Experiences vs. Things

As a style blogger, I definitely appreciate 'things'. I love clothes, shoes and accessories as much or more than the next girl. But I've come to really appreciate experiences much more than things- especially when it comes to my kids. 

When my boys were smaller and had birthdays, I tried doing the fancy, decorated and themed parties. And although it made for cute pictures- it stressed me out and left me feeling 'meh' afterwards. Last year I decided to instead ask my kids what they would like to go and do for their birthday rather than what theme they wanted and who they wanted to invite. Easton chose to go rock climbing as a family last year and Kesler chose to go to the Renaissance Festival. And we had the best time! We all still remember the occasion- much more than whatever gifts they received. We still have a cake and a little themed party with my family, but nothing over the top or difficult.  It does take a little more planning to go out and do something, and sometimes it costs more, but it ends up being a win for all of us. 

This week our hometown team the Royals are playing in the World Series. We've been watching them all season and when we found out they were really going to be advancing to the World Series- we decided to bite the bullet and buy tickets to Game 1. At first I though I might go with Soren, but after about 10 seconds of that, I realized that I was and am in no condition to sit/stand at a baseball game for hours. Even if it is the World Series! We decided Soren would take Easton and that was such a good decision. Easton was so excited to go and they had the best time. The game was a nail biter! It was so eventful that the game went into extra innings and they didn't get home until after 2 am.

It hurt a little seeing the price tag on those tickets when we bought them, but that was all made up when they texted me this photo from the game. 

Pure joy right?!? They got to do something together that they will always remember and that is just priceless. This definitely confirmed to me how much I want to continue to look for opportunities to choose experiences rather than things. 

Have you found this to be true in your life too? What experiences have you chosen- for yourself or your family?


Looking Ahead This Week


SWEATER- Nordstrom // JEANS- Stitch Fix // SHOES- Nordstrom // NECKLACE- Kendra Scott // CUFF- Nickel & Suede // EARRINGS- N&S Earl Grey Accent Leather Earrings- large
Well I'm still convinced October is the best month of the year- and I don't care how many people agree. It must be true if we all think it right?! It's sweater weather and even boot weather and there are so many good things coming up. Today I thought I'd share a few things I'm looking forward to this week. I could talk all day long about how little sleep I'm getting or the cold I'm coming down with, but I'd rather just focus on the fun and the positive things coming down the pipes.
1. All things Halloween. And honestly I don't even like Halloween as a holiday. BUT I am excited to be excited with my kids. They are looking forward to a Trunk or Treat at our church, Easton's school party and then official Trick or Treating on Saturday. Soren and I don't normally like to dress up, but we have some fun costumes that I hope to pull together, at least for the church party. I volunteered to run the snack station at Easton's class party which is just one reason baby needs to stay put for another week. For Halloween I usually stay home and pass out the candy while Soren walks the kids around. I'm sure that will be the case this year- anything to keep this baby cooking a little longer. 
2. Girls Night Out/ Baby Shower. I'm not a huge advocate of having baby showers past your first few kids, but I do love getting together with friends to celebrate the end of pregnancy and a new baby on the way. My sweet friends put together a girls night out for me this week and I'm looking forward to getting dressed up and spending time with them. 
3. Crossing things off my pre-baby list. I'm making progress, but there are definitely still a few things left on my list to get done before baby arrives. I've got some serious grocery shopping to do and freezer stocking to work on. Which reminds me of something else on my list- figuring out online grocery shopping and delivery. Our Hy-Vee recently started offering local delivery and I think it will be the best new service in my life.  I'm also looking forward to finishing the nursery and our bedroom this week. I've been painting walls, making Soren hang stuff, and finding the last little decor details. It's amazing how much more adultish it feels to have an intentionally decorated bedroom and a refreshed nursery. My crazy nesting momma hormones are feeling almost fulfilled. 
4. The World Series. We are so excited to watch our home team, the Royals, play in the World Series this week. And not only watch them play, but watch them play here in our hometown! Soren and I bought tickets to Game 1, but we decided against me going with him. He is going to take Easton as a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm sure they will have a fabulous time. I don't think there is any way I could comfortably last through even half of the game at the stadium. But I sure wish I could! 
5. Launching our Nickel & Suede holiday line- AND our new website. This is the number one reason I can't have the baby quite yet. I'm not quite ready for the launch! We've been cooking up our holiday line and new website for months and we're sharing them on Monday! I've been hard at work finishing off those details so get excited! I sure am!
What are you looking forward to this week? Any must-do's I should add to my list before baby #4 arrives?


Everyday Style October

JACKET- Forever 21 // TEE- GAP // JEANS- Old Navy (old) (similar) // SHOES- Free People // EARRINGS- N&S Signature Silver Accent Earrings

CARDIGAN- Nordstrom // JEANS- Motherhood Maternity // SHOES- Free People // BAG- Lily Jade // EARRINGS- N&S Cognac Cut Outs large

CARDIGAN- Old Navy (old, similar) // TEE- GAP // PANTS- Motherhood Maternity // SHOES- Old Navy (old) // EARRINGS- N&S Silver Shell large // HAT- Nordstrom

HAT- Nordstrom // TEE- Stitch Fix // PANTS- Motherhood Maternity // SHOES- Nordstrom // EARRINGS- N&S Brown Cut Out large // CUFF- Forever 21

SWEATER- Stitch Fix // LEGGINGS- Zella // SHOES- Dolce Vita // EARRINGS- N&S London Tan large 

SWEATER- Local boutique (similar) // JEANS- Motherhood Maternity // SHOES- Free People // EARRINGS- N&S Antique Gold large

SWEATER- Target (old) // JEANS- Stitch Fix // BOOTS- Frye (50% off!) // HAT- Nordstrom // EARRINGS- Java Cut Outs large
I can't even say how thankful I am for real Fall weather right now at the end of this pregnancy. I would not look or feel anywhere close to this way if it were mid-Winter or Summer or even Spring. Fall is my jam and a pregnant lady's best friend. Clearly my recipe for getting dressed lately involves skinny jeans/ leggings, boots, oversized sweaters and hats. But who doesn't love that recipe? It works for everyone- I'm convinced. 
I had my 38 week check up today and found out I'm slightly in labor. I'm sitting at a 3 and 75% for those of you who care for that much information. Those numbers are typical for me at this point in the game so I expect I'll have this baby when he is due. All three of my boys have been born one day before their due date and I intend to keep that tradition. So November 3- watch out! 

My Favorite Escape


TEE- A Pea in the Pod Maternity // PANTS- A Pea in the Pod Maternity // SHOES- Rockport c/o (20% for OLM readers!) // BAG- Chicwish // CUFF- Nickel & Suede // EARRINGS- Nickel & Suede Signature Silver Cut Out large
Photo Credit- Sarah Sweeney

As a work-at-home mom I feel like I get to experience the best of all worlds. I love being with my kids all day at home and doing the things that I did as an exclusively stay-at-home mom. Things like making lunches, building blocks, changing bums and sneaking in ten minute naps. I also love that I get to fulfill my creative side by working early in the morning, in between mom duties, and after kids are in bed. Its not an easy juggling act- and it never goes perfectly, but it's such a blessing in almost every way.

But- as much as I love the chaotic home/work life balance that we live- what I really enjoy is when I get to escape. (I really sound like a stay-at-home mom now, huh?) I love sneaking off to appointments or work meetings outside of the house- especially with Soren. They aren't often (most work we do from home), but it feels so good to get dressed with a purpose, leave the house, and go do some work. It's an outing that feels progressive and it's so refreshing to work with other creative adults, talk about my passions with Soren and the people we work with, and feel like just me, Kilee, for a few hours. 

Being eight months pregnant hasn't exactly helped me feel like myself lately, but comfortable maternity clothes and comfortable shoes have helped significantly with that. I'm a huge fan of this maternity tee from Splendid, these dressy sweatpants and suede heels that actually have a TON of cushion in them. I'm not normally a heel-wearer, but this cobalt suede pair from Rockport feel so much better than any other heels I own. They add so much personality to an outfit, without taking away my ability to stand or walk like a normal person. And believe me- I need all the support I can get with walking and standing these days!

Do you have a favorite escape- either from work or from the kids? 


Being a Mom Makes Me Better


SWEATER- Nordstrom // TEE- GAP // PANTS- A Pea In A Pod // SHOES- Free People // BAG- Lily Jade // EARRINGS- N&S Cognac Cut Out large
Photo Credit- Sarah Sweeney
I think I've mentioned it before, but one of my favorite things about being a mom is how much it pushes me to be better. My kids are such great motivators and I love seeing that in action. I'm willing to work harder, go farther and push myself outside of my comfort zone because of my boys. One easy example is being pregnant. I'm so not a fan and I think this may be my most uncomfortable end of pregnancy to date. But adding another little one to our family is infinitely worth it- so I'm not only carrying on at almost 38 weeks (like I have another choice), but I'm expecting to do this whole thing again in another year or two. 
Another example is how we spent this past weekend. On Friday Soren and I made a full day road trip to purchase more leather for our company. It was a really long and tiring day. But Saturday wasn't for lazing around and recovering. It was the last day of a local knight festival which we were planning on taking Kesler to for his 5th birthday. I wasn't about to let him miss it on account of me so I packed us a lunch and all of our things and we drove out to spend the day walking around and celebrating with him. At about 5 pm my body was DONE, but the day wasn't done so I just did my best to keep a happy face and enjoy the rest of evening with my family at dinner and Cabellas. Now I'm not saying I shouldn't try to give myself a break or rest, but I certainly chose to keep going because of Kesler and my other two boys. They deserve to have a Mom that is present and keeping up with them- so that is what I'm trying to do.
One other example is something that is probably as monumental as it gets as far as life choices. For the first five to seven years of our marriage, we had it rough. We fought a lot and found it hard to really see the best in each other. I was always getting my feelings hurt and nagging and Soren was a little too honest and a little too sharp. It was hard to know if things would ever get better and as much as I hate to say it, I wondered why I had even married him sometimes. It seemed like we were so not a match and were never going to be. But we had Easton. And then Kesler. And they are what gave me the motivation and the courage to keep trying as a couple. 
I knew that I had made promises Soren and to God when I got married, but when it really came down to it- I knew that divorce would never be an option because of my kids. I could. not. do that to them. They deserve to have a Mom and Dad that love each other and a happy family life, so I had to keep trying. And making changes in myself. And working on things with Soren. We did marriage counseling. I read books. I prayed. And slowly things got better. And better. And better. 
And things are better now for Soren and I than they have ever been. In the last few years we've really come to admire our differences and use them to make our marriage, our business and our lives better. We definitely see how great of a match we are and although we still disagree at times- it's healthy. We compromise and everything is better for it- including our family life. 
Every couple and relationship is different, but I know our differences were something that we overcame. We stuck it out and worked it out and I'm so thankful that we did. Marriage and family life aren't easy, but they are so worth it. My kids are worth it, my husband is worth it, and our new baby is worth it. 
How do your kids or your family push you to be better? Do you find this is the case for you too?

PS- We are giving away one of these amazing Lily Jade diaper bags and a $100 credit on Instagram and on FB today. Be sure to enter before the day is over!


Checking in with a Bumpdate


SWEATER- Urban Outfitters // PANTS- A Pea In The Pod // SHOES- TJ Maxx (similar) // BAG- Lily Jade // EARRINGS- N&S Cognac Cut Out large

Well, we're one week closer to my November 4 due date. And although I'm not crazy about constantly involving you in the details of this pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to throw out a pregnancy update at this point. Almost there. Almost there. 

How far along: 37 weeks

Baby’s size: About 6.5 lbs or the size of Swiss chard (?!?)

Total weight gain/loss: Not checking. No clue. 

Maternity clothes: Mostly. Apparently I wear giant clothes normally because a lot of my over sized sweaters from last year fit now.

Stretch marks? Nope

Sleep: This is the toughest part of pregnancy right now for me. I'm not sleeping well so I kind of dread going to bed. I usually start in my bed and then at about 4 am I end up sleeping on the couch. 

Best moment this week: The baby's car seat came and we made a lot of progress on the nursery. It feels like things are coming together! 

Miss Anything? Bending over. Easy movement. Sleeping. 

Movement: TONS. This little guy is my most active baby yet. He moves and punches and flips around all of the time. It's painful at times!

Food cravings: Crunchy yellow peaches- they can't be too ripe. Cherry Twizzlers. Cinnamon raisin toast. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. Just eating too much cereal before bed. 

Gender: A boy. And no, we don't have a name picked yet. We have one option that we both like- but if it doesn't work out- we don't even have a short list to work from. Unfortunately neither of us want to deal with thinking about it right now so we're just avoiding it until this little guy arrives. 

Labor Signs: Lots of contractions, but this baby hasn't dropped yet. 

Belly Button in or out? Just flat. 

Wedding rings on or off? On. My ankles and feet swell sometimes, but mostly the swelling has stayed down. 

Happy or Moody most of the time: It really depends. I think stress is still getting the best of me and I'm kind of turning into a control freak when it comes to the house and other arenas that I think I can micromanage. 

Looking forward to: A shorter to-do list before baby arrives. Baby arriving. Not being pregnant anymore. 

Are you expecting or due this next month too? How are you feeling? What are you craving?


Mom's Kind of Outing


SWEATER- Target (old) // PANTS- A Pea in the Pod // HAT- Nordstrom // BOOTS- Frye (old- but love these) // EARRINGS- Nickel & Suede Signature Silver large

When Soren and I got married we found out in every way possible, how much we are total opposites. I think we had an idea while we were dating, but we knew we had the important things in common so that is all we focused on. Soren likes to camp in the snow, I don't like to camp at all. He loves fruity desserts, I think of ice cream as merely a vehicle for eating chocolate toppings. He thinks the view from a mountain can't be beat and I think cows grazing in the country is the prettiest. So clearly- we are opposites.

 Over the Summer on our long road trip we took the kids hiking and although I was a good sport and even enjoyed it- that was Soren's ideal family activity. My turn came this weekend as we headed to the pumpkin patch for some super traditional and cliche Fall fun. 

It doesn't take reading many other pumpkin patch blog posts to imagine what we did at the patch, but it was just perfect. We tried out the Fun Farm in Kearney, MO this year and although it was pricey (they all are right?)- it was a good one.The baby animals were so adorable, the corn pit was basically a swimming pool full of corn, and the pumpkins were way too expensive for this momma. We did sample some caramel apples and pumpkin doughnuts and Soren spun the kids on the biggest tire swing of their lives. (See above. Sorry for video quality- I still think its fun. I  know a lot of people are using Snapchat for video these days, but I haven't jumped on board yet. What do you think of Snapchat? Are you over there?) The weather was perfect and we got cute pics. I couldn't ask for anything more. 

Have you gone to the pumpkin patch this year? What other outings do you always plan in October?

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