Daphne-14 Months


Weight:  24 lbs.

Health: She has been super fussy this month. She has a total of 8 teeth, and she is working on 4 molars. She gets diaper rashes really bad, and there really isn’t a remedy that we have tried that works (and we have tried a lot). She also got her first real injury. She fell in the bathroom on the trashcan rim. She had a giant bruise on her face. It’s been there a couple weeks now.


Diet: Daph has been a great eater. This week she has been a bit picky, but I think it may be the teeth. She has started the toddler thing that every night is something different and it is not a guarantee that she will love something day to day. She loves sweet potatoes and raspberries. I stopped nursing her right before she was 13 months. She went on a milk strike right after that, and she is just now drinking milk regularly. She loves to drink water though.


Clothes:  She is in 9 month clothes. She can wear a few 12 month clothes. She is still in size 2 shoes, and size 5 diaper.


Sleeping:  We have been putting her to bed around 7:30/8. She generally stays asleep most of the night. She hardly sleeps past 7am. She still has two naps a day, and she is really sticking to two hour naps.


Likes:  She LOVES to wear her robe, which is a 3T size. She is obsessed with her elephant backpack. She believe it is her duty to close every door in the house. She adores George!


Dislikes:  Diaper Changes. She does not like being left out. She wants to be all up in George’s business which is hard for her when he doesn’t want her around.


Milestones: She can climb up and down stairs. Girl is practically running now. She gives open mouth kisses and will give you hugs when you ask. She says ni-ni (night, night). She can climb, which is terrifying because she isn’t super safe about the getting down part.


Nicknames:  Daphie, Sisterbear, Sis, and Daphie Girl. The two most common are still Daph and Sister.


Quirks:  She will sing along with you when you sing her lullabies. She will mimic your laugh. When she is drinking, it’s like she stops breathing she is taking such big gulps. She tries to put on her clothes and shoes. She come pretty close to it too. She is also so smart. She follows directions really well. She puts things away where they are supposed to be, and even knows the difference between her toys and the dogs toys.


We parents are: not too bad! Tom just switched departments, and he is now on a permanent day shift. It has only been a week, but I can already tell a difference in his demeanor and how George reacts to his time home. It is a much better department too, and offers more support to him as an officer. I am appalled at how he was treated over this last year, so I was glad he was able to move to a better place and have better hours for our family. We are gearing up for one of the busiest times for higher ed, but it is also my favorite time of year with my job. I just love all the new possibilities and seeing all these dreams begin with our students. And I am starting to finally feel settled into the director role, so I am really excited to see what my department does this year. Things are good!


George is: amazing me every day. His vocabulary is crazy good. I just think how we thought he was delayed two years ago. He has recently started making up his own songs. I am constantly cracking up at this boy. He isn’t super fond of Daphne right now. He gets into his stuff too much and messes up whatever he is playing with, so he gets really frustrated with her. Then he’ll have moments where he is super sweet to her.

The dogs are: living their best life. With the kids home all day, they spend as much time as they want outside and rarely are alone. They adore Daph at meal time, and she even tries to share and feed them. Crosby is not appreciative of our new chicken friends. Grace is still the diva she always is.


I love watching this girl come into her own. She is going to move mountains.

Here is George at 14 months.

Whole 30 Results

Hey hey hey! We made it to the end.

Looking back, it wasn’t the worst.

I still don’t feel like I was able to get the energy boost that so many others got.

And this week, it was like I was just counting down the minutes until the end.

The only side effect I felt this week was with my poops. It was really difficult to go number 2. Sorry for the TMI. My mom said she felt the same thing this week, so I am not sure if there is something there with that. We didn’t eat any different from the weeks before.

But anyway, we made it!

So was this month worth it?

Yes and no, but mostly yes.

The no is in the fact that I seriously felt no difference (other than the bodily functions this week). This makes me think that I am not that far off from this diet in general.

The yes is that I did actually lose weight; 8 lbs in fact. Y’all I am one pound away from my pre-GEORGE weight. That to me is huge. I don’t think this happened in a vacuum though. I worked my ass off, literally. I exercised every day this month. So the combination of increased activity and good nutrition I think believe did the trick. Oh and all that with finally being done nursing. Hallelujah!

Looking at the before and after photos, it is kind of astounding too. I feel like I am more myself after the babies, and I am hoping the comments of looking pregnant will stop. These are horrible quality, but I am feeling good about myself and the work I put in! Also this is the best mom swimsuit!

The other and more important yes is how eye opening it was to see where there was hidden sugar. I think it is obvious that soda and candy are sugar culprits, but I learned so much about where sugar sneaks into my diet. I mean why do they put sugar in tuna packets?

I am going to change some of our staples like salsa and spaghetti sauce to be sugar free. And we will be eating more veggie rice instead of actual rice. I think changing up some of these every day things and thinking about alternatives has been very educational.

But I will be eating hamburger buns on the 4th of July.

It’s about balance y’all.

So will I do this again? I don’t know. Right now I am thinking probably not, but sometimes a good reset is needed to force you out of habits.

However, I think I eat pretty closely to this diet anyway, so it’s more of depriving me of my balance pieces.

It is funny though, now that I can have chocolate, I am not craving it as much. At least I don’t have to be like this anymore…

So there you have it. My month of Whole 30. I finished it, and lived to tell the tale!

Whole 30 Week 3

This was supposed to be the week full of energy.

Y’all, I am not feeling it. Literally nothing different.

I am feeling really jaded and discouraged that we made this commitment. Seriously I need my chocolate.

I will say that this week I had my first period after almost 2 years, and I felt all the cramps, sickness, and bloating. And holy emotions…So that timing was probably not helpful in feeling the “results” of Whole 30.

I thought this month would be easy because we didn’t have any big plans, but come to find out that June is apparently the month that Columbia College has food available everyday. I don’t know how many days there have been donuts…like for real it’s been employee appreciation every day it seems like.

I attempted to eat out a couple times this week, and that is an awful experience. Tom and I went out for our anniversary, and I thought that I would be safe with a salad wherever we went. Boy was I wrong. I almost legit cried in the middle of Chili’s because there was nothing that I could eat without making like 5 changes to the menu item. It was really embarrassing how emotional I got over it. I just wanted a damn molten lava chocolate cake. And then the next outing, I was a little more prepared and researched places we could eat without any issues. But then I forgot my dressing…So I ate a salad without cheese, croutons, or dressing. No the salad was not more flavorful; I am not a rabbit.

I am telling you period emotions mixed with no chocolate is not ideal.

But I am in it to the end. I am too far now, only 5 days left.

New Recipe/Foods

Sloppy Joe Potatoes will become a new staple in our house. So yummy! I make really good sloppy joes in general, so I was nervous to switch out the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. So I put green peppers and onions in the meat, then once in browned, I put like a cup and a half of Tessamae ketchup and a teaspoon of ground mustard into the meat. And viola, pour it over a baked potato. So good and easy!

Item Switch to Highlight

We love chips and salsa at our house. But most salsa’s have some sugar in them. Shocker. But Aldi has a brand that does not! This has reinforced that we need to go to Aldi more often. This will become a permanent switch for us.

I know this sounds like a downer post. I want to be honest that the results aren’t the same for everyone. I am feeling discouraged by the lack of reaction. However, it has pushed me to be more mindful of what has added sugar to make switches for my kids. I don’t want to be pumping them full of unnecessary sugar if I can easily buy a different product. So for that I am thankful for this.

Year 7

I have tried many times to sit down and write about this year.

Year seven was a year where we experienced so many highs, but we also experienced some lows that have really overshadowed the year.

Our marriage was not at risk, but we had some things thrown at us this year where we really had to live out our vows of better or worse. We had to dig in and carry each other at times because pieces of ourselves were lost.

This year was hard, but this year is what marriage is for.

It reminded me that even amidst such tragedy our marriage never wavered.

It reminded me that while we have independent souls, they are made better by each other. And stronger because of each other.

It reminded me daily of the commitment that we have to each other.

It reminded me of the work we have put in over the last decade to get to where we are.

We have built something so beautiful and strong, and even though parts of this year sucked, we are here to celebrate 7 years.

This year brought us our first year with our baby girl. We have gotten to see her sit, crawl, walk, eat us out of house and home, and charm us with her giggles and ability to sleep through the night. She is everything I ever hoped for.

This year we watched George sprout into a spirited young boy whose imagination takes us often to construction sites and kitchens where he eats plastic food that he would never dare to eat at a real meal. Experiencing love from George is like no other.

We packed our kids into the car for two long road trips (one to Iowa and one to Texas) to see others embark on this journey of marriage. Long road trips with a baby and a toddler will test any marriage, but we made it through.

We’ve celebrated holidays through George’s lens who made us sit in the dark for weeks waiting for the “Christmas Tree Guy” to bring us our tree. We also documented all the things obviously since it was Daphne’s first everything.

Work took us to new places.

A couple months after I returned to work from maternity leave, I was pulled into my boss’s office to be told he was moving positions and I would now be interim director of our department. Fast forward another few months, and that promotion was made permanent. There are days that I am still flabbergasted that I am now the Director of my department. I am so humbled to think of where I was mentally 4 years ago in Fort Campbell after receiving one of the most devastating no’s of my career. And now, I feel trusted and respected. I am not going to lie though; there has been anxiety that has come with this new role for sure. There were many days that Tom had to remind me of my skill set and talk me out of panic attacks. I am passionate about what I do, but I was not lining myself up for this. It was so unexpected that there are days that I am just trying to not look like a fraud. There are many days that I am not sure how much more information I can fit into my brain or into my schedule. However, when George asks me in the morning if I am staying home, I know I am leaving for a purpose. This means more because it tells me that what I am doing matters and is noticed. It makes it worth not being home with my kids. I am not saying that I have to get a promotion to know I am doing good work. I love what I do, and that is enough for me. However, it is nice as a mom to know I am valued and needed elsewhere. And especially to come off of maternity leave into a year like this, and the fact that I did two jobs for most of the year while PUMPING. I mean that basically means that I am Wonder Woman.

Tom however had a different story written for him. Things have not been as positive for him.

One night on duty, he and another officer were involved in a shooting. This hasn’t really been something I have wanted to write about because it is extremely personal, and we are still reeling from it in some ways (it happened 7 months ago). Honestly this doesn’t even seem to be the place to bring it up, because this small paragraph cannot even begin to do justice to the feelings we have felt or describe how it is something we have to live with but are expected not to talk about. It’s become this dirty little secret that we avoid. However, I cannot write about this year of marriage without mentioning how deeply this has affected us. This is a huge part of my husband’s story and now ours. It seems dishonest and degrading to our marriage to overlook this giant thing. Some may disagree with me that I shouldn’t share this, and that some things are better left unsaid. And maybe that is true, and probably why I haven’t wrote about it yet. But I think people should know that this is real. He has become a statistic, but one that comes with feelings, dreams, and relationships. But people just want to see the statistic, they don’t want to see the emotion that is wrapped up in this. This is something that has happened TO us. And it sucks frankly to feel like we have to hide. If the community hires my husband to protect them, they should hear what that takes at times. And maybe this is part of the healing process for us. We need to be able to talk more openly about the ugly parts of our story without fear of judgement or misunderstanding. This shook us. There is rarely a day that goes by that we don’t talk about this. It was scary, isolating, and so surprising how things played out. It’s so consuming but at the same time like you are living in a dream because no one knows you are living this. You never think it will be you to receive the call. I can remember every moment of that night, and my heart still races recalling Tom’s voice over the phone. I cannot even begin to put into words what Tom has been through. Watching him go through this ordeal has been gut-wrenching. We received support in places we never imagined and lack of support from areas that we expected. It has changed some of our views and solidified others. Things that we thought would always be, we have questioned. No one wants to hear about the actual trials and tribulations of police officers, but we all have a vested interest expecting them to keep us safe. But at some point we have to acknowledge what they do instead of trying to erase it. We are not sure what the future holds here, but one thing is for certain, our marriage has pulled us through this. This situation stripped us down to our core, not just once, but many times over this year. We had to be raw and hold each other close, because some days that is all that we had. I don’t know if I will write about the whole thing again, but this was our life this year. I am sure for years to come we will be dealing with the fall out of this.

We also lost Tom’s Grandma this year. Alline was one of the sweetest women I have ever met. She always made me feel like one of her grandchildren. Tom had such an endearing relationship with her. While we all knew it was coming, it was still devastating.

These are things we never prepared for. These two love sick kids could never imagined what the next seven years would bring.

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This has not been the fairy tale romance.

It has been hard, gritty, and ugly at times.

But with our marriage, we have brought each other peace and comfort. We would not have been able to persevere without each other this year.

We have built a beautiful mess of a life. While these last seven years have been unpredictable, I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else.

7 years

One thing has remained the same over all these years. Every day, I love him.

 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

–Colossians 3:14

If you want to read more about our love story, there are links documenting each step here.


Whole 30 Week 2

We are halfway through this experience.

Yea that’s what we’ll call this.

I forgot to write down my thoughts every day, so here are just some general comments I made note of.

I am getting really tired of eggs. I need something else for breakfast.

I used lettuce as a bun for a burger…What has my life come to?

Shopping was a little easier this time around, and it wasn’t as expensive. However, I am not sure how people on a tight budget manage eating like this all the time. Sugar free things are not cheap.

Day 11 was by far the hardest day yet. It was a food day at work, which meant a lot of good food: breakfast enchiladas, biscuits and gravy, and donuts (You know the good stuff). I was very angry inside this whole day that I was doing this to myself.

New Recipe/Foods

My mom made this Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bake, and it is pretty bomb. It is a nice substitute for a sweet snack. I don’t think I could do it for breakfast though.

Item Switch to Highlight

I am really all about condiments, which is one of the many reasons I was hesitant doing this. This ketchup from Tessamae is pretty good!

Honestly I am over it. I am not feeling any different. So I feel like I am putting all this work into this for nothing right now.

All I want is chocolate, a real sandwich, and a Dr. Pepper.

These feelings are pretty in line with the timeline posted on the website, so I guess I can continue to see what this Tiger Blood business is about next week.