Friday, December 16, 2016

It's a.......

We found out that Baby #5 is a BOY! We are are thrilled to be welcoming another baby boy to our family in April. The Lord has confirmed that I am meant to be a boy mom. I know that raising strong, godly boys is a high calling, and I am humbled that I get the privilege to raise FIVE amazing boys! So, while my house can be loud and crazy at times, I wouldn't have it any other way (no teenage girl drama in this house ;-)! I'm still the Queen of my castle! 

I wanted to do something fun to celebrate with the boys that they are getting a new BROTHER! I ordered two confetti cannons and they arrived yesterday. We braved the 25 degree temps to shoot them off. So, from the pictures it does not look like much confetti, but it took me an hour to clean up afterwards #ideafail. Just FYI...I would NOT recommend the confetti cannon for your celebratory needs, by the time we were done Chris exclaimed that he hated confetti and I felt the same!

So there you have heart is overflowing, my van is full, and our family will be complete when we meet our new little man in April!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Things I Learned From Pregnancy Loss

This week, December 7, 2016, would have been my due date with the baby we lost back in May. All these months later, I am thankful for the time that has passed and that the raw feelings are gone, and that I can look back with much appreciation at what I have learned through my time of grief.

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!"           Psalm 27:13-14 

1. That Life is a Miracle. Having had four healthy pregnancies (two before my first miscarriage, and two before my second miscarriage), sometimes it is easy to think how simple the entire process is. You're pregnant, you wait nine months, and then you have a baby. After my first miscarriage, my kind and compassionate doctor shared with me that there was nothing that I had done wrong (which brought much comfort), and you don't realize what a miracle a baby really is...there are so many things that have to correctly split, form, and line up, etc for a healthy baby to be born nine months later. This really made me see life for the miracle that it is. Life is fragile, life is a gift, and something to not take for granted.

2. That You Never Know What Others are Going Through.  People may be holding it together on the outside, but you have no idea what they are going through or the situations they are facing. After my appointment when I learned I would have to have surgery after the miscarriage, I stopped at Ulta on my way home. I ran in and quickly grabbed what I needed, and as I finished paying the cashier, she said, "Have a great day." On what was a not so great day for me, it really emphasized that we do not know what others are going though, or what they are dealing with. It made me want to be kind and compassionate to everyone I come into contact with, because you have no idea what they are going through at that moment.

3. I have an amazing husband who was there for me in my time of need. I'm so thankful for my husband. I already knew before the miscarriage that he was amazing, but I got to see his love and devotion to me on another level. He was with me every step of the way throughout my grieving process. Always patient, never rushing me along. On one incredibly hard day, he came home from work, set up a wireless music speaker in our room, turned on some quiet, uplifting music and just sat with me and held my hand. I couldn't even form the words to share exactly how I was feeling, but he just sat with me, and did exactly what I needed him to do, be there for me.

4. That I have a wonderful support system in my friends. As friends began to find out, I was amazed at how much kindness and compassion they showed me. Taking me out for coffee just so I could talk, bringing me a sunshine basket full of all things bright and sunny yellow, providing my family a meal, sending/leaving flowers at my door and a special piece of art (a yellow heart, with we remember on the back), leaving a gift card for dinner out with Chris for some comfort food, and all the little texts just to see how I was doing. I have great friends, they were there for me, and I am so blessed to have each and every one of them.

5. That there is no timetable on grief. Everyone grieves differently, I learned this after my first miscarriage. Some days I would feel great. Then other days, out of no where, a sadness would sweep over me. I had to learn that this was all part of the process of grieving and healing.
The day after my first miscarriage, I called a friend who had briefly mentioned she had a miscarriage years earlier. I wanted to ask her questions, and see what I should expect. She was so kind to talk to me, and was amazed that I wanted to talk about things so soon, but for me that was what I needed to start to heal. She said she was never able to talk about things until some time later. We all deal with grief differently. Do not feel bad if the way you are dealing with grief doesn't fit with your friend down the street. Some people can move on quickly, while others take longer. Let yourself grieve and be easy on yourself. Grief is no one size fits all emotion.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
..."A time to mourn, a time to dance, a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to build up, a time to tear down."           Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3-4 

 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."     Ecclesiastes 3:11

6. It brought me closer in my walk with Christ. My relationship with Christ flourished in the weeks after my miscarriage. I spent time reading the Bible and pouring over verses that talked about grief. I found great comfort from my time in scripture. I had an unexplained joy and knew deep in my heart, despite the sadness there was good that could come from my loss.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 
"He heals the brokenhearted, and bind up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 

7. That I'm now part of a large sisterhood. I was amazed at how many people were so quick to offer up their own stories of loss. I immediately felt that I was not alone. Others had walked this very same road before me. I quickly learned that there was some good that could come from my pain. As others would share their stories, I realized I could now share my experience with other women and I pray bring hope and comfort to them in their time of grief. Not even two weeks after my first miscarriage, a friend approached me to tell me she was experiencing one too. We were able to navigate those early days and weeks of loss together.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

8. Compassion. Up until my first miscarriage, I really had led a "charmed" life. Things had gone pretty smoothly for me. I had no idea the impact a miscarriage has on a woman. Six months before I had my first miscarriage I had a friend who had an early pregnancy loss. I remember when I found out, I felt for her. I was sad for her, but I did not know what to do. I didn't call her or send a card, I just let it go. Right after my miscarriage, I feel like my heart grew ten sizes that day (that is the only way I feel I can accurately describe it). My eyes were immediately open and my understanding was widely expanded. I called that friend and spoke with her and the first thing I did was apologize to her. I explained that I now understood, that I wish I would have reached out and called. Now, I feel with the depths of where I have been, the pain that others are going through. My heart breaks for each and every single woman that has to go through this. I truly feel the compassion I've gained for others who are hurting, is a big gift that came from my pregnancy loss.

9. The sun will shine again. You will not feel this deep pain forever. It will fade with time. The timetable is different for everyone, but trust me, you will not feel this sad forever. For me knowing that my baby is in heaven and that I would meet him or her one day was a huge comfort. Another thing that brought me joy in the sadness was planting two trees in our backyard, a few days after my second loss. We had been thinking about planting some trees, and I shared with my husband that if we would buy two we could plant them in remembrance of our two babies in heaven. We chose two bradford pear trees, and I am looking forward to watching them bloom their beautiful white flowers each spring.

I choose to be grateful for the amazing life lessons that these two little lives taught me. I might not have met these babies face to face, but I consider each of them a part of my family and know they had weight in this world, because they had an impact on me.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Rubik's Cube Halloween Costume Tutorial

It's Halloween, a day that many kids will find themselves in a sugar coma by days end. Bless all the amazing teachers out there that will be dealing with all the excited, hyped up kids today, and for dealing with the fall out tomorrow! I must say, I enjoyed Halloween falling on a Saturday last year. Here are some funny memes to kick off your Halloween morning!

I have made a couple costumes in the past for my littles. There was Bob the Tomato when Max was two (and Cooper and Jack have worn it as well), and the fun Dinosaur when Max was 4! But I've had a couple year hiatus from the costume making fun. 

AHHH! I miss these little guys!

This year, Max and I were brainstorming a costume for him, and let's just say the easy days of 100+ choices and changing your mind every other second are gone (insert sad face). It definitely gets harder to find an age appropriate costume that a 4th grade boy would be proud of. So, one day in the car pick up line I did just that, I searched for cool costumes for 10 year old boys! BAM, there it was....a rubik's cube. Max and several of his classmates are really into rubiks cubes right now...they are all the rage again. I presented the idea to Max when he jumped in the car and he was on board. So, I got to work.

This costume was so easy to make (and very easy on my wallet), but I will say, it was time consuming...taking me a little over 3 hours to complete.

Here's what you will need...

  • -1- 18 inch by 18 inch box (mine was 18"x24" and I cut the box to be a square).
  • -1 can of black spray paint
  • -box cutters (or something sharp to cut neck and arm holes with)
  • -3 sheets of card stock in each of five rubik's cube colors (we went with white, red, blue, yellow, and red).
  • -ruler
  • -scissors or paper cutter
  • -hot glue gun

1. Prep your box (cut into cube). Cut the neck hole, find a circle to trace (I used a mixing bowl)! Cut the arm holes out (find a smaller circle to trace...I used a round vase base). This was harder than the neck hole because it's not on the edge. I placed a scrap of card board under the are I was cutting so it would not cut through to the other side of the box. Spray paint box.

2. While I was waiting for the box to completely dry, I headed inside to cut my rubiks cube squares.

I made my squares 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".

3. Lay your squares out leaving a thin black border the squares. Once you have the squares how you like, begin hot gluing the back and securing them to the box (you have to be fast one you get the glue on the card stock, it dries fast). 

You can make your rubik's cube have random colors (a work in progress) or the same colors on one side. I left this decision up to Max, and he wanted his cube complete! 

Continue glueing all the squares on each side. I left the top for last (it was the hardest with the big neck hole). The easiest way I found was to lay out the squares and then use painters tape to tape the squares near the neck hole down, flip the box over and trace the neck hole on top of the bottom of the squares. When you then flip the box over and remove the squares you can easily cut the the exact circular pattern off the square! I wish I had taken a picture during this step! 

Ta Da! It's complete!

I worked on and finished this costume while Max was at school. So, I nervously waited to pick him up hoping he would be please with how it turned out! Luckily, he was! Here he is trying it on to make sure it fits!

It made its debut at our schools Haunt the Halls later that night (talk about procrastination ;-)...but it was a few weeks before Halloween so I felt like I was on top of things!

Did you make your child's Halloween costume? I would love to hear what you made, leave me a comment below! I hope everyone has a safe and candy coma free Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What's Up Wednesday!

Today, I'm trying something new and different and linking up with What's Up Wednesday. The last Wednesday of each month we answer the following questions! So here goes!

1. WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK...I've been enjoying starting to make some of our fall favorites! Chicken and Noodles over Mashed Potatoes, and Chili. I'm trying to figure out the rest of my menu for the week. I would love to make fajitas one night this week, and try to get some more grilling nights in before it gets too cold. I've been craving something pumpkin, maybe I can find a fun fall dessert to try this weekend.


Finally sharing our big news... baby #5 is on the way. I had a miscarriage back in May, so I definitely wanted to wait to share the news until I had been to the doctor and was at the end of the first trimester! I didn't have my first appointment and ultrasound until I was 13 weeks along (I'm almost at the 15 week mark now). Seeing the baby on the screen was such a happy relief. My due date is April 23, 2017 (one week after Max's birthday). I share a birthday with my youngest brother (we are 6 years apart), it would be crazy if Max shared a birthday with his youngest sibling too (they will be 10 years apart). When deciding on how to announce #5 we had to go with the "we now have a basketball team" picture. I cannot even count the number of times in the past two years that I've heard the statement, "You only need one more to have your own basketball team!" So, it seemed fitting. Thank you for all the kind words and congratulations that you shared on Facebook and in person!

3. WHAT I'M LOVING...That my race is complete and that training is done (for now)! Yes, I ran a half marathon 13 weeks pregnant! There was no record breaking time for me on race day, but little did everyone know my goal was just to finish! It was hard to know that my time was going to be slower than normal, and that most people would not know why. I just had to put that out of my mind and run a healthy race for me and baby #5! Crossing that finish line was very rewarding, knowing I had stuck to my training plan even when I didn't feel well (morning sickness and 1st trimester exhaustion), and a calf injury! I'm enjoying my training break, but I'm already looking forward to next years KC Marathon with great expectations!

4. WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO...Well, my hubby was just voted the President of the Pastor's Conference for the Missouri Baptist Convention! I'm so proud of him and excited to see what he will plan for the conference his year as President (2019)! So, does that make me the First Lady (lol)?!? 

5. WHAT I'M DREADING...That we are losing more and more daylight each day. I ran out to the grocery store this morning at 7 and when I drove home around 7:30 am it was still dark.


I've been working on getting my etsy shop back up and running! My store Kate W Designs has been on "vacation mode" for two years (since right before Judson was born). It has been so much fun going though all my fabric and sewing again. I'm trying something new and only listing items once they are made and ready to ship (I'm hoping this will help me stay on top of the orders). I have some new products in the works, I can't wait to show them to you very soon!

I just had my first sale back since opening, so exciting! My busiest season was always leading up to Christmas (as crayon holders make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers), so here's hoping for a busy November/December! 


This weekend Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas begins! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hallmark movies and having 1 or 2 new movies a weekend from now until Christmas is so exciting! 


You and Me Forever. Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan. We just finished this book and study on Wednesday nights at church. I highly recommend this book! It is unlike any marriage study I have ever done. It is a must read!

Timeless new show on NBC...

I love the historical element to this show! Plus, how cool would it be to travel back to major historical events? I'm loving this new show.

Designated Survivor on ABC

I've got to balance all those Hallmark movies with a little action ;-)!

9. WHAT I'M LISTENING TO...Spotify, KLOVE, and 88.5!

10. WHAT I'M WEARING...Nothing too exciting to share on this front. I've had to break out a few pieces from my maternity clothes stash (jeans and a couple dresses). I'm in the awkward in-between stage...starting to outgrown a few things, but most maternity things are still too big. So, I've been trying to make things work. In my opinion (which I guess I'm sort of an expert this being my fifth pregnancy ;-)), having a baby in the spring (needing maternity clothes fall-early spring) is definitely the easiest to dress for. There are so many fall/winter clothes that I already have that can easily transition into pregnancy. The cardigans, open sweaters, jackets, button up shirts that can be worn open. I'm thankful that this adds more variety to my wardrobe.

Hanging out with the family! I'm excited for a weekend that doesn't have a whole lot scheduled...those are the best, in my opinion! I'm hoping to bake some fall goodies, carve pumpkins, finish all the party prep for Max's 4th grade Halloween class party, and enjoy my hubby and boys!

12. WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH...Thanksgiving and all it's yumminess, our annual trip to watch the Plaza lighting, and decorating for Christmas, of course! It's the most magical time of the year!

13. WHAT ELSE IS NEW...Not too much! Just staying busy...and looking forward to finding out if I will have 5 boys, or 4 boys and 1 girl! I will be so excited either way! More to come on that soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Team W's 5th player! We have our basketball team! #futurerecruit #April2017

Friday, October 7, 2016

Five Things Friday

It's Friday! Woot Woot! This week flew by and I am excited to have the weekend here.

one. October. I've said it before. Fall is my favorite season. The last few weeks have been busy, but I'm going to be busting out the fall decor and decorating my mantle today. Here is a fun FREE printable I found from Sincerely, Sara D's blog. The quote is from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Amen Anne, I could not have said it better myself! My mom introduced me to the books and movie when I was growing up, and I was hooked. The deep friendship between Anne and Diana, the back and forth between Anne and Gilbert, I could not get enough. I even named my two pet birds Anne and Gilbert. #loyalfan. Let's just say that the announcement that there is going to be a Anne of Green Gables series on Netflix has me more than a little giddy! I'm excited to print this out and add it to my seasonal decor.

two. running update. I wrote HERE about my running injury and dealing with my disappointment. Well, I took 10 days off and got out for my first run on Wednesday. I'm excited to report that I had no pain in my calf. Here's to hoping I will be at the starting line come race day 8 days from now! I love running past all the cool sites in downtown Kansas City, Missouri (especially in the fall).

three. everyone loves a little encouragement. Parenting is tough. It's a thankless job (most days). Don't get me wrong, it's the best job I've ever had, but definitely the most challenging ;-). The other day I picked up the boys from school and we headed to drop off some dry cleaning and then headed across the street to grab a Papa Murphy's pizza and Cinnamon Wheel for dinner (if you haven't tried a Cinnamon Wheel you are missing out)! Anyway, after we waited for our order, I was out the door with my little brood. Out in the parking lot a nice man walked up to me as I was loading up and buckling kids in their cars seats and said, "Mam, I just want to say, you have a lot going on. You are doing a great job!" It was such a small statement, but it made my day. I thanked him and then wished I could watch back a clip of us inside the Papa Murphy's. Nothing stuck out in my mind as the kids being crazy or anything. Hmmmm...I wonder what he would have thought to know I had one more kiddo (who was at a friend's birthday party after school)? Two things really stick out in my mind. One, you have no idea when people are watching you (so good or bad it will be seen). Two, that I want to be someone who encourages others (my spouse, my kids, my friends, and even random people on the street). Who can you encourage today?

four. Mom friends. I'm writing a post about why Moms need other Mom friends, it should be up sometime next week. I love these ladies! We had MOPS yesterday (Mother's of Preschoolers) and I had such a relaxing and refreshing two hours away from my littles with these ladies. If you're a mom and need some encouragement or a group of people who "get" what you are going through as a mom, I encourage you to find a MOPS group near you. You can put in your zip code HERE and it will give you a list of the groups near you! I truly believe that "Better Moms Make a Better World." 

five. Halloween. School Class Party Planning is in full swing. My friend Mandy and I are Room Reps for our sons' fourth grade class. This is my first year helping plan the party. I think we have some fun things planned, pending teacher approval (we are submitting our plan today). Hopefully, the fourth graders will think so too! Let me just say, what did we do before Pinterest? Here are some of my favorite Halloween pinterest ideas. These are not necessarily what we are doing for our party, but some fun ideas I found along the way in trying to plan the party. I couldn't get pictures of some of our activities and drink ideas. There are some creative people out there. Mandy also found Frankenstein peeps that you can use instead of ghost peeps in the pudding cups below. In our school district the treats have to be prepackaged, no homemade treats (which is a good thing with all the allergies out there). So, you have to get a little creative when it comes to the snacks. #pinteretforthewin 
Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Louisburg Cider Mill

Fall is definitely my favorite season, I love everything about it. But no one loves fall more than my friend, Libby. We decided to get out and enjoy the PERFECT weather on Thursday and head to Louisburg Cider Mill in Louisburg, KS. We loaded up four toddlers 3 and under, turned on a Mickey Mouse DVD to keep the littles entertained, and enjoyed a 47 minute drive to chat and catch up, what could be better?

If fall and the beautiful weather is not enough to get you outdoors here are five reasons you need to pack up and head to Louisburg Cider Mill this fall!

one. The Cider Mill...Our first stop was to tour the Cider Mill. I was amazed at how much the little guys enjoyed watching the apples be cleaned, pressed, etc. They even asked to go back and see it again before we left. I had to include this picture. Big brother Jack helping little brother Judson to see the apples. This moment melted my heart. 

two. Fun Activities for the Kids. We headed out to the Kids Area and Pumpkin Patch next. There were several fun things to do for the little guys. The jump pillow was met with slight trepidation at first, but a few minutes later, this was happening!

Who doesn't love a huge, giant sandbox?

Squinty eyes for the "How Tall This Fall?" picture. Full sun the day we were there!

The much anticipated Hay Ride, was short and sweet! 

Playing in the corn...I'm still finding loose corn kernels in my living room (somehow some left over remnants made their way home with us). There was also a giant 10-acre corn maze. We didn't brave the maze with the little ones, for fear that we might be in there a very long time!

three. Friendly Farm Animals. If your kids enjoy animals, they will love these guys.

Judson with his new buddies the three little piggies (Pumpkin, Apple, and Boo). These guys were one of my favorite stops. They were so friendly and came running to the fence to greet us. I've never seen friendly pigs before, we had to stop back here a few times to hang out with these guys. Jack enjoyed the two bunnies, Donald and Hillary, except he didn't like that they didn't come out of their home to see him, he said, "Hello, is anyone in there?"

four. The Apple Cider Donuts and Apple Cider Slush. Just thinking about them makes me want to jump in the car and drive the 47 minutes (from Lee's Summit) back to get a mid afternoon snack. The slush is so refreshing and the donuts are WARM! There is nothing better. Go get you some, and bring me one back ;-).

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere.

five. Fun Fall Photo Spots. There are so many fun spots to spot and snap a fall picture. My personal favorite is the old pickup truck. Jack loudly proclaimed, "Someone died in here!" We got a good laugh out of this. Clearly, the younger generation does not know a vintage classic when they see one (but to be fair to him it did look like certain wild creatures had been inside tearing things up a bit)!

Get out and enjoy these beautiful fall days before they are gone.  I'm so glad that we went early in the season. We did not have to fight any crowds, and it really cleared out after lunch (we felt like we had the place to ourselves). It made it so easy to visit all the favorite spots several times before we headed home. We had a successful day! The kids did great. We only had one injury (Judson face planted on the concrete shortly after we arrived and got a fat lip and skinned up face. It looks painful, poor little sweetie). The sign of any successful outing...all four sweet littles were asleep not long after pulling out of the Cider Mill! A quiet ride home for the momma's!