Cheers to 10 Years

May 30, 2019

Ten years of blogging.

Now we've hit the 10 years of marriage part of the milestone.

If you've been here since 2008 you've seen it all, wedding planning, death, sickness, travel, laughs, and tons of what we've eaten. But though it all the same great guy has stuck by my side. So go ahead and prepare yourself for tons of photos!

I've seen people post about how they love their husband as much as they did on their wedding day. But I can't say the same hold true for us. Love after 10 years has so much more depth and meaning. This guy has seen me though the death of my grandmother and so many ups and downs with my father's health. 

Those two kids in the picture above... they had only experience annoyances that come with wedding planning and navigating with a Garmin on their honeymoon. Not a single thing more than that.

Things change after a man has seen you give birth twice, if anything is going to remove any marital mystique it is giving birth.

Although I think for every baby I have he is getting yet another college degree!

Below was when I graduated with my Masters, I can't find a good photo of us when Jeremy graduated with his Specialist in School Psych, but rest assured I think I'll force him to walk for his M.Div. when it happens.

We've gone on adventures galore in this ten years. Italy, Puerto Rico, that shady Bahamas cruise that was the only thing we could really afford on our honeymoon. Now, while kids are little, we are a camping family. 

Below was zip-lining in Puerto Rico. This was our 5th anniversary, Jeremy had just graduated with his Specialist, Mom and Dad were celebrating 35 years (or 40, she will have to correct me), and Pop had just turned 75! It was a massive family adventure. 

This guy has even pushed my comfort zone with ministry. 

Way back in our dating days he expressed a desire to go into ministry as a pastor. Since then I've seen him teach a class for all but a few years. He's been involved in worship team ministries at both of the churches we have attended in South Louisiana. Plus we had a two and a half year stint as youth minister in Thib. That position stretched me the absolute most... after years of resisting being involved with him I somehow ended up teaching a few times. It was an amazing experience and looking at this photo it's so crazy to think how many of these kids are now in college! 

Even better than that has been seeing Jeremy fulfill his calling into ministry over the past three years with seminary. We've finally hit the next step in the long term ministry plan and I honestly can't wait to see God's purpose for this man's life fulfilled. There has been so much growth and obedience over the years to get to this point. For him and for both of us as a couple.

I swear on his grave stone I will have to put his little quip he always said to me about how in ministry a pastor can only be as strong as his wife/family allows. We can either build each other up and allow for God to use us in any way possible or we can hinder the other. While my desire is to be the most supportive pastor's wife on earth, I know there will be growing pains a plenty. I just never want to be what holds him and his ministry back.

A little lighter heart-ed... a few of a many Christmas photos I've forced on Jeremy over the years. 

First Christmas pic ever above ^^ & us at our friend's wedding in November of that first year married.

Baby Harry on our first Easter as a family of 3. Also known as "when the wind works in your favor."

Aww NOLA, that summer everyone went to an Emery concert without me because there was no way I was going to pump in a bathroom at the Hard Rock Cafe. 

This is going to stand as my favorite picture ever. I REALLY want to recreate it with Elliot but I will never get Jeremy out at a tree farm in long johns ever again!

Harrison's first snow... also known as I never thought we'd see that in New Iberia.

Last but not least, life now. Ten years. Two boys. Three Cities, 5 houses/apartments. 4 and a half college degrees. Jobs galore. Lots of laughs, tears, growing pains, and good times. Here's to ten more.

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Elliot | 6-7 Months

May 29, 2019

Happiest Baby on the Block is really testing that title this month. Wonder Weeks Leap (what feels like 100) came in strong!

Elliot's Current Stats:

❊ Age – 6 1/2 months old when photos were taken
❊ Weight & Height – 19.6 lbs and maybe 26 inches... I can't remember the height Jeremy told me. 

❊ Eat – I attempted to introduce a few solid foods this month. He seems to have the personality that if something doesn't work then he is done with it. For instance, the broccoli was all fun and games. He loved it. He got a piece of toast in his mouth, too soft for this point in time (mama can't remember all the BLW rules this time) and he gagged a little. He was double done and insisted he be taken from the highchair. 
❊ Sleep – It's gotten much better this month. Although for a few days he tried to do an early morning waking. (skip that it is suddenly nearly 7 months and baby boy is TEETHING) 

❊ Recent Milestones – Elliot went on his first camping trip to Austin, TX. He did really well and actually only got super cranky on the way home. Now that we are closer to 7 months he is a rolling machine and can go all direction. Just this past week he has started trying to get his knees under him... but the arms aren't up yet. 
❊ Special Moments – Camping as a family of 4 was definitely special. Elliot showed us that we could go ahead and book that summer trip. I think that baby slept better in a tent than at home. 

Mama’s Experience – I got a solid hour and a half entirely alone with no other humans in the house yesterday. Ya'll just don't even know (unless you have a kid and then you do.). I just needed a moment entirely alone. I've been threatening to sleep in the car lately. WW Leap 4 mixed with sick kid was going to be the death of me. 
❊ Comparison – These babies are looking so different! Harrison clearly had his Daddy's ears and already grew two teeth. Little Round Elliot is toothless and has my ears. 

In regards to the lack of teeth this baby has, I've been laughing pretty hard at Harrison who has just noticed. He frequently notices the lack of teeth and appear to be bothered by it by loudly proclaiming "Baby! Why you got no teeths?" "Mama, dis baby got no teeths!" 
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Meal Planning Monday

May 27, 2019

It's the last actual day of students at school. After this past month... it couldn't come fast enough. Harry had croup, I had an upper respiratory infection (still do), and baby cakes is teething. Mama needs some extra sleep and an easy laid back schedule.

Monday | Memorial Day with friends

Tuesday | Grilled Chicken and Roasted Cauliflower and Vinaigrette from our cooking class Saturday

Wednesday | Grilled Pork Chops with Brussel Sprouts and Birdseye Lentil Pasta

Thursday | Grilled Chicken with Green Beans and Roasted Potatoes

Friday | Grilled Chicken (again but I always season differently) with Mom's Twice Baked Potato freezer side she sent and a side salad

Saturday | Southwest Chicken Casserole - another freeze meal she sent us (Hey Mom, leave the links in the comments please)

Sunday | Jambalaya Girl Jambalaya

Breakfast | Macro Bar

Lunch | Turkey and Pepperjack on Dave's Killer Bread with hummus and veggies

Snacks | Ole Low Carb Tortilla with peanut butter and dark chocolate chips
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I Hate Sunday Mornings

May 22, 2019

It’s yet another Sunday morning of getting the kids out of the house on time without my husband. He’s playing music this week and has left the house a good two hours before us. 
The icing on the cake is that as I write this it is Daylight Savings Time, also known as one of the two most dreadful Sunday’s of the year. 
I drag myself out of bed before the baby gets up so I can wash my hair and start making coffee. 

I recently shared how I struggle to get through a Sunday with small kids, over at the Lafayette Moms Blog. I've love for you to head over there and read more about why I continue to go attend church even in the hard years of small babies (and I'd love it if you left a comment). 
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Dating in the White Space

May 15, 2019

Our calendars as parents in this day and age are already packed. 
Packed with activities. Packed with work. Just packed to the brim with daily life. 
That means adding in time for Mom and Dad to be, well, not Mom and Dad is difficult for most of us. How do you add a date night in when the kids have to be everywhere? Or even worse, feeling guilty for leaving the kids on a Friday night after spending so little time together during the week days? 
This was something I really wondered about how we’d do as a couple. Would we get lost in the kids and then 18 years later, not know the other person? I’ve seen so many divorces from just that. It isn’t how I wanted to see my marriage go.

I recently shared how we work in quality time together as a couple, over at the Lafayette Moms Blog. I've love for you to head over there and read more about taking advantage of the white space in terms of dating (and I'd love it if you left a comment). 
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Chocolate Hummus, Flying, & Unpopular Opinions

May 13, 2019

The photo Harrison had me take of him on Friday during the storm perfectly depicts life with him these days. Now I'm not exactly thrilled at the jumping off the coffee table, and I often try to stop it. But in that moment it was pure Harrison and whatever he had just seen made him dart off to his bedroom and return with a cape announcing that "I needa fly!" 

You can't very well stop that from happening. 

Especially since his love for pictures has grown and he needed this documented. It'll be a photo for the wedding slideshow for sure. Holding his cape back to make sure it fluttered in the wind and all. 

Sunday was dedication for kid numero 2. As you can see from his face he is nosey rosie. After seeing photos he was very interested in Torie's camera and Bro. David's beard. The baby loves to pet a man's beard. 

Elliot is beyond curious about everything. This will be the child that will take apart the DVD player just to see what's inside. 

I'm calling that now. 

I'm also going to state a wildly unpopular opinion, I hate Mother's Day. I don't mind things being celebrated in the comfort of your own home, but public celebrations and attention stress me out. Plus there's the pressure to dress up, have the perfect picture, be showered in nonsense. Can't I just get a nap, have some ice cream, and someone else do the dishes? 

In other news... 
Getting a car adapter for the pump this go-round was the best idea ever. This saved me from bathroom pumping during a work meeting. Granted the supervisor about died when I walked out with my keys and my big ole bag... but my girl bits were kept private at least.

Also. Get your self a LaVie. (use EMILY10 for a discount)

Our little tub o' mayo finally figured out how to roll to his stomach and back... and now I'm pretty sure he has got to be dizzy from the spinning. 

Is school not out yet? No?

I honestly thought this week was the last full week. Jokes on me.

Dessert Hummus was finally spotted in our area, thank you Wal-Mart! It tasted divine. I actually served it with apples, graham crackers, and pretzels. The pretzels were probably the best with it though. If you're curious about the taste, it's exactly like brownie batter... just a hummus texture. 

Our summer camping trip was changed from Buffalo River to Broken Bend, OK due to the distance. Major points for my parents coming with us and bringing my nephew. Harrison will have a blast and it'll be nice to have more people to talk to while we drink coffee outside all morning. 

And in the event of a storm... the kids can sleep inside somewhere else lol. I'm seriously thinking my nephew needs to sleep in the tent with us one night just to do it. This will be his first camping trip. 

Until then I'll just be staring at this picture and pretending I'm drinking coffee in the woods with my Keens on. #campinglife 

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How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Healthy Lifestyle

May 8, 2019

Living a healthy lifestyle is more easily obtained these days than it ever was before. 
Can’t get to the gym, no problem there are workouts you can stream to your TV instead of doing the same old boring DVD every day. No $$ for a streaming service, no problem … YouTube has a wealth of free workouts. 
Heck, I even know someone who just takes advantage of every free group workout that pops up in our area. 

I  recently shared tips to avoid sabotaging your healthy lifestyle, over on the Lafayette Mom’s Blog. I’d so love for you to head over there and read what I've learned about living a healthy life with long term goals in mind.  (and I'd love it if you left a comment).
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Things I Bought & Liked | April

May 3, 2019

Wet & Wild Photofocus Setting Spray | This is a long time love product of mine. Tati Westbrook said on her Youtube channel ages ago that it was a decent dupe for Urban Decay Up All Night, and it really is. Make sure you get the white bottle though. The black is matte and the sprayer gets clogged immediately. The white though, it's sheer setting spray heaven.

Mina Eyebrow Henna | After having my brows done for my birthday I decided I could do them myself for a fraction of the cost. I could. I did. They looked exactly the same and for 12 applications I paid about 14 dollars. Compare that to the 50 to have my brows over plucked and then dyed. Yeah, I'm growing out what threading did to me. Let me also add... I also dyed my eyelashes. This henna dye is a miracle product.

IWOLLENCE Loose Henley Blouse | Yes, I love it, you need one too, end of story. I'll be ordering every color.

Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash | Touted as a dupe for that 60 dollar Drunk Elephant Rice Enzyme Powder (maybe another brand, I need a nap) this is exactly that and at a fraction of the cost. It's a nice light exfoliating wash.

Olaplex 3 | I was a hair virgin until 2 Octobers ago. After two balayage treatments... I was about convinced that I was going to have to give it up. My hair was brittle and just not pretty anymore. THIS. ABSOLUTELY. SAVED. MY. HAIR.  One bottle will easily last me several treatments. Know that it isn't a conditioner though, this is a treatment to rebuild the hair structure.

Orgain Grass Fed Clean Whey Protein | I haven't broken into the powder protein yet, but I did try the premade shakes I bought Jeremy. It's really good and everything I was looking for, organic and clean with a healthier sugar. It doesn't contain aspartame or sucralose.

Blissford Satin Pillowcase | Possibly the ugliest thing ever, but it gets the job done. My hair had started knotting up at night with my regular pillowcase and messing with my desire to not wash my hair that often. A silk/satin pillowcase is actually supposed to help with breakage as well as wrinkles. So more good reasons to use one. It's just so dang ugly. I struggled to pick a color and the lavendar is awfully florescent.

Jumbo Smoothie Straws | If you love the Ikea straws but live too far from Ikea to drive just to get a straw... this is your straw.

Womice Stainless Steel French Press | After Jeremy dropped and broke our glass French Press I wanted something more sturdy. This double walled thing was the solution. It's basically made the same as a Yeti mug. My only complaint is that the strainer/press thing lets coffee grounds get through. I've had to resort to straining my coffee through a tea strainer, but whatever. No one can break it and prevent me from drinking coffee for 2 Prime shipping days again.

A few other non-Amazon items >>>

I've been wanting to get Harrison a gummy vitamin that has folate instead of folic acid. Folic acid isn't adsorbed by the body as well and can actually cause problems for some people. [Here's an article I found on the matter.] Anyway, I found one. Granted it isn't some sugar free picture of crunchy health, but it contains the vitamins I want for my 4 year old that can fill in the gaps that diet alone won't cover these days. I got a bottle of the Lil Critters Gummy Vites at Target and decided to find them at our local Walmart, just be careful and read what is in them. Some bottle sizes contain folate and others have folic acid.

I also almost bought the Waleda cream that I saw a dermatologist touting on Youtube, but realized it contained mineral oil. That's a big fat no for my skin and immediately causes breakouts. Instead I thought I'd use the Honest Company Balm that I use on the kids... on my face. I've actually been liking it. It's heavy. Like HEAVY. But at night that is what I want, as much moisture as I can slather on. I like the ingredients better than the Waleda, they're much more skin friendly is you have breakouts and still want a heavier night moisturizer.

While we were in Austin I saw one of the Lush next to the Amy's Ice Cream we were hitting up. I had to try something so I walked away with their FOMO Jelly Mask. The purpose of this mask is to reduce redness, and it actually works great. I was expecting more of my Korean jelly mask but what it turned out to be was a jelly mask texture that dried down like a regular mask. It's great and if you have redness I'd suggest it. But, BUT, what I'd really recommend and am kicking myself for not purchasing is their Charity Lotion/Balm Pots. It was the most amazing hand/body lotion I've used in ages and had zero fragrance. After we left and my hands still felt great I was pretty sad that I talked myself out of that $7 pot of lotion.

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M O M S D A Y G I V E A W A Y || starbucks gift card

May 2, 2019

I haven't done a giveaway in ages, so let's have some fun since Mother's Day is coming up!

Follow the steps below to be entered::

1. Follow LABRIDE on Instagram! Comment on the post with the image you see below. 
2.  For an extra entry head over to my Facebook page, like it and comment on the same image there! 
3. For a 3rd chance to win share the giveaway on Insta & comment "shared" on my Instagram post. 
4. Share about the giveaway on Facebook for your 4th chance to win & comment "shared" on the Facebook giveaway post. 

Next Thursday I'll total the entries and draw a winner. 

*If the winner doesn't claim his/her prize within 24 hours I'll be drawing a new one. 
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Currently | May

May 1, 2019

It's that time of the month again, May 1st means the link up with In Residence

ADMIRING | Any and all photos of bright, airy, spacious living areas. I'm over this apartment in every part of the word. It's closing in on me and I swear the breaking point was finding mold in the humidifier this morning. I've never had that issue before, but I suspect between the nasty orange hard water sludge and the mold in the toilets and bath... there is more to annoy me. I admit it, moving into this apartment was an awful idea and heavily pregnant Emily should not be allowed to make decisions past what's for dinner.

PLAYING | We sold Harrison's balance bike that he never figured out for a regular bike. He hasn't exactly figured it out just yet either. Then again, he isn't the epitome of athletic so... there's that. 

BORROWING | At the moment... time. I'm just borrowing time until I am out of this retched apartment. (prepare to ignore all apartment rants until I move out, sorry in advance)

REMEMBERING | I'm currently trying to remember how we did Baby Led Weaning with Harrison. I am not good at second times at all. Maybe I just put in less effort for repeat events. Either way, I have got to get some meal ideas in my brain soon. 
FINISHING | I've been listening to The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding audio book at night for a few weeks now, it's really good if you like anything British. The book is about the women who made Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress. 
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