened a few months ago). And through those failed attempts, He led me in the right direction and put me exactly where I needed to be.

God knew that we would struggle with infertility, only to give us a 1 in 200 million baby last year (he shares a birthday with his dad and paternal grandfather... the odds of that happening- and for all of them to be males- is 1 in 200 million. Amazing, huh?).

God knew that the timing of our move to Houston would seem inconvenient at the time- in the middle of the school year? Are you kidding me?! But He knew that there was a mommy-to-be in Houston who needed someone to love on her kiddos towards the end of the school year. So that's what I get to do.

God knew exactly how long our house would be on the market, and how the person we're under contract with more than likely found out about our house because friends shared our listing on their Facebook accounts. Ah, technology, I could kiss you right about now.

The thing is, there are still some questions about plenty of things. But this morning, I can rest assured knowing that God already knows how the next chapter of our crazy story is going to unfold.

He is so faithful. I am thankful to serve a God who cares about every facet of my life, and cares enough to make my story so unique to where I can confidently say that only God could have made my life what it is today.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Guess who's back- back again?

Leslyn's back, tell a friend!

Okay, sorry for the slim shady reference. I'll act normal again. Pinky promise.

Well, this blog hiatus was much needed. I couldn't tell you at the time, but we were dealing with a quick move to Texas, I was wrapping up my job, trying to find a new job, and playing the "single mom" for a couple of weeks. I'll share the timeline, just because I've been needing to get this off of my chest for a couple of months.

Week before Thanksgiving- DJ hears of a company, sends in his resume, has a phone interview, a face-to-face interview is scheduled.

The week of Thanksgiving- Drive to Houston, do the interview, drive back to AR for Thanksgiving festivities

December 9th- DJ gets the job... We're moving to Houston

December 10th- I tell my principal... I have to keep it a secret until January.

December 11th- I have my Christmas concert with my kids and have to act like NOTHING IS GOING ON... That was fun.

The week before Christmas- New company says they want him to start on December 29th. After praying and discussing, he agrees. This means I'm going to be a single mom for a couple of weeks. OMG.

Christmas Eve- Our cars are packed and we drive to Houston for Christmas with my family.

January 2nd- I take Emmett back to AR with me. Without DJ.

January 5th- I tell my students. We all cry.

January 13th- My choir sings at the new governor's inaugural prayer service. I go home, pack, and move to Houston.

MADNESS, I tell you. Absolute madness.

So now, I'm waiting for a job. I get to be a stay-at-home mom for the most part until I find something. It's pretty wonderful, to be honest. I finally feel that I am getting to watch Emmett grow up all the time. We'll see what the next steps are for me.

But yeah, that's the big reason why I've been gone. And it has been KILLING me to keep this secret from most of the world.

Now, I get to blog again, which I'm super excited about! Yay!

So for now, I'll leave you with a cute picture of my little human and we'll chat again soon, mmmkay?

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Emmett: 6 Months

WHERE HAVE THE LAST 6 MONTHS GONE?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I'm being super sentimental and emotional today... It doesn't help that we're moving TOMORROW. More on that later. 

Weight: 16 lbs 14 oz (38th percentile)
Height: 26.25 inches (33rd percentile)
Head Circumference: 18 inches (97th percentile)

Milestones: Emmett rolls over all the time. He laughs a lot more than he used to, but he doesn't laugh as much as I would like (just because I want him to laugh all the time so I can listen to that sweet sound). He can sit up by himself now, and is starting to make new noises by changing his pitch (and he is starting to make new vowel sounds, too). Also, he can stand up and hold on to furniture by himself for about 5-10 seconds. We always make sure someone is there to catch him. ;) 

Sleep: He still wakes up several times at night. We're going to try to work with him this month- He's getting plenty of nutrition throughout the day and before bed time, so we know he should be sleeping. I think that he's formed bad habits (and I'm the one to blame). We're going to try the method where we let him cry for about 5 minutes, check on him, then let him cry for 10, etc. Whenever we've done this during nap time, he's never cried for more than 10 minutes. We'll see how it goes! 

Favorite Things: He loves the color red. He still loves his activity bouncer, Sophie the giraffe and his Lamby (basically the same thing as Sophie), playing with "crunchy books", and listening to music. He also is learning how to give his mama kisses when I tell him to, so my heart melts ALL THE TIME. 

Health: He had a mild ear infection this month (no fever), but he's doing great! He's gaining weight, growing, and developing so quickly! 

Feeding: Emmett still eats 2-3 times at night. I've gotten to the point where I breastfeed him, then I supplement with formula (this is how I know he's getting plenty of nutrition). We also started eating solids, and he LOVES it! He really enjoys sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and rice cereal. He isn't a fan of green beans, but we'll work on that. ;) 

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Monday, January 5, 2015

My 2015 Approach

Hello everyone!

2014 was a huge year for me. Once I became a mom, my priorities shifted, and I realized that I need to make time for the things that matter most. I made an effort to be intentional in every area of my life, and I feel like I succeeded on most days. "Intentional" was probably my word of the year for 2014.

My 2015 motto/word is Discipline.

Why did I choose that word?

I desperately need to work on it. As a matter of fact, I wrote about it nearly 2 years ago. However, at the time, I didn't have a game plan in place. As a result of that, nothing really changed. 2015 is going to be different.

Every month, I am going to focus on one area of my life that needs discipline. I will participate in twelve 30-day-challenges this year. That way, I can zero in on the things that are important (or need to become important) one at a time. The goal is to create good habits over the year.

This month, I decided that I will practice yoga every day. I actually used my 30 day challenge sheet to help me write down specifics about my goal (Why am I doing this challenge? What's my game plan? etc.). I practiced yoga a lot in December, and I love how calm and relaxed I feel once I'm done. It's a form of exercise that I truly enjoy, and it's the perfect excuse for me to take a few minutes to refocus during the day.

I still need some suggestions for other upcoming months, so I would love for you to comment below and share your ideas!


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