Joel’s Birth Story (part 2)

Hello to all of the wonderful, loyal followers of The Rehling Unit! In celebration of Joely Joel’s first year of life, we’re sharing his birth story in full detail with you all as little detail as possible! However, since Rebecca was on some serious drugs she asked me to fill in the gaps.
Image result for i want the drugs baby mama gifAlright, here we go…

 

If you’re just joining us, you should go read Rebecca’s previous post about the beginning of our hospital trip but to catch you up…Reb had made up her mind that she was NOT going back to work the next week and was determined that she would get Joel out. We spent that Saturday doing (*almost*) everything possible thing to induce labor. Reb went to bed that night disappointed, but I went to bed on alert. Sure enough, we woke up not even 30 minutes after falling asleep because Reb’s water partially broke. We didn’t know that was a thing but apparently it is (on a completely unrelated note, if you’re expecting, go save your doctor’s on call number in your phone right now). We had the most anticlimactic ride to the hospital ever. I didn’t get that high octane drive that you see in the movies…maybe next time. Anyway, the nurses checked Rebecca out and talked to the doctor and they decided to admit her to induce labor. And that’s where we left off!

I don’t think either of us fully believed that this was about to happen when the nurse left the room. We both kind of were letting it sink in and I remember Rebecca genuinely asking me “so this is happening, right?” The nurse came back pretty soon to get Reb started on Pitocin to start the contractions/labor. It was about three in the morning, and they gave Rebecca some pain meds (not the epidural yet) to ease the pain from the contractions so she could get some rest. Now, I on the other hand, was completely wired. I had originally asked my buddy Erik to help keep everyone updated so I didn’t have to worry about communicating to everyone at once, but now I had all of this time on my hands…so I started letting family and friends know what’s up.

If you know Reb at all or have seen our house (if you haven’t, click here!), then you know that she LOVES Christmas. So to help Rebecca take her mind off of the contractions, we listened to Christmas music the entire time she was in labor (over 15 hours straight). Well here I am, sitting in a chair next to her bed, listening to music, firing off texts, watching some Netflix when the adrenaline is starting to wear off. When all of a sudden, something magical started to happen. Rebecca started into a drug induced sleep talk marathon! So I resisted the urge to fall asleep because I wanted to take in this moment and write down all of the crazy things she said, so I could be able to tell anyone and everyone that would listen- including one day, the internet. This is the moment that I have been waiting for. I give you, the Top 8 Things Rebecca Said While High on Pain Killers:

  1. *sneaky tone* “We can’t take the shopping carts with us, okay… But ask and see if we can.”

 

  1. “Are we the only two people in the room? Because I feel like there’s a TON of people here”

 

  1. “Are you jumping up and down? Why are you jumping up and down?

 

  1. *breathes loudly* “Why am I making such a loud noise?” *breathes louder*

 

  1. *The First Noel starts playing* “This song is like Joel’s name…” *Reb proceeds to sing* “Jo-ellll Jo-elllllll”

 

  1. Reb: *starts violently smacking her arm against the bedrail*

Me: “You okay babe?”

Reb: “My arm is asleep…..”

 

  1. Reb: “Why are you wearing a doo-rag?”

Me: “I’m not, Babe…”

Reb: “Well it is NOT cute…”

 

  1. My personal favorite High-Reb quote:

*in regards to the pain med* “This s— WORKS!”

 

Now eventually the drugs started to wear off and Reb started to wake up and the pain was getting worse. Reb’s request to help her get through the contractions was for me to watch the monitor and let her know when she was almost done with that contraction. She could hold on as long as she knew when it was about to end. Sounds reasonable, right? The only problem was: I had no idea what I was looking at on the screen. Not sure if it was sleep deprivation, but I could not figure it out… Reb would keep (kindly) screaming at me to let her know how much longer each contraction was. This could only go well for me… Once I realized how the machine worked, I realized that it was NOT in my best interest to explain to Reb in the moment that the graph doesn’t tell you how much longer is left, it simply tells you how strong each contraction was… So, what did I do? I rolled with it, and just kept saying “Oh yeah, this one’s almost over, almost over, you’re so close” and then when the contraction would break I would say “good job.” That lasted for hours. There were some massive contractions where I told her that she was “almost there” about 10 times…. Oops… Sorry Reb…

The nurse said we could go ahead and get the epidural since Reb was in a lot of discomfort but had a long way to go. The anesthesiologist (FYI- I just spelled that right on the first try, no spell check, no big deal) came in to give Reb the epidural. He sat Rebecca up on the side of the bed, asked her to stay still and directed me to sit right in front of her for her to focus on. As he made conversation, I caught a glimpse of that massive, friggin’ needle and pretty sure I whispered, “Holy crap” (except I didn’t say crap) under my breath. Reb took it like a champ; I was amazed.

That’s when the doctor said, “Dad this is a great time for you to go get some food, and get some rest.” My buddy Davis had told me to let him know if I needed some food so I hit him up and without hesitation he said he was on his way. I told him I would meet him in the lobby so I got out of the room and went for a walk. Obviously, I beat Davis to the lobby so I thought to myself “Oh, I’ll just wait here on this couch here for Davis…” And naturally, since I hadn’t slept in about 36 hours, I did not last long….

I woke up in a panic. I had no clue where I was, but I did have a bag of Whataburger sitting next to me. I was so scared that I had slept for hours and missed everything. Reb was going to kill me. I thought “well Casey, it was a good run.” Turns out it had only been like 30 minutes. Anyway, thanks again for the tacos, Davis. You’re a gentleman and a scholar. And sorry that you got shooed away by the grandparents when you tried to visit Reb.

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After several more hours of contractions, and lying to Reb about knowing exactly how much longer each contraction was going to last, the contractions were getting stronger and Reb still had time to go but she was at least moving along. Again, I realized that I needed some food because it was well past lunch and all I had was half a breakfast taquito. My worst nightmare was passing out in the delivery room because I hadn’t eaten anything. They gave Reb a pretty good dose so I figured it was a good time for me to sneak away. So, I texted both of our parents saying, “Hey could someone come sit in the room for a quick minute so I can grab a bite in the café?” BIG MISTAKE. At that point, ALL of the grandparents obviously came up to see their baby girl even if she was passed out. Well with my luck, the very second the door started to open, Rebecca started to wake up. The grandparents all poked their heads in together and Reb immediately goes “WHAT ARE YALL DOING HERE??” To which I said “This was a mistake. Someone just bring me food please. Thanks. Bye. Leave. Now.” Reb’s wonderful mother, on the other hand, known as Tita, says “No, my baby wants me here, I’ll stay.” So she strolled to the side of the bed, leaned over, and said “It’s okay baby, I’m here…” Reb opened her eyes, and again asked “What are you doing here??” Then Tita gently and lovingly laid her hand on Reb’s shoulder and Reb said “Stop, that hurts, and stop breathing on my face!” Let’s just say I felt honored that I was the only one that Reb wanted there.

Side note, all of our parents were so incredibly patient and supportive that day, and every day since. We are so fortunate to have them in our lives. We love you Grandma, Poppy, Papi (yes, we have a “White Poppy” and a “Latin Papi”) and Tita!

After all of those shenanigans, it was time to try pushing. Again, it was very anticlimactic (at that point) because I was expecting they would be wheeling a screaming Rebecca out through the hall to the delivery room. Nope- that was the delivery room. The doctor and nurse were still just wearing normal scrubs and were so calm. The doctor and nurse explained to me my job…which apparently is more than just holding her hand and encouraging her?? I had to hold her leg back and bend it into whatever position they needed, etc. I had no problem helping but I remember thinking “Uhhhh is this worked into the bill?” But seriously, side note, the doctor and nurse were PHENOMENAL. We sincerely hope that everyone loves their doctor and nurse as much as we did.

Rebecca went through two 30-45 minute pushing sessions with a nap in between each. At the end of the second session, Rebecca was still really feeling her contractions even through the epidural, and she still needed to dilate more. They basically nuked her with another epidural, and knocked her out so she could sleep, and then put a peanut shaped exercise ball between her legs to help move her along. And turns out, that seriously worked. Rebecca woke up and felt…to put it delicately…Nature’s Calling…so, she told the nurse that she needed to go, and then the nurse literally says “Alright, THIS IS IT.

That’s when the doctor and nurse came in and they were on a freaking mission. They moved swiftly and efficiently. The doctor got her mask and glasses on. She would be pulling on her gloves while simultaneously letting the nurse help her put booties on. I was seriously amazed. Now this is what I was expecting. That part was totally like the movies.

After a still pretty long session of pushing, Reb was making lots of progress. And let’s just say we could begin to see all the things. And I’ll tell all of the men right now, it’s not gross. There is so much going on and you will have so many thoughts and emotions swirling around that being grossed out is not even an option. It’s truly beautiful, exhilarating, and incredible.

Joel had been in delivery for so long (he had a serious cone head) that his heartrate did start to drop just a tiny bit. The doctor seemed calm about it but to be safe they brought a NICU nurse down just in case. Obviously, I started to freak out a little bit, but it turned out to not be a big deal and his heart rate came back up as he got further along. They even told the nurse she could leave.

All of a sudden, I could tell that this ish was actually happening. Reb kept yelling at our doctor to just pull him out, but I guess it doesn’t work that way… Suddenly, his entire head came out and then one minute later, one shoulder emerged. Then the doctor pulled off one of the most skillful and athletic moves I had ever seen. In one smooth motion she grabbed Joel, pulled him out, and immediately flung Joel (in the most professional and safe way possible) onto Rebecca’s chest where the nurses immediately snapped into action cleaning him, checking vitals, clearing his lungs, etc. I can still hear Rebecca’s cries of joy. All she could say was “Come here, Baby Boy!” over and over. I could not stop hugging and kissing my new family, and could not stop telling Reb how proud I was of her.

At this point they began taking his measurements while I triple-counted his fingers and toes and tried to tell what color his eyes were (per Reb’s numerous demands requests). We both took turns holding our sweet little chicken nugget, and we ordered some dinner so we could eat by ourselves before going to see family (thanks again for being so patient). The food was actually pretty good but neither of us wanted to eat, let’s be honest. So, we took turns holding Joel while making the other eat.

Joel Francis Rehling came into the word at 5:40 in the evening on December 11, 2016. About an hour later, it was time to move to the recovery room. We gathered out stuff, opened the door and stepped out to show our new little family to our parents, our brothers, our sisters, our grandparents, and so many loved ones.

And one year later, we could not be more thankful for all that this past year has taught us. Our purpose, and our vocations have never been clearer. Joel has taught us to Be Brave, to enjoy the sweeter things in life, that laughter is contagious, and not to let a little bit of crap kill your vibe. We can’t believe that Joel is already one. We look back on this past year thankful to God for the blessing that this year has been, grateful for all of you walking along side us and supporting us, and eager to see what the next years hold.

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Dilly dilly!

Joel’s Birth Story (part 1)

 

Because this cutie is one year old today, I decided to write out his birth story. I have mixed feelings between feeling so sad that this year has gone by so quickly, feeling relieved that we made it through 1 whole year, and feeling excited for the years to come. I may or may not have cried multiple times leading up to his first birthday. I just can’t believe it went by this quickly. Anyways, here we go!

I had just hit 38 weeks pregnant and on Friday, December 9th, 2016, I decided I really didn’t want to go back to work on Monday and deal with 20 second graders that were so excited/crazy for Christmas break. I had been having contractions in the middle of lessons and teaching from the fetal position (half joking, half completely serious) the week before and I made up my mind that I wanted to go into labor that weekend. Partly because of work, partly because my doctor was on-call that weekend and I definitely wanted her to be the one to deliver Joel, and partly because I didn’t want Joel’s birthday to be so close to Christmas.

So on Saturday, I set out on my mission to go into labor. Casey and I went to Grapevine Mills Mall and walked around the entire mall (which is a mile)…and doesn’t seem like long, but when you’re super pregnant, it feels like an eternity. I saw a bunch of super pregnant women and I like to secretly think they were trying to do the same thing and we were all in this together. I went home and played Just Dance for an hour, jumping around and dancing. Then that night I watched Brian Reagan stand up comedy, which had me belly laughing and still no such luck. I didn’t even have one tiny contraction that whole day. I was so bummed out and then thought that Joel will just come in his own timing.

Before going to bed, I googled: will you wake up if your water breaks while you’re asleep? Because I was genuinely curious…and I guess hopeful that it would happen? I fell asleep and not even 30 minutes later (like 11pm), I had a dream I was peeing and I woke up and had actually “peed” a little bit. This is probably TMI, but I don’t even care because it’s part of the story. It should also be known that it’s completely common for women to pee themselves while pregnant because a tiny human is using your bladder like a trampoline, but I hadn’t the entire pregnancy…so this was very uncommon for me. I woke Casey up and we didn’t even know the number for my doctor? Like…shouldn’t we have figured that out before hitting the 3rd trimester? Oops. So we finally figured it out and called my doctor after calling quite a few people and she said to go ahead and go to the hospital because it sounded like my water was leaking.

The ride to the hospital was the calmest ride ever. It was around midnight and no one was on the road. I think Casey and I were both kind of freaking out and trying to remain calm. We got to the Emergency side of the hospital and told them my water was leaking, they brought a wheelchair around to which I said “I mean…I can walk, do I have to??” The nurse said it was regulation, but I felt so dumb being perfectly fine and being wheeled around a hospital. She took us to the maternity ward where the nurse asked us a billion questions and in fact told me that my water was leaking and I didn’t just pee myself. Because it wasn’t completely broken, they wanted to monitor us for a little bit, so Casey and I took a walk around the hospital to try and get it to break. It was eerily quiet and dark and empty. After awhile, the nurse checked again and it looked like my amniotic sac had sealed itself back up…they called my doctor (who knew how badly I wanted to go into labor that weekend) and she said to go ahead and induce me. I was induced at 3AM.

At this point I was completely out of it and semi-blacked out (not true). So Casey is going to take it over from here.

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After they told us they were going to admit us and induce me. Last family picture of 2.

Christmas House Tour

The Rehling Unit Christmas house tour

I’m passionate about a lot of things and home decor is one of them. Just kidding, I just want my house to be pretty. So I thought I would take you on a quick Christmas tour of the house…and eventually I’ll do an actual tour of each room…..eventually….I don’t know when….so don’t hold your breath.

It’s no secret that I love Christmastime. My spirit animal is a reindeer. So when I decorate for Christmas I like to go all out, but also all cheap because I don’t want to break the bank…and because Casey puts a limit on my credit card usage for the months of November and December. Just kidding, he doesn’t…but maybe should. I usually keep the Christmas decorations to the main parts of the house so that we can all enjoy them, but eventually I’d like to get to this point:

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Compromise is key in marriage.

So here’s a quick tour of our house during Christmas!
Living Room:
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Our Christmas tree is a neutral color and then I usually wrap presents in golds, tans, and reds. I got the little truck under the tree at Home Goods and kind of love it. The wreaths on the windows are flocked and they were $10 each from Walmart. Score! They are surprisingly full and fluffy, which I love. The presents under the tree have no food in them because we have learned our lesson with wrapping food beforehand and having a dog with impeccable smell.Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

That lantern is around the house all year long, but I dress it up with holly at Christmas and viola! I bought a pack of holly at Target last year for $6 and basically just went crazy with it. Oops. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetOur mantle doesn’t change much. I just add garland (from Home Goods), our stockings, and switch out the wreath on the window for skis that I bought in the Target dollar spot (last year, I think?). Also, went crazy with the holly again.
Playroom and Hallway:
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This truck is in Joel’s playroom all year long, but I put a Christmasy napkin underneath it and a Target dollar spot Christmas tree in it’s trunk and called it a day. In fact, I think the tree still has the price tag on it because I was too lazy to take it off. #reallife

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Again the wreath is up all year, but I stuck some holly in there to make it a Christmas wreath and added the skis (bought at Marshalls this year) so it looks like I’m really good at ice skating and there you go!

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This tiny Christmas tree was in my classroom last year and it’s now holding all my childhood and Joel’s babyhood ornaments. We want to get him an ornament every year that describes him/his year…so this year we got him that puppy ornament for obvious reasons. The Willow Tree nativity is the focal point of this area and is from my wonderful aunt. She gave me a piece of the nativity every year until it was complete. I love it…and her. Shoutout to Tato.
Outside:Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Ignore the whiskey barrel stain on the concrete and focus on the pretty poinsettias. Sidenote: if anyone knows how often you’re supposed to water poinsettias, hit me up, because I was supposed to google that and keep forgetting.

That’s basically it. I have other small decorations here and there (including the kitchen), but it didn’t seem significant enough to document. Best advice: just buy yourself a package of holly and throw that crap everywhere. Just kidding. Kind of.

Merry Christmas, friends! 

easy christmas diy

christmas decor diy

I promised easy diy projects because no one has time for complicated ones, so here it is! And again, in true beginner blogger fashion, I have no progress pictures. Maybe one of these days I’ll get the hang of it.

All you need is:
-butcher paper
-sharpies (preferably thick sharpies)
-twine
-command hook
-paper clips or tape
-christmas greenery/ribbon (if you want)
-good handwriting?

So all I did was cut off some butcher paper and made sure I would have enough for the top and bottom to fold up like a scroll. I taped it to the table (you’ll want a flat surface) and wrote the script in pencil and went over it in sharpie. I learned how to do calligraphy from this book. You should think about adding it to your Christmas wishlist if you’ve wanted to learn but didn’t know how! I love the way it explains it and I used tracing paper so I can use the book over and over again instead of writing in the actual book.

After I finished and was happy with the result, I paper clipped the top and bottom scroll on each side so it would stay…then I strung twine through the top scroll and tied a knot. I put a command hook on my wall because I don’t want to put a hole in a space that usually doesn’t have anything, so I had to figure out a way to cover the command hook. I had some leftover greenery from a wreath I was making so I tore off the limbs and attached them back to back with flower wire (what’s the technical term for that, Mel?…..it’s green and it’s wirey? I’m going to call it flower wire. It’s this. Floral wire…I was close). Then I tied a bow in big, wired Christmas ribbon and messed with it until I thought it covered the command hook as best as it could.

Sidenote: if a teacher was grading this like a “how-to” paper, I’d probably get a F. Wow.

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I hope that was helpful! I think that’s the best it’s gonna get without progress pictures…one of these days, when I’m a seasoned blogger, I’ll remember to take pics. Also, don’t ask him how I’m going to store this after Christmas. I haven’t figured that out yet.

Joel’s Birthday/Christmas Wishlist

I know what you’re thinking: Wow, did Joel really put this list of items together? And the truth is….yes. Yes he did.

No. He didn’t. Obviously. I mean, the kid’s smart, but he’s not that smart. These are just a few things that we put together for his birthday/Christmas this year that we thought he would be able to enjoy all the way through his next birthday/Christmas (since they’re so close together). Some of the items he won’t be able to use right away, but he’ll definitely use before he’s 2! So if you need ideas on what toys are good for a 1-2 year old, look no further!

Joel's Christmas Wishlist

  1. Ok so I’ve seen this kitchenette from IKEA all over Pinterest and I thought, hey that’s cute but we won’t have the room for it. And then we turned our front room into his playroom and have the perfect sized corner for this cute kitchen. I think he’ll get some good use out of it throughout the year and who knows, maybe he’ll grow up to be like his dad and be a really good cook so his wife doesn’t have to! Plus, it’s currently $70 (down from $100) with an IKEA Family membership (which is FREE).
  2. And since we’re on the IKEA kick, you can’t really beat 2 chairs and a table for $25. Both the kitchenette and table and chairs, we’re planning on painting. There’s IKEA hacks for these two items all over Pinterest…and they look fairly easy. I thought about a more durable table and chairs, but honestly, he’ll be coloring at it, eating on it, etc. so it’s going to get messed up, and I rather it be a cheap one than an expensive one!
  3. If your kid is like ours, he can’t get enough of the outside. In our backyard we have a perfect little area for a playhouse. The previous owners kind of carved out an area in the grass for it and put gravel and had one there…but anyways, Joel LOVES being outside. So I thought a playhouse would be perfect for him. I found this one online for a decent price. I definitely like the wooden playhouses over the plastic ones, just for a durability sake and the way it looks.
  4. This past summer we went to the Dallas Zoo twice thanks to our friend, Katie, who worked there in the summer and got us in for free! Joel wasn’t super aware of the animals unless they were directly in front of him…but I have a feeling he’d definitely notice them now and would love to see them again. So a zoo membership is a cool way of giving something without it being a toy!
  5. Joel really hasn’t gotten the hang of puzzles yet, but as a teacher at heart, I love using puzzles to play. So I put puzzles and the puzzle wire rack on his wishlist.
  6. This comes to no surprise if you know Joel. Apparently he has decided he wants to be a drummer because he drums his hands on EVERYTHING….the couch, the pew in church, the bathtub…you name it. So I put a tiny drum on his wishlist.
  7. Ok, his favorite things right now is water. Put him in a bathtub and he will splash and splash until you take him out. It’s actually hilarious. So I thought a water table would also be a fun addition to his outside area. It’s a fun way to play with water without getting completely wet in the pool.
  8. Lastly, I’m a sucker for baby shoes…and it actually might kill me that his shoes are going to need more stability when he starts walking than the cute little baby shoes do….and that he’ll start walking soon. I can’t. Anyways, I put these converse on his wishlist because they’re cute and they velcro…that’s it.

    Alright, I hope that was helpful if you’re looking for a gift for a 1-2 year old! I know before I became a mom, I had no idea what to get kids on their birthdays so I always defaulted to clothes because I love shopping for clothes…which I still do sometimes…but hopefully this at least gives you some ideas to help your Christmas shopping for a toddler (*cries inside*).

Hearth and Hand by Magnolia

Now I promised a post on some things from Hearth and Hand that I thought you can pass up on. I like to think I’m a practical person, so like I said in my last post, if I think I can find a similar product for cheaper then I won’t get something just because it’s brand name. Yes, there are certain brands I trust, but as far as home decor goes…I go for the cheap, cute stuff!

Here are some things I think aren’t worth the money by Hearth and Hand:

  1. These little house vase things? Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re super cute and would make a sweet little Christmas village with little lights and some greenery…BUT in the Target dollar spot this year, they had almost the exact same little white ceramic houses for $3. Can’t beat  that. I haven’t been able to find them in my Target yet, so if you have don’t tell me because I’ll be super jealous let me know where!
  2. This galvanized lantern is really cute, but even just a quick Google search showed my similar items for much cheaper. I feel like I see these all over Home Goods/Hobby Lobby any time I go.
  3. These stockings are super cute and reasonably priced. However, I don’t know about you, but I like my family stockings to match…so I think about if I have to get another (for yes, future babies) and Hearth and Hand has discontinued their line or maybe the line next Christmas don’t match this season’s line…then it would be a hassle to try and find stockings that go together that aren’t the same brand/line. Just my two cents.
  4. I thought this Christmas countdown was adorable, but when I saw it in person I thought, “What the heck can I fit in those tiny numbered envelopes…one single tic tac??” They’re so small you can barely fit a piece of chocolate in there. So if your purpose is to use it to put little trinkets in the pockets, good luck finding stuff small enough. This one has been a personal favorite of mine for years, but I’ve never gotten it…I think this year is the year!
  5. Both of the wreath hangers, I thought were pointless to get by H&H (yes I abbreviated it because we’re that close). There’s nothing special about them, so I think you can get a similar or cuter one somewhere else.
  6. I saw a galvanized tree collar at Walmart that looked exactly like this one by H&H, except around $20. So that’s why this made the list.

    So as promised, there’s a list of things by Hearth & Hand that I would definitely pass up. I hope Joanna takes no offense to my frugal home decor style, but I hope she understands.

Hearth and Hand by Magnolia

Rebecca'sFavorite Things From

I know, I know. You all have been waiting so patiently for my Hearth and Hand review and I’m happy to announce it’s finally here! Just kidding, y’all probably don’t care, but if you know me at all, you know imma do it anyways.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Chip and Joanna fan. I’ve seen all the episodes, contemplated dressing up like them for Halloween, and have converted my husband into a closet fan too. Although I didn’t camp outside of Target to be the first one to see the new line (like Chip did), I went as soon as I could on Monday.

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I will say that although I am a huge fan of their work, I’m also a practical shopper as well. I’m not one to buy something just because it’s “brand name”…so if I’ve ever seen anything at Magnolia that I felt like I could get something similar for cheaper at Home Goods or Hobby Lobby, then I wouldn’t buy it. With that being said, here are some of my favorite things from their new Hearth and Hand line at Target!

*This post is in no way sponsored or promoted by Target, but again shouldn’t it be??…come on, T, how many hints do I need to drop??*

  1. This food scale was definitely already added to my Christmas wishlist. I have no idea where I’m going to put it in my kitchen yet (maybe our new china cabinet?), but at this price, I’ll find room! I like how small it is, so that I don’t need a lot of space wherever I decide to put it.
  2. Another favorite were these white dishes. If I could go back to before my wedding and register for white dishes, I would. I just love white dishes because they go with any theme, any season. I like these specifically because it’s a matte white (as opposed to shiny) and oddly shaped, which I think is really cute and different. I like the matte black dishes too, but I think I like the white better because all the rest of my stuff is white.
  3. How much cuter can this welcome mat get? And for that price?? I mean, come on!
  4. I really liked the look of these smoked glass vases. I’m thinking I may need to start adding some darker accent colors in my house since my house is so bright? These might be the perfect start!
  5. I love the versatility of these round footed trays. You can use them as a centerpiece on a table with a wreath, candle, and glass dome on top or use it as a cheese platter at your next party. The possibilities are endless.
  6. I thought this wreath was cute and different from your every day Christmas wreath. I love the exposed metal with the little bell! Not sure if I could find/make something like this for cheaper though? I just know I haven’t seen it before.

    I’ll have to write a post later on what I think you can just pass up in the Hearth and Hand line (see Casey, I’m practical???). Overall I was really impressed with the quality of the stuff, but kind of disappointed in the lack of inventory at my Target. I mean, I guess I had high expectations (i.e. 3/4 of the Target dedicated to Hearth and Hand….not really), but I felt like a lot of the stuff that Joanna showed on her sneak peak of the line, my Target didn’t have. Like the flower stand?? Where was that? Anyways, if you made it to the end of this, you must really love Magnolia…just like Joel here (because I can’t end a post without posting a picture of this heartbreaker).IMG_4506That’s bedhead if I’ve ever seen it before.
    Sidestory because I can: we went to mass on Sunday and Joel was just looking around at all the people beforehand because he’s the nosiest. Just then, a little girl (probably about 4 years old) walked right next to us and sat in the pew in front of us. As soon as Joel saw her, he legit squealed with delight and started waving and wriggling out of Casey’s arms to get to her. We really do have a future ladies man in our midst. Lord help us.

zoo themed trunk or treat

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On Friday, our church had it’s first ever Trunk or Treat! The trunks were so creative and well executed. I got my idea for a zoo themed trunk from Pinterest….just like all of my unoriginal ideas for everything ever. Sidenote: what did we do before Pinterest? Like how did we plan weddings? Those poor brides…

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I started with the animals: stuffed animals are pricey and I didn’t want to just spend a ton of money on stuffed animals that I would only use once. So I bought these blow up animals from Walmart. Set of 5 animals for $15?? I don’t think you can beat that! Next I went to the teacher store to buy the laminated di-cut paper animals and paw prints. I used just regular packing tape to secure them to our car. My last stop was CCA (resale store) where I got the khaki button down shirts for Casey and I to look like zookeepers. I was hoping to find a cheap wooden baby gate for the fence, but no luck. I did, however, find these wooden sticks already glued into these terracotta pots. what? I didn’t ask questions. I snatched them up, glued some handcut leaves around them to cover up the empty space, and there you go. I added the leaf banner and “please don’t feed the animals sign” at the last minute and done!

The little kids loved the animals. After one kid touched them, he ran away saying “oh Mommy, they’re not real!!!!!!!” She looked at me and said “oh no?? They look so lifelike.” So naive, so cute.

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I ended up buying Joel’s monkey suit from Once Upon a Child for 40% off the used price (so $5) because they were missing the pants. Who needs pants anyways?

So all-in-all I think our trunk was about $40…not bad. We also won the “Best Trunk” award!! #worthit

halloween brownies

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Yesterday we went to a super cute Halloween party courtesy of Erik and Jamie Novitsky. I wanted to bring something that was super Halloween-y but super easy, because I’m most certainly not a baker…but I want it to look like I am. You get it? Good. I got the idea off Pinterest like all my other ideas.

Also, in true beginner blogger fashion, I didn’t take pictures of putting these together, just the finished product…so bear with me.

I started by making brownies from scratch a box. My favorite are the Ghiradelli double chocolate brownie mix…and no I have not tasted my fair share of boxed brownies mixes to figure that out. I used parchment paper in the 9×9 pan so that they would be easy to take out once cooled.

After they had cooled, I tried to cut them in rectangles to mimic the ground, obviously. Then Casey cut off the bottom part of the Milano cookies (double stuffed if you know what’s good for you) so that they would be easy to put in the brownies. I wrote RIP in black decorating gel which I had never used before so my RIPs got better at I kept writing.

Then we just put a little buttercream frosting on the back of those cute little already-bought-like-that-just-the-way-I-like-it ghosts (found at Walmart) and viola! Finished. The halloween brownies were super easy and a perfect yummy dessert because who doesn’t love brownies and cookies?

 

**This post is not sponsored by Walmart, but should be**

The Office Themed Birthday

I’m not going to lie to you, when I first started The Office (at my husband’s request), I was not a fan. I didn’t think it was funny. I was frustrated that the receptionist and the guy-that-needed-a-haircut weren’t together even though they were clearly meant for each other. I thought the boss was cringeworthy awkward. And probably the biggest deterrent: I thought the style of filming was weird.

That has all changed and I am an Office lover and fanatic.

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So for my husband’s 27th birthday this year, I decorated our dining area “The Office” themed because he is a big fan too. Here’s what I did:

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The classic “IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY.” sign and sad flesh-colored-balloons-that-match-everything from Kelly’s birthday party.

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Some good Michael Scott quotes…it was very hard (that’s what she said) to pick my favorites.

Great snacks from some memorable episodes.

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Kelly’s birthday cake with her name spelled wrong. The lady at Walmart couldn’t understand why I wanted NOTHING on the cake. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hi. Can I have a chocolate cake with white icing and nothing on it?
Her: What do you mean “nothing on it”?
Me: Yeah…like I want the cake….but with nothing….on it…..
Her: ….
Me: ….
Her: I can put a character on it for free?
Me: No.

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The classic face mugs from Kelly’s party episode…so maybe Kelley is my favorite character?

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I have been known to love Mindy Kaling too. I mean, I’ve read all of her books…

That’s it. My love for The Office has grown and so has my husband’s age. #ageisjustanumber