Wednesday, February 10, 2016


For as long as I can remember, I have always had a love/hate relationship with children's clothing.  I find something I like, buy it, and 5 minutes later its been outgrown!  What a pain.  I feel like all we do is spend spend spend on clothes and I'm not going to lie, my kids are rough on their clothes, so it hurts when we put out so much money just for them to be ruined or outgrown after only being worn a few times.  Okay okay, of course they aren't really ruined to the point that they can't be worn, but of course stains and marks are going to happen and those drive me crazy.  Shopping seems to be more of a hassle than anything because I struggle to balance what is cute vs. what is practical while still getting a good deal.  Now, I don't have to worry about that anymore!

Last week, I got to talking with my sister-in-law Danielle about kids clothes and she told me all about a site she uses called thredUP which is a virtual consignment sale.  I'll admit I was a little leery at first as I feel like my experiences with resale shops has gone downhill lately.  Clothes are disorganized, overpriced, and very obviously worn.  You could spend hours looking for what you need because stuff is thrown around everywhere.  It's just not fun!  ThredUP takes all the hassle out of consignment shopping.  After Danielle pointed me in the right direction, I spent 2 hours browsing the clothes.  Everything is neatly sorted by categories making things so easy to find plus there is a search bar at the top so you can see if they have the perfect item you are looking for.  Seriously, SO EASY!  After all that browsing, I decided to pick 2 items for each kid just as a test run to see how their stuff was.  I placed my order on Friday and it already arrived today!!  Just 4 days which I found super impressive.

The box was adorable and packaged like a gift which I loved.

I dug right in to check out all our new clothes and boy was I impressed!!  Of the six pieces five of them were in impeccable shape.  Honestly, I would have never guessed that they were second hand clothes.  The last item has the faintest of stains and you really have to search for it so it doesn't bother me in the slightest.  Each piece of clothing has its own thredUP tag which I thought was the perfect touch and made me feel like I was getting brand new clothes.  I loved this!

Eliza was napping when the box came and Zach's clothes are for the summer so I only had Samantha to model her clothes.  She looked SO cute in everything.  She got the khaki shorts and jeans!

I am honestly shocked by how impressed I was by the whole shopping experience and quality of the clothes.  Now here is the great part, you have 14 days to decide if you want to keep your items.  If you decide to return them, thredUP proves you a prepaid postage label to return them!  If you return your items for store credit there is no charge, however, if you want your payment returned to your original payment method there is an $8.99 fee.  ThredUP also gives you the option to request a Clean Out Bag so you can send in your old clothes for PayPal or store credit.  Now, I read that they are super strict with their clothing and only accept <40% of what is sent into them.  Like I said before, we are rough on clothes and I seriously doubt they'd take any of our stuff so I haven't yet sent anything in.  However, it's easy to navigate the site to find out how to send in your items and what brands they will and won't accept.

But wait, there is more!  As of 2/10/2016 thredUP has teamed with 18,878 schools across the country so when you shop your school earns!  You can search for your K-12 school and once selected 5% of your purchases will go right back to the school you chose.  You can even designate your payouts from Clean Out Kits to go back to the school rather than yourself.  At this time, thredUP sends out checks to the schools' PTA twice per year and the check must be at least $100 or the money your school has earned is lost.  Unfortunately at this time, I am the only shopper linked with my daughter's future school so I better get to shopping!

For someone who has been turned off from consignment shopping, I can definitely say that I will be frequently visiting this site from now on.  I can't wait to start searching for summer clothes!  If you haven't yet tried thredUP and are interested in doing so, you can sign up via THIS link and get a store credit just for singing up!!  (I am not sure how much the credit is as the e-mail link gives $10 and facebook share gives $20, comment if you sign up and I can edit my post!)  You can try out the clothes and not have to pay out that much if anything!  After the bonus I got from signing up through my sister-in-law I only paid $24.93 shipped for all 6 items.  You've really got nothing to lose!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Stars Shine Brighter Because of You

*warning - This post contains triggering and graphic content (miscarriage)*

Today when I woke up and logged onto Facebook, I happened to click on my memories from this day to see a message from my husband regarding our family cat Wolfie.  Today, 7 years ago, is the day my dad called to say that he had found our cats lifeless body in the basement.  This threw me back to that time 7 years ago which was honestly a very rough point in my life.  I'm not sure if I should be ashamed or not to admit this, but until I read the post about Wolfie, I completely forgot about what happened on February 1st that same year.  On February 1st 2009 I miscarried our first baby.  I feel guilty that I don't acknowledge the date of this every year but the date that sticks out to me most is my due date.  September 8th.  Every year on this day I think about what could have been and what is now.  Hard to believe that in a few short months we'd have a seven year old!

I will be honest, back in 2008, Chris and I had only been married a year and babies were the farthest thing from the front of our minds.  Everything changed that May when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I knew she would be excited for grandchildren (though I didn't know HOW excited she was until after she passed away) so Chris and I had decided, depending on the diagnosis, that we would start trying so that my mom could experience being a grandma.  Unfortunately there were some complications from a CT scan and my mom passed away less than 6 weeks after she was diagnosed.  Still that winter we decided to try for our first baby.  I was shocked when I got a positive pregnancy test two days after Christmas on our first month of trying!

On New Years Day I developed a sharp pain in my shoulder and having extreme health anxiety since my mom's death I headed to google.  One of the diagnosis' that kept popping up was ectopic pregnancy.  I frantically called around to all of the OB/GYN's in Northern Virginia hoping someone was open.  Of course all of the offices were closed for the holiday.  Finally I got through to a nurse who told me I should go to the emergency room.  We headed to a local urgent care center where unfortunately all they did was a pregnancy test which came back positive.  They did give me a referral to an ultrasound but they couldn't do it in house which was rather disappointing.  I went a few days later but nothing could be seen on the ultrasound.  I honestly can't remember that time, but I know I was only 4-5 weeks along so it wasn't surprising that nothing could be seen.  Shortly after that I selected an OB (I didn't have one because my PCP was a family doctor that performed all of my annual exams) and went for my first appointment.  The nurse just did an initial intake exam and palpated my uterus and said everything looked good.  I mentioned going to the urgent care and the subsequent ultrasound so the nurse sent me for a follow up ultrasound just to check things out.  At the ultrasound it was immediately apparent that the baby had grown, I felt such relief.  However, after the ultrasound the tech left and came back saying that my OB wanted to talk to me.  This was odd to me because the ultrasound place wasn't even associated with the OB.  Unfortunately, the OB told me that my baby had no heartbeat.  I was told to come back in a week to confirm but at that point it was more likely than not that I was going to have a miscarriage.

I went home to wait things out and less than a week later I woke up on a Sunday morning with debilitating cramps.  After a few hours while sitting on the toilet I passed our baby.  I was 8w5d but our little baby only measured 6w1d.  I could see the little arm and leg buds, the start of his/her eyes, our baby looked perfect.  I talked with my OB and got the difficult news that they wanted to examine the tissue.  I had to collect our baby in a plastic container and keep it in the refrigerator until they opened again and I could bring it in.  I went back to work the very next day, another regret, and spent most of the time in the bathroom due to the insane amount of bleeding.  I don't know why I didn't ask to take any time off for healing.  Looking back, I 110% should have taken some time for myself.  I can't remember if it was before or after work that Monday, but sometime during that day I went to the doctor with our baby.  Taking the baby into the doctor was one of the most difficult things ever and I was in tears the entire time.  They looked the baby over and said everything looked normal and no further testing would be done.  Looking back, I wish I would have pushed for the genetic testing.  They said they might have been able to tell if I was carrying a girl or a boy.  I think it would have helped me immensely with healing had I known if I would have had a son or a daughter.  They told me the baby would be disposed of with the "hazardous waste" at the hospital.  One of my greatest regrets is going along with this and not asking to have the remains back to bury, the thought that my baby was thrown away like trash is absolutely heartbreaking.

Chris and I named our baby Logan, a gender neutral name, that was sort of randomly picked by me.  Thinking about it now I'm not really thrilled with this name but after 7 years it kind of sticks with you.  We tried out another name this year, Cameron, and while it fits with our theme of 3 syllable names I just couldn't get past a different name so Logan it will stay.

While I don't dwell on the miscarriage a lot I will never ever forget Logan.  I do wish we would have gotten to meet him/her but I can't imagine my life any different than it is now.  I have complete faith that one day we will meet our son/daughter and what a blessed reunion that will be!!