Ryan Oliver

He’s here!


Our sweet boy was born on April 17th at 39 weeks exactly. He surprised us all with a very quick labor! The past few weeks have been a blur of appointments and getting used to life with 2 kiddos. I’m still processing so many parts of his arrival and our postpartum experience- more to come later! For now, I’ll leave you with 3 things that surprised me after delivering:

  1. Olivia’s Size: Our “baby” girl is HUGE compared to her newborn brother. I think that she grew a foot taller and aged 5 years in the span of 1 afternoon. No joke!
  2. My Body: My constant prayer throughout this pregnancy was to carry Ryan to term. I was so incredibly grateful to have made it to Weeks 37-39. What a blessing! After delivering, I also realized how ready I was for this journey to be ending. This duality –desperately wanting to stay pregnant and also wanting my body back– surprised me.
  3. Reality of Beginnings: Transitions and growth phases are challenging! Even when things go perfectly, life can be a complicated, beautiful mess. We are in the thick of navigating curve balls that come with getting started on any journey (breastfeeding challenges, sleep deprivation, sibling jealousy, etc…). Once again, I’m surprised at how accurate this phrase continues to be: “The days are long, but the years are short (Gretchen Rubin).” Time has marched so slowly on the days filed with frequent preschooler meltdowns, endless nursing sessions, and general feelings of overwhelm. At the same time, I’m pinching myself that nearly 3 weeks have already gone by!
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Motivation Monday: Words to Live By #9

Nope, it’s not Monday. Best laid plans to have this post ready last week went askew. It’s been quiet on this blog for several months… Sharing this quote today as a reminder to myself…


The past couple of months have seemed like a whirlwind! It’s been a season of:

  • Growing Pains: In more than 1 way! Our sweet girl has been testing boundaries and flexing her muscles of independence. She’s also growing physically stronger and taller every day. As for me? I’m so proud that my body has carried a precious human for close to 36 weeks! I’m in awe of how organs rearrange themselves and the body stretches to accommodate a new life. I won’t, however, miss the physical aches and pains of a normal pregnancy!
  • Sweet Moments: It seems like Olivia’s verbal skills have exploded. James remarked the other day, “It’s just a steady stream of dialogue!” I adore hearing her sweet voice and little conversations with her dolls. She gives the BEST hugs- I feel like she squeezes with her whole heart! And, when she spontaneously tells me “I Love You” — well, let’s just say that life doesn’t get any sweeter.
  • Waiting: We are waiting on sweet baby boy. Our wait has been filled with a few hiccups and anxieties. Around 29.5 weeks, our little one gave us a scare that landed me in the triage area of our local hospital. Fortunately, all is well and we are continuing to pray for a healthy, full-term delivery. I am constantly reminding myself to replace my fears with faith.
  • Baby Kicks: This pregnancy has been so different than my first. Baby boy has been so active!
  • Progesterone Shots: I feel fortunate to be working with an amazing team committed to my prenatal and postnatal care. They’ve been monitoring my hormone levels closely due to my history of preterm labor. So far, I’ve had 82 injections (!!!) of progesterone. I have a separate post coming on this ordeal… but, let me tell you, my mama heart goes out to anyone who has had to supplement their hormones with injections. It is not a fun or easy process.
  • Building My Business: Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of really focusing on building my essential oil team and empowering families with natural health options. I absolutely love teaching and sharing practical tips to help support wellness.
  • Designing: I’m still designing for Snap Click Supply Company and love the creative outlet that this position offers. Are you following their Facebook page? I just shared a darling banner, perfect for Easter.
  • Renovating: We’ve tackled 3 (yes, 3!!) fairly large home projects since September. More updates to come about how we built a large kitchen corner storage cabinet, transformed my office, and remodeled the laundry room. My goal for these projects was to create more functional space for our family.

I miss writing and hope to have a more regular voice in this space sometime soon. In the meantime, I’m embracing the season of growth that I’m currently navigating.

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Monday Motivation: Words to Live By #8

Gratitude Quote

Can you believe it’s November?! Right now, I’m participating in a business training and one of our recent calls focused on gratitude, perfect timing as we head into Thanksgiving. Are you using gratitude as a catalyst for positive momentum in your life?

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Happy Halloween 2015

Our little pumpkin is going to be a big sister next April!


More to come on this upcoming adventure! Happy Halloween!

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Toddler Pumpkins and Art Project Ideas

Olivia worked so diligently on a few Halloween greetings this year! Love how this simple art project was a great learning opportunity to discuss drawing circles and triangles. My sweet girl is a pro at making smiley faces! Here are here masterpieces:


The process in action:


After the paint was dry and the pumpkins were decorated, Olivia added stickers. It’s so fascinating to watch her decision process– the spiders, for example, needed to go in the corner upside down. The simple act of peeling stickers and placing images is a great way to strengthen her fine motor skills. I always like to ask her questions about the various images- silly animal faces or Halloween images are natural conversation starters!

There are so many great toddler pumpkin and art ideas floating on Pinterest. Here are some of my favorites:

We tucked one of Olivia’s pumpkin portraits into a special Halloween greeting for Olivia’s newest cousin.


My Mom has a collection of fun spider rings and Olivia has LOVED playing with them this year. We couldn’t resist sharing some spider bling with Adeline and her Mommy! We placed an orange and pink jeweled ring, along with pumpkin bubbles and stickers, into a spider silhouette box.


I love this pattern- it cuts beautifully and comes together so easily for a unique and spooky gift!

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Halloween Lip Balm Card

Do you have a favorite lip balm? I do- it’s made with wild orange and peppermint essential oils. I surprised a few family members with this treat!


To make this card, I used Lori Whitlock’s Lip Balm Card Template. I added ghost and BOO medallion outlined in orange glitter to the front. Two small purple rhinestones served as the perfect pair of bat eyes! The ghost appears to be flying off the card thanks to a square piece of foam tape!


Inside, I placed a “Have a BOO-tiful Halloween” saying to tie everything together!


Here’s an alternate Halloween lip balm card that I love almost as much!


What fun treats are you serving up for Halloween?

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You’ve Been Booed Gift

Olivia delivered little surprises to her buddies this week! I’ve loved looking at all the “You’ve Been Booed!” ideas floating on Pinterest lately. Here’s our homemade spin on this fun gift:


These days, homemade gifts need to be quick AND engaging for a toddler! Olivia helped me put together a Frankenstein, pumpkin, black cat, and monster treat basket (found in the dollar bins at Target). Who knew that paper shreds could be so much fun for a 2.5 year old! We filled these bins with: 2 pencils, a pack of glow sticks, sticker boxes, a light-up ball, and some gummy treats!


Since we were delivering these surprises right before the Holiday, I didn’t want to use a traditional “You’ve Been Booed” card that instructs the recipient to keep the game going. These little treats were just for fun and not intended to add any more stress for the parents on such short notice! I opted to make my own handmade card using elements from Lori Whitlock’s Classic Halloween Element pack.

I took inspiration from TomKat Studio’s 2009 “You’ve Been Booed” version that utilizes a circle graphic and the Budmo font. Lori Whitlock’s BOO! ghost medallion fit perfectly above my text.


To create this circle center graphic:


  • Select the black circle portion of the BOO! medallion.
  • Drag this portion onto Artisan Label 05 of the Artisan Label Templates pack by Crystal Wilkerson. Size it to fit inside the center green circle.
  • Hide the other layers of the tag so just the circle shapes are visible.
  • Adjust the colors (I changed green background to orange and the dashed circle outline to purple.)

On the back, I added a darling Halloween poem from the Classic Halloween Element pack using the print and cut feature of my silhouette. Olivia, of course, signed it “Bugs and Hisses!”


There you have it… ideas for a fast and inexpensive gift that will scare up a bit of fun this Halloween!


Looking for something quick and easy just to print? Here are a few of my favorite printable “You’ve Been Booed” designs:

TomKat Studios, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Simply Kierste, Printabelle, and Anders Ruff.

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Halloween Mantel Ideas

For a peek at my Halloween mantel this year, check out my latest post on Snap Click Supply Co!


I embellished a burlap banner from Target with darling paper embellishments from the Hocus Pocus digital collection. Hop on over to this post for 6 Halloween mantel ideas to celebrate the season. The final result = a personalized, one-of-a-kind decoration that is sure to brighten any space!


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Monday Motivation: Words to Live By #7

It’s the week of Halloween! Fall is FLYING by…


I love Autumn- the cool, crisp air… pumpkin flavors galore… radiant leaf displays… haunted happenings… and so much more. Seeing the upcoming Holidays through Liv’s eyes is truly magical. She is so excited about her Halloween costume and can’t wait to help with whatever Fall project we are tackling.

I encourage you to make some magic on October 31st and everyday this year by aligning your thoughts, intentions, and emotions. Easier said than done, right? Especially given looming to-do lists and the realities of daily life. When we savor the present moment and allow energy to flow, abundance naturally follows.

Wishing your family a delightfully spooky and magical Halloween!

Welcome to Monday Motivation! I hope you enjoy this inspiring quote. For more words to live by, check out the archives.

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Monday Motivation: Words to Live By #6

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote…


…and asking myself, “What do I want Olivia to remember?” I’m betting that she’s not going to remember whether the house was perfectly clean or if every item was checked off my daily “to-do” list. Over the summer, there was a popular graphic circulating on social media showing a giant phone sandwiched between a couple, as well as blocking interaction between parent and child. I know I’ve been guilty at various points of checking my phone instead of giving Olivia or James my full, undivided attention. When I saw this post, it was a great reminder to put my phone down and stay grounded in the present moment.

I want Olivia to remember the patience and kindness in my voice, even when I’m frustrated or am answering the same question for the 100th time.

I want her to see how the focus of my attention reflects my priorities. Even when there are pressing deadlines, I can make time for tea parties, hugs, walks, and more.

Are all our days perfect? Of course not. Here’s to shifting the overall balance…. creating more memory deposits that are full of family adventures, learning opportunities, and fun!

Welcome to Monday Motivation! I hope you enjoy this inspiring quote. For more words to live by, check out the archives. *The graphic above was made to tuck into a scrapbook and uses a digital design from the Wiltshire Daisy Card Pack by Carina Gardner.*

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