For the Joy of Life.






© Aleigh Moore - For the Joy of Life Blog 2015. Powered by Blogger.

Cambria Taylor Moore - A Birth Story

Cambria has been in our lives for three weeks now and even though we're still trying to find our new normal, in a way it feels like she's always been here. I miss my sleep (haha) but I'm so thankful for this sweet baby and the addition she is to our family already. I have no doubt that she came when she was supposed to. (even though this isn't the easiest time for our family)

When I was about 34 weeks, my doctor brought up inducing me at 39 weeks. I was hesitant and didn't really want to but was also open to the idea. The more I thought about it and weighed out the pros and cons, I decided inducing before my due date just wasn't the way I wanted to go. Oaklyn was 5 days late and I took a while to progress so I figured it would be similar with my second pregnancy. I was worried that my body just wouldn't be ready and I'd end up with a c-section. However, the convenience of being induced was definitely still in my mind. Since we live far away from family I was worried about not having someone I trust to watch oaks during the birth and while I was in the hospital, my sister not being able to come, and my mom not making it on time. So, we decided to schedule an induction two days after my due date so everyone we needed could be here and I could let Baby C cook a little longer. I kept hoping I'd just go into labor on my own but that just didn't happen. The day before the 14th my mom and sister came and we spent some time in the mountains. It was refreshing and a good distraction from thinking about the next morning. I power walked up the canyon and still felt absolutely nothing haha. When I put Oaklyn to bed that night, it was as if she knew what was happening because she was extra clingy and had a hard time saying goodnight. I wiped away the tears knowing that was the last time I'd tuck her in as my only child. The past two and a half years with her ran through my mind and I suddenly felt so guilty I was about to completely rock her world. It was a super weird feeling going to bed that night knowing that the next day I'd be having a baby. I looked through my hospital bag and honestly still couldn't believe in a matter of hours I'd have two kids. I don't think I slept a wink that night. I tossed and turned and to be honest, was incredibly nervous about all of it. By the time hunters alarm went off I was already exhausted haha. 

We left our car at home so my mom could bring my sister to the hospital once it was show time and we took Hunter's jeep. If you don't know about the jeep then that means nothing to you but basically it's never been my vehicle of choice haha! It has been passed through most of the kids in hunters family and somehow just keeps on living. The passenger door doesn't open, the air conditioning doesn't work, and there's a wrench you have to spin to open the drivers window. Haha I can't make this stuff up. Anyways we took the jeep to the hospital and Hunter accidentally parked in a handicapped spot. The paint was wearing away and there wasn't a sign so he didn't notice Til after he stopped the car. When he got back in to pull out of the spot, the car wouldn't start! Quite possibly the worst day for that to happen! Sooo I got in the drivers seat and had to back into a spot while Hunter pushed the car. Then I got out and walked into the hospital to have a baby! Haha such a funny start to the day.

 We checked in and they brought us right to our HUGE room! I changed into the gown and the next thing we knew they were setting up to get started. It was all so easy and relaxed! However, then my doctor came in to break my water and feeling every bit of that hurt like crazzyy! I was so happy once it was over. My contractions came on pretty quickly after that and strong too! It was so crazy to me that it was all happening so fast. Our nurse was awesome and we talked to her most of the time I labored. She kept telling me I could get the epidural whenever I wanted but for some reason I wanted to wait a little longer even though the contractions were starting to hurt pretty bad. Finally I decided it was time and the anesthesiologist was in the room minutes later. This was easily the hardest part for me. I started shaking and couldn't calm myself because I hate needles and hate knowing how important it is for her to do it right. I felt it all a whole lot more than I did with Oaklyn and tried so hard not to think about it. Luckily it was over pretty quick and that warm fuzzy feeling took over almost instantly. Epidurals (minus the part where they have to do the epidural ...) are heaven sent! After that I was able to get some rest. Then I turned to the door to see my little diva Oaklyn walk in! I loved getting to see her! She had princess shoes and sunglasses on and didn't have a clue what was happening haha. We talked to my mom and sister for a bit and then my mom decided to go grab some food for my sister. Not long after she left I began to progress SO fast! I jumped from a 5 to a 7 in what seemed like minutes and was suddenly at a 9. I was feeling an insane amount of pressure and the urge to push but she said I wasn't fully dilated. I seriously had to hold back from pushing because it was so strong! She checked me again and said I was complete and it was go time! The doctor came in and got all set up and the next thing I knew, she was here! Okay it didn't totally happen like that but it was so fast it felt that way! I felt so calm and ready this time around. 

Hunter held one leg and the nurse held the other and I only pushed through two contractions! I chose not to up my dosage of the epidural because I wanted to feel my legs after birth and I'm so glad because I was able to feel the pressure of the birth but not the pain. I remember feeling exactly the moment she was out and it was instant relief. It was 2:04pm and only about 6 hours from start to finish. I started to tear up instantly and couldn't take my eyes off her. Hunter cut the umbilical cord and they did her measurements as I got stitched up. They announced she weighed 7.2 lbs and was 20.5 in and I wanted to hold her so bad! They stuck her on my chest and she instantly snuggled up to me. It felt like heaven having her so close and so content. When my mom got back she couldn't believe it had happened so fast and neither could the rest of us! Oaks observed her baby sister but was pretty confused about the whole thing. They took her to get cleaned up before everyone held her and it honestly felt like forever that she was gone! During delivery we all heard a little "pop" noise and my awesome nurse couldn't get it out of her mind. So, she ordered an x ray for my little girl. They found out she had a little broken clavicle from delivery and it made me so sad! Especially because I hadn't seen her in hours... They finally brought her back into my room and some family and friends were able to hold her. Then, I got all the baby snuggles from her 💗 

Our hospital stay was honestly so wonderful! Cambria was a little dream baby and started nursing great and loveddd being snuggled! I really tried to soak up the fresh from heaven baby snuggles this time around and hardly wanted to put her down. Every one of the nurses was soo nice and all my meals were super tasty. It was like a mini vacation from all my usual responsibilities ;) She has been such a good little baby and we all love her so much. Her little noises and movements melt me and Hunter. Oaks loves to hold her baby sister and only feels jealousy when Hunter holds her haha. We're only three weeks in so we're pretty tired around here but so far, she has let us put her down for naps which has made things a whole lot easier than it was with Oaks! She's still nursing great and I'm so thankful for that! We just found out she has some acid reflux but we are glad it was caught early and we already have her started on some medicine. Often times, I still can't believe I have two kids! We're in a funny phase of life where Hunter is finishing up his last semester of college and working pretty lame hours in between. So, the days he's gone are really long for me but I keep trying to remember that this time will fly by even if it doesn't feel like it in the moment. I'm so thankful that the second time around I have a different perspective and know that it all goes too fast and babies grow crazy fast. The days are long but the years are short, right? ;) We're so thankful to have Cambria in our lives and we are so glad she is part of our family.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

A little background on her name: It is pronounced Cam-bree-uh. When I was 18 I visited a sleepy beach town in Northern California called Cambria and absolutely loved it! I haven't been able to get the name of the town out of my head since because I thought it was so pretty. I really wanted this to be Oaklyn's name but Hunter wasn't sold. He told me if we had another girl though, we would definitely use this name so I was pretty excited when we found out she was a girl! Her middle name is my sister's name and I had always wanted to use her name as one of my girl's middle names but couldn't believe how perfect it was that this baby's due date was her birthday! She obviously didn't come on her birthday but only two days after! It just felt too perfect. My sister was also in the delivery room when Cambria was born. I love that she has a family name. 

Better Sleep With A Newborn

This post is sponsored by Dorel Home Products. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #mainstays #believeinsleep 

I'm having a baby like... any day now! While I am so excited to snuggle this little princess and to expand our family, I also know exactly the kind of exhaustion we're in for. My first born didn't sleep much at all for wayy to long and I pretty much was a walking and grumpy zombie. I remember wanting to be near Oaklyn while sleeping when she was a newborn for several reasons. One, I could check on her easily whenever I wanted. Two, It made night feedings much easier. And Three, I could try to get her to go back to sleep quicker. However, there were also several downsides to having her right by me. I remember having so much anxiety every time my husband's alarm would go off because I knew it would wake up the baby. I hated having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because I also knew that would wake her up. And then of course, the transition out of our room to her own room was harder... I decided something's gotta change this time around and have thought up a solution to hopefully, a better sleeping situation for all of us this time around.  
I decided that it would be a great idea to put a bed in the nursery for me to sleep on during those long newborn days. That way, I don't have to worry about Hunter's alarm, we can put her straight in her crib, and Hunter can get a little more rest while working two jobs and in school! Upon choosing a mattress I knew we needed something budget-friendly since we'll be buying double the diaper for a little bit, and comfortable! I was so excited to find the Mainstays Twin Mattress from Walmart because it met all the criteria I had and will be great for Oaklyn to use later on. 

Not only is it great for finding a mattress on a budget, but it is so convenient to order! Simply head to to order and the next thing you know, you'll have your mattress waiting for you outside your door! Being really pregnant I actually wanted to cry thinking about how hard it would be for me to get a mattress into our little apartment while Hunter was at work. Thankfully, we were able to avoid that whole situation because I came home from running errand one day to my new mattress compressed and rolled up in a box... so cool!

One night after Hunter got home, we literally just opened the box, slid out the rolled mattress, carefully removed the plastic, and watched it expand in no time! I'm so happy that we were able to find a convenient and affordable mattress to make our sleep situation a little easier on all of us. I'm also excited that Oaklyn will be able to sleep on this bed once she grows out of her toddler bed. As you can tell from these pictures, she absolutely loved it! 

Dorel Home Products Mattresses are CertiPur which means they contain certified flexible polyurethane foam. They are made without ozone depleters, PBDE's, TDCPP flame retardants, mercury, lead, or other heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Basically, you can be sure you are getting a great mattress for a great price and you don't have to worry about what it is made from.
Now we really are ready for you little girl! Here's to hoping you sleep muchhhh better than your older sister did ;)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Tasty Tuesday: Turkey Burgers with Balsamic & Tomato Reduction

I have not been feeling my usual self lately due to the summer heat and the last little bit of pregnancy.
The combination of the two has made it particularly hard for me to want to eat well... anything other than cold fresh fruit and snow cones.
I wish I could eat those two things all day, but I have this husband that gets really grumpy if he doesn't eat three solid meals a day haha.
Yesterday was particularly hard because I was trying to meal plan and nothing sounded good.
The more I got to the thinking, the more I had fun with coming up with some fun meals that aren't super heavy.
I love a good burger and fries, but it can feel way too heavy after.
So, this week I opted for turkey burgers and added a fun little twist!
Hunter and I both loved these and I hope you do too!

-1 lb fresh ground turkey
-1/8 cup Italian bread crumbs or panko
-Salt and Pepper
-Fresh Spinach
-Sliced Onion
-Whole Wheat Buns

-1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
-1/2 tbsp white sugar
-1 drizzle of honey
-1/8 tsp Garlic Salt
- A handful cherry tomatoes cut in half

1) Combine your turkey, bread crumbs, and salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Mix together until fully combined. Next shape into patties and add to a hot skillet with cooking spray.
2) As your burgers are cooking make your sauce. In a small skillet, add balsamic vinegar and heat until bubbling. Whisk in your sugar and drizzle of honey. Add your garlic salt and pepper and continue to let simmer until thickened. (about 2 minutes)
3) Flip your burgers and make sure they are cooked through. Turn off the burner and let them rest.
4) Add your cherry tomatoes to the sauce and turn to low heat. Stir until tomatoes are softened.
5) Toast your buns or put them in the oven on broil for a few minutes. (I added a little butter and garlic salt)
6) Spread mayo on bottom bun, then place turkey patty on top. Add your sliced onion, a few spinach leaves, and a drizzle of the balsamic reduction with tomatoes. 

That's it!
I think all together this took about 15-20 minutes and felt good after eating it.
Also, it works perfectly paired with fresh, cold fruit! ;)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Making the Toddler Bed Transition Smooth For Mom

We recently transitioned Oaklyn to a toddler bed in preparation of the new little girl that is joining our family very soon.
I was actually terrified to switch Oaklyn over because we had such a good thing going already with her in the crib and I really didn't want to mess that up.
She hadn't learned how to climb out, she slept great, and sleeping is something that is reallyy important to me.
Whether it be naps or night time sleep, we both really need that time away from each other to feel refreshed haha.
Especially with a new baby on the way, I really didn't want to mess that up!

However, I knew the transition would have to happen at some point so I thought I might as well do it before the new baby needs the crib. 
I was so stuck on when to actually do the transition because Oaklyn had to have eye surgery at the end of June.
I really didn't want to do it before because I was scared she would regress with the pain of the eye surgery and I didn't want to do it right after because I wanted her to comfortably be able to sleep in her crib.
Turns out the surgery didn't really impact sleeping much so we waited about 2 weeks after and decided to go for it.
I overthink just about everything so as Hunter was moving the crib over to the nursery and setting Oaklyn's new little toddler bed in place I felt sick to my stomach.
"What if we don't sleep at all tonight, what if this means naps are no more, what if she hates it..."
Nighttime came and she clung to Hunter like her life depended on it when he tried to put her in bed.
She screamed for an hour about how she didn't want to go in the big girl bed ha.
I finally was able to get her in bed and she began whining the second I closed the door.
I felt so bad for her!
It was honestly such a scary transition for her and I was so prepared to just bring the crib back in her room haha.
Hunter let me know that she would be okay and I that made me feel a little better, but honestly, what made me feel the best was having our Project Nursery Video Monitor to be able to check in and make sure she was okay. 

My eyes were glued to the screen as I was able to watch her get comfortable and finally fall asleep.
I never had a monitor, nonetheless a video monitor, when she was a baby and I loved being able to have it during this transition. 
It made me feel so much better being able to watch her and make sure she was okay. 
I was able to see if she rolled off the bed, if she didn't seem comfortable, if she looked scared, and if she had gotten out.
I honestly think having a video monitor has been key for me as the mom in this transition.
It has made it so much smoother for me to see her and not have to walk in and wake her up.
This monitor also has the option for me to talk to her and let her know she's okay if she's having a hard night, without actually going in there. 
There's also a fun setting where you can turn on lullabies and Oaklyn loves it!
I've also loved that it tells me the temperature because this summer has been SO hot!
It helps Hunter and I determine if we need to turn the air cooler or warmer for her comfort. 

Overall, I have been SO pleased with this monitor and I'm just so glad we've had it during this transition.
It has honestly made all the difference for me!
I love that I can sit and work during nap time and just look down and make sure she's okay, and I love that I can easily check on her right before I go to bed at night. 
I'll be talking more a little later on my tips for a smooth toddler bed transition, but for now I'll say that having this monitor is definitely a tip that will help out!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Thank you to Project Nursery for sponsoring this post!

Why I Chose the Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic For Baby C

*Thank you to Chicco for sponsoring this post

Oh baby gear, there's just so much of it out there!
Strollers, swings, car seats, carriers, swaddles, toys, clothes, diaper bags... it's seriously overwhelming to a newly pregnant mama.
Or at least it was for me...
When I found out I was pregnant with Oaklyn, I was honestly clueless as to what we actually needed and what was worth it to save and splurge on.
I remember taking out my laptop and searching "what do I need for my baby?"
That almost overwhelmed me more because I realized how much we needed and even worse, how much it would cost!
Needless to say, I closed my laptop and decided I would figure it out later.
One thing I truly believe is worth splurging on, is the car seat. 
A car seat needs to do its job and keep your baby safe.
I had no idea what type of car seat to get with Oaklyn so we just settled for a travel system that was on sale and called it good.
That was my first big mistake in motherhood haha!
I should have read the reviews, gone to a store to test it out, heard what car seat techs have to say, and maybe spent less on clothes so we could get a better car seat ha.
The one we got was a huge pain to install, never felt secure when installed, the straps always got twisted, and to be honest... was not the safest.

This time around we decided that the old car seat was one thing not worth saving.
We threw it out and did some research on getting a newer, safer one.
I was looking at a few well known brands and just couldn't get past the fact that the Chicco KeyFit 30 had the absolute best reviews.
I also went into my favorite local baby store and asked them a few questions and they told me they always recommend this car seat.

So... what's so great about it??
Well, it's the #1-rated infant car seat in America.
So, that for starters is always good to hear!
It has also been voted as the easiest car seat to install which is a huge selling point for Hunter since he usually does the car seat transferring haha. 
It Features ReclineSure® Spring-Loaded Leveling System and dual RideRight® bubble level indicators for an accurate fit. 
When the car seat is properly positioned, SuperCinch® LATCH Tightener uses force-multiplying technology to achieve a super tight fit with a fraction of the effort!
The KeyFit® 30 Magic is designed to hold babies from 4 to 30 lbs and has a reversible infant insert that is both breathable mesh and soft fabric for babies 4-11lbs. 
A large canopy with a zip-out, mesh extension allows gentle breezes to pass through which I thought was SO cool!
This is actually one of the differences between the regular KeyFit 30 and the Magic.
I love that the canopy extends further for extra shade. 
The magic also comes with the all-weather boot which easily folds open to give parents convenient, full-access to both baby and harness. It is also easily removable when you don't need it.
It has energy-absorbing EPS foam lining, a 5-point harness, and reversible infant insert which creates both a comfortable and safe place for your baby.

Because I want this review to be completely honest, I will say we have not actually used this car seat yet.
Baby C isn't going to be here for a couple more weeks so I haven't been able to actually use it on an infant, but just from having it in my hands and checking out all the features, I'm positive it is a million times better than the car seat we had with Oaklyn. 
Also, we tested it out with Oaklyn's (very well loved) teddy bear and loved the fit!
It is incredibly easy to remove from and insert into the base, weighs enough that I feel my baby will be safe in the event of an accident, yet is also light enough for me to carry, and I love the look of it!
We have the NextFit Zip for Oaklyn and have loved it so much that I knew we would become longtime Chicco users.
When searching for a car seat, I highly suggest looking into all it offers.
Car seat safety is HUGE so do yourself a favor and get this car seat next time around :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Click here to look more at the Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic and Click Here for the rest of their infant seats

Tasty Tuesday: Avocado Corn Salsa and Grilled Chicken

I made up this little recipe two summers ago and loved it so much we had it more often than not.
However, I tend to forget about recipes all too often and haven't made it in way too long!
I'll also blame the fact that it's totally a summer recipe and we had the worst winter like ever this year!
All I want is comfort food when it's cold outside, and all I want is fresh food when it's hot.
Anyways, I remembered this recipe as I was meal planning last week and was so excited to eat it all week!
I posted about it on insta stories and got tons of questions about it so I decided it needed to be added here.
This picture is from the first time I made it so I'll need to update that at some point, but for now you can enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

-Chicken. However much or little.
-Marinade for the chicken. Any one you please. We used Lawry's herb and garlic marinade. (I've also since done this chicken by just adding some season salt, or garlic salt, or whatever we have on hand and baking it. Marinating is still my fav but takes a lot more prep.)

-1 can of corn 
-1 firm tomato 
-1/4 ish cup onion
-Handful cilantro
-1 ripe (but not super mushy) avocado
-1 tbsp. lemon juice
-2 tbsp. olive oil 
-Garlic salt 

1) Marinate your chicken for 5-6 hours. Or longer if you have the time and patience. Have your husband (or do it yourself) grill the chicken to your liking. Or as stated above, baking it is totally great too!
2) Meanwhile make the salsa! Chop up tomato and onion into cubes and put in a mixing bowl. Add in your can of corn drained. Add in olive oil and lemon juice and coat. Next chop your cilantro and cube the avocado. Add this to the mixture. Now sprinkle your seasonings to your liking being careful not to mush the avocado while mixing. 
3) Once the chicken is done top it with the salsa and there ya have it! A few variations we've liked are to put the chicken and salsa atop a bed of rice or quinoa. Hunter also said it would be really good wrapped in a tortilla! I agree! Have fun with it, because it is such a fun and colorful meal. 

Happy summer everyone! 
I hope you're having pool days galore!

All my love, 
Aleigh Joy

Floating Photo Frame DIY

When we moved into our current apartment, I knew it was incredibly temporary,  but it just didn't feel like a home without decorating the way I wanted.
For the first time ever in our marriage, we walked in to a completely blank slate and it was SO refreshing!
White walls in every room made the possibilities endless.
I basically went through everything I had and got rid of a crazy amount of stuff because it was never really my style to begin with, it just worked in our previous places.
I've always loved light and bright when it comes to decor so i knew I wanted a lot of white.
 I also absolutely love displaying our family's memories so I wanted something that held a lot of photos without looking cluttered. 
I had two blank walls that needed some love but none of my old stuff was working.
I shared what I did with one of the walls here, but was torn for a while with the other wall.
I kept resorting to a gallery wall since I wanted a way to display a bunch of photos but ultimately decided against it because I really didn't want it to look cluttered.
Everything I was finding at my usual stores just wasn't cutting it so I decided to make something myself!

I am in love with the way these frames turned out.
They are exactly what I was envisioning.
Ultimately I wanted this DIY to be cheap!
While I am planning on bringing them with us wherever it is we go, I just knew there was a way to make them without breaking the bank. 
I went to Lowes and Hobby Lobby and weighed out all my options several different times and finally figured out how to make all three for around $10.
YUP! You heard that right ;)
So here's what you need and how to do it...
Sorry guys, I totally spaced step by step directions.

What you'll need:
-Wood!  I can't remember the exact name of the wood I used but it was very similar to this one. I believe the ones I got were just under $2 though. I had them cut the pieces into 32 inch pieces and and 12 inch pieces. I needed 6 of each to make three frames. 
-Paint. Use whatever color you want but I just used white acrylic from Hobby Lobby
-Wood Glue. 
-Black and white photos. Of course you can do color... but black and white looks much more uniform!
-Hot Glue
-Something to hang it. You can get the cool things like the sawtooth hangers to nail in or a wire but since we're renting I just attached command strips on the back.

How to make them:
1) Cut your pieces into the dimensions I stated above. You may need to sand the edges a little bit.
2) Assemble two 32 inch pieces and two 12 inch pieces to make a frame shape. Then add a little wood glue and apply pressure. This is where I went the cheapest route. Most frames have a 45 degree angle but I didn't have a saw to do that or correct tools to attach the pieces. If you do, then go ahead and go that route!
3) Once the wood glue has dried your frames are done! Haha so easy. I then painted my frames and let them dry but spray paint would've also been super easy.
4) Wrap twine a few times around the top. I wrapped it around the top pieces of the frame twice then strung it down and did the same to the bottom. I then Just took a smaller piece and wrapped it twice around the other side of the middle piece of twine that's used to hang the photos. I used hot glue to make the twine stay in place. I also cut out the backside of the twine since I used command strips and the twine made the back side too bulky.
5) Attach your photos using good ol tape! I got mine printed in 5X5 at Costco and arranged them to my liking before placing the tape. It has held great and will make changing them out super easy!

That's all!
You guys, these frames were so so easy to make and are one of my favorite decorations.
Not only do each of the sweet memories bring a little tear to my eye each time I look, but I love how clean it looks in our hallway. 
I also think it would look great with four or even five frames in a bigger space!

I hope you guys enjoyed this little DIY!
What are you currently working on in your home?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy