My beauties

August 25, 2014

I am currently the Mother of a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old. It is wonderful. Below are a couple of pictures from Sunday, August 24th. The girls received matching dresses from Sue (Grandpa Wayne’s girlfriend). She picks out the best outfits for them! They cooperated fairly well. Karis wanted to go outside with Daddy so she quickly got impatient. Atley would sit still and look perfect just long enough for me to move my hand out of the way and get my iPhone up and ready to shoot. She started leaning forward almost every time I took a picture. Hence, the photos aren’t as clear as I would like them to be. Fortunately, Karis Lerae and Atley Mae are cute enough to forgive a little blurriness. Am I right?






Homemade Baby Wipes

May 12, 2014

This evening, I found myself down to about half a dozen baby wipes. I have been meaning to make homemade wipes and figured now was a good time to give it a whirl. Keep reading if you are interested in finding out how to do this on your own.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baby friendly soap (I used Daisy Blue laundry soap)
  • 2 tablespoons Vitamin E oil (again, I used Daisy Blue brand)
  • 2 drops Tea Tree oil
  • 6 drops Lavender oil
  • Empty wipe container
  • 60 sheets of paper towels (I used the 1/2 size sheets)












  • Tri-fold the paper towels

photo 2

  • Stack them in the wipe container

photo 3

  • Boil the water
  • Add the soap and all 3 oils to the boiling water, stir, remove from heat
  • Slowly and carefully pour the solution over the paper towels (Hint: I separated the stack into 3 sections, put 1 in the container, poured some on, stacked another section on, poured more and then put the rest in the container and poured the rest of the solution. I’m hoping this helps ensure all of the towels get saturated)

Karis helped me tear apart the paper towels. She did very well for the 10 minutes that it took to tear and fold them.

I had Atley in my arms as I began to make the solution. She quickly got bored and fell asleep. Here’s a picture of her and I while we were waiting for the water to boil:

photo 1

This was a fun do-it-yourself project, and very simple. I believe that making my own wipes will save my household money. I’m also happy that I know everything that is in a product that I use daily on my daughters skin. I have not used my homemade wipes, yet. I will post again soon with my review. Happy day!

Let the final countdown begin!

February 10, 2014

Today I am 36 weeks, 4 days pregnant.

(Photo taken on Sun., Feb. 2nd )

We are making our final preparations for this new baby. We are expecting to add a second girl to our family. Someone asked me this week what we would do if we were surprised with a boy. We do have a boys name, but that’s about all. We would be calling on my sister to get ahold of my nephew’s clothes. I’m not sure I’d be mentally prepared for a boy, either.

Anyway, here’s what’s on the task list for this week:
-Install car seat.
-Pack hospital bag.
-Organize room… Karis and baby will be sharing so we need to pull out the baby clothes and make room for them (Dylan is working on this today 👍).
-Get things organized at CDI to ensure minimal issues while I’m on maternity leave.
-Figure out childcare for when I return to work.
-Purchase newborn diapers and any other essentials that we don’t already have.

I’m sure I’m missing a thing or two, but that’s what my list looks like right now. Oh wait, I thought of one more — continue the name discussion. We still haven’t agreed on a name. Pray for us!

I am feeling good. I see my doctor weekly now until baby arrives. As of last week, there wasn’t much activity (dilation, baby dropping, etc.). Therefore, we aren’t anticipating an early delivery. Dr. Clubb says we will most likely have a March baby. March 6th is the due date.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading my little update. Happy Monday!

Marriage and Money

January 29, 2014

I am in the process of developing a course for engaged couples on the topic of marriage and money. This is a topic that I feel is undervalued and should be a larger part of pre-marital counseling. Two people coming into a marriage most likely have significantly different perspectives on money. These perspectives are built from: parents, experiences in previous relationships, mistakes made, struggles overcome, successes achieved, spiritual beliefs, etc.

I believe that not only introducing, but digging into, the topic of marriage and money prior to getting married is critical. Money disagreements can cause a great deal of hurt. I believe a lot of them are avoidable by simply knowing what your future spouse thinks about the subject and having a plan as to how you will handle money together. A strategy must be made. You can’t skirt around the topic of money while dating/engaged, say I do, and then expect everything to just fall into place. MAKE A PLAN!

All of that being said, I’m doing some research on this topic. If you are married, please help me out by completing this survey ( I would greatly appreciate your help! FYI — the information above is repeated in the description of the survey.

I will soon be setting a release date for this course so stay tuned!

Finally, if you know any engaged couple that may benefit from this course, please send them my way.


Hello 3rd trimester

December 4, 2013

Yesterday marked my entrance into the third trimester of my second pregnancy. Thankfully, it has been another boring, uneventful pregnancy. Which is just what I was hoping for.

There have been some differences:
-Faster weight gain
-A bigger belly
-A big sister to talk & sing to that big belly
-Less energy and being quite uncomfortable earlier (due to me not being as active as I was with Karis)

Overall, the pregnancy is great. I felt kicks and hiccups earlier. All of my prenatal checkups have gone very well. Little lady Vangen #2 is on track with heart rate and size measurements.

My 28 week checkup is next Thursday. I’m looking forward to seeing my doctor and starting to formulate a birth plan. My doctor was not present for Karis’ birth. She was on vacation. The doctor that was supposed to take her place ended up having a funeral on the day I went into labor. So, I ended up with the on call doctor. All went well, but I sure am glad my doctor isn’t planning a vacation around my due date again.

I have some goals for my third trimester:
1) Exercise 4 times a week
2) Continue eating lots of fruits and vegetables
3) Reduce the amount of sugary foods that I eat
4) Agree with Dylan on a name by week 36
I’m sure there are others, but that is all that’s coming to me at the moment.

Thank you for reading my little update. The Vangen family is abundantly blessed by all the wonderful people we have around us. There is no lack of love.


Life is precious

February 20, 2013

As my baby girl fell asleep in my arms last night, I found myself thinking about how her first year of life impacted so many people. Primarily, of course, Dylan and myself. We became parents for the first time. Our hearts were opened to a whole new level of love. She makes us want to be better people.

Karis is also a blessing to her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She has deepened the meaning of the word family for many people.

She tends to be a chatterbox when we are at the grocery store which makes strangers smile. She spreads joy wherever she goes.

Happy birthday, baby doll. Thank you for reminding me every day how precious life is.


The best part of 2012

December 31, 2012

The best part of 2012 for me was giving birth and becoming a Mommy. Karis Lerae, you are one stupendous daughter. I love you!