Saturday, April 19, 2014


[How Far Along]
9 weeks, only four more until second trimester aka my favorite, breezy time!

[Baby is the size of]
A fun-size candy bar you don't have any of those in your pocket, do you?
[Weight Gain]
Holding steady at my pre-preg weight for now.
No baby movements yet.

Just like last week, nausea is in full swing. Funny story for you: I made the kids lunch, not myself very hungry, and sat down with them to pray. I curled myself up on the wooden table bench and held their little hands in my own. No sooner did Taylen finish the most beautiful bring-you-to-tears lunchtime prayer "thank you for my beautiful family..." did I feel an overwhelming need to vomit. Fortunately the first of this pregnancy. I bolted to the kitchen sink, wretched, and grabbed a slop bucket from the cupboard. I heard Dayr ask his sibs "What is mommy doing?" Taylen announced "I have to poop!" and raced off to the bathroom. I felt a little prairie doggish myself soooo I sat across the tiny, tiny bathroom from my son, nearly knee-to-knee while he pooped and I did the same, while puking into a bucket on my lap. Tears running down my face from the pressure I couldn't help but laugh a little when I wretched again in the bucket and Taylen, without thinking, imitated my noises back to me. I wiped his butt in between hurls and after it was all over I felt starved.  It was my hilarious moment for the week, and just another reason I love that boy. All of them, actually. They just make everything better.
[Maternity Clothing]
Yes, please. I love the roundness of a growing baby belly. For me it's comforting and beautiful. This week I'm playing with some new pieces from Belly Dance Maternity. Like the above-pictured NOM brand striped tank. It's made of pillowy-soft cotton that, even on my most irritable days, doesn't irritate my skin (or my mood!). If you've ever been preggo you know that's a win/win.  It's long enough that it'll last all nine months, cute enough that it'll last far beyond pregnancy days, and comfortable enough to wear while nursing I am sure. I typically wear a size XL and that's what this is. Often times those are snug on me, but not this piece. It feels a lot like wearing nothing, which feels pretty darn good to me. I guess what I'm trying to say is this is my new go-to piece. This morning it's cool enough to pair with jeans and a sweater, but I am looking forward to sporting this sleeveless with shorts in the (hopefully) near future, too!


Carbs. I can't. stop. thinking about the next town over's ooey, gooey Parmesan bread sticks. Roman Wheel, looks it up, they're the best in the world. I just know it.  
[Best Moment this week]
See sleep/symptoms above ^

[Looking forward to]
Knocking some more off my Spring Bucket List!
You might also like: pregnancy number three
 update: week 4,
week 5
update: week 8,
the announcement
Blogger Tricks



This week we had a church potluck we were attending, and on top of that we've been trying to stay ahead in our meal-planning so we don't get overwhelmed in the food department. The kids are often overwhelming and anything we can do to make life easier is a 100% good idea, always.
I decided to make a tater tot casserole for the potluck. Two reasons: 1) it's delicious and 2) last time we potlucked there wasn't a lot of food, let alone food that the kids would eat (the pizza someone brought was gone before we made it through the line, go figure!) so I took matters into my own hands making something that the kids will eat and that contains all the major (albeit not-so-healthy) food groups: you've got your protein (ground turkey) veggies (frozen peas - go ahead and use fresh it you've got 'em!) and carbs (tater tots), oh and there's dairy in there, too, with the creamy soup. I do not add salt to this as there's already a good deal of it in the soup and tots. But it's like I always say... to each their own! I can hear Bob laughing at me as I type that last part ;)
I figured that while I was cooking/baking it might make life easier to double the batch (one for church, one for home) so in the spirit of simplicity, I made two. The following is the recipe for one 9x13 casserole.
1 lb ground turkey
1 C. onions, chopped
1 t. pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C. frozen peas
1 Bag frozen tater tots
To Make:
Brown the turkey + drain it well. Add: onions, soup, and frozen veg and mix well over low heat. Spread mixture in 9x13 baking dish. Top with a layer of tots. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Some people like to smother it with cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking, I say just follow your heart (you know, literally - that's high in cholesterol + sodium) Enjoy!
I could use some recipe inspiration, what's on your "comfort food" list?

Thursday, April 17, 2014


clearing, digging, mixing, reading, watching
I am clearing (constantly, but especially now that Spring has officially sprung) clutter from every corner of our home. If you've been reading for any length of time you know I'm ALWAYS doing this, but it feels so. good. As Drea mentioned a few weeks back "purge, purge, purge!" and that is what I've done. I filed through my clothes and tossed everything I would not buy again today. Does that make sense? Then I repeated the same thing a week later, and again a week after that. The idea was that if I wasn't getting rid of SO much at once I might be more apt to let go of something that was otherwise sentimental. or whatever. Anyway, six bags later it worked! And I can see the back of my closet again.
Bob is digging through projects on his "to do" list. Last week he started the kids' Christmas-present-swing-set from Grandpa and Grandma see the beginning phases here. This week he's tackled fixing the triple stroller for me - I can't wait to have the ability to walk outside with all three tots while he's gone at work again! - and is getting stuff together to build a chicken coop from pallets + scraps we scounged on the side of the road. Pretty rad + handy if you ask me. It's time for the chickens to move on to fresher, bigger air. Currently they're stinkin' up our not-so-well-ventilated mudroom and this preggo gets queasy every trip in to, or out of, the home.
All three tots are mixing their own version of Toddler Style. Ayara has been the epitome of cute in some hand-me-downs (right now she's the youngest of 16 grandkids on Bob's mom's side... I think? and we receive all hmd's) mixed with new and fabulous pieces. You can read about it here every Wednesday when we link up with Our Holly Days for style posts. Oh, and I'm sharing some cute maternity wears, too!
I've been reading everything empowering + maternal I can get my hands on. No, this is not my first preg-rodeo, but I just can't seem to read enough. The things I'm into this time center around midwifery and natural, unassisted birth. The kind that gives a woman her due praises for recognizing and using the God-given bodily powers she posesses. I found a memoir by Patricia Harman The Blue Cotton Gown and could not (literally) put it down. Then I went back to the library, afer I'd finished that, and found the prequel, too. Now I'm reading that, Ina May's Guide to ChildBirth, Born in the USA, Labor of Love, a new book for bible study at church called Restless, and a hilarious pregnancy pocket book called Pregnancy Countdown. I almost took it back to the library but it's so hilariously blunt about "what's up down there" that I had to keep it for the laughs. So, yeah - I read those in my "spare time." Ha.
Bob and I have been watching a magical new nap routine unfold for our boys. I thought naps might be a thing of the past since they turned three in February, but we found a way to milk it, and beautifully. Around 2:00 I put on relaxation radio on Pandora, ask them to get in "their spot" which is: for Taylen the grey recliner, and Dayr the orange chair with the patterned poof footrest. They fall gracefully asleep, no fighting, and stay there for a few HOURS. It's a beautiful thing in all regards.
We're linking up with Harvesting Kale and Ot + Et today, come share your "currently" too and please, while you're here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


You know I'm always on the lookout for accessories to tame and make even more beautiful Ayara's wacky mane, right? I cannot not mention the amazing Julia and her ability to craft a thing of dreams. She makes butterflies and blooms for hair and beyond with the richest most delicious leather color combos. She's truly an artist, and her work proves my point. So much beauty in such a small treasure. Every little girl (of every age!) deserves these in her collection.
Ayara has in her Leather Blossoms collection a brown-on-orange clip, as well as a light-on dark green clip. I don't know where Julia gets them but the butterflies are anchored on the most sturdy, hardcore bobby pins in. the. world. So intense are they, in fact, that I had a hard time getting them to stay put in baby girl's thin hair. In my thicker-than-life locks they stayed like a rock, however.
If I had my way I'd be rockin' the gold-on-brown clip this Spring for all things metallic and sparkly, and a black + white number because... duh.
Julia also makes dreamy leather-wrapped headbands, gorgeous leather jewelry, and - if you're not a fan of cutting live flowers, like me - leather roses for special occasions!

Stay up with brand new Spring debuts and such:
Leather Blossoms ETSY // FACEBOOK
Also, we're linking up with Our Holly Days for Mini Style Wed :)
I was sent the above listed clips for compensation for this post. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed herein are 100% my own. Thank you, readers, for supporting the brands that support this Blog.

Monday, April 14, 2014


As I'm sitting in the yard, laptop on my... lap and conversing with my husband about the possibility of parachuting off a building into a waiting convertible lambroghini filled with jello (um - what?!) I can't help but think of how very fortunate I am to have the life I do.
For one thing Bob works enough outside the home that I don't have to, and haven't, since 2011. Part of that is due to our aligned desires to A) raise our kids without the need for daycare, and B) similarly, need less and make do with what we already have. A favorite quote of both ours lately has been this:
Use it Up
Wear it Out
Make it Do
or Do Without
Why not wear your jeans until they're rags, and then recycle them to the rag pile, or donate them to the bird-nesting materials bag, or use them to repair other jeans (in Bob's case). There are innumerable opportunities all around to reuse and recycle or upcycle what we already have, and cut down on our need for more money, ultimately requiring less time away from home.
Another aspect of life I'm smitten with is the ability to work from home like I do. Yes, tecnically I have two "from home" jobs: first and most importantly as a mother, and secondly as a blogger. The reviews, giveaways and sponsored content I bring to this site are A) the beginning of amazing partnerships with companies I can stand behind (think self-made, small business, good for your soul, life-enhancing, etc.) and B) in exchange for goods - which we typically wear, consume or use up - or money which can be used in the same way.
When I started this Blog it was a way to stay in communication with family and friends far away, to share how our lives were being rocked by the addition of our twins. Since it's beginning in 2011 Hands and Hearts More Than Full has grown tremendously and through this venture I've met all sorts of amazing people along the way. Yet another reason I am so blessed in this life - the amount of love and support surrounding me, my Blog, my family is mind-blowing. If it weren't for the loyal readership, willing companies and help and hints along the way I never would be where I am today.

I love supporting my fellow bloggers, which is why you often see me "linking up" to their features and posts. Blogging may seem easy but it's really a lot of work. If nothing else I could look back over life during this Blog and see a very comprehensive "baby book" of sorts, documeting how our family grew and evolved over time. But for me this is so much more. Thank you for being my amazing audience, and growing with me through this life!