The last two years have been filled with so much transition and all the blessings.
Two years ago to this day, we were youth pastors in a small town helping grow a church plant. We were in the thick of fundraising with the hope and plan to adopt.
Since that time, we have: changed our entire career path, moved to a bigger city, adopted our son, birthed another son. With two sweet miracle babies under one and not even five months apart, Loren started grad school in addition to his full-time job and I started officially writing The Book. We've been praying and taking slow steps towards becoming infant-emergency-placement (up to 3 weeks) foster parents for about three months now, because Jesus takes us on good and wild rides when we say yes with palms wide open.
Now, Loren has quit his full time job and transitioned to full time student teaching + two night classes a week and my photography business + writing will be our main source of income. That's a lot, right? Please tell me it's a lot?
With all of this transition—going from a youth pastor and his wife to suddenly not working at a church and having two babies—we have adjusted pretty well. With a lot of tears from both joy and sorrow and challenges.
Now they are both one year old, I feel we are finally getting into somewhat of a groove. It's taken longer than some parents, but hey you know what? We do what we can. I'm sure another transition and change is about to be thrown at us.
Along the way, we have used some amazing products to help us transition and live life as a growing family of four.
(This is not a sponsored post, all words are my own: no businesses asked me to do this, I'm literally just sharing because I love these things and think everyone needs them).
Here are a few of our favorite things for our two under to journey, from the beginning until now:
Baby Trend Jogger
My aunts + grandma + mom bought this for our baby shower gift! I was so excited. I love to run, even if I haven't been consistent since growing by four feet. We trained for a half marathon (which we missed because we messed the dates up #tiredbrains) with this baby trend and the boys did great!
I wrote an entire review about this double jogger here.
In short here are my favorite things about it: it's a jogger, the cup holders, the storage compartment between the cup holders, the millions of pockets (I use this as my grocery cart sometimes!), the ability for my boys to sit side by side and hold hands.
I for real love these/this carrier. Once Sage was strong enough to sit up on his own—around 5 months—I started putting him on my back. Ira was just born and they have an infant insert for the front!
I love that I can wear BOTH babies or we can break the carriers into two separate carriers. Loren still wears them both sometimes—which makes my back ache just thinking about—and they are 27 and 30 pounds! Super dad.
Sometimes I'd wear Sage on my back and use the ring sling or a different wrap on the front, other times I used the entire Twingo Carrier system. We wear our tots on our backs nearly every outing, unless we feel we need the stroller!
Also, when we go camping and don't have the yoga ball to bounce them to sleep, we throw them into their carriers on our backs and walk around. The power of the pack gets them to sleep!
I also wrote a review about our Twingo here.
Ikea High Chairs
We LOVE our IKEA high chairs! I found the red one at a garage sale for $5 and thought, "We need a second one!"
I love that they completely dissemble and are easy to pack around. We have taken ours to grandma's, to the park, and camping. They are easy to clean and hose down, which we do often since we eat outside.
Our duplex is small which means the bedrooms are small. We needed to fit two cribs in our nursery, so we decided to use mini cribs! I love them so much.
Our first one was given to us by a stranger who found out we were adopting and wanted to bless us. For real. Then my in-laws gifted us with the second! They are less than $200 new.
The boys are soon transitioning to toddler day beds (babies don't keep, all the tears), and when we are ready, there are parts we can purchase to turn it into a twin sized bed.
We buy mini crib sheets on Amazon.
Shea Moisture | lotion + conditioner + shampoo
We love Shea Moisture for so many reasons. Two of them being they have no sulfates and are a black-owned business.
This shampoo and conditioner is amazing for curly hair and dry hair and all sorts of hair. We use it on both our boys. The shampoo + conditioner has brought out Sage's curls SO MUCH and his hair is so healthy. We get comments all the time on his hair! I have had multiple people of color ask me what we use and when I say Shea Moisture, they've smiled and said, "Great! That's what we recommend."
Shea Moisture also has a lavender lotion for babies I use every night before bed.
Everyone is always saying how great the boys smell, especially their hair!
I really like words and documenting life. Life is fleeting and but a mere vapor, so I do my best to take photos and jot down memories into my boy's journals. What I love about promptly is they offer a journal for families of both pregnancy and adoption. So both my boys get similar journals but unique to their journeys. I wrote a post about my love for Promptly here!
Lily Jade Diaper Bag
I cannot speak highly enough about this diaper bag. Loren got it for me as a gift and I continue to attempt to win a second one because I love it SO MUCH.
The inside portion comes out as needed. It has perfectly sized pockets for cloth or disposable diapers. There are zipper-pockets.
My favorite part is that it can be a messenger bag OR back pack. I loooooove that I can use it either way! When both boys are in the stroller, I love being able to just throw the diaper bag on my back. When I am wearing a babe on my back, I love that it can be used as a cross-carry bag.
It is amazing quality and I highly, highly recommend this bag. They pick an adoptive mommy to give a bag to every first Monday of the month, so if you fit into that category, be sure you check that giveaway out!
Alba Baby Sunscreen
I love that this sunscreen does not turn my boy's skin purple. It sprays on thinly and evenly, is easy to rub in, and works well.
Avedo dry shampoo
THIS IS A GAME CHANGER.
You guys, my hair is the epitome of greasy. I have tried so many of those aerosol dry shampoos and found they just make my hair greasier. But this stuff is LEGIT. I shower like twice a week. Listen: priorities are: babies, work, husband, and eat in no particular order, so sleeping and showering sort of get the shortest straws. Which means I need dry shampoo that works. Aveda works. I PROMISE. It is worth it.
Mary Kay's Corrective Eye Cream
Listen. Some days all I can do is get the eye cream under my eyes. No shower, no other make up, no clean hair. A little goes a long, long way. This stuff is amazing and is for any skin color. My sister supplies it!
Daily Grace Co Planner
I am in love with this. It is simple, but not tooooo simple. It helps me keep every thing straight, between the boy's doctor's + specialists + therapy appointments, writing assignments and articles, book release things, photography business...ALL THE THINGS. It's an amazing price.