june crushes.

 

Happy June! This has been such a full summer so far! I don’t get to share updates often, so here’s a few summer highlights followed by our June faves and crushes!

  • I traveled with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to Washington DC for our annual girls trip! Josh and his dad crushed the twin parenting game back home, and I so enjoyed the time away to refuel and adult! Trip highlights: seeing Waitress, yummy food I didn’t have to cook, lots of laughing, time to connect with family, and sightseeing!

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  • We made our first trip to the library to get library cards! They had a ball seeing all the books and other little people!
  • We started a Keto lifestyle in efforts to lose weight, gain more energy, and help with PCOS. I have been using this book for recipes and tipsand have found it INCREDIBLY helpful. Nearly 3 weeks in and it’s been going great!

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  • Kirsten and Logan got their first real bad bug which landed Kirsten in the ER and doctor’s office within a week span. I got it too, but good news is we are all better now!
  • Cali had her last day of school, hehe! (We LOVE our new letterboard from Rustic Rooster Home Goods … grab one on Amazon while the price is discounted and in the process, support a small business owned by our good friends Andrea and Ricky!)

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  • We celebrated Father’s Day, grateful that K & L have the best dad in all the land.

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  • My cousin Brittany and her husband Brad, and their 2 year old son Hudson came up to stay with us for a few days! The kids LOVED the time together. SO. MUCH. FUN.

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  • My sister entered her 3rd trimester and we are getting closer and closer to welcoming our NEPHEW into the family!

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This post includes affiliate links which means if you choose to use a link below to purchase something, our family will receive a small commission. In no way does this affect my opinions or crushes! I thank you in advance because twins ain’t cheap! :) 


Now time, for some June favorites! Click the bolded title to check out the links!

1) LifeDinnerPDF: My friend Maria from @RiaRambles shared this amazing tool (LifeDinnerPDF) her and her husband created and use for date nights and I LOVE IT. One thing Josh and I have learned quickly, is that if we aren’t intentional to keep up with our marriage, parenting together gets a whole lot harder. We love to invest in date nights and these PDF’s outline an awesome way to do that, whether it’s monthly or quarterly. Send it to your significant other and get a reservation on the calendar and CONNECT!

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date night in june!

2) Day Designer Monthly Planner: For those who use academic planners, I love this Target collab from Day Designer and Blue Sky Planners. The monthly is perfect for our family to keep out and share and it’s only $6.99. Hard to find in stores because it goes fast, but in stock online. This is my third year using it as a simply monthly planner in addition to my normal bulky daily one.

3) Soft summer feet: My friend Jana told me about this foot cream and these loose heel socks for sleeping and it has done WONDERS for my heels, especially in the summer when we are wearing flip flops and going barefoot more often. A little goes a long way and it has softened some ugly cracks and dry spots overnight!

4)My Soul Sings Out album: My church Eagle Brooke released a worship cd and me and the kids love singing along and praising Jesus! One of our favorites is “No Not Once.”

5) Starbucks at home – Keto style: My friend introduced me to this drink and I am in love! I make a big pot of Tazo Passion Iced Tea (grab the bags here for cheap!),and then add alittle lemonade Mio drops (find them here)and then I love to add some La Croix for a little fizz! (Berry is delish, but Tangerine is fun too! I don’t discriminate, they are all great!). OR to make it a Keto pink drink, sub the La Croix for a little heavy whipping cream! You may want a touch of Stevia to sweetened … or not! But it’s SO yummy!

6) Native Deodorant: Okay, months ago I reached out and asked for suggestions for a natural, well-working deodorant because mine was NOT cutting it. And you guys gave me soooo many suggestions, a repetitive one being Native! Well, months later, I’m here to say thank you! I have been using it for months now and it reallllly works. Paraben free, cruelty free, aluminum free, free shipping, and they even offer mini sizes perfect for your perfect or diaper bag … I have been so impressed. If you want to grab some to try – free returns if it doesn’t float your boat.

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Now onto the kiddos recent favorites!

1) Stack and Tumble Elephant: My kiddos got this toy for their birthday from family friends and it’s a daily staple! We have so much fun putting the rings on and taking them off (repeat x 1000) and making them fall off, and twisting the ears, and kissing it’s nose … they LOVE him!

2) Little Tikes 4 in 1:The kiddos have been loving their bikes this summer! Bonus for us – there’s an adjustable handle and cup holder so we can strap them in and push them. Since they can’t reach the peddles yet, there’s a foot rest that comes off when they can. It will adapt itself all the way into a little trike for them as they grow. An investment but so well worth it!

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3) Matching shirts: Because is anything cuter than matching kids? Girls tank here and boys tee shirt here. We got to match our cousin Hudson too! So fun!

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4) Just a Handful of Olives:My kids love olives and I love throwing these Trader Joe’s packs in my purse to feed on the go (cut in half so they don’t choke.) .99 cents a bag and delish!

5) Declan Roe: We just found out about this adorable boutique that sells children’s clothes and also, donates 15% of profits  to IVF and adoption families. Check out these PRECIOUS outfits my kiddos wore this weekend from them!

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BONUS: Hanna Andersson jammies … because we just love the quality and well, matching. Lemon jammies are a must! Here’s a coupon for 20% off your order. Don’t forget to use your Ebatesto save even more (and if you’re a first time user, get a free $10 cash with this link!)

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Whoa, that’s long. If you’ve stuck around, thanks for reading!!!! I appreciate you! Sometimes I just need to brain dump!

Upcoming posts this summer in addition to the What It’s Like series:

– surviving exclusively pumping – tips, tricks, and how to manage.

– traveling guide for Washington DC

– tips for teething toddlers: what we’ve learned

– favorite books + resources for quiet time as a busy mom. What does it look like?

– marriage tips + transitioning into parenthood … as we celebrate 13 years of marriage next month!

Thanks for staying along for the ride!

mom life: twin product must haves.

In efforts to make blog reading easier for those still suffering from infertility, any baby or mom related posts in the future will be named with the preface “mom life:”. If you are in a season of infertility, don’t worry, I will still regularly write to support you! I also enjoy the outlet of being able to share the good and hard stuff of motherhood too and will do so here. Feel free to skip and omit anything titled as “Mom Life!”


Today I am bringing you our favorite twin-related products, as promised in part 2 of our favorite baby items! Life with multiples is wonderful and there are a few things that make it a little more complicated than life with just a singleton. These products below have been a huge help to us as we navigate life with our kiddos!

1) Skip Hop Duo Double Diaper Bag: I looked at SO many diaper bags, and even bought one or two in hopes they would work, but when reality hit and I was trying to get everything we needed in it to get out the door, I ended up researching twin diaper bags and placing an Amazon order. This bag is EVERYTHING I need it to be. It’s large, it fits comfortably handing on my stroller. It fits diapers, wipes, clothes, and has tons of pockets, pouches, and zippered areas to store everything a twin momma needs on the go. I can’t imagine going anywhere without it!

In the early days, my diaper bag was packed with diapers, spare clothes, burp rags, an extra outfit for momma in case someone spit up on me, and nursing snacks and water. Now this bag is packed with puffs and toys and books and still holds everything practical too!

2) Twin-Z Pillow: When the babies outgrew their feedings in their boppy loungers (around 3 months), we upgraded to our twin-z pillow and never looked back. This has made feedings immensely easier. They like it, the cover is super easy to take off and wash, and we can use it for laying down, having them practicing sitting up, tummy time, and much more. For moms who are tandum nursing, the middle pillow flips back into a backrest of sorts to make it perfect for nursing. A MUST. We still use it for every feeding and also for sit up time!

3) Graco Modes Duo stroller: I just love this stroller. Right now it acts as a snap and go with our Graco car seats, meaning I can just pop them out of the car and click them into the stroller. When they change car seats, there is a variety of riding options (27!) for kiddos up to 50 lbs. It is so easy to fold up and load in and out of the car and is a super smooth ride. I love it and we looked at a lot!

4) TwinGo carrier: This is an awesome baby carrier that allows parents to wear the babies singly or tandem. We are just getting to the point where the babies are old enough to be carried on our backs, but we have heard amazing things from others who have used it and we love it so far. It’s incredibly comfortable and sturdy and the instruction booklet is super understandable.

5) Infant Optics camera: We just LOVE our video monitoring camera. We elected to get an extra camera so each baby crib has its own camera, and we upgraded to the wide view lenses and that we can get a more thorough view of them. It brings me peace of mind being able to see them and saves many trips into the nursery. It also is SECURE in its wireless transmission which means it offers 100% digital privacy.  Two-way talking, scanning back and forth between the cameras automatically, temperature display. This things has all the bells and whistles and is amazing. (We have this one as a “travel” monitor and love it too.)

Now a few other miscellaneous things that we have learned as twin parents:

We have found it incredibly helpful to have two:

We are happy we only have one … or wish we had only bought one … or really only need one …

For twins, it has been helpful to have a TON of …

  • washcloths
  • bandana bibs
  • burp rags
  • bottles
  • pump parts (if you are exclusively pumping especially)
  • pajama’s – we wish we didn’t have as many newborn or 0-3 outfits as we did because reality is you aren’t leaving the house much and when you do, you don’t have the energy or desire to change and dress them. Pajama’s all day every day. For real. (We liked Carter’s jammies the best for these early days!)
  • Wubbanubs 

I am sure I am forgetting something and may pop in here throughout the month and add an EDIT: down at the bottom so keep an eye on this page if you are becoming a twin mom!

35 in and out

Celebrating 35 weeks in and 35 weeks out this month! 

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This post contains amazon affiliate links.

sneak peek: nursery, playroom + bathroom.

Who is ready for a sneak peek of our nursery, playroom, and babies bathroom!? We are so elated that we have been able to take an upstairs den, my old library/office, and guest bathroom and turn them into spaces for our babies to grow up in. And while we still have a few final details to finish, we just can’t wait any longer to show you! (And truthfully, the final details are low on my priority list as my belly grows and my eyes have a greater desire to be shut then opened, hehe!)

So without further ado …

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Here’s a peek from the doorway! We went with a mint, navy, pink, white, and gold theme … how’s that for a variety!? Haha! But we love the way it turned out. We feel like it’s complementary to both genders but also a serene, peaceful place to sleep.

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(Photo by Gina Zeidler)

Cali is ready for her brother and sister to arrive! Every morning we walk into the nursery and say hello and good morning to the babies. She now stops at the door before we head downstairs if I forget.

(And YES, when they start climbing and moving, we will rearrange the cribs so that there isn’t any risk factors with the in-between space between the two.)

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Our glider also is a recliner which is HEAVENLY and I am certain will be used and appreciated for the long nights ahead. It’s sooo comfy!

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The bins at the bottom are SO useful as we are realizing BABIES HAVE SO MUCH STUFF.

IMG_2082Our dear friend Janell blessed our family with these gorgeous hand crocheted blankets + matching elephants. Both of these bring us so much joy and we couldn’t love her more for loving our kids as much. How cute are they!? (You can follow her work on Instagram at @littlevernfieldcompany)

IMG_2080Our friend Ashley Dumler from Graced and Co custom gifted and designed this gorgeous piece of art for our family and we couldn’t love it more. For so long, we were on the journey towards parenthood and now we are ready for the ADVENTURE of parenthood. You can be encouraged by her heart on Instagram at @ashleydumler or check out her website and shop at www.gracedandco.com.

Josh spotted these mobiles and they are perfect! As a hunter, he noticed immediately that our daughters mobile has does on it, with bows in their hair, and our sons mobile has bucks, with antlers on top. It’s a detail I never would have noticed but one that we both love. Also, they play the song that my teddy bear as a child played, which is a fun thing to pass on.

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I love how the lighting turned out in here. We are able to add a little gold glimmer to the ceiling and it’s so pretty when it’s on. We have it on a dimmer as well so we can control the brightness.

IMG_2083This wall is kind of boring, as it’s just our dresser and changing table! This is one spot that still needs a lot of organizing TLC because I just don’t know how to best organize all of it! I have to nestle our wipes warmer in somehow and rearrange some of the not-every-day items … I wanted something simple above it like a mirror because every baby I know loves seeing a glimpse of themselves!

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We replaced the boring white knobs with gold glass knobs and love how it finishes off the dresser!

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/ritchiematernityamenCali has definitely claimed this pouf as her own already haha. (Photo by Gina Zeidler) I really like having the pouf vs. a glider ottoman because with the chair gliding, it helps me control the amount of “swing” I have going on. It’s super light weight and can easily be moved to the side too when the recliner goes up.

A special thanks to my girl Lindsay over at frillsanddrills.com (Instagram @frills_and_drills) for helping us create a room mock up to try out different styles and colors … she made life so much easier!)

And now onto the playroom! This room is right off of our main living space and we are thankful we have a spot like this.

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When you walk into the play room, this storage space is to your right and houses everything from extra bankets to toys to books and other misc items! You can see the babies already have a few stuffed animals and trinkets to play with! :)

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A wall of storage … we love the natural light that comes in! I still want to find some art for the left hand side, as well as cover the top in foam with the fabric on top … on the list! :)

IMG_2069Josh and I put up these sticker wall decals to invite some friends to the party! :) We love how it turned out!

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As a book lover, having places to display their books was a must! We will routinely swap these out for new ones they have. Already I have read most of these out loud to Cali/Josh/the babies. They are all SO cute!

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We have a chair in the corner (that I need to recover) and this is the view from it.

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We found this changing area on clearance and have heard it’s super nice to have a changing station on the main floor as well. I need to finish organizing it and adding a spot for the wipes (a small shelf on the wall? Any other ideas?). The green basket next to it I plan to fill with some snacks for me to nibble on while breastfeeding/pumping.

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This is one special detail in our playroom that we love. Years ago I had seen a sign similar and sent it to my sister-in-law, who remembered and had one custom made for boy/girl twins. We LOVE it.

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This is another special item in our playroom. It’s a beautiful rocking bear made in Poland that my grandparents had set aside for many years for us. It’s incredibly unique. It’s sturdy and soft, made from a gorgeous wool, and we love the special touch it adds to the playroom!

And we are SO excited to share that our beautiful finished PRAYER PUZZLE that SO MANY OF YOU participated in, is now framed and ready to be hung above the changing table in the playroom. We absolutely love that you will all be a part of our daily life – your prayers have been instrumental in our miracle and we feel so incredibly blessed that each of these thousand pieces have had a sponsoring friend/family/stranger committing to praying for our babies. This is my favorite thing ever.

And last up, the kiddos bathroom!

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This room was pretty easy to transition as it was just adding some splashes of color.

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We know it will be a little while before bath toys are used, but we are ready! :) We just need to put their baby baths in this tub but know we have a little time!

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I am still trying to figure out what will be handy to have easy access too. Most of their bath items (washcloths, towels, etc) are organized under the sink.

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A few little fun details. This “For this Child…” sign comes from a gift I received. A friend, Jessica, nominated me to win this, and I won! A special thanks to @august.and.april for this beautiful gift! And the music box/snow globe was a special gift from my grandparents that we got the day we shared we were pregnant. So special!

Truly, every time we pass one of these rooms, we can’t help but pinch ourselves because our home FINALLY has rooms with real, live babies coming its way! It’s so surreal and we can’t say THANKS enough to everyone who has so generously helped us fill them with goodies, clothes, diapers, toys, and practical items for the kiddos. We are so grateful.


Nursery: Cribs, Dresser, and Recliner – Buy Buy Baby, Baby Bedding and Crib Skirts – Sweet Jo Jo Designs (available on Amazon), Pouf – The Land of Nod, Storage Unit – Ikea, Bins, Artwork and wall decor (other than custom sign), pillow, lamps and side table – Target, Chandelier – Cost Plus World Market, Dresser Knobs – Home Depot, Black out curtains – Pottery Barn Kids, Laundry basket and garbage can – Home Goods, Mirror – At Home.

Playroom: Changing table – Buy Buy Baby, Storage Unit and Book racks – Ikea, Bins and curtains – Target, Lamp shades – At Home, Playroom wall art – Home Goods, Wall Decals – Amazon.

Bathroom: Shower curtain and green rug – Ikea, Blue Rug – Target, 2 set of bathroom prints – Hobby Lobby. 

10 ways to keep your relationship thriving.

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When EmpowHer reached out to me to see if I was interested in writing a piece about how to keep your relationship thriving through infertility struggles, the answer was a resounding YES! Because I have seen time and time again how the stresses of infertility can impact a relationship. Add together all of the elements of the struggle, the emotional, financial, hormonal, physical, and spiritual stressors, and if you aren’t careful, you have so many ingredients for conflict.

So, I happily dove into writing a list, 10 ways to make your relationship thrive, which you can read by clicking this link below:

Trying For a Baby? 10 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Thriving

(And by clicking and reading, it always is a great way of letting them know you enjoy reading what I am writing, hence continued gigs, so thank you!)

But continue reading here… because there is a #1 that I wasn’t able to include in this list and it shouldn’t surprise you … the best way to make your relationship thrive through infertility or ANY struggle, is to make sure that it’s rooted in Christ.

Without Jesus as the center of your marriage, conflict will give the devil a foothold to sneak in and cause so much distress. We have to keep in mind who created marriage – God! Which means your relationship is a spiritual relationship that works best when the two of you are connected with Jesus, taking time to walk with Him, read His Word, pray together, and seeking His will for your lives. When we ignore putting Him first, we ultimately are ignoring the one who created marriage and knows how to best make it work.

So, as you go through and read my list, keep in mind that yes, all of those things will help you create a thriving relationship, but nothing will help you THRIVE and SURVIVE more than Jesus.

Josh and I find it crucial to get to church together every weekend, taking time to talk about the message and engage in worship together. We love serving together, volunteering in our church cafe and giving back to the church. We know how important small groups are and throughout our years, have participated in ones separately and together. Right now we are both in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), him doing the men’s only class and me in the women’s only class – both doing the same study, so we have a chance to talk about what we are learning. At night we take time to pray together. We certainly aren’t perfect by any means, but we truly try to make it a priority to keep Christ at the center of our relationship and in our choices. When you take the time to put God in the daily parts of your lives, it becomes easier to bring Him into the big stuff. It changes the way we talk to one another, the level of love and respect that we show each other, and keeps our goals in check with what we feel He wants for our family.

Not there with your spouse today? That’s okay! It’s as simple as a daily prayer, asking God to help become the center of your marriage. One book I have loved is Power of a Praying Wife, which has helped equip me on how to be praying for Josh daily. But there are so many great books out there for couples to read together! Like this one, this one, or this one.

Happy reading!


Photo taken by Gina Zeidler