Being Brickner

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gender Reveal Dinner

A little overdue, but I have been wanting to share about the night that we that told our family & closest friends that we were expecting a little GIRL!!  This was also the last time that we hosted anything at our house before we moved, and ironically looking back now, it was also the exact day that we found and went to see our new house for the first time.  Such a special night to remember forever!

A little bit about how my husband & I found out earlier that week.  We both agreed that we wanted to find out on our own this time, just the two of us.  With Waverly, we had the big gender reveal party and then with Avalon we went to a 4D ultrasound place to find out early, and Waverly came with us.  Both experiences were perfect in their own way, each so different which I really liked, and I can still remember every little detail about both and exactly how I felt each time.  I wanted this to be different too, and also for whatever reason I was probably most anxious and nervous to find out this time around, so being with Joe and no one else, and then soaking it in all on our own for a few days afterwards, just felt right.

Since we did the blood test, I was literally waiting for an email, which came right in the middle of teaching my seventh bell one Monday.  I was dying.  I knew I could press the button to find out immediately and it was taking EVERYTHING in me not to, but I knew it would be worth it to wait (and also chose not to since I texted him after I got it and asked if he would rather me find out and surprise him, and got a big hell no!).  After school, I took the girls to my parents and then met Joe for an early dinner to open the email!  We sat on the same side of the booth and clicked the button to "find out the sex of your baby" and there it was, it's a girl.  A completely healthy little girl!  It's still so surreal to think about it and feels like such a dream.

We waited to tell anyone (especially Waverly & Avalon, who would have told everyone immediately), until that weekend.  I am the worst secret keeper ever, so it was hard, but I was excited to share the news in a fun way.  We decided to go with silly string, which was SO MUCH FUN, also a huge mess, but the timing worked out well since we were getting ready to start packing and live in chaos for a little while anyways.  I got a bunch of pink silly string from Party City and wrapped them so no one could tell before we started spraying, super easy and the kids really got into it.  It would also make for such fun pictures, which we got zero of with all the craziness and also because we were planning on doing confetti ones later that week!  We did take a video and I will love it forever, I can't wait to share it with her one day!

Both the girls thought it was a boy from day one, right up until the confetti came out of the cans, so I was excited to see their faces when they saw pink instead.  They are both so happy about a little sister, probably Waverly way more than Avalon since she just gets it more.  The next day after the dinner she wore head to toe pink to school and also carried a post-it with a stick figure colored pink to "make sure everyone knew it was a girl".  Sweetest ever, I just cannot wait to see the three of them together!

PS -- I LOVE reading old wives tales for gender, and did this religiously for a solid three weeks before we found out.  Most of them were right for me this time, as well as the other two times before!  The Chinese Gender Calendar said girl all three times (so crazy to me!!), I had really hard first trimesters as well as the same exact cravings & aversions all three times, and all three little girls had high heartrates (this one being the highest, 172).  My mom intuition for gender is waaay off though, if you would have asked me before finding out with any of the three, I would have totally said boy, and my husband guessed right all three times!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Roman Numeral Necklace // Sincerely Silver

Happiest Friday!!!  I'm stopping in to share one of my favorite new necklaces, I am all about having fun with accessories these days as with my growing bump, my wardrobe is getting smaller & smaller!!  Sincerely Silver reached out about sending over this roman numeral bar necklace, and I love the idea of picking a special date to have close around your neck everyday.  I chose our anniversary, and am excited to wear it along with my favorite necklace with both my girls names on it (that will have to be updated with another name soon!!).  

It's dainty enough to wear everyday, but still makes a fun statement, especially when layered or paired with other pieces.  My other necklace is gold and I love the combination of the mixed metals together, but also love it equally all on it's own!  

You can see all the pieces from Sincerely Silver here, any of these would make such a fun gift for Mother's Day coming up!!!  Happy shopping & HAPPY weekend, friends! XO

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Easter 2018

After a few weeks of non-stop packing and cleaning and all the things that come with moving, I was so ready for a weekend with lots of family time!  I just love Easter and all the excitement that comes with it, the florals and the pretty colors and the weather finalllly warming up after a long winter!!

I will always remember this Easter as the one where we were between homes and were technically homeless, but thankfully had family who were sweet enough to take our entire circus in.  The girls bunny pajamas were packed far away in a storage unit and instead were replaced with mismatched tees & pants from a tote box, but of course they never knew they difference and thought the fact that the Easter bunny found us at Glamma's house was about the coolest thing ever.  I will always remember this Easter as the one when after each egg hunt, Waverly divided up her eggs by color and saved most everything for later, and Avalon ate every single piece of candy from her eggs within three minutes.  And then tried to take Waverly's.  And of course, I will always remember this Easter as the one where our third baby girl was in my belly, I cannot believe she will be crawling around for all the fun at this time next year.

Girls Dresses -- Girls Shoes
Hope you had the most wonderful Easter! XO

PS -- My dress is from Mia Tango Maternity, I have been wearing their pieces this pregnancy and am loving them all!  Use the code ASHLEY10 to get 10% off your order. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Goodbye to Our First Home!

Aaaahhh, it's our very last day in our very first home!  My husband & I were talking the other night about what a weird feeling it is, in just a couple of days another young family will be putting their groceries away in the pantry (that was our girls favorite hiding spot!) and soap in the bathroom we worked so hard on just a few months back.   Their little ones will be running across the squeaky hardwood floors and through the sliding back door to the backyard, the one that is fenced in after a long summer of my husband doing it entirely by hand.

We bought our house four & a half years ago, after searching for what felt like forever, I still remember the day I drove over with my mom to see it and called my husband at work immediately to tell him I just knew it was the one.  We bought it as a foreclosure, so it needed a ton of work, but we knew we could make it our own and honestly were just so excited to have a ton of space and actually own our own home that we didn't care about the kind of shape it was in.  Waverly was about to turn one at the time, her & I spent the first couple of months living at my parents house while my husband lived at our new house doing renovations and getting it to the point where we could actually live there.  Which he did, the three of us finally got to move in (best day ever!) and since then have put many long hours of work and SO MUCH love into every single room, hallway, and corner of space we had.  All of it took a lot longer than we had ever planned, our girls were still taking baths in their avocado green bathroom until a few months ago, but ironically I am already positive that it's that same green bathroom I will look back on and smile about forever.

Our first home will always hold so many of our greatest memories.  It's where Waverly officially learned to walk & we found out she was going to be a big sister, where we brought a newborn Avalon Elle home from the hospital, and where we celebrated endless birthdays and holidays and game nights and everything in between.  It's where we really learned to be parents, the good parts and the bad, where we watched our babies grow literally before our eyes, and where most recently, we shared with our family & friends that we were expecting our third baby girl with a bunch of hot pink silly string all over our living room floor.

A photo of the girls in that living room from this week, everything is pretty empty from packing and we've had a couple nights of eating dinner on storage totes and blankets.  They think it's all pretty fun and are super excited to have "sleepovers" at their grandparents house over the next few weeks until our new house is ready.

The biggest thank you to so many of our family and friends who have taken time the past couple of weeks to come over and help us pack, or take the girls for a few hours so we could, or for bringing their own kids over so our kids could play in the backyard with them while we filled storage boxes (and goodwill totes!) with their toys.  It truly takes a village and we are forever thankful for ours!!!  Goodbye, first house, it's time for a new adventure but we will remember you forever!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easter Week

I cannot even believe Easter is less than one week away!!  This year will look a lot different for us, Saturday is our last day in our current home and the girls & I will be moving in with my parents for a few weeks while my husband stays at our new house for some renovations.  We had to let go of some of our favorite traditions (like our annual Easter Egg Hunt which made me so sad!!), but keep reminding ourselves of how much it will be worth it when we are hunting in our NEW HOME next year!!

My grandparents were so sweet to dye eggs with the girls while I was packing last weekend, I made a rather pathetic attempt at Easter cookies yesterday when I realized all our cookie cutters were packed and already in storage, and also worth noting, we have walked by the Easter bunny at the mall at least three times the past few weeks and waved from a far distance, both my five & two year old are still pretty terrified of him.  We cannot wait to celebrate this weekend with a couple egg hunts and brunch with our families, feeling very thankful that we live near them so even if we don't currently have a house to go to, we have plenty of places that still feel like it!

Also sharing the girls Easter baskets, I plan to add some bath bombs, spring-colored chalk, and stickers before the bunny makes his way to my parents house Sunday morning.  With the exception of the book, both girls baskets are identical (even all the colors!), I learned that lesson the hard way last year!

Bathing Suit -- Shoes -- Book

Sending love from our family to yours during this special holiday! XO

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Baby Girl Three!

Our sweet surprise baby on the way is a GIRL!!!!!!!!  A baby SISTER!  We are over the moon excited and already counting down the days to meeting her.

We found out a few weeks ago after the results came back from our blood test, but it honestly doesn't even feel real yet.  When I was younger, I was pretty convinced that we would end up with a bunch of boys, I'm not even sure why I thought that and know it would have been incredibly amazing in it's own way, but here I am, 16 weeks pregnant with my third baby girl and feeling overwhelmed with joy and so very thankful.  I just keep thinking of what a magical childhood 
our girls will have growing up together, and maybe even more special, the sisterhood that they will share for their entire lives.  Since we've shared our news, I've had so many people message me or comment on how they are one of three sisters and it was their favorite, or how they knew a family with all girls and how special it was to see them together, and all of that just makes me smile so much.  I am soooo happy for them and already get butterflies thinking of seeing our THREE sissies together for the first time!

My husband is just fine, I think it takes a very special man to be able to raise girls and he's got it down.  He can braid hair like a boss and helps put princess dresses on without blinking an eye, and of course our girls love all of that, but they also care about the stuff he is into just as much.  One of Waverly's favorite things is watching deer hunting videos and Avalon's favorite color is blue, she would rather play with a bunch of cars than dolls any day.  I love that he raises them to think (or know!) that they can do anything or be into anything that boys can, and I know he will do the same with our next little lady.

She is so very loved already!

The biggest thank you for sharing in our excitement this week, it truly mean so much! XO

All images by Shawna Bielat Photography.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Moving Time!

Just in case it didn't seem like we had enough going on over here with a new job for my husband and a third baby on the way, we decided to really make things fun and officially sell our house!  Honestly there's not much else I can do but laugh when I think about all these changes at once, I am really not that good of a multi-tasker and usually try to stick to one thing at a time, but this is how it worked out and obviously how it was meant to be.  Life is currently a little crazy but we are certainly feeling so grateful for what we have and also stronger together than ever.

When we bought our first house five years ago, we knew it wouldn't be our forever home but were super excited to start raising our family there while also doing some home improvements along the way.  There were (and still are!) a ton of things I love about it but I knew we would want to be in a different area eventually and also didn't really love the schools that we were zoned for.  At the time, we only had one kid, a baby Waverly who was less than a year and it felt like we had all the time in the world.  Then of course I blinked, it was this past fall and we had two little girls, one who was starting kindergarten and another who wasn't all that far behind.  A few weeks after Waverly started school this past September, it became pretty clear that getting the girls to the area that we would be in while they were growing up (and in schools that we really, REALLY loved!) was a priority to us.  Both my husband & I went to the same schools, with the same friends, throughout our 13 years and though I know that can't always happen for everyone, we really wanted to make that work for our kids if we could.  So we were determined to finish the projects around the house we knew we needed to in order to list it, and also spent our extra time on the weekends starting to look around at other houses to buy.

And then came late December, and we found out about a surprise baby on the way!  We couldn't have been happier about it, but it also made us really re-think the timing of moving and whether it was realistic and worth it, or if it would just stress us out.  We went back & forth about it forever, what seemed like the right decision one hour was the wrong one the next, and we really struggled with figuring out what the right move for all (five!) of us would be.  We ultimately decided to wait, at least until the baby was six months, Waverly was liking her school a lot more and there really weren't any houses on the market that we had fallen in love with anyways.  And then the very NEXT DAY two houses popped up, both that we loved but that we couldn't put offers on since we hadn't listed our house quite yet.  We 100% took it as a sign and decided to list our house the following week.

We had never sold a house and completely didn't know what to expect, I really thought it would sit on the market for a few months and we would maybe sell it, but if so we would have tons of time to think about it and could really think it through again if we needed to.  So we were SHOCKED when we had three full-price offers within 24 hours of listing it, and were under contract with one of those offers the following day.  Since then we've been through both the inspection and appraisal, both of which went through, and currently have two more weeks until closing when we have to be out of our first home!!!

So, allllll the feelings.  We are so excited about this new chapter, but it's also pretty bittersweet.  All of the girls memories are from this home, as well as most of ours as a young family, so many special moments with birthdays and holidays and just everyday things, and of course bringing Avalon home from the hospital.  We have started packing boxes and I know they don't really understand it, so that has been hard to explain.  Ultimately though, I know it's for the best and I am so happy for all of us!  Up until about a week ago, we had no idea where would be going (and were possibly going to rent month to month until we found "the" place for us), but are currently under contract for our new home and we LOVE IT so much!!!  I'm very superstitious so I'm going to wait to share about it until it's officially ours, but I hope to be sharing some pictures soon!  Until then, a photo of the girls in our house last year on Easter, I'm already a little sad thinking that we won't be there to celebrate one of our favorite holidays in a few weeks.  Our first home will always hold a special place in my heart and I already know how much it will be missed.

Happiest weekend, friends, hope it's a good one! XO