December 31, 2018

2018: A Year of Growth


January was a time full of the challenges that come with breastfeeding + sleepless nights that so often accompany a three month old!

February had rainy days that were meant for cuddling :)

March is full of memories to the park + gardening with my little baby by my side.

April was a reflection of our Savior's sacrifice + Nova's first Easter. 

May was a celebration of motherhood + our very first family vacation to Long Beach, CA.

June we celebrated two years of marriage!

July scared me to the core when Nova took her first real fall but recovered quickly + spent our days at the water park. 

August was finally warm enough for beach days + afternoons in the pool! 

September changed us forever as we experienced the loss in early pregnancy. 

October made my baby turn one + I will never forgive it for that ;)

November required change + patience as we traveled to our new home in Austin, TX. 

December has been full of time together, growth + excitement as we share the happy news of our newest addition - baby fullerton coming summer 2019!




I am so thrilled to see what 2019 teaches me and what kinds of challenges I will face. It's always interesting to look back on our pasts to learn how we'd like our futures to turn out. While I may not have many goals for this upcoming year (besides surviving two under two), I know one thing is for sure: the experiences coming my way will continue to shape and change me. 

Happy new year! I hope everyone is blessed with a happy and full year! Thank you for all of your support and love towards my blog and our little family. Sharing our story and being able to connect to so many of you is such a blessing in my life. Thank you for a wonderful year at Fullertons in the Making



December 19, 2018

Finding Myself After a Miscarriage


September 2018 will always be burned into my memory. In the same month I would find out I was pregnant with our second child and also miscarry that child. Something so sudden and unplanned as a miscarriage can rip someone’s heart out. I don’t know that I have ever cried out in heartache like I did that weekend. 

When I was pregnant the first time, with Nova, I was constantly worried about about having a miscarriage. For no particular reason other than the fact that it was my first pregnancy and everything terrified me. The second time, I wasn't as worried but continued to feel the prompting that I should be. Something didn't feel quite right. I ignored the promptings and began preparing how we'd tell our families. I was determined to surprise them with the news of the pregnancy while we were all together for Nova’s birthday. I bought the cutest big sister shirt, planned the pictures and announcement. Had my first ultrasound scheduled, prenatal insurance being processed. Everything was going to be perfect. This was not the way I thought I would be sharing the news of our second baby. 


Telling our parents and siblings about the miscarriage was one of the harder parts. It's a little awkward for me to share news like that and I imagine a little awkward for most people. But, I knew that in order for me to heal, I needed their prayers more than ever. I also really needed to be able to talk about it... almost like talking through it. 

The day after the miscarriage, I woke up with crusty, baggy eyes from getting very little sleep the night before. The emptiness I felt hadn't filled and the heartache didn't suddenly subside, like I was wishing it had. Waking up to realize it wasn't all a dream... well, it was like it was happening all over again. The tears would not stop. I felt like a burden and annoyance because I was struggling so severely. I shared these feelings with Ryan after again, apologizing for crying. He reminded me that it's important to feel what I'm feeling but to remember that the Savior has felt it too. Christ, more than anyone else, knew exactly how I was feeling.

Ryan's eternal perspective and reminder to reflect on the Savior was the motivation I needed to get through this. Turning this trial over to Christ was my saving grace. I'm so grateful for having the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. Without it, I'm not sure that I would have come out of this a stronger person. This isn't a sad story to me anymore. It's a story of how I became who I am, how I've been strengthened and how I came closer to Christ. 


This is my motherhood. This baby, no matter how small, will always be part of me and my story. I will never forget this moment in my life and I will never forget this baby. If you’re struggling, know you are never alone. 



October 29, 2018

Fall's Must-Have Accessory: Wooden Watches


Thank you to JORD Watches for sponsoring this post!

I took about a week to step away from the blog for a much needed breather after Nova's birthday extravaganza! I'm excited to be back at it and share with you one of my favorite accessory pieces this fall. The warm tones of this time of year are such a compliment to a wooden watch! JORD Watches makes the most beautiful men and women's watches that are high quality, warm and unique. They truly are fall's must have accessory! 



Something that I first adored about JORD Watches was their packaging! I know, you have heard me say it before but I am a sucker for good packing! This women's watch was perfectly packaged inside a beautiful wooden box. It was as if my watch was screaming "luxury!!" in such simplicity and I absolutely loved it! 

JORD Watches provide so many styles to choose from. Mine in particular is perfect for my wardrobe. I like to keep my accessories classic and meaningful. These unique wooden watches do just that for me. The Koa & Ash watch from the Frankie Series gives me all the heart eyes! Before JORD, I would go through watches like nobody's business. They just wouldn't last due to poor quality and the style wouldn't be in any longer. I love that these Wooden Watches are timeless and really allow for minimalism in your jewelry box. Say goodbye to cheap watches, my friends! You really won't ever want to look back!


JORD Watches wants to giveaway a $100 credit to their online store! Entering is made simple! All you need to do is enter through this link: 

This giveaway will run until Sunday, November 18 at 11:59pm! Even if you don't win, JORD was sweet enough to give you a code for 10% off your order! Just use code: [enter code here] at checkout.

You can find yourself a JORD Watch here: 


October 15, 2018

Nova's First Birthday Party!


I'm still in shock over the fact that I have a toddler. "One-year-old + wiser too..." from the primary song keeps ringing in my head. Nova Violet is one-year-old. It is quite possible the most difficult thing to wrap my head around! Such is life. But, you're here for party details, not a mama's denial story! I am very excited to share a little bit about her birthday party! It was such a fun party. I was actually shocked that we were able to get everything done in basically one night and one morning! All the hard work really paid off. 



Saturday, October 6th, was perfect weather. We woke up to wet grass and grey skies. The party was in my parent's backyard but I wasn't worried about having to pull the party inside. Thank goodness there was no rain during the party and the weather continued to give us a cool breeze and grey skies. My parents have a beautiful and simple backyard. We used their patio area for eating, impromptu dance floor and a Photo Booth. I decorated with A TON of streamers, balloons, lanterns, photo garlands, paper fans and DIY decorations. 




One of the things I really wanted at the party was a photo book for everyone to sign. We used Shutteryfly to make the book full of pictures from Nova's first year. Our guests signed it for Nova to look back on for years to come! I want to do this for all of our baby's first birthdays. 



Since the party was in the back, we had some balloons, an arrow and a beautiful sign directing everyone back there. The sign was made by the very talented, Lindsay Ashworth from A Touch of LA. She also made the sign for our Photo Booth and did an amazing job! Everything matched Nova's party invitations perfectly. Lindsay makes beautiful and unique decorations for all themes and is so sweet! Check her out on Instagram


Originally, the theme was a subtle take on bohemian but the morning of the party I realized it was more just a girly, pink party and I was totally okay with that. We got so many compliments on all the decorations and party activities, I was really glad that everyone enjoyed the party as much as we did! We had music, games and lots of laughter. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of tears shed. Before we ate food, Ryan asked me to say a quick prayer. Emotion swelled up inside me and I realized just how grateful I was. Grateful for this beautiful daughter of God to be mine and to celebrate that day and grateful for the family and friends there to celebrate with us.


That's not where the tears ended, let me tell you! My second-oldest sister, Amy, and her husband bought a ticket for my oldest sister, Kelly, to come for the party all the way from Florida. It was such a wonderful surprise and beautiful reunion. I am the youngest of five children and everyone except Kelly was able to come to the party. That motivated my brother-in-law to buy her a ticket to come just for two days. I found out the night before but we surprised my mom during the party! I was so grateful that all of my siblings could be together for the first time since Ryan and I got married. 


The cake. Oh boy, oh boy. If you only knew what I wanted to do but didn't have time for! We made a baby-version of Carrot Cake with very little sugar and a cream cheese frosting on top. It turned out just fine and I was just happy Nova actually played with it and smashed it! The cake for the adults was my family's favorite: Pound Cake with cream cheese frosting. It's the same cake we served at our wedding and was gone faster than anything else! Anyway, back to the smash cake ;) It actually took some motivation to get her into the cake. She kept looking up at me with the most confused look on her face! Once she figured out it was for her, she had fun making a mess!






Nova's best friend and cousin (only two days younger than her!), Kaleo, jumped next to her! It was quite possibly the cutest event of the day. Nova LOVES her little cousin and is always trying to kiss him, hug him and play with him. It is so fun watching them grow up together! Neither one of them seemed to enjoy the cake as much as the frosting (go figure..) but they were dang cute making this big mess!




The food is where we really kept everything pretty simple and easy. I wanted food that would appeal to everyone there and that would avoid plastic cutlery. The morning of the party, I made 80 croissant sandwiches, 40 ham and 40 turkey. We made a giant bowl of fruit salad and put those into cups as well as veggie cups with ranch at the bottom. This was seriously the easiest way to serve food and prevented a lot of messes! The very best thing we could have done was setting out bags of snacks and applesauce packets for a quick snack during the party. I got so many compliments on this and definitely recommend it for baby birthdays or kids birthdays! 




As much fun as everything was, I told Ryan we probably won't be doing this big of party again for a while! I love party planning, decorating and everything that comes with hosting a party but WOW. It is so much work! I'm so grateful we were able to do this for Nova and that so many people who love her were able to come and celebrate with us. 









A HUGE THANK YOU to Maddie Decker from To Bloom + Wander for photographing the event! She did an amazing job and I love her so much! Please go give her some love, she is so talented!!





October 5, 2018

n o v a : t w e l v e | m o n t h s


The day has come. My baby is one and I am in complete denial. I sincerely feel like we just brought her home while at the same time feel as though she was always here. Nova Violet Fullerton is quite possible the sweetest and funniest baby I have ever known. I am extremely proud to be her mom and am overjoyed that she is my daughter. 

When Ryan and I first met Nova, everything felt right. In just one year, she has taught us more about ourselves and life than we could have ever thought possible. Ryan has such a sweet spot in his heart for his little girl. My capacity to love has grown wildly. These babies truly are pure magic.  


| her twelfth month |

weighs eighteen and a half pounds + twenty-eight and a half inches tall 

she is walking! prefers to crawl but can walk independently 

loves to play peek-a-boo 

can now say "please" but doesn't understand what it means

♡ knows how to sign "thank you" just chooses not to! 

♡ favorite meal right now: chicken, mozzarella + blueberries

♡ almost into twelve month clothes and loves wearing shoes!

 loves when mommy counts "1...2...3" + then tickles her!

♡ really enjoys being independent but still loves snuggling with daddy 

♡ still the most sweet, kind and happy baby since day one



Watching Nova love and learn about the world around her is a magical thing. She is so innocent and sweet while also maintaining a very strong personality. My mom always says Nova is someone who already knows exactly what she wants! I am excited to be raising a strong, independent woman ;) I am especially excited to watching her continue to grow and learn during this next year. Watch out world! She's going to do big things :) 


A one-year-old is so many things,
a tiny discoverer of butterfly wings,
a hugger of teddies, a sweet sleepyhead,
and someone to dream for in bright years ahead…

A special new person who, right from the start,
has a place in the family and, of course, in your heart.

And, just when you think that you’ve learned all the things
that your dear one is and the joy that they bring,
a hug or a grin comes with such sweet surprise
that love finds you smiling  with tears in your eyes!
-author unknown-

I love you so much my sweet Nova Violet. Happy first birthday.





October 3, 2018

Reading to Your Infant


Okay, lets get really real right now. I used to be awful about reading to Nova. It seemed like such a chore and she would never sit still! We also only had about 5 board books and the rest were filled with pages that were ready to be ripped to shreds. Reading at an early age was, at one point, not our strong suit. 

One day I was listening to a speech therapist talk about how important reading to our infants is. One piece of advice she shared really resonated with me. She said, "Even if your baby or child doesn't seem interested and walks away, let them. Continue to read. They will make their way back eventually and if they don't, they still hear you reading to them." I tried it out for a few weeks and eventually Nova became infatuated with reading! Once stubborn and uninterested, she now brings books to me to read to her! 


Oftentimes, I have a difficult time finding good books that are exciting and beneficial without spending tons of money. The Bookroo Subscription Box has really made that much simpler. This is a monthly subscription box that brings 2-3 books right to your door! They make it easy by allowing you to select what type of books you would like to receive dependent on your child's age and needs. 

I also loved receiving Nova's first box because of how adorable it arrived! Packaged in the beautiful blue box with a large print of their logo, you open it up to find your books wrapped individually! It felt like a birthday present and really personal. I know that as Nova gets older, she will look forward to receiving her very own subscription box! 

Picture from Bookroo.com


In a world full of electronics and social media, it is becoming drastically more important to get our children excited about reading. Something to consider if you are struggling with reading to your infant, is how much of a benefit it is to your baby! Even though they may not understand what you are saying, reading aloud:

• teaches a baby about communication •
• encourages listening, vocabulary skills, memory •
• introduces numbers, letters, colors and shapes •
• builds brain activity and encourages learning •


Be sure to check out Bookroo for the perfect gift to yourself or a friend and encourage your baby to learn! Something I have loved about reading to Nova everyday is that I feel an overwhelming amount of accomplishment. Every day does not go perfectly but if I have done my part in helping her learn, I know I did at least that one thing right. 

To receive 15% off your order with Bookroo, use coupon code: FULLERTON


September 28, 2018

Mini Calzones


We love pizza in any way we can get it! We've made homemade pizza, go out for pizza, made pizza quesadillas and now mini calzones! Because hello!! It's pizza. These were so fun and easy to make. After we had laid Nova down for the night, we hopped in the kitchen and made these together for a little date night. They were perfectly paired with a Caesar Salad and movie night!



Premade Pizza Dough
(you can make it at home as well, but this was a way to make the calzones quickly. I found ours at Winco for $2)

Pizza Sauce
(put into bowls for dipping later!)

3-4 Tbsp Melted Salted Butter

Parmesan Cheese

Mozerella Cheese

Chopped Red or Green Pepper (or both!)

Chopped Onion

Feta

Pepperoni

Sausage

Ham

Italian Seasoning

Garlic Powder

Ground Black Pepper

(everything is up to you! We prefer to have a lot of meat and cheese on our pizzas so this is usually the combination we go for!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Sprinkle flour onto clean surface and begin rolling out the dough as thin as possible, just before it is see-through. Cut with a pizza cutter into 4 inch x 4 inch squares.

Take one square and place onto prepared cookie sheet. Begin adding everything you would like into your calzone. Put another square over the top and seal the edges by pinching them. 

Cut a small X into the middle of the calzone (only on one side). Melt the butter (or you can use oil) and spread onto each calzone.

Sprinkle Italian Seasoning, Pepper and Garlic Powder on top as well as a generous amount of shredded Parmesan. You can use any seasonings you want, I have just found this combination compliments the calzones best! 

Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes, checking on it regularly. It's hard to put a specific time on it because it depends all on how large and thick your calzones turn out. Once the dough and parmesan are browned, you can take them out of the oven.  

Dip in pizza sauce and enjoy!




September 25, 2018

Fall Home Decór


This year, I pulled out my fall decorations that I've used since college. In the small bin, I had 3 glass, bright orange pumpkins and one fall candle. Confused, I was searching everywhere for my plethora of decor only to remember when we moved, it was all given away. At first, I was a little frustrated that I would have to start all over. My style has changed so much since then so I'm actually really happy that I had to start all over! This year, I decided to buy things more on the neutral side with a few pops of deep orange and red. I LOVE how it turned out. I wanted a simple touch of fall that you could feel as soon as you walked through our doors.


The places I turned to for decor were Joann's, Target and Hobby Lobby. One of the first things I bought was this embroidered hoop. I have totally fallen in love with these and hope to have one for every season! They are beautiful and make such a subtle statement. This one is at Joann's for $8. 



Some of the things I implemented in our decor were things that we've had, but I'm using them in different ways. This "F" wood block was given to us as a wedding gift. I've had it on our hallway shelf but decided to move it to a place where it would compliment the fall color scheme. The fabric pumpkin is from Target for $3 as well as the starry lights. 



Our couch is the most beloved piece of furniture in our home. It is tiny and simple but it is my favorite couch. The off-white makes it easy to style with any season. The throw blanket is from Joann's for $10 and fall pillows we found at Kohl's for $15. I ended up only paying $1 for them though with Kohl's cash and coupons I had saved up! That was the happiest day!



Over by our fireplace, I only added a few new pieces amongst our regular decor. The embroidered hoop and grey pumpkin are just the subtlety I was going for. The "give thanks" sign was only $3 at Hobby Lobby! 




Again, keeping all of our everyday decor, I "falled" this area up by taking away eucalyptus and adding hay, adding a DIY garland (pieces from Hobby Lobby) and putting three of the $1 Target pumpkins right in front of our tv. I love all of the warm color tones and the way everything works so well together without being in your face. 



The last area I changed was the center piece of our dining room table. This was so easy but looks so festive! The candles and candle holders are from the dollar store! These are always on our table. Pumpkin from Target, vase, tray and corn fillers from Hobby Lobby. There is that "F" wood sign I talked about earlier! I put the twinkle lights along the table runner we use year-round and it warms up that room, especially at night! 

I hope this was inspiring and helps you to see how you can repurpose the pieces you already have in your home! I think the things I loved the most about my design were the neutral colors with the pops of autumn, twinkle lights and candles and subtlety of each piece. Have a wonderful first week of fall! Happy decorating! :)