Babies ruin bodies

I came across a great link as I mindlessly perused FaceBook today while eating a sandwich at my desk.  If I can’t make it out of the office for lunch I can at least waste a few minutes while I eat, right? Anyway. This link/article/blog post was so beautiful!  I saw it on a friend’s post here and another post there and after about the 4th or 5th link to it decided it was probably worth the time (which I clearly value as I spent a good chunk of my lunch today on the FaceBook).  It’s about a woman’s path to accepting her body after childbirth. It was a beautiful reminder to me that my body MADE PEOPLE.  That’s kind of a big deal.  Things change.  It’s not all about weight. Things change.  Like a lot.  If you’ve had babies, you’re with me.  If you haven’t, I’ll spare you.  We all need to give ourselves a little break and a pat on the back for the amazing things our bodies can do! And respect that line between encouraging a friend to get back to where they feel good about themselves and making them feel lazy & fat because they haven’t lost all the “baby weight.” And by “a friend” I mean ourselves.  And by “ourselves” I mean me. I need to be nicer to me. And I’m guessing you need to be nicer to you too.


Christmas Jammies

This video that’s “gone viral” is pretty funny. My favorite part in the article I read that posted it (I can’t find it now) calls out families whose pictures are in white turtlenecks on the beach. I have a few of those on my Christmas card display this year. To be honest, I’m fine with that picture. The only feeling I have towards those families is pure jealousy. 1- Their location, obviously; and 2- Their ability to keep their shirts white long enough to take a picture.  Can you imagine what my family would look like in all white? I kind of want to try it just to see.

So speaking of Christmas cards, I finally got ours out yesterday and they should be hitting the shelves today! We kept it to a fairly small mailing this year. Choosing the photos for the card was fun. We had family photos a few times…. First with the entire Hill/Hyland crew which was a disaster. Calvin cried and Olivia gave stink eye the entire time. Jackson was 2. That’s all I can say.  Then we did just our family with Photography by Becca in Jewell. We started going to her when Jackson was born because our secretary gave us a gift card there. I love love love our old photographer Paul, but Becca does a phenomenal job too and we are always super happy with her! She’s easy to work with, knows what she’s doing, listens to what we want, and most importantly is a great photographer.  Anyway, she got the images we ended up using, but I’d like to share some of the top contenders from the last few months:

DSC_0085 DSC_0097

DSC_0083Hills_074 Hills_076


There photos so beautifully sum up our last few months.  More importantly, they are a reminder to smile and laugh through even the hardest times because time goes way too fast to get caught up on small things. Like a family photo with everyone smiling.  I’d even take just everyone looking at the camera (without a death grip from Dad).

Somehow, Becca was able to get this photo, and I love it.

View More: got TONS more great ones, I just haven’t downloaded them all yet.  The ones of the kids are awesome. I will be back some time with more!

Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and joy to whatever you and your loved ones are celebrating!

Nailed it.

I met this blogger through Young House Love the other day and I am declaring that we are soul mates. Although… I haven’t read much about her so maybe I should be careful with a statement like that. She might have some crazy obsession with cats or baby dolls or something that would make me think twice about that statement. Not that those things are bad. If cats & baby dolls are your jam, rock on with your bad self! We probably aren’t soul mates, and it’s good to know these things up front, you know? I’m glad we got that out of the way.

Anyway.  So this blogger.  She has a beautiful house and just posted her Christmas decor. It’s pretty much exactly what I would like my house to look like, right down to the disco ball tree topper. Seriously. I have a disco ball ornament that’s been my favorite since I was a kid and every year I carry it around the house looking for the right place for it. I had never thought about it on the top of the tree! Duh!  Her inspirations are glitz, colorful textures, rustic wood, antlers, greenery, & plaid. Or as she put it:


Because of course she made even the words pretty.

Even beyond the Christmas decor, I love her house! Lately I’ve been all about white walls (I swatched a few whites about two months ago… and they’re still just swatches on my living room walls. Fail.). I love her styling and we have so many similar or exactly the same items its a little scary. Except that she pulls it off- my house may have a lot of similar things but instead of looking professionally-done-yet-cool-and-relaxed it’s more frantic-quick-stick-a-throw-blanket-on-it-to-cover-the-toys-everywhere meets toddler chic. So we’re very similar.

Perhaps my favorite is how she used a Staples print and a piece of plexi-glass to make a kind of acrylic backmounted piece of art. It’s amazing.

Oh, I haven’t ever mentioned who I’m crushing on. Her site is called The White Buffalo Styling Co and the website is   I plan to follow her very closely!

I hope this post conveys how in awe I am of her creativity, style, and skills and doesn’t read too stalker, creepy, and obsessed.

Meh. Can’t win them all.

The Final Countdown

I have been on the hunt for an Advent calendar for a few years now and have had terrible luck. This year my sister found a really cute one at Starbucks. I was excited because I always love a good reason to go to SBux and finally found a calendar I liked! However, all of my local SBux were sold out. Besides that, they were $50! I’m new to this whole Advent thing, but that seemed steep.

So I did decided to make one. After a quick run to Starbucks for inspiration I was ready to go.

I perused Pinterest for a while but didn’t find anything that jumped out at me. And I kept getting distracted by all the other pretty things and funny pictures of bunnies.  Anyway, I remembered these spice jars I bought from a friend who was moving and trying to get rid of her clutter a few years back. They’re those generic white canisters with a glass top and magnetic bottom. I had tons of ideas how to use them at first but nothing ever panned out and they sat in the garage for about a year until rescuing  25 of them for this project.  I warshed them up and started thinking hard.  Later that afternoon I ran to Hobby Lobby for some supplies (after a run to Starbucks for fuel, obvi)- a 2″ hole punch (the glass tops to the jars were just under 2″ and there was enough of the lip that 2″ fit perfectly in there), some Christmasssy scrapbook paper, a gold Sharpie, some Modge Podge, and something to stick them all to. At first I was thinking I could get a shadow box and put a metal sheet along the backside, but one big enough for all the canisters was $50!  Frig!  But I found this cute chalkboard/magnetic board duo that asked to come home with me.  It was $20, but I had a 40% coupon and figured even after Christmas I can use this in the house somewhere so it was worth it.

After the kids went to bed I got to work- it was surprisingly easy.  I cut out 2″ circles, Sharpied a number on them, Modge Podged them to the inside of the glass (after popping them all out and polishing them clean- that was probably the most work), and put them all on the board! I borrowed some of Jackson’s sidewalk chalk and printed a scrolly “Merry Christmas” up top with some pretties below to balance it all out and BAM Advent Calendar.


Then I had to fill them.  2″ is small!  I didn’t want every day to have candy (helllllllo Toddler Monster) but it’s hard to find other small things! I ended up doing a mix of candy, stickers, tiny Christmas tree decorations, some mini Play Doh canisters (I’ll regret those later), and some random toys from the Dollar Spot at Target that were small enough.  I don’t like having lots of small things in the house with the babies so those are minimal and I’ll be able to pitch them after the initial excitement wears off and he’s not looking.  I found a website with daily Advent Bible verses but haven’t gotten around to printing those off… maybe today….


I also bought some gold spray paint in case the white was too stark, but decided that would make them too glitzy so I returned it eventually and left them as they are. I likey. HOWEVER, with all those supplies it ended up being around $40! However however, it’s homemade and I hope that will mean something to the kids one day and be worth it.

Speaking of homemade, the next day Seth’s mom brought this over.


I mean come on. I JUST made one!!  But she made this for Seth when he was little and he loved it as a kid, so I am happy to have it and Jackson has been loving picking out an ornament every day and sticking it on the tree.

So we went from 0 Advent Calendars to 2 Advent Calendars in a day. Apparently we like to increase things by 2’s here.

Hope you’re all enjoying the snow! At least if it’s going to be bitter cold we can enjoy the pretty snow, eh?