parenting decisions + LifebankUSA (a year later…)

September 24, 2016

newborn // livelovesimple.com

Last time I wrote about cord blood banking, Marina was in my belly. I wrote about some of the many decisions that we make as we become parents. I shared a couple of my favorite photographs of newborn Roman in the hospital. Today, nearly a year later, I am back to talk about this topic again, but this time around I’m sharing a couple of my favorite photographs of newborn Marina in the hospital.

I am so blessed to have been through the miraculous experience of giving birth twice now. My perspectives on motherhood have changed a little bit, but many of the thoughts & emotions that I felt from the very start have remained the same. In my last post, I wrote that although “I have gained some small measure of confidence along the way, deep down, I am still scared all of the time — always questioning each decision that I make. Am I doing the right thing? Is there a right thing?”

newborn feet // livelovesimple.com

That uncertainty and fear remains, it will always be there to an extent, I am certain. However, I have been working really hard on letting go and letting God. Reading back on my words from the past, I recognize that I have come along in my journey. Gratefully, today, faith plays a much larger role in my life and that faith allows me even more confidence in that I am making the right choices for my sweet little ones.

Speaking of choices, if you happen to be researching cord blood banking for yourself, I encourage you to check out LifebankUSA, a cord blood bank, that is a leader in stem cell banking. Cord and placental banking upon your baby’s birth offers promising opportunities for the treatment of diseases and injuries that your child may experience later in life. It is a fascinating opportunity for parents to consider. Science is truly amazing and each step that we can take as parents to give ourselves peace of mind is a wonderful thing.

Thank you for reading, friends. As always, I am sending you love & light. xo


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Free Desktop Calendar Background // October 2016

September 16, 2016

free desktop background calendar /// October 2016

Happy Friday, friends. A few days ago, I was searching for a new desktop background. I was hoping to find a calendar with some beautiful autumn watercolors, but the only ones I could find were very outdated. So I decided to make one myself. I thought I’d share it here for anyone else that might be interested.

Let me know if you like it and if you’d be interested in me creating more freebies like this in the future!

To download simply click the link below that best suits your screen size. Then right click and choose ‘set as desktop background.’ Enjoy!

October 2016 // Desktop Background 1024 X 768 px
October 2016 // Desktop Background 3840 X 2860 px

Always,
Dena xo

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Roman’s First Day of Preschool

September 14, 2016

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

Today marks one week since I took these pictures and one week since Roman’s first day of preschool. Over the years, I’ve shared how I’ve gone back & forth between sending my children off to school and homeschooling. About a year ago, I began bringing Roman to church with me on Sundays and leaving him in the church nursery with the teachers and other children. To my surprise, he loved it. There were no tears, not even close! He made friends immediately and he was always looking forward to going. Then, over the summer, I enrolled him in art camp for a few days. Again, he loved the experience and didn’t flinch when I walked away. It is clear to me that he really enjoys being around other children.

Since Marina’s birth, it has gotten more and more difficult for me to homeschool Roman. Marina was a high needs baby and continues to be a high needs toddler. I’ll write in detail about that, but for now, suffice to say that effective homeschooling has become next to impossible (for me!).

In any case, now that Roman is in his second week of preschool, I can see how much he is growing & thriving already. He adores his teachers and his friends. He’s learning new things and experiencing interpersonal relationships in a way that I never could have provided him at home. I am very happy with our choice to send him. He goes to school twice a week — on Wednesdays & Fridays from 9:00 am to 11:30 am.

Roman’s school is a modern Co-Op Nursery School located in my church (which is also where I work!). The school is nonsectarian (not faith-based) and it’s very family-oriented. Parents are encouraged to be involved as much as possible. It is strictly a nursery/preschool, meaning that it is not a daycare (there are no infants, and no full-day program available for working parents). There are two classes–a class for two-year-olds and a class for three & four-year-olds. I love the school’s philosophies which include hands-on learning, class trips, outdoor play, science, music, and art.

I was a little bit emotional on his first day, but mostly I was just as excited as he was. There were no tears shed from any of us, which really surprised me. I thought I would be Miss Waterworks, but it all went off without a hitch. While some of the other little ones were nervous, Roman wasn’t at all. In fact, he ran straight up to his teachers and greeted them with a big hug. One of the teachers said, “Wow! We’re used to getting this kind of love on the last day, not the first!” My sweet, loving boy. He fills my heart with a warm pride that I could never put into words.

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

First Day // livelovesimple.com

Here’s hoping that the rest of the year goes as smoothly & wonderfully as the beginning has. xo

‘Back to School’ Style // Eyewear

September 9, 2016

“Back to School” season is in full swing and this year it’s been hitting our home extra hard, because Roman just started preschool! It’s been such an exciting first week for him and our family as we’ve gathered around to cheer him on.

Having a reason to do a little extra autumn shopping & styling for my baby boy is such a joy for me. I just adore all of the autumn colors and styles in the stores these days. Rich golden yellow, deep red hues, and the warmest browns are everywhere. I love finding adorable ways to keep my babies looking stylish & comfortable.

One of my favorite ways to add a cute detail to their looks is with glasses. There is something beyond adorable about the way the perfect frame just finishes their look and compliments their sweet, little faces.

One of my favorite places to find fashion eyewear at a great value for me & my kids is JCPenney Optical. Their selection has everything that you need for fun, style, and Back to School.

fall fashion eyewear // livelovesimple.com

And while I’m on the subject, I have to share these gorgeous Cover Girl frames from JCPenney Optical that I’ve fallen in love with.

fall fashion eyewear // livelovesimple.com

fall fashion eyewear // livelovesimple.com

I couldn’t decide between the brown or the black frames, so I took to Snapchat to ask my friends for their thoughts. It looks like I’m going to go with the brown!

fall fashion eyewear // livelovesimple.com

If you happen to be in the market for frames for yourself or your little ones, head in to JCPenney Optical today, the Labor Day Sale lasts through the end of the day and you can get 60% off a pair of frames!

Happy Friday, friends. I hope that you have a beautiful weekend and that your little ones first week back to school was a great success. xo

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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