Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Birth Story: Collyns Cecelia

I can't even comprehend how six months ago this little cutie pie was baking in my belly. She was a surprise in every sense of the word. We were NOT planning her at all and so when that test turned pink on New Years eve 2017 we were shocked! But we were so over the moon happy because we wanted to start trying when Landree turned one, I guess God just knew better than we did. 

On August 21, 2018 I woke up 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant feeling so awful. Something was just off and I couldn't put my finger on it. I was supposed to have a scheduled c section the following week so I just pushed through the day and by 6 pm I wasn't feeling any better. I had high blood pressure with Landree which is why she was born at 37 weeks as well but with her I had no symptoms. So I decided I would go to the walk in clinic down the street and get my blood pressure checked.

As soon as the nurse checked she checked like three more times because she couldn't believe how high it was. If I didn't live right down the street she wouldn't have let me drive myself home but I did so I called my OB and he said, "Head to the ER, looks like you're having a baby tonight." It all happened super fast. I was in the operating room in a matter of hours and by 11:25 pm Collyns Cecelia let out a perfect little cry and was born into the world.

She was a chubby little thing, weighing 8lbs and 7oz. I got to be with her in the recovery room for hours and it was seriously such a redeeming moment for me. I was able to cuddle her and do skin to skin and try to breastfeed. Its all kindof a blur as we got back to the room. I was losing a lot of blood and Collyns had low blood sugar so they needed to take her to the nicu and get my bleeding under control. After a lot of pain and meds later I was finally feeling normal but exhausted. I tried to get some sleep and then we went down to the nicu to see Collyns.

I was so wiped out and the second c section was nothing like my first. I was very sore and just so so tired. I just wanted to lay in bed and hold my baby. But once she was back in our room she had to be under the lights for 24 hrs because of jaundice. Finally on the last day we were both ready to be discharged and go home. I couldn't wait to see Landree and cuddle the four of us in our bed. Being away from your toddler for four nights is so heart breaking. 

Landree came to the nicu to meet her sister for the first time and I just about cried the whole time because it was seriously the cutest thing ever. She was so happy and excited. She had the biggest smile on her face and was so happy to see me. She got spoiled rotten by her Mimi while we were in the hospital. It was so cute.

Once we got home we laid in bed and i feel asleep immediately because lets be real no one really sleeps in the hospital. Mark basically took care of Landree for me of the first two weeks because I was so sore and healing and couldn't lift her for two weeks. Which was so so hard. We would cuddle on the couch and in bed a lot so she didn't know the difference. Once I was home I started healing really fast which proves you NEED sleep to heal haha.

We are so smitten with our two girls. They make our whole lives and bring us so much happiness. Don't get me wrong two under two is HARD! But I totally believe it is all about perspective and you just have to keep a positive mindset with no expectations and it will all be good. I'm so tired at the end of the day but gratefully they both sleep through the night! God made them extra good sleepers cause I can't function without sleep, bless all you mamas who can, you are my heroes!

xoxo, t.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Family Pictures as a Family of Five

The very talented Brooke of Bloom Photography took these family pictures for us in the fall for our Christmas cards. I am so excited to share them all with you. I shared a couple here and there on my IG but I wanted to share them here because she did such a wonderful job. Last thing I wanted to do three months PP was take pictures, I didn't feel comfortable or like myself at all but Brooke did such a wonderful job of making it such an easy going experience. Her editing style is my favorite and I would highly recommend her if you're in the MA/RI area.

It is beyond hard to take pictures without a very important part of our family, Jaxon. It breaks my heart a little every time we decide to do pictures and I have to think of ways to incorporate him into our photos. I had this idea after seeing a picture similar to it in an article about loss, to add a shadow of Jax to one of the pics. Brooke was so honest and asked if she could include another photographer friend to help her and they did SUCH a good job! Makes me feel like Landree knew the exact picture they would use and she's telling us, "Brother is always with us". My family of five. How I wish the picture looked so different and he was actually here with us, but this picture makes me feel like he's always right there with us, every step of the way.

Here is her info if you are looking to book with her. 
She is an AMAZING wedding photographer btw.

Make sure to subscribe!

xoxo, t. 
Monday, March 4, 2019

Hello friends, its been a while.

Hi, its me Tori. 
So sorry its been so long since I've blogged. I promise I still have the passion in my bones but life just got really busy. When Landree was about 7 months we found out I was pregnant again and oh boy, was I sick as a dog but a healthy baby girl we named Collyns Cecelia was worth it all. 

She was born August 21, 2018 at 11:25 pm weighing 8lbs 7oz. We are so in love with her, she adds the perfect amount of love to our family. We named her Collyns after the girl from the blind side and her middle name is Cecelia after Marks grandmother who everyone lovingly referred to as "peachy". 

So currently my life looks a lot like chasing a 22 month old toddler around, with a 6 month old on my hip. Running my Instagram page (which i'm trying to be a lot more intentional about this year), reading my bible more and recently I started an online devotional group with you lovely ladies. Life is full and filled with all the best things. I'm still in the thick of grief and having two girls 15 months apart doesn't leave much margin for grieving but I'm trying my best to be intentional about carving out time for my mental health.

I've missed writing so much because it is seriously like therapy for me. Typing out my emotions and knowing it resonates with so many of you just fills my heart with so much joy and so I am going to TRY so hard to get back at it. Trying to do 1-2 blog posts for you guys a week. Sharing outfits, home stuff, mom stuff and all the in between. I hope you'll be apart of this awesome community of positive and encouraging woman who uplift each other. I can't wait to connect more with all of you, so follow me on instagram and subscribe with your email to get the latest posts sent straight to your inbox. Hope you all are doing well, can't believe its been a whole year since I've been on my blog. Hoping to give it a little makeover and spruce it up a bit! 

xoxo, t. 
Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Baby

 The other day I was listening to one of my new favorite Christmas songs "seasons" by hillsong. There is a line in the song that says, "You could have saved us in a second instead you sent a child"

Wow! So powerful to me. It made me feel like a couple of things were put into perspective for me. I've been having a rough week where I'm more then ever imaging what life would be like if Jaxon was here in my arms. I know things would have been harder and more challenging for us as a family with a medically fragile child but I wouldn't care. I constantly imagine different scenarios in which Landree would cuddle with him or kiss him or put her toys all around him, handing him one at a time.

Grief around the holidays is so painful for a lot of people. I don't want to sit here and say that loosing a child is more painful then a mother passing or a sibling or a grandparent. Its all hard, its all painful and it just plain SUCKS! You want to wrap those people in your arms and smother them with hugs and kisses and never let go. 

But when I was listening to this song, I started to think about God as a father not just as our Heavenly Father but a Parent to a son. Just like me. He sent HIS son to die for me, for us and for MY son. Without God loosing his son, my son would not be healed now and a promise of eternity with him would not be possible. God could have saved us in any other way but he sent a child, He used an infant to soften peoples hearts. It brings tears to my eyes because God used a baby to soften my heart with Jaxon as well and now that I understand the Christmas story on a deeper level I am soften once again by a baby named Jesus, in a manager. 

Now please don't let me get you confused I am in no way comparing my son to Jesus. I am just simply saying that God uses such small, innocent and perfect babies to make points all throughout the Bible. He did it with Moses and God did it again when he blessed Sarah and Abraham with a baby long after they should have been able to conceive, and now God does it with a women named Mary, a virgin none the less. 

Children allow us to see things differently, challenge us to love in a new way and they create peace in our chaos. I am so grateful that God entrusted me with Jaxon and Landree. The minute I saw them for the first time my heart was melted and through being their mother I have experienced a relationship with God like never before. It helps me to better understand the magnitude of Mary's love for her son and for her willingness to obey God even when the future was so uncertain for her. I want to be more like Mary as a mother, I want to hear Gods voice and respond with obedience, without question.

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that God sends little tiny people to do amazing things for His kingdom. He forms these fragile, amazing and beautiful little humans inside our wombs to remind us that He does the impossible. He delivered a savior to our world and changed humanity for the better. I am beyond words grateful for a God that big and especially being reminded of that for this Christmas weekend. 

God gave me two beautiful children. He gave me two chances to have a more compassionate heart and more loving posture towards not only my family but everyone around me.

Merry Christmas sweet friends + Happy Birthday Jesus.

 xoxo, t.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Triple Chocolate S'mores Bark for the Holidays

Hey guys!
After a bunch of you messaged me on IG to share this recipe after I posted it in my stories I am super excited to share this quick and easy dessert with you all for the holidays! It took me about 15 mins total to make and you just have to let It chill in the fridge for about an hour afterwards. I will share the recipe with you guys here and its perfect to make for a holiday party if you're needing something fast. And did I mention it is delicious?!  

  • 24 oz dark chocolate (or milk chocolate)
  • 8 oz white chocolate
  • ¾ C graham crackers broken into pieces
  • ½ C marshmallows bits
  • 2 (1.55 oz) Hershey's milk chocolate bars (or dark chocolate), broken into pieces


1. Line a 15x10 inch cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2. Melt dark chocolate according to instructions on package, making sure to stir periodically. (I did it in the microwave)
3. Melt white chocolate according to instructions on package, making sure to stir periodically. (I did it in the microwave)
4. Spread melted dark chocolate onto prepared cookie sheet. Spoon white chocolate over the top. Swirl white chocolate through dark chocolate using a knife
5. Sprinkle with graham cracker pieces, marshmallow bits, and broken chocolate bars. Lightly press topping into chocolate.
6. Place in refrigerator and allow to refrigerate for at least one hour to cool and set.
7. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Hope you enjoy this and you can also put these in cute bags and give to neighbors as a gift! Tag me on IG if you make it so I can see. 

 xoxo, t.