Bayou Bows Review and Giveaway!

A month or so ago, after I wrote my post asking you all where you shop for girl's clothes, Danielle gave me some great advice about headbands, and then she mentioned possibly having me review some of the bows she makes - and of course I said yes!  

Danielle owns Bayou Bows, and I was so excited for the opportunity to review her products!  You can check out her Bayou Bows Facebook page here and contact her for purchasing information.

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(My package and all it's contents - it looked exciting the moment I opened it!)

Danielle sent me a bow for Gwen plus two crochet headbands - I really like the idea of being able to clip the bow onto different headbands, and it was so sweet of her to include them for me as a bonus!

I was impressed immediately with how well-made the bows were.  They were sturdy enough that I could tell they'd last through a lot wear and tear, and at the same time they were so girly and cute!  They also had felt on the back side so they'd be nice and soft against my little one's head.

I thought the bottle caps in the middle of the bows were so fun, and the words on the pink one cracked me up:

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"So what if my bow is bigger than my head. . ."

So what, indeed!  I'm excited for Gwen to get just a bit bigger so we can try out her new bow!

Danielle was also gracious enough to send a couple extra bows for me to give away to one lucky reader!  

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The colors in these bows remind me of summer . . . I think they'd be perfect for those sunshine-filled, summer days!  

By the way, that post about how I was lost when it came to little girls' attire?  I've since gone crazy and found a ton of cute things, especially with headbands and bows - I love them.  Which is why I'm so excited about the chance to review Danielle's bows!  I think I'm finally developing my "girl clothes style". Thanks to everyone who gave me advice!  

So if you have a daughter and would like to add to your bow collection, now's your chance!  You can enter the giveaway below.  

This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only (I'm sorry overseas readers), and will close on February 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM.  I'll contact the winner via e-mail.  See the Rafflecopter gadget below for full Terms and Conditions.  

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Note: I received one hair bow from Danielle in exchange for this review and advertising space in my sidebar. This is my honest opinion of her products!

4/52 - Oh, The Expressions

I feel like both of my kids have such expressive faces - even though one of them hasn't even smiled intentionally (that I know of) yet!  

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Gwen often gives this concerned expression - she scrunches her little eyebrows together and just studies things.  Though she'll sometimes make a similar face when she's unhappy, most of the time I think she's just concentrating and observing what's going on around her.  She's a very alert baby. I love getting to know her different little facial expressions, and I know that she'll just keep adding to them as she gets bigger!

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Wyatt has so many facial expressions, and I love that you can pretty much read his mind just by looking at his face.  He gets this facial expression when something isn't quite going the way he wants it to, and every time he does it just cracks me up!  He'll make this face when something startles him, or when he drops something, or when he can't find something - or sometimes I think he does it just to be silly.  He loves to make people laugh.  He makes me smile!

Almost Two

My Wyatt-Boy is almost two years old.

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There's been so much going on the last month, with Christmas and a new baby, that it has kind of snuck up on me.  I only have a few weeks left, and I will have a two year old.

Two years seems like a big deal.  Before two, you generally give your child's age in terms of months - 15 months, 18 months, 21 months.  But once they hit two?  They're just a two year old.  Or a two-and-a-half year old.  Or an almost-three-year old.

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And then before you know it they're three, then four, then five.  I can totally see how these years are going to start flying by!

But I can't think that far.  For now, I just need to hold my almost-two-year old.  

I need to remember all the sweet things he says - how I can understand so much of what he says now, how he's starting to speak in sentences - but also how sometimes he talks to me so seriously and I still can't quite figure out what he's saying.  

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I need to remember how he's getting so independent - how he scoots to the other end of the couch from where I'm sitting and looks so proud of himself for being a "big boy" - but also how he still gets upset sometimes when I leave him in the car with Derek or my mom while I run into the store.

I need to remember how he stretches his little arms out to grab the railing and tries so hard to walk up our (rather steep) stairs - but also how he still pauses at the top of the staircase, reaches his arms out, and says "up", because he'd still rather have me carry him down them.

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He's growing up.  But he's still just almost-two.  He's going to need me less and less, but for now, he still needs me.  

And while I'll encourage him to continue to be independent and learn new things, I'm going to hang onto the ways that he still wants my help too.  For as long as I can.

{Guest Post} Laura's Testimony

Laura from The B Family Blog was kind enough to write a guest post for me while I figure out this being-a-mom-of-two thing, and I was so excited when she told me she was going to write about her testimony! I love reading stories of how people come to know Jesus, and Laura's is a cool story that can only be attributed to the Lord "nudging" her, if you will. Thank you so much for sharing your story and guest posting for me Laura!

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Hi! I’m Laura and I blog over at The B Family Blog. I’m excited to guest post for Callie while she is busy snuggling the newest addition to her beautiful family. A little about me, I’m a wife to an amazing man, Joe and mommy to the light of my life, Olivia. I’m 29 years young and a (new) lover of Jesus. Here’s a little bit about my journey to finding the Lord.




July 11, 2012 is a day that really changed my life, the CORE of mine and my family’s lives. On July 11, 2012 I accepted the Lord as my savior and became a Christian. First, I guess I should back up! I grew up in a (non-practicing) Roman Catholic household. My family fulfilled the minimum requirements so I could be baptized, make my 1st communion and confirmation. That was it, no more church for us. Rarely any talk of God in our home other than before meal prayers on major holidays, obligatory things, if you will.

In 2010, my husband and I got married and were expecting a baby girl all in the same year. Once Olivia was born, we baptized her at the urging of our family but something just didn’t feel right. After her baptism we never went back to church. A year and a half later I began to feel a nudge from God. I discussed how I was feeling with my husband and he too agreed that something was missing. That following weekend we decided we’d do some ‘church shopping’. Right near where we said “I Do” is a fairly large church that always has a ton of cars in their parking lot every Sunday morning. That was our first stop… and we never left.

When we walked into the church that Sunday morning we were immediately greeted and made to feel welcome. We were showed the nursery and ushered to a seat, a seat that is now our home every Sunday. When the service started everyone stood and the music was so joyful and beautiful. Everyone there was praising Him and it was such an amazing moment to be a part of. Tears stung my eyes as I felt the Holy Spirit working within me, telling me this was it, this was where I was meant to be.

I spoke with a woman, who is now my ‘mentor’ after the service and she invited me to participate in a discipleship program with her to learn more about Christianity, their beliefs and help me grow in my relationship with Jesus. I accepted and have been meeting with her weekly since July. We talk about real life, how to glorify Him in everything I do, how to pray, how to be a Godly wife and mother…the list goes on and on. She’s truly been such an important part of my salvation and I’m so thankful that God put her in my life at that moment.

Finding the Lord has truly changed my life for the better. My marriage has improved, my parenting has gotten better, my desire to do good has changed, all because of Him. I’m still learning and very, very new at this so I make tons of mistakes and need help praying and growing in my faith but knowing that I serve a forgiving God who loves unconditionally has made all the difference in my life.

Callie – congratulations on your sweet baby girl. Thank you for sharing your blog with me and letting me share my heart!

{Guest Post} A Delicate Balance?

Today I'm sharing a guest post from my long-time blog friend, Katie from State of Change!  I asked Katie to post about balancing blogging and motherhood because we've had a few conversations about finding that "balance".  I think she has some great things to say, so read on!  Thanks, Katie, for guest posting for me!

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Hey Through Clouded Glass readers! I'm happy to be entertaining you today while our Callie is off smelling sweet baby hair and learning more about being a mama to a little girl. I'm going to write today on something that I'm sure you have heard brought up a thousand times in the blogosphere: the balance of blogging.

How do you balance maintaining a blog and also a home?

How do you spend the golden amount of time on your blog to grow it and also help some little kids to grow?

How do you spend time with your family, have dinner on the table, have a clean home, catch up with friends, and have a blog post scheduled for the same time every day?

My answer to that? You don't. At least, I don't.

I know there are plenty of people who have a formula. Stay up late. Blog X Number of Hours during the day divided between naps and after the kids are in bed. Set aside a big chunk of time on the weekend. But you know what? That just doesn't work for me.

I feel like those things put my blog as the priority. It makes it seem like in order to thrive I have to set aside time for my blog. I have to help my little blog business grow. I need that time. When truth is, I don't.

I need to love and care for my children. I need to cherish my husband and our time together. I need to make sure that I've done the laundry so that we have clothes for the next day and I don't have to wear my old maternity pants to Target (not that this has ever happened...ahem...).

Sure, there are things that need to get done. But in my life, blogging should be on the want list rather than the need list. I want to write. It is a way for my soul to breathe. I always want it to be that way, and I know that I don't want it to become strictly an obligation. I also know what should be getting the greatest amount of my time, energy, and focus isn't a space on the internet, it is this:



In a way, instead of worrying too much about balance, I treasure a little bit of imbalance.

Do you have a blogging balance? Or do you embrace the imbalance?




Why I Don't Mind My Stretch Marks

The other day I was scrolling through one of my social network feeds, and I came across a photo of a postpartum belly with stretch marks.  

The caption on the photo is what caught my attention - it said "For every woman who is unhappy with her postpartum marks is another who wishes she had them."

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that it wasn't easy for me to get pregnant with either of my children - and I loved this quote because it is so true, and it's something I have thought often about similar pregnancy and postpartum "complaints". 

I read through some of the comments on the photo, because I felt it made such a good point - and many of the comments were from people analyzing this poor girl's stretch marks - how far postpartum was she, her habits during pregnancy, and those "thank goodness I didn't get stretch marks like that" type comments.

I was a bit taken aback.  First of all because her belly really didn't look bad - my stretch marks are worse, at least at the moment.  But secondly because it seemed as if these people were completely missing the point.

Yes, pregnancy can be uncomfortable, even painful.  And yes, your body will never be the same afterward.  But to have a child, to carry them in your womb?   It's a privilege to be able to experience any of it at all, even the unpleasant sides of child-bearing.  There are women out there who wish more than anything that they could have a few stretch marks on their bellies.

I feel so blessed to have the stretch marks, even as bad as they are.  They are a reminder of what I once thought I might never have - my greatest earthly gifts, my children.  

There is no way I would change any of it. 

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I wanted to share this poem I found as well, because it is beautiful, and it fits in nicely with my feelings on the subject of stretch marks . . .




"When I put on my bikini,
I get all kinds of stares.
They don't know how I can act
like they're not even there.
They once were red as fire,
and although they'll slowly fade
They'll always remind me of
the life that we once made.

I've got a mark for every worry,
and trust there were not few.
One for each and every time
you kicked me while you grew.
A stripe for each chubby cheek,
10 fingers and 10 toes.
Another for the times I've held you tight
and kissed your nose.

I watched my body swell so large
while you grew big inside
and I couldn't care much less about them, 
blinded by my pride.
Now they remind me of your smiles
and the hairs atop your head,
And someday they'll remind me 
of the funny things you said.

They're my zebra stripes, my stretch marks,
my war and battle scars,
And I'll never be too bothered
because I know that you are ours.
They may not be too flattering
to my midsection, it's true,
But I'd get them again all over
if it meant that I'd get you."



-Poem by Caitlyn Blake, shared with permission.


Originally posted here and also shared on Birth Without Fear
(and I think this is Caitlyn's  blog)






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Also, linking up this post here.

3/52 - Bundled Up and Yawning

 

This was right after visiting at my brother's house, and we were getting ready to go back home. Wyatt kept rocking Gwen in her carseat, and making sure she had her pacifier, and bending down so he could look her in the eye - but he paused long enough to give me an adorable smile for the camera!

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(Yes, that is a dog nose just to the right of Wyatt's face - can't control everything!)

And this was just at home one afternoon.  Wyatt was napping, and I was trying to get a good picture of Gwen.  I lucked out because she yawned right that second!  I love baby yawns.

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