Fighting the Good Fight: Raising Kids on Faith

“That’s my brother. My Mom calls him Captain Crazy.” Oops. Guilty mom alert and pretty sure I didn’t mean for the oldest to repeat that. But sometimes it’s not just one kid that’s crazy, it’s all three…and therefore I am crazy too.  Every now and then it is truly insane around here. And by insane I mean the most unpredictable, unthinkable, and what-on-earth-are-we-doing kinds of days.

But we’re fighting a good fight here. A really, really good one. It’s a fight to raise men of faith with character, ambition, courage, and (one of my favs) a healthy sense of humor.

Have you ever just watched a little boy play? Maybe a three year old captivated in his own little world of dragons and swords (squirrels and sticks) with an uncontainable zeal for life and enough energy to run a marathon. Always on the move; jumping, spinning, and throwing himself on the ground. On multiple occasions I’ve questioned my children’s hearing because I literally must shout their names 3 times before they snap out of dragon world with a, “me?” Yes sweet child, you. I am trying so terribly hard to help you tame that wild little spirit.

It feels like a lost cause to correct every single thing that my children do in the course of a day. Why? Because it is a lost cause.  In my mind, constant correction doesn’t tame the spirit, it crushes it. I love, love, love the wild little side of my boys so in these young years! The day to day is tough (understatement of my life) but my husband and I try to focus our efforts on a few broad categories and expect to focus more on specifics as the boys get older (check back in about 7 years for that post). And before friends and family laugh at these, remember that I said we’re working on these; we certainly have not mastered them.

LISTENING: My sweet boys have the biggest and brownest eyes you have literally ever seen. 

Big eyes

I’ve learned that they have a certain stare that can be translated, “Mommy, I see your mouth moving but I’m not hearing any of your words.” My new approach is to make eye contact, give short and concise instructions, then have them repeat what I said. It works a solid 60% of the time. In my mind, listening and following through will be appreciated by future teachers, will get us closer to being out the door on time (I once heard myself say “put on your shoes” 12 times), and will certainly save my sanity.

RESPECT FOR STUFF: Literally everything falls into this category…toys, utensils, cups, papers, books, trees, flowers, chairs, shoes, floors, cars, etc… Little boys must touch everything…EVERYTHING!! I tell myself that it’s part of learning, which is true. However, breaking things is not ok. One of my pet peeves is things being ruined or broken just because “he breaks everything.” Don’t get me wrong here, my kids have broken, spilled, torn, and squished plenty of things but I try to stay a step ahead of them or at least use teachable moments to constantly encourage respect for ‘stuff.’

ADVENTURE: One look at kid entertainment and you’ll see superheroes, explorers, discoveries, and a whole host of action packed adventure. My sweet boys seem to be “adventurous” in quite scary ways; jumping off couches, scaling high furniture, climbing the door frames like monkeys, or sword fighting using any and every object that is remotely long or skinny. 

Standing on Couch

It is truly a case by case basis to figure out what we will and will not approve of for the boys. Some of their suggestions are an immediate ‘no.’ But other suggestions have me coming back to a couple of thoughts; we are raising men and men love adventure and adventure is ideally both fun and safe. Will they possibly get hurt? Yep. Will they possibly build confidence? Yep. Will I possibly regret this? Yep. Will I possibly be overcome with pride? Yep. Is parenting a whole host of difficult questions? Yep.

CAMARADERIE: I am not competitive; never have been, and never will be. But these boys? I can’t even count how many meltdowns per day we have over who is the ‘winner,’ the first, best, fastest, tallest, loudest (my middle child always win this one), and the list goes on. The only real loser of these conversations is me! So we started to focus on brotherhood, teamwork, camaraderie, and we made a shift to encouragement over competition. 


And let me tell you, it has been GLORIOUS. Good attitudes make winners and bad sports make losers. Talk about a good fight! Fingers crossed that this one pays off when high school sports begin.

Don’t misunderstand me here, we do a whole lot more parenting than these four things. But life with boys can quickly become a crazy house full of little minions that don’t listen, break everything they touch (which is going to be everything), run wild in dangerous ways, and allow natural competition to break one another down. We certainly don’t get it right every time but we’re trying and we’re fighting the good fights.

From the battlefield,

Mommy Pigg




5 People That Will Save You Thousands

“We can’t afford to have another baby”, “It seems like you have to be a millionaire just to have kids these days”, “We’ve decided that a baby isn’t in our budget”. 

I hear phrases like this ALL the time! Yes, it is financially, and personally responsible to consider your finances prior to having kids and yes, there are a TON of people who can’t afford to have kids, but they just keep having them and choose to live off the government handouts. Don’t let me get up on that soapbox. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to the middle class, working family, who stress aout the money needed to grow their family. 

I know how you can spend a little to save a lot! Hear me out…

1) Hire a doula and/or midwife

A birth support specialist can drastically reduce the likelihood that you’ll end up having a c-section, which can cost anywhere from $15,000-30,000 or higher depending on your hospital, the complications, post-op needs, and your insurance plan. A doula can run you about $600-1500, but many include postpartum support, birth education, and/or lactation consulting as well!

Doula and Breastfeeding Support

2) Consider a birth center vs a hospital

The Netherlands have the highest successful birth rate in the world with the highest percentage of home births and lowest c-section rate. Unfortunately the US c-section rate is around 30-40% and climbing. Hospital births are not necesarily bad and yes, its great that we have western medicine; however, hospitals often use medical intervention when NOT medically necessary, which can drastically increase your costs and negatively affect the health of you and your baby. A birth center can save you thousands, but choose one that has the option of transporting to a hospital IF deemed necessary.

I wouldn’t mind giving birth here

3) Hire a Lactation Consultant

Breastfeeding costs ZERO dollars, but it’s not always easy. A Lactation Consultant ($75-175 an hour) may cost money up front, but could help you with latch, schedule, pumping, flow, supply, etc. and save you from having to buy bottles, warmers, and formula. Formula costs about $1200-1500 per year. Lactation Consultant

4) Hire a Sleep Coach

When I’m hired to sleep train babies overnight, I charge $30 an hour, or $200-250 a night depending on how many hours I’m there and I usually require a few nights week for a few months to get the job done.This is not feasible for the average Joe; however, hiring a Sleep Coach for consultation and support may be. At Whole Heart, we offer a variety of packages for sleep support ranging from $75-425. How will this save you money? Think of how many days you’re likely to call in “sick” because you didn’t get a good night’s rest. Think of how many days you’ll skip the gym because your energy is low. Or, how many mani/pedis, or massages you’ll “need” just to feel sane and get some relaxation because your babies are still waking thriough the night at six months old.


5) Hire a Maternity Concierge

This is THE top money saver for new moms. One thing your concierge can offer is to set up and complete (or assist you with) your registry. You do NOT need everything that Babys R Us (blach!) says you need, nor do you need to drive around town and browse the internet for hours trying to set the registry up. I am educated, trained, and knowledgeable about baby gear and can create a registry to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Another way I can save you money is by doing the pediatrician, hospital, and nanny interviews for you. No need to take off work or waste your time with this. I’ll do the legwork and find you the top two candidates.

I can also teach you about certain gear, baby care skills, natural approaches to ailments, that will save you time, money, and energy once you bring baby home.

It may seem like you’re spending alot of money up front by hiring people that most think are for the elite, but to the contrary. Hiring these certified, knowledgeable professionals can save you SO much money in the long run and you’ll be so glad you invested in our experience.


My Little Miracle

The machines began to beep just as I was closing my eyes to rest. It had been a long morning with rushing to the hospital; being sent home from not being dilated enough, then back to the hospital again because the pain was just a little more than I could take. I was not one of those women who wanted to experience the miracle of birth without any medication. I wanted the drugs. And I wanted them ASAP! The epidural did help ease the pain, however it also made it difficult for me to breathe. They attached an oxygen mask to help with that discomfort and strapped on a heart rate monitor. Finally, the drama seemed to be dwindling and I was told to try and relax. I breathed a little easier with the mask on, at least until the next dose of drama was announced with loud, consistent beeping sounds.


My doctor rushed in as the heart monitor attached to my belly began to make a weird sound. He gave one look at the nurse, and I could tell something wasn’t right. Within seconds, a rush of nurses came storming in. I didn’t even know what was happening, or what was going on. I did know that something was not right with my baby, and that he was about to come bursting into this world one way or another. The bottom half of my body was numb from the epidural, so the full episiotomy incision that was made, didn’t even make me wince. My sweet boy would not budge from his 9-month bubble of safety, and the doctor had to use a machine to suction him out. Pull, yank, snip, and he was finally out. At last I was able to exhale with relief, however the feeling subsided very quickly because my baby wasn’t breathing, or moving.

I looked over at, my husband, Daniel, because if he was calm and ok, I knew everything was going to be fine. He was the one I could always count on to reassure me. When I saw his face go white, and his body tense up and fall back on the sofa in the room, I started to cry. All the visions, and hopes I had were being ripped away from me, and I begin to cry harder, only this time another cry was also heard in the room; small but strong. The best noise I had ever heard in my life. I welcomed the tears that were streaming down my face. As weak and nauseous as I felt after having lost quite a bit of blood, once they placed my little human in my arms, nothing else mattered.IMG_6110

I Can’t Go A Day Without…

First I will say this, I am blessed beyond belief. I have a healthy family, a roof over my head, food on the table, my faith and many friendships across the country. I am grateful for these things and could honestly not live without them, but there are other things I just couldn’t do without. 

We all have those few things that just make life a little bit sweeter; that are just your essential can’t live without items, no matter how materialistic or unnecessary they may seem.

1. My “Live In” leggings by Zella. (Found at Nordstrom).

They hide everything, are super comfortable, and I can dress them up, work out, lounge around the house, or run errands. I basically live in them. Confession, I own 9 pairs which I know is a ridiculous amount.

Live In Legging by Zella

2. A Good Sports Bra

My favorite is the Energy Bra from Lululemon. Let’s be honest girls, after breastfeeding ends you want a good supported bra, and something that will life those ladies up again! Since I mostly wear workout clothes this is my must have, wear all the time bra. The back has a beautiful design which makes it great to dress up with other casual clothes too!

Energy Bra Lululemon

3. A Fresh Pedicure

No matter the season, I LOVE having freshly manicured toes. The massage chair, the hot water, the scrub and essential oils. This little spa treatment every few weeks is my weakness. I run and workout quite a bit, so having clean feet is a must have for me!

Fresh Pedicure

4. Iced coffee.

If you’re in Seattle like me, you gotta love coffee. It’s probably a very bad habit I’ve created and I’ve tried to cut down, but there is nothing better than an iced mocha in the summer or a hot pumpkin spice latte in the fall and winter. I honestly don’t know how to get through the day without one…

Iced Coffee

5. My Bed

Seriously this is my sanctuary. I LOVE sleep. Now that it’s more rare to enjoy my glorious bed, I cherish it even more when I get the time to nap or sleep. Give me 4 or 5 down pillows, a fluffy comforter, cool cotton sheets and I’m in heaven.

Cozy Bed

Would love to know what YOU can’t live without?

Ready or Not, Here He Comes: A Mother’s Birth Story

It was March 1, 2015, 6:30 am on a Sunday and I was awakened by a gush of something warm and wet… Oh crap! Did my water just break?! I was 36 weeks and 4 days pregnant with my first baby and my husband was on a fishing trip 4 hours away. This can NOT be happening!


How fitting that I found out we were pregnant while Frank was fishing and I might give birth while he is fishing, too! Oh Lord… Trying not to freak out, I called my mom and told her to come over. I took a shower, finished packing my hospital bag, paid bills, changed the litter box, and fed the cats. Oh, and I called Frank and I called Frank and I called Frank. Of course, he wasn’t answering. He was wade fishing and his phone was in the dry box on the boat! Did I mention that I was trying not to freak out?!

While I was waiting for my mom to arrive at my house, I prayed. I prayed HARD! I prayed that God did not let Bruce come until Frank got home that evening. I’d cross my legs as long and as hard as I needed to, but this baby MUST. STAY. IN.

After a few tests and listening to the sweetest heartbeat in the world, the nurse let us know that my water had not broken, I was not effaced and was only dilated .5 cm. March 1st was not going to be Bruce’s birthday after all. I must say, I felt a mixture of emotions. I was relieved that Frank wouldn’t miss his birth, but I was also disappointed because I was more than ready to meet our sweet baby boy.

Fast forward to 3:00 pm that same day… While at Target, I started getting really sharp cramps. I thought it was just from the nurse checking my cervix at the hospital, so I wasn’t terribly concerned; however, they were painful enough for me to want to go home. If you know me, NOTHING can get me out of Target before I’ve walked around the whole store 30 times!

Once I got home, I took a bath and the cramps continued to intensify, so I Googled what contractions felt like. Ya, I know… Google solves everything! Throughout my pregnancy I never had Braxton Hicks, so I had no idea what I was up against. I quickly realized that I was most definitely having contractions! Oh crap! Did I mention that Frank had only recently left the coast to head back home?!

I downloaded a contraction app on my phone and began timing every time I felt a contraction. What did we do before smart phones?! During this time Mom called to check on us and I told her I was having contractions. I didn’t want to ask her to come over since we had already gone to the hospital once that day and it was a false alarm; but, she must’ve known I needed her, because she rushed back over.

We called the hospital again and the whole time the contractions were getting worse and closer together. Holy cow! I thought I was going to die! I could barely stand up! At this point they were five minutes apart for over an hour. It was definitely  time for us to go back to the hospital,  because I was absolutely, positively in labor! On our way, Mom called Frank and told him to come straight to the hospital because my contractions were now 3 minutes apart! We were having a baby!

We arrived at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, for the second time that day, and were taken straight to triage around 6:30 pm. The same nurse who was there that morning was there still. She checked my cervix and I was 100% effaced and was 3 cm dilated! They admitted me and prepped us to go straight into Labor and Delivery! Frank FINALLY arrived around 7:00 pm! Oh, thank you, God! My contractions even eased up a bit once he got there.


While in Labor and Delivery, they had to treat me as though I had Group B Strep, because I hadn’t been tested for it, yet. I needed to get the complete bag of antibiotics before I could get my epidural and let me tell you, I was NOT the most patient person. Hurry up! I NEED DRUGS! NOW! I kept asking Frank and my mom if the bag was empty and they LIED! They kept saying, “Almost. It’s almost gone.” Side note… It finished emptying an hour AFTER Bruce was born!

The entire time I felt like my insides were being ripped apart by a vicious grizzly bear! Contractions are NO joke! I was also getting pretty pissed at my nurse, because she didn’t seem to have any sense of urgency. Didn’t she realize that I was currently in the most pain ever to exist?! At times, I wanted to claw her eyes out!

Suddenly, at 8:15 pm I felt that feeling that every mom talks about; the need to push. Guess what? The nurse wasn’t in the room and the doctor hadn’t arrived yet! I yelled and Mom ran to get the nurse, who was casually strolling into the room to see what all the commotion was.  She went to check me and was shocked when she exclaimed, “She’s complete!” What?! Complete?! That means I’m 10 cm! That means… NO EPIDURAL! Oh crap! The doctor came skidding into the room just in the nick of time, because Bruce came fast and furiously at 8:36 pm!

I’m not going to lie, I think I was more excited that the pain was gone than the fact that Bruce had arrived, until I laid eyes on him! I couldn’t help but think, I did that! I delivered that perfect 5 lbs 8 oz little man without an epidural, without any drugs at all!  That was so not a part of my birth plan, but it was God’s plan and that’s always the best one!


I would love to hear your crazy delivery stories!

A Sweet Summer in the PNW

Hello from the PNW! That’s Pacific Northwest for short.

Angie and Sydney

We have been having a massive heat wave come through our state the past couple months. I kid you not, I cannot remember the last day that it rained in SEATTLE! We are the city known for rain and there has been none. We have been having such gorgeous weather the last few months, that myself and everyone around me has been soaking it up every way possible. You probably won’t believe this, but most homes in Washington DO NOT have AC. So with that being said, we have literally been baking and going anywhere and everywhere that has air conditioning just to stay cool.

This summer we are living with my in-laws in their pool house, while our house gets built. The pool house does not have AC, but it does come with a pool, which has been a slice of heaven in this heat! So we have been having a blast swimming and staying cool in there. Sydney has been having a great time playing in the pool and “learning how to swim” with us.

Sydney in the Pool!

Besides pool time, we’ve been staying busy with lots of family time and activities. One of my dearest college friends, Sarah, visited us from Texas and was able to meet Sydney for the first time! I love that she is getting to meet some of my sweetest friends even though they aren’t close by!

Sarah and Sydney

We also celebrated my Sister’s college graduation!
Auntie Emily and Sydney

Mostly, we have just been enjoying this time with friends and family close by. This warm weather continues to bring us all together for BBQ’s, pool parties and more. There is something about the sunshine that creates happy moods and many memories!

So cheers to summer! What do you do to beat the heat?