Baby Marin: Week Twenty Three

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This week has presented many ups and downs. We go from having wonderful afternoons to nights where we can seem to get Marin to calm down to sleep. Sunday night was one of those nights. The day was perfect. Marin was a little angel and even napped long enough for me to make some good headway on a wedding I'm currently editing. As we were going through our normal bedtime routine she just decided that the routine wasn't what she needed that evening and the tears flowed. The only thing that finally got her to sleep, aside from probably pure exhaustion, was pacing the room in dad's arms. I think it's the beard. It calms all things.

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Still no little teeth yet but I know we are in the midst of breaking through tiny gums. We tried some banana the other day and she wasn't too thrilled with that quite yet. It's all so new and unknown, for both her and us.

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I pray for many good naps today and the next. She is growing faster than I think even she can keep up with.

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Week Twenty Three.

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(PS. Nobody freak out. Dad was holding her and keeping her safe while she was getting her picture taken by the mirror before and after bath time.)

Currently Clicking #19

Each and every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. This week I realize that I always need to eat more salads and figure out how to eat healthy on a budget. I am also drooling over a house tour, wondering how you know a trend is truly over, dreaming of a peach dish to make, thinking about what it means to separate work from motherhood and whether or not is possible, and reminding myself about the reasons we all have to let go of our past. 

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  1.  I always need to eat more salad. Here are 5 Tips for Making a Week's Worth of Salads on a Sunday. 
  2. Trends come and go. My ever changing hair over the years should probably be a sign of that. How do you know if a trend is done and over with? How do you know if a trend is officially over? 
  3. I am completely in love with this house tour. They make living with two children in a 1100 square foot house actually seem doable. I love the back yard space and the flooring throughout the house. I am becoming more and more ready to get our house on the market and find a new place to call home. 
  4. We always need tips on healthy eating on a budget. This post has some great tips to keep in mind, especially when aiming for a whole food, plant based diet. Also, might I add her grilled peaches and sweet cream with crunchy bits looks so darn delicious. 
  5. Now that I am a mother, even more of this post rings true: 10 Things Women Like To Do Alone. 
  6. One of my goals someday, hopefully, is to have the ability to work from home or something that looks somewhat like that, in a job that is creative and challenging. Here is a great post about working from home for entrepreneurs.  But on the flip side, here is another point of view of being a work at home mom. Both of these links were seen at Shutterbean and I love her list posts so very much. As a mom and a person in the work world, can we every truly find balance between the two? Are we meant to? 
  7. And lastly, a good reminder: 10 Reasons to Let Go of Your Past. 

An Update: No Spend July

This lovely little exercise of not spending any money, aside from necessities, has been eye opening for me. Probably the thing that has surprised me the most in all of this process is that I feel like we are poorer than ever. No money. Our bank account is constantly making me nervous and I am always waiting for payday.

How did that happen? I mean, what the heck? I haven't spent any money!

Granted, I haven't spent any money on credit cards either this month. That is where the real, true, heartbreaking realization lives: we tend to use our credit cards too often, too much, and for stuff we don't really need. Don't get me wrong, we manage our finances decently well. I was brought up that way. We even have paid off a TON of stuff this year which is super nice. We pay our bills on time. We pay more than the minimum amount due.

But, life happens. Amazon happens, which I know is not a legitimate excuse at all. I know. I know. I know!

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In the past few months we have also added on some other expenses even though we have paid off some others. For example, I am going to be paying the hospital for the birth of my child for a while. It would have been nice to not be making the amount of money that we do and qualify for some aid in that area. That is a rant for a whole other day. I do believe the middle class though gets the short end of that stick. It's super unfair. We work hard, pay our bills, and want to have a family. Simple as that. End rant. For now.

We also have had someone come and clean our home and mow our lawn in the last two months or so. It was kind of an experiment for both of us because having a baby changes every single thing and since we both work and I have a billion side businesses going on, it was hard to keep up with stuff. I like cleaning my house. I still think I do it better than the people we have come clean. But, on a weekend, the last thing I am able to do with a crying baby in tow is scrub the crap out of the grout in my bathroom. It's a constant struggle. I don't know why I am trying to justify this but I feel like I need to. I am thinking of going to a once a month cleaning instead of bi-weekly and mowing will cease once we hit the fall. I am constantly hit by the fact that I want to spend time with my kid and not be remembered as the mom with the clean kitchen and the neglected child. No way.

I've managed to not go to Starbucks since June 10th. I am usually a regular at a few coffee houses and the baristas are all probably wondering if I'm dead or moved. The only few times I've had coffee is for work meetings and I don't have to pay for it. I don't think I've ever looked so forward to work meetings in my life. An iced caramel macchiato helps any crappy day get at least a little better. We had quite a few crappy work days lately too. I'll take what I can get.

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I have received things from Amazon but they were diapers, wipes, diaper pail bags, and some keurig cups. We have those shipped to us monthly and I see those as necessities.

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This has been a good experiment and I only have 6 more days to go. I need to get my eyebrows waxed. I would love a pedicure. I need a hair cut. Maybe I don't need any of these things, but I sure do want them. They help me feel human again.

I feel the need to still overhaul our budget and really hunker down for the next few months. I also feel the need to go through everything we own and just get rid of half of it. Too much stuff.

6 more days.

Baby Marin: Week Twenty Two

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This week brought about a very messy milestone. We used our awesome IKEA highchair for the first time. Marin ate with a spoon. She tried some rice cereal which I believe ended up just about every where other than her mouth. I did further research and decided that we won't be heading down the road of rice cereal any further due to the lack of nutritional benefits. I am currently researching baby led weaning like a crazy person. Next week I'm thinking of bringing in bananas or avocado. I think the best thing right now is to just remember that up until she is one year old, solid foods are meant to be fun and experimental. Her nutrients will still come from breast milk. It was quite a fun adventure and I'll hopefully post a little video soon.

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Baby Marin: Week Twenty Two.

Stitch Fix: How I Love to Shop

A few months ago, I stumbled across this company that hand picks a number of outfits for you based on a style profile you create. They then send you the clothing in a cute little box, you try on the pieces, then decide what to keep and what to send back in the little postage bag they give you, and then you pay for the items you want to keep all while updating your profile and preferences for the next shipment.

Stitch Fix is my jam.  I never want to go shopping in a big store again.

There is something so thrilling with receiving any type of snail mail; make it a box of clothes hand picked just for me and I'm obsessed. I think it's so fun to see what the stylist picks out for me, based on what my profile says. It's like the thrill of the hunt at a clothing store without leaving the comfort of your bedroom.

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I love their packaging too! 
Stitch Fix allows me to jump out the box every once in a while with the clothing I buy but also helps me build up a timeless collection of clothing that I will wear for a long time. I have a horrible habit of buying the cheapest stuff I can find even when it isn't quite what I'm looking for to wear and then I wear it until it completely falls apart. I'm finding that investing a little more into some pieces that are high quality and stylish, I am setting myself up for clothing success.

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Stitch Fix sends some ideas as to how to wear the outfits. 
I signed up months ago and was on a waiting list for bit of time. I received my first box at the end of June. I tried on all of my outfits, narrowed it down to two pieces, filled out my thoughts and comments on each piece of clothing on their website, paid for the items I wanted, and sent back the ones I didn't. I would probably have kept one or two more things in the box but I was diving head first into my No Spend July and I didn't want to tarnish that whole plan right from the get go.

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I ended up keeping a striped maxi dress and a pair of leggings. Not wearing cheap, five dollars leggings is amazing. I wear the new ones to work almost every day I can.

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I can't wait for my next fix to show up on my door step. It's like Christmas every single month. They were so awesome and understood my clothing needs as a new mom when I wake up feeling like nothing fits me anymore. 

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Are you interested in getting a fix that fits your needs? Click below, tell them Baily Hollen referred you, and start building your style profile. You won't regret it, I promise!

Glorified Busyness: Who Are We Trying to Impress Again?

In this very moment, I feel the need to run away from everything or at least take a little break. From motherhood. From a job that is stressing me out so much lately and I feel so much change on the horizon. From the fussy child next to me that is probably teething and might be having a worse go at today than myself. From the bills that need to be paid for the stuff that we don’t really need. From the lack of time. From the lack of freedom. From the lack of passion and creativity. 

Let go my soul, and trust in Him. 
The waves and wind still know His name. 

That is the song currently playing in our little home office. Marin is looking at me as if to say, “Is everything alright, Mom? I’m growing today.” 

It is well. 

With my soul. 

Talk about a gut punch to the heart. A check. A balance. 

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Jesus Calling stated this a few days ago: 
Come away with Me for awhile. The world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold. Most people put Me on hold, rationalizing that someday they will find time to focus on Me. But the longer they push Me into the background of their lives, the harder it is for them to find Me.  
You live among people who glorify busyness; they have made time a tyrant that controls their lives. Even those who know Me as Savior tend to march to the tempo of the world. They have bought into the illusion that more is always better; more meetings, more programs, more activity. 
I have called you to follow Me on a solitary path, making time alone with Me your highest priority and deepest Joy. It is a pathway largely unappreciated and often despised. However, you have chosen the better thing, which will never be taken away from you. Moreover, as you walk close to Me, I can bless others through you. 
I live my life in my mind between a couple rules of thought, between a couple of ways that I feel my days should be lived out. The whys, hows, whats, and whens are usually around, just hanging out and wondering when I will give them the time of day. We are busy. Our lifestyles are busy. Add a baby into the mix and I can’t wait to finally put my head on my pillow at night, only to be woken up too early the next morning. Change this diaper, nurse the baby, fold the laundry, work on the work project, try and not eat the rest of the donuts in the pretty pink box on the counter, write this blog, make this blog look better, try and sit down to actually play an instrument and finish a song, try and better the world through essential oils, debate if I should be a seller or just use them for my family, realize that I need to share them, work on another side business, edit photos, shoot a wedding...and....and....and...and. That run on sentence only reveals to me the chaos that is our life.

I tend to glorify busyness. It has been a part of my DNA for so long but I want to call it out now. To be done with it. I always have my hands in a million things and I tell myself that it is within the chaos that I thrive. I think I’ve been telling myself that lie for a really long time. Over the last few days I have felt the insatiable need to simplify our lives, to some how go through every room in this house and get rid of all of the stuff that is in the way. I want to simplify our schedule. I constantly feel the need to be knee deep in many business ventures because we need the extra income. I want to dive into those ventures not due to a financial need but for a creative, “I’ll grow from this” need. I’m ready for the hospital bills from having a baby to be done and over with. I am ready to not stress about our finances or making sure the yard looks nice. 

Who are we trying to impress again? Oh, no one? That’s right. 

I want simplicity. I want time spent with Jesus in all of the chaos. 

I am a work in progress. 

Let go my soul, and trust in Him. 

The waves and wind still know His name. 

Currently Clicking: Week #18

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Each and every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. This week, my FITBIT obsession continues, house tours and before & after photos have me pinning way too much on pinterest, Tiny Houses still are grabbing my interest, a good face scrub is something I need in my life, photographs of motherhood make me realize that the journey I'm on as a mother is awesome, and grilled pizza, because why not? 
  1. These are a tad out of my price range, obviously, but I'm not the biggest fan of the rubber FITBIT wrist band that comes with the FITBIT. Something more stylist would be so awesome! Check out Tony Birch for FITBIT. 
  2. This house tour. I realized that I kept pinning images on Pinterest of this house. I love it. 
  3. To continue on with my Tiny House obsession, here is some Eye Candy of Small Spaces. I think what resonates for me is the idea of having so much less stuff. We have too much stuff. I need to take a few weeks off and just clean out my house. With a baby in tow. Which sounds so realistic. (add sarcasm here.) 
  4. I am always looking for more natural ways to take care of my skin. It is technically the biggest organ on your body. I'm not always as nice to it as I should be. Try this Coconut Nut Oil and Sea Salt Scrub. Add some essential oils and I think this would be wonderful. 
  5. I love a good before and after photo, no matter what it is for: weightless, home design. Here are 20 Crazy Before & Afters To Make Your Jaw Drop. These make me want to rip out a few walls and break out the paint cans. 
  6. This has been floating all over the internet lately but I think it's so powerful. Long lost photos show how motherhood hasn't changed that much in the last 50 years. These photos are so powerful. 
  7. It's no secret that we are serious pizza lovers in our home. I do believe we would eat it every day if we could and if our waist lines would allow. Keep dreaming ton that one. But, this Corn Tomato Shisito Pepper Pizza looks great and you grill it! We need to try this whole grilling pizza thing. 

Baby Marin: Week Twenty One (5 Months)

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Tomorrow, our little peanut will be 5 months old. This past week has had its ups and downs but through it all she still continues to capture our hearts. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next week or so we see a tooth poking through her sore little gums. It's been quite an uncomfortable experience so far and I know that it is no where near the end. But, we are learning and loving through it all and that has to be enough.

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Marin is constantly rolling over. I have been needing to go in a few times every night to make sure she hasn't rolled herself into a corner of her crib. She is still trying to get a handle on how to control all of that. Since we no longer swaddle her at night, she roams ALL OVER THE PLACE. I am on constant watch right now with the baby monitor. I hope the end of that is somewhat near.

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Anything that is close to Marin eventually gets into her drool covered hands and into her mouth. She has to touch and taste every little toy. She is a drool machine and has been destroying bibs throughout every single day.

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Ryan did take some awesome photos of her this week but I can't get them off of the camera. We are having a bit of a file conversion issue. Once I get that figured out, I'm sure you will be seeing those photos. They are cute. Marin is pretty darn cute. Stay tuned.

Week 21. 5 months old!

Currently Clicking: Week #18

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Each and every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. This week, I found a stay at home yoga studio. I am wondering if live music is losing its edge. I am dreaming of recipes that involves toast, the benefits of journaling, how to drink a gallon of water or more per day, living a more simple and intentional life, and a few drool worthy house tours. 

Life Lately: Fourth of July

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(This post is inspired by Elise Blaha Cripe. I love her blog so very much.)

loving the opportunity that I have to only work in the office three days a week. 
celebrating every time Marin rolls over or almost giggles. We are so close. 
enjoying slower evenings with Ryan after Marin is in bed. 
obsessing over the Barre Method workout videos that I have been working through. 
preparing the same meals over and over again. 
wondering if we will be able to put our house on the market in the spring. 
packing my breakfast, lunch, and snacks every day. I am the bag lady. 
checking our bank account and wondering how we have no money even when I am doing No Spend July. How does that work? 
wishing I could just work in a creative field all of the time and not just on the side. 
drinking iced tea with Doterra Lemon or Grapefruit. 
planning to teach a few Doterra Classes this month. 
reading this book. I can't put it down. I have to force myself to go to sleep. She makes me want to work my butt off. 
listening to the new Lana Del Ray record. 
watching Longmire & Friends. I am excited for Netflix to bring back new seasons of this & this
marveling at how quickly our weeks go by and realizing that I will have a 6 month old in August. 
feeling the need to recharge and relax more than I do. 

Baby Marin: Week Twenty

Marin is 20 weeks old this week. We are inching our way into being 5 months old. 

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Marin at 20 Weeks: 
+ We have established a great bed time routine that includes bath time, nursing, and getting her to bed around 7:30 or 8:00pm. She is still sleeping through the night. 
+ We have finally stopped swaddling her at night and let her sleep in her cute footy pjs. She is starting to move around a lot at night and the swaddle wasn't helping. 
+ The grandparents brought home a high chair for her yesterday and we can't wait to start using it. 
+ We are currently reading short stories about Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends. 
+ We hear more noises come out of her mouth every single day. 
+ Giggling is so close. 

Mama at 20 Weeks: 
+ We hired someone to clean our house this week and I feel like I've won the lottery. 
+ I am eating well and working out when I can. I recently became obsessed with the Barre Method and have a few videos that I do when I get the chance. I recently just hit a weight goal that I haven't seen since before I was pregnant. 
+ I am trying to keep up with, editing a wedding, writing the blog, Doterra, another business venture. Life is nuts but I love it. 

Dad at 20 Weeks: 
+ I have a sneaking suspicion that he has a pact with our child to let mommy change all of the poopy diapers. 
+ Him and Marin started re-watching the Harry Potter movies. 
+ He is working away at King Soopers and doing some more video work for them. 
+ He is slowly building his ever growing Blu-Ray collection. We even have received a few for the little one when she is a bit older. 
+ We've been having someone help mow our huge, unmanageable lawn as well. He probably feels like he has also won the lottery. 

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No Spend July: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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I've decided to embark upon a season that probably seems crazy to most. For one month, the month of July, I am not going to spend any extra money. Obviously, we still need to buy groceries and diapers, and pay our bills,  but other than that....nada, zip, zilch. I've been realizing over the past few months that I spend way too much money on way too much stuff. Amazon and I are very tight friends that need some time a part. We need a "break-up" period, if you will. I should probably admit to the fact that I might have a bit of an online shopping addiction. There's so much cute baby stuff, so many new books, so many new anything and everything-s that I don't need to buy. The FEDEX and UPS guy probably know the location of my house by heart by now. That is a problem.

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I know a lot of people do No Spend November, but I am doing No Spend July. Maybe I'll do November too?

It's simple. Don't spend any money except for the bare necessities. (I feel like Mogli from the Jungle Book should sing us a little tune every time I write those words.) 


+ Obviously, groceries and diapers are needed.
+ We need to pay our mortgage, bills, and buy gas to get to work to pay those bills.
+ One date night out with my husband is allowed. Finding a coupon for the evening's festivities will be a must. 
+ Anything related to building my business with Doterra falls under what I can spend. I need to spend a certain amount each month to keep building my business and earning commission. Which is awesome! I have a few classes this month so I shouldn't need to dip into my spending. 


+ Coffeeshops. (Boo)
+ Any salon appts. (ex: manis, pedis, eye brow wax, etc, etc, etc.)
+ Nothing from Amazon
+ Nothing from Target, Ross, or any other store for that matter.
+ Eating out. Grabbing a big ol' delicious salad at Whole Foods. Then leaving after buying half of the store, ie. half of my paycheck. 
+ Etc.
+ Etc.
+ Etc.

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I am ready. I need this change. I need this challenge.

I will update periodically as to how the challenge is going.

This will be a month of taking my lunch to work. Making my coffee at home. Not looking at Amazon, ever. 

I can totally do this. 

It's funny because as I have been working on this, I have seen so many ads for 50% off everything in the store, BOGO free with this purchase, and the list goes on and on. The struggle is real! 

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Here are resources to help: 
+ Read about how Fun Cheap or Free buys her groceries. No coupons! 
+ Dave Ramsey is the master of getting out of debt. Here are few of his budgeting forms. 
+ I've been using ReadyForZero to help manage my payments and get us out of debt. 

Currently Clicking: Week #17

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Each and every week, I gather links of all of the places I have been perusing in the great, grand internet. There are plenty of people out there doing big things and small things. Some of these are practical, some are inspiring. This week, I am obsessing over backsplashes for our kitchen, baby-proofing our house without sacrificing style, how to kill a music career, a village that is a work of art, battling the feelings of needing to be supermom, more research on solid foods for the baby, and making sure I don't throw out all of produce I just bought a week later. 

+ Kitchen Inspiration: 10 Tile Backsplashes that Totally Steal the Show or 10 Painted Kitchen Backsplashes. Clearly I have backsplashes on the brain. I think it can make or break the look & feel of a kitchen. It's also a simple way to make a big change. 

+ Baby Marin will be mobile before we know it. Child proofing is in our future but I don't want to sacrifice style for safety. I believe that they can work together. Here's 9 Tips for Smart, Kid-Friendly Design.

+ I am a musician at heart and sometimes by trade. I definitely don't boast in having a music career of any sort but I have plenty of friends that are well on their way. Here are 17 Ways to Kill a Music Career. All good reminders. 

+The African Village Where Every Home is A Work of Art. This is so awesome. 

+ Even though I only have one little baby now, I still try to do too much too often. This is a good reminder. Why You Can Stop the Exhausting Work of Trying to be Supermom.

Want Kids to Eat Better, Sooner? Skip the Mush!  I am still researching introducing solids to little Marin. Baby-Led Feeding seems to be a big deal. 

+ How many times have you gone to the store and bought a ton of great produce only to have it wither away and go bad too quickly? Check out The Kitchn's Guide to Storing Fruits & Vegetables

Intentions for July

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I desire to have good intentions for this new month that we find ourselves in. The summer is flying by. Once the 4th of July hits, I feel like school starts again and then Christmas hits. Here we go.

+ No Spend July (more information coming soon)

+ No TV binge watching until later at night with my man. Read a book.

+ Walks and exercising with Marin. I so enjoy this and need to do it much more often than I do. Now if I could only get my hands on one of these....

+ Edit the Wedding. We photographed a wedding and I need to edit like crazy.

+ Eat as clean as possible with one cheat meal a week. One. One. One. One. (my high school reunion is at the beginning of August. Oh my!) I am currently in the middle of a Facebook competition where winner takes all if your lose the most percentage of weight & inches. The winnings would not be bad at all.

+ Start introducing solid foods to Marin. (research, research, research.) Right when we have breastfeeding down, we have another thing to throw into the mix.

+ Work through BLOG LIFE. I haven't hardly touched it yet.

+ Teach a few Doterra classes. 

+ Revisit my 28 Things Before 28 List. August will be here before I know it.

Baby Marin: Week Nineteen

(I took these photos way too late at night. They are a little fuzzy, but I like them.) 

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Marin is 19 weeks old this week. She is 135 days old. We love her more everyday and she surprises us more every day. I sound like a broken record, but the fact that she sleeps through the night at four months old still shocks me. She's drooling like crazy and soaking bibs like it's going out of style. I believe teething is not too far off in our future. We are gearing up to start introducing solids and I have been researching that new process like crazy. We still need to get a high chair. I went through all of her clothes the other day and put away far too many things that she's already grown out of.

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Our baby is growing up so fast.

Baby Marin. Week Nineteen.