Dafney Harper

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bakin' Friends - February 2015

I'm back with another edition of BAKIN' FRIENDS.  After a couple months off, I decided it was time to start back up and boy am I glad I did.  This month, I chose chocolate as the secret ingredient.  No brainer, right?

This month, I was paired with Erin at The Spiffy Cookie.  If you haven't stopped over to her blog, do so.  Now.

She sent me her double dark chocolate cherry cookies!  And, let me tell you, they were so tasty!  Thankfully, the hubby and kiddo aren't big into chocolate, so I was able to hoard them all to myself :)  Hey, leave me alone, I'm pregnant; I'm doing it for the baby, after all!

You can [and should] find the recipe for these amazing cookies here!  Thank you, Erin for the tasty cookies...they certainly were enjoyed!

Interested in joining?  Send me an email [or leave a comment below with your contact info] to: leahmarie.mackenzie@gmail.com
The deadline to sign up for MARCH bakin' friends is 9pm CST, Thursday, March 5th!  All matches will be sent out on Friday, March 6th.

Until next time, Happy Baking [and eating]!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Year's Time

It's hard to believe that a year ago, I heard the words: "Leah, I'm sorry, but I don't see baby's heartbeat".

Those words still haunt me.

It was one of the hardest days of my life; one that I think of often and will probably never forget.  And even though a part of me still wonders what life would have been like had our pregnancy/baby been well, over time, I've started to realize that was not in our plan.  
Do I still wonder why it happened to us, yes, all the time.  Have I learned to accept it, yes {to an extent}.  

As I said, it truly was one of the hardest days in my 33 years on Earth.  I cried.  A lot.  I think I felt every emotion imaginable over a short period of time.  I was: sad, confused, angry, scared, anxious, bitter & guilt-ridden.  I tried to be strong, but inside I was crushed.  My heart was broken into tiny bits and I felt strangely alone.  In recent years, I'd known quite a few friends that had miscarriages, but it was never something we spoke about.  And, after it happened to us, I knew it was something I didn't want to talk about either.  I'm not sure why, but talking about it made me angry and I felt really defensive.  What I felt defensive about...I'm really not sure, it was just something I felt.

I think about "bean" often.  I still find myself wondering what it was that I did wrong.  I know this question will never have an answer, but it's one I think of quite frequently.  

But, what I have learned over this past year is that with most things, time really does heal a broken heart.  On that day, my heart was broken into more pieces than I thought possible, but with time, I've learned how to deal and pick up those pieces.  I've allowed my heart to heal and have definitely become stronger because of what happened.

The silver lining to having miscarried "Bean" was that we were able to spend the summer exclusively with Dafney.  We had SO much fun last summer.  We went to festivals, fairs, parks & splash pads.  We took a ton of bike rides, picnic-ed together, had more dance parties than I ever thought was possible and just enjoyed our time as a family of 3.  

However, had you asked me a year ago if there was any sort of "silver lining" affiliated with our miscarriage, I would have snapped at you and said no.  I was blind to anything positive coming out of our situation.  But I can say with confidence, I'm thankful for the extra time I had with Dafney & wouldn't give it back for anything.

Though I was beyond happy to have the summer to spend with Dafney, we were SO lucky to find out in August that we were expecting.  Talk about perfect timing!  

Naturally, I was extra nervous with this pregnancy, but we've been blessed that things have been going well thus far.  We have less than 9 weeks until our family of 3 turns into a family of FOUR. Eeek!   We're semi-ready.  We have most of what we need for a newborn, but the big thing we need to do is get Dafney a big girl bed so we can put the baby's room together.  

It's crazy how much life can change in a year.  It was a year with drastic ups & downs, but in the end, I know that this was our plan all along.  I may never know why things happened the way they did, but I'm a firm believer that all things happen for a reason.

- In Memory of "bean"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Latte with Leah: #11

Hi Friends,

It’s a cold one out there today, although, I really think Spring is right around the corner [call it wishful thinking].  So, grab a nice, warn drink and let’s get started!

~ I’m almost 30 weeks pregnant.  Say what?  The first trimester was tough, to say the least, but this pregnancy has gone by twice as fast as my first.  I’m trying to soak up these last weeks and enjoy everything about being pregnant! 

This mad me laugh!

~ Luck was on my side and I won 2 tickets to the DAVE MATTHEWS BAND concert in July!  Dave is one of my favorite bands and they put on the BEST show ever!  I am so excited!!!

~ Hard to believe Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  We have no big plans, which will actually be kind of nice.  Dafney will be at my parents house on Sunday night, so I'm thinking of making a nice dinner for the hubby and I.  Possibly this tasty looking meal?!

~ We're thinking about changing daycare.  UGH.  I could literally cry when I think about it, because I LOVE our daycare, but let's face it, I think we got to one of the most expensive places in the area.  Plus, hubby would like to have something closer to our house.  I try to remember that things WILL work out, but it's tough.

~...this face ♥

~ Hubby is not big into chocolate [crazy, I know], but he LOVES peanut butter, so I thought I'd make a peanut butter-y dessert for Valentine's Day.  But, I'm not sure which to make: this one, or maybe thesepossibly this, or these tasty looking morsels!  Such decisions...what's on your Valentine's Day dessert menu?

~ Hope you all have a great end of your week and a wonderful [Valentine's Day] weekend ♥

Friday, February 6, 2015

Creating a HOME!

This post might come out of left field a bit, but I was recently was approached by Urban Compass to see if I’d like to write up a “starter story” for a project they are currently running.  And, since we just recently built a home, I was game.  I’ve definitely posted a few posts on the building of our house, but I’m going to focus this post mostly on life after we moved into the house!

It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve been in our house for a YEAR now.  Time certainly flies when you’re living in a wonderful  “dream” house.  And, though this wasn't our first home together, it certainly brought on a whole new meaning to the phrase, Home Sweet Home.

Way back last January, we moved our possessions into our new house.  It was finally time to start making this gorgeous house a home.  I clearly remember the 1st night we spent in our new house.  Other than Dafney’s furniture, we had nothing other than some blankets and an air mattress for us to sleep on.  And, even though we hardly had anything in the house, it felt like a perfect place to call HOME.  All of the hard work, time & money that went into our house seemed so worth it in that very moment.

It didn’t take us long to get ourselves settled in –though it certainly took a lot of hard work.  I think it certainly helped that we went from an 800 square foot house with zero closet space, to something more than double the square footage…there was more room than we knew what to do with, well not really, but we definitely soaked up the fact that we had TWO coat closets, an actual linen closet AND THREE bathrooms! 

The copious amounts of room we finally had was heavenly!

The best part of building a house was that we didn’t have to do anything to the house other than move in & unpack boxes.  We didn’t have to paint, or fix-up anything [which we were definitely thankful for as neither my Husband nor I are overly "handy"].  

We literally just had to make this house OURS...and we have!

The one thing I've learned about making this ours, is that it doesn't matter if your walls are bare, the furniture doesn't match, your kids toys are sprawled everywhere, but rather the memories you have there.  The memories we've made over the past year in our home mean the world to me and are something I will always cherish. Everything from our first night here together, to spending the Holiday's with extended family in our home, to our simple weekend routines and especially the amazing family traditions that are both new and old!

I absolutely love our new house and love that as a family, we have transformed this house into our home sweet home.  We certainly don't have the biggest house, or the most high end appliances, but we certainly have made the very best memories in our first year in the house!

I'm confident that the many years we have left in our home will be just as amazing!  Even though starting over/new can be scary, it can also be COMPLETELY worth it's weight in gold!  

Happy Friday, friends!