favorites friday.

I don’t know if it’s because of the stage of life I’m in with 3 kids, or if it’s having a newborn, or if it’s summer, or what — but I have a lot of favorite things!  I want to share them with you!  So many of my favorite things have come from other people’s suggestions, so I want to start regularly sharing my favorites around here.  And I want to know your favorites, too!


We spend a lot of time on the go, and there is nothing that beats my Bob double stroller.  It is the mac daddy of all strollers.  It is the king of all strollers, and it makes my life so much easier.  We can do any combination of children in there.  It’s delightful.

To go with it, I have a few accessories ::

–  the handlebar console for water, iPhone, keys, and the millions of kid accessories
–  the Duallie snack tray — crucial for kids snacks and drinks and peace :)
–  the infant car seat adapter that makes popping the baby’s carseat in and out so easy!
–  the Mommy Hook — my favorite way to keep track of all my bags while we’re moving around.

This bird feeder!!  We are obsessed with it at our house.  It is so fun to watch birds come right up to the window!  And it works great as a distractor.  If someone starts to get upset, I can say “hey, look at the bird feeder” and immediately they are on to something better and productive.  Seriously the best 8 bucks I’ve spent.  Seriously!  Get this.

In case you’re wondering how I get all of these things, two words — Amazon Prime.  Have you heard of it?  Do you use it?  It’s amazing!  We’ve been using it since Jack was born, and it’s awesome.  I get my diapers delivered.  Any time I need something, I go on Amazon and it’s there and usually with free 2 day shipping.  I don’t even have to leave my house, which is especially important since taking 3 kids shopping is a challenge.  Try it if you are at all curious.  You won’t regret it!


Like I mentioned the other day, my favorite show right now.  So good.  And free if you’re on Amazon Prime.



And to watch that show on my TV, that isn’t smart, we have the Amazon Fire stick.  We can watch all of the Amazon Prime videos plus our Amazon library on our TV!  It’s fantastic.  We have a constant repeat of Frozen, Despicable Me, Monsters Inc., Disney movies, and when I’m able to sit at watch TV alone, the Good Wife.


So I want to know, what are your favorite things right now?  



{I am part of the Amazon affiliate program and links listed to Amazon products are associated with it.}


Part of the fun newborn phase means more tv watching.  At least it does for me.  I remember watching several new series when Jack was a teeny babe, and wouldn’t you know I have plenty of tv time now with our baby.  When I’m up late, early, or during the night, I turn on the tv.  It might not be the best thing, but it helps keep me awake.  So I’m on a roll with a steady stream of my current favorite shows.

My very favorite show right now is the Good Wife.  I keep trying to get my friends to watch it, so we can talk about it.  I also always watch reruns of some of my old favorites — Seinfeld, Gilmore Girls.  I enjoy the Middle more and more as I have more children.  I watched some rerun from Mother’s Day a few years ago, and it was spot on.  Because I just can’t stop, I’m still watching the Bachelorette.  It’s disgusting.  Yet I watch.

I like turning off my mind to watch tv.  I also like multitasking, so I will often have the tv on but will have no clue what I’m watching.  This drives Tommy crazy.  He will frequently talk about a commercial we saw, but I never saw it because I was multitasking :)

A few things I’m going to try to do this summer include reading more!  Less tv, more reading.  That’s better for you right?

What are some of your favorite shows?  Any I NEED to start watching??

i’m baaaaaaaacccccckkkkkkk.

In my most excited voice, I say “I’m bbbbaaaaaaaaaccckkkk.”

After 8ish months away from blogging, I’m ready to come back to it.  I never intended to stop blogging.  If I had planned to, I would have posted a farewell.  And I’ve wanted to write and start back for quite awhile.  But the reason for this big time gap is life.  Man, we’ve been busy.  Lots and lots of life happening around here.  And it’s wonderful.  It’s so nice to have a full house — one that’s full of life — after having had an empty house, a sad house.  I’m assuming that most of you know what I’m talking about, although that assumption may not be correct. 

This time last year Tommy and I started the process of becoming a foster family.  We started attended training classes in July, through August.  Then we began our home study.  After several weeks of visits and interviews, we finally received our home study write up.  Then we were approved as a foster family in November.  It’s been non-stop since then.  We started getting calls for placements the very next day after finding out we were approved.  About 2 weeks later we took in our first placement — a teenage girl.  She was only here for a short while until they found another home better suited for her needs.  Then right after she left we got our little girl (still with us!).  A month after that we got a newborn.  We brought him home from the NICU when he was still weighing 4 pounds!!  He was tiny and precious.  He stayed with us for 4 months and then he went to family.  We have another baby in our home now who is so sweet!  We are really thrilled to have 2 girls here with Jack! 

Things are going well.  Right now we are tired.  Tommy has been working a lot, and I’ve not been sleeping a lot.  But everyone is doing great.  Considering all that baby girl has been through, she is doing remarkably well!  I could write a hundred blog posts on foster care.  And I just might one day.  I’m limited right now by confidentiality agreements, but additionally, I want to protect the hearts, the stories, and the people behind them.  My kids have been through a lot.  All of my kids have.  Jack has lost a brother and adjusted to being a big brother to kids who have high needs.  He’s also done amazing at saying hello and goodbye to new brothers and sisters.  He’s the best.  It goes without saying that our 2 foster daughters have been through a lot in their lifetimes.  I’m not equipped to help our children, but I pray every day God will help me.  The responsibility of parenting this tribe is not lost on me. 

That’s a quick little catch up on our life.  I have missed you all.  I’ve missed this community, and communicating with friends here.  I’m looking forward to being back and writing again — as often as I can. 

Happy Monday and I hope your week gets off to a good start! 

day 29// a different view.

I pretty much always get stuck in my own viewpoint.  It’s not often that I stop to think about what something looks like from another angle.  Jack took this picture on my phone the other day, and it caught my attention.  This is the same view that I look at so many times every single day, but I never see it like this.  When I looked at this picture I felt like I was looking more level out at the dogs and the yard, as opposed to my usual view of looking down on things.  It was refreshing to see a different angle, and a good reminder to look at things differently some times.


a different angle

day 28// transparency tuesday.

Because transparency is important and honesty is beautiful, I bring you the first of many Transparency Tuesdays.  I’ve had multiple people say to me that it seems like I have it all together.  Like I’m really organized, plan things well, and have it all together.  My initial reaction to that is to laugh because it is so not true.  So Transparency Tuesday is to show that is not the case.  While I am an organized person, I hardly have it all together.  And for as much as I organize and clean our house, car, and life — with each passing day, it comes a little more unorganized.  Life just has a way of doing that.  I tend to show the best things on my blog, but I also want you to know that isn’t the every day or everything.  Take my laundry room, for instance.  The shelves weren’t as organized and cute as I would have liked, but I had to snap the picture and move on with it.  However, I still had to pick it up just to get the picture that clean.  Things are certainly not perfect, smooth, or all-together over here at all, and I don’t ever want to give the impression that they are.  Transparency Tuesday is to show all of the messiness in our every day life.


transparency tuesday hole in floor

A leak and crack in our toilet led to our powder room looking like this.  Not pretty.  But it is looking much better now.




transparent tuesday meatloaf

I made meatloaf last week, and it looked like this.  It tasted good, but it looked like a pile of something nasty.



transparency tuesday ripped jeans

And the most transparent of all transparency — I ripped my jeans putting them on recently.  Big ol’ fat ripped ’em.  If that doesn’t make a person look at their exercise habits and what they’re eating, I don’t know what will.  Yikes!



Transparency Tuesday — because messiness is beautiful.

day 27// a beautiful home.

Tommy and I love working on our house.  I’m sure you know that if you read here often.  It started out of necessity with our first house.  Serious necessity.  We loved that house, but no one else seemed to love it like we did.  I miss that house a lot.  But more than the house I miss our neighbors and our friends in Maryland.  It was a great place.  When we moved back to Tennessee we were pretty tired — we had a 5 month old and had done countless hours of projects on our house.  So we decided to look for something newer.  Our house now is new.  We still call it new even though it is 10 years old now.  Our first house was built in the 1940s, so a house built in 2004 seemed entirely new to us.  It didn’t need a lot of work — or any work really.  It was basically as bland as the way it was built.  Seriously.  The kids bedrooms upstairs were painted, but other than that not one thing had been done to the house outside of the way the builders left it in 2004.  It took a little while but we got over our “we’re tired and just want a new house” attitude, and we have been working on turning this house from a completely builder grade house to something that more reflects us.


My very favorite thing that we have done so far is the laundry room.  I spend a lot of time there, and because of it’s location, it’s a room we see all the time.  It’s on our main level, so we walk past it many times a day.  I love that it’s a pretty room now!  I cannot get over it.  We negotiated the washer and dryer in the purchase of the house, so these were here when we moved in.  The previous owners had them stacked and had a tall metal shelving unit beside them.  They used it as storage, and while I can definitely understand the need for storage space, I also really need laundry space.  So as soon as we moved in, we moved that unit out to the garage.  To kick off this project, my brother and sister came over to help Tommy move the dryer down.  I wanted the machines side by side and not stacked.  Apparently I didn’t take a picture of what it looked like stacked, so here are some in progress pictures.






I showed Tommy a picture of what I wanted for shelving, and he made it happen.  This is a Restoration Hardware knockoff project.  And this project was cheap!  I decided I wanted to go dark for the paint color, and I’m so happy I did!  I absolutely love it, and now I want to paint all of our rooms dark!




Here is my updated laundry room!


laundryroomreno laundryroomrenoinprogresss laundryroomrenoironingboard


Beautiful rooms in my home make me smile.

day 26 // celebrating, remembering, + the wave of light.

Wednesday, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, but you know that already because you read my blog.  And so many of you supported us by remembering our sweet baby G, along with many other babies who are no longer here.  I want to thank you for your support — for us always and for so many others who come here for this great community.  Thank you for loving on mamas and families like us.


Here was our Morgan family candle ::


On this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I’m lighting a candle on remembrance of our son, Gabriel, and all the other precious babies who are not here. I hope tonight that all mamas who have lost a baby know they are loved and their baby is remembered.

Candles from you all ::

WaveofLightAmyRoss WaveofLightBeccaE WaveofLightCarolinaBeth WaveofLightCaseyA WaveofLightFrancesca WaveoflightJennyColvin WaveofLightLauraJ WaveofLightmomanddad  WaveofLightShellyM WaveofLightSheriMae WaveofLightSueS



Thanks for sharing love and hope!



day 25 // what day is it and the month is almost over.

Well, clearly in this 31 day challenge I have failed.  Where have the past 10 days gone? Wow.  So much stuff has been going on, that I’ve just not had time to sit and write a post.  But I think more than that, I haven’t had the energy to write.  Family life has been hard the past 10 days.  My Grandfather is going through a hard time and hasn’t talked to me in over a week.  If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I love him so much and spend a lot of time with him.  That’s been hard and has really knocked me off my game.  Please pray for him.  He’s had a hard time with the 1 year mark since my Granny died.  I’m hoping we can get back to our great relationship soon.

In better news…  Jack is amazing.  This is such a fun age!  He thinks things through so much.  He says things out of his own mind and doesn’t just repeat things, and it is amazing.  I love having conversations with him and just listening to him talk.  Such a fun age!  He is really looking forward to next week and getting to dress up for Halloween.  Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch and had so much fun!




It’s going to be a great weekend!  Tommy worked very long days all week, so he and Jack are going to spend some time together.  Tonight Tennessee is playing Alabama — big game for us!  So we will be cheering hard for the Vols!  I hope you have a happy Saturday!  Tomorrow I will be sharing some pictures from Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on the 15th.



day 19 // Project Gabriel meetings :: what it is and what it isn’t.

For several months now we have been having Project Gabriel peer support group meetings once a month.  And for several months it has been such a sweet time of being together with other women who know loss like I do.

Because it’s hard to know what a meeting like this will be like and because the words “support group” and “meeting” sound stiff and intimidating, I want to share some more details about what a Project Gabriel peer support group meeting is and what it isn’t.  Here we go! 

What It Isn’t 

  • A big room of women 
  • Out in the open — we are behind closed doors. 
  • Judgmental — this space is so safe and the women are so kind; there is no judging!  Your feelings, your decisions, your story will not be judged.  Feel free to safely share. 
  • Forceful — you’re welcome to talk if you want, or just sit and listen if you want. 
  • For women with big losses — often women will tell me that they feel their loss isn’t big enough to come to the meeting.  I absolutely disagree with this!  The loss of a baby, at ANY point — 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 32 weeks, or at months of age — is hard.  There’s loss of a life, a child, dreams, and plans.  Grieving takes place with all losses.  Your loss is big and worth grieving and celebrating the life that was, no matter how big or little your baby was. 
  • A lecture — I don’t lecture.  No one does.  It’s just a safe place to share. 
  • A counseling session — I don’t have a background in counseling.  I am just one mom who has lost a baby, wanting to connect with other moms who have lost a baby. 
  • Shared with other people — This group stays private.  You are welcome to share with others that you are coming, but I never will without your permission. 

What It Is 

  • For women who have lost a baby — through miscarriage or infant loss [including miscarriage at ANY point!] 
  • A small group of women 
  • A sweet time together 
  • A chance to share your story 
  • A place to listen to others’ stories 
  • Somewhere to nod your head in agreement because you have had the same thought that someone else just shared 
  • A space where it’s ok to say “if I see one more baby announcement, I just may cry.” 
  • Somewhere where you can just be quiet 
  • Somewhere where you can talk the entire time if you want 
    A private room with closed doors 
  • Drinks and cookies for all  :) 


Do you have more questions about what it might be like?  Contact me at laurengmorgan@gmail.com   I would love to talk with you! 

day 15 // pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day 2014.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I seriously cannot believe it has been a year since we marked this day in 2013.  It’s crazy how a day I didn’t even know existed, is now marked pretty big on my calendar.  I’m a big supporter of this day.  I think it’s really important to take the opportunity to remember women and families who have lost a baby.  It’s easy to feel forgotten and alone when you’ve lost so big.  Especially when we are surrounded by people who have what we so desperately longed for.  Our family has been so incredibly blessed by so many people as we walked through losing our son in 2014.  The love and support we’ve been shown has blown us away.  I know many women who don’t have any support.  Not from a husband, family, or anyone.  Today is a day to share hope with all the women who have lost, and especially these women who really need to see some love.  It’s all around us.  One in four women will have a miscarriage.  That number doesn’t even include stillbirths or neonatal loss.  It’s all too prevalent.  Let’s spend today taking time to remember the babies who are no longer here with us.



So today, just like last year, I am asking you to light a candle.  At 7 pm tonight [or another time if that doesn’t work for you!] light a candle wherever you are in remembrance of a baby who is no longer here and to give hope to their parents.  Then send a picture of that candle — text, email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or anything else you want to us to help spread awareness of infant loss and most importantly share hope.  Help mamas know they aren’t alone.  I cannot wait to put all of the pictures together to see the beauty that is people coming together, encouraging, and sharing the burden of loss.  Thank you for loving us, thank you for loving others, and thank you for remembering our sweet Gabriel.  We can’t wait to see your candles!!



Check here for some of last year’s candles!



And in case I haven’t adequately expressed how much last year’s candle lighting meant to me, here is something I wrote on October 16th last year ::

I want to thank you all so so very much for remembering Gabriel last night.  I was BLOWN AWAY by the love.  That is what hope is.  I wish I could have bottled last night up so I could take a big whiff of it whenever I needed encouragement.  We feel so loved and so blessed to have people who not only haven’t forgotten our baby but also took the time out of their lives to do a kind act for him and us.  So touched. 


Tonight I will be lighting a candle at 7:00 and remembering many babies.  I will remember a sweet little baby who just passed away a few days ago.  I will remember twin boys who passed away a handful of years ago.  I will remember a baby girl who passed away just over a year ago.  I will remember a baby girl who’s parents fought so hard to keep her here.  I will remember a sweet baby who passed away in the womb.  I will remember my friend who had an ectopic pregnancy almost a year ago.  I will remember the women who are pregnant with a baby who they know won’t live.  I will remember the women who have had a miscarriage.  Many friends of mine who have known that pain.  There are a lot of little and significant lives to remember today especially.