• I’ll take 3 more of her.
  • these first few smiles are literally the best thing ever. when you realize how happy you make a tiny person. when you see their face light up because they love you so much. then you fast forward 2.5 years and they’re demanding brownies and cheetos for lunch. 😬😬😬 #sixweeksold #happilytrista
  • (sponsored) When you become a parent, there are so many new things to learn about and I feel like each person latches on to something they’re passionate about / can’t stop reading and learning about. For me? That’s car seats! Thankfully some states are finally updating their laws to conform to recommendations from the APA. We have tried quite a few different seats and this 3-in-1 Pria seat from @maxicosiusa is the nicest! The chest clip is magnetic, making it easy to clip and unclip with one hand. The straps stay in place thanks to their out-of-the-way spring assist, so no more twisted up straps. And the cushions are both washer AND dryer safe! Yay for no more hang-drying! On top of that, it’s rear-facing up to 40lbs, forward-facing up to 65lbs and then a booster up to 100lbs. #ParentYourWay #PriaMax3in1 #happilytrista
  • 6 weeks of this angel girl ✨
She is still waking up once over night most nights. She just started smiling at us these past few days. She loves tummy time but rolls herself over all of the time so we have to roll her back. She loves to be worn and snuggled. And we have to restrain her brother from kissing her 193739 times per day. 🤪 #happilytrista #newborn #sixweeksold #fourthtrimester
  • We are currently paying the price for last week’s easy bedtimes. I’m trying to get Ben to sleep in his own room. So you can guess how happy he is about that. His yelling has Blaire awake still, she’s been out of her room about 25 times. And Sloane is passed out on the couch. At least someone is asleep. They’re lucky they’re adorable because holy moly I’m tired and just want to veg out on the couch. #gotheftosleep #blairebenandsloane #happilytrista
  • Yesterday was almost 60° and today it “feels like” 21°. We had a handful of fall days and it’s not fair because I’m not ready to skip right to winter. There’s nothing better to get us all out of the house than a walk, especially because wearing Sloane puts her right to sleep. Anywho, trying to squeeze in a nap before we get Blaire from school because once we get home it’ll be a mad dash for me to shower and get everyone ready for Blaire’s first kindergarten parent/teacher conference. AND it’s book fair at her school. Who still gets excited for the book fair? 🤭🙋🏼‍♀️ #happilytrista
  • someone changed out of their pajamas today. it wasn’t me.
#happilytrista #rainbowbaby
  • daylight savings vibes... casually pouring coffee in my eyes today. what time were your kiddos awake? 
#dst #daylightsavingssucks #happilytrista #targetstyle
  • Sorry if this made you yawn. 🤭 I just love that Sloane feels the sleep dust when I’m wearing her, just like Benny did! 💕 Hope you’re having a weekend as great as this girl. She is one month old today! Still waking just at 1:30am most nights to eat... occasionally around 5am, too. When she’s awake she likes to look at lights and stare at mama. Whenever she does tummy time she rolls right over to her back. 🥰 #happilytrista
  • Tried some Pinterest-y nail art while the two older kids were at school this morning... and I’m ready to remove and do something a little less crazy when they’re all in bed tonight. 🤪 Real wild Friday night plans, am I right?
#nailsofinstagram #nailsoftheday #essie #manimonday #happilytrista
  • Sloane’s first Halloween... the one where it snowed 3 inches and was 20° outside. Woody and Jessie lasted about 30 mins trick-or-treating, then they wanted to head home to hand out candy. What was the weather like where you live? And how many pieces of candy do people give out where you trick-or-treat? Here, it’s a tie between “choose two pieces” and “grab a handful.” #blairebenandsloane #halloween #halloween2019 #happilytrista
August 1, 2018

one year with our home security system


Per Mar Home Security SystemIt has been just over one year that we’ve had our home security system. I am so happy we finally got one! It was something I had always wanted because I am the person who analyzes every little noise I hear. And I typically wake Jason up to ask if he heard it, too, which is annoying when it happens every night for three years. And that was when Jason was home!

Now can you imagine what I was like when Jason was traveling? He used to travel a lot more for work before Ben was born. When he was gone overnight, I did one of two things,
1| Had one of my brothers come stay at our house with us. This usually worked out pretty well, even if it was for 5 nights, because they could take turns (lol).
2| I would stay up late watching TV in bed, with my giant, heavy dresser in front of my bedroom door, both kids in our room, both of them constantly stirring because of the light from the TV. None of us slept well. 

Last summer, right when I was about to return to work from my maternity leave with Ben, my anxiety was at an all time high. My worst anxiety times have always been at night. I would lay awake for hours in bed every night. Usually we are in bed by 10PM and it would be 3AM before my brain would let itself rest enough to fall asleep. Jason finally took me up on my many requests to look in to a home security system.

I decided to get quotes from the three companies I had heard of most. The first was a local company, Per Mar. They were the company used by my previous employer located here in the Quad Cities. Knowing that department store had multiple stores/office building, and trusted them with their security was a plus. Anytime I had to interact with them on behalf of my employer, they were always pleasant to work with. The other two companies were national brands used by other previous employers in college or in friends’ homes.

For all three companies, I filled out the Quote Request forms on their website. All three of them responded to me quickly, but in different ways. Per Mar, I had chosen I wanted to receive my information in an email. So I received an email (that same day) from a Salesman at Per Mar. He requested some basic information from me about our home and asked if we could set up a time for him to come give us a quote. 

The second company I heard back from was the one that is probably most widely known. They are nationwide and they work with contractors located in different areas. I received a call from one of their salesmen in Florida (We live in Iowa). He was a true salesman. He was trying to close the sale at the end of every statement. And when I asked for pricing he said he needed my SSN to let me know what deals I would be approved for. (Get. Out.) By the time we hung up, over 45 mins later, we had made an appointment for someone to come give us a recommendation for the proper equipment at 5PM that Friday.

Guess who showed up at 5PM that same day?  Their installation technician. He told Jason he was there to give us our quote and TO INSTALL OUR SECURITY SYSTEM. Jason had to tell him 5 times that we were still working with other companies and were NOT interested in having our installation done that day. He finally told him we were cancelling the appointment we had scheduled for Friday and we would be in contact if we were interested in rescheduling. 

The main point of me seeking out a security system was to feel safe in my home. And knowing this company had done the complete opposite, from the pushy salesman who asked for my SSN 5 mins in to our call, to the installation technician who showed up 4 days early and was equally as pushy, it just gave us both a horrible feeling.

The third company also worked with regional contractors. We received standard pricing information from them but put them on the back burner pending our visit from Per Mar’s salesman.

When the salesman from Per Mar showed up later in the week, he couldn’t have been friendlier! He was great with the kids and was able to give me a lot of great security insight about our home. He went over different types of protection (glass break sensors vs. open window sensors, the mobile app vs. the key fob, etc.) and really left the ball in our court in terms of timeline and next steps. I loved that he was open to having our conversation via email (when the other companies were set on phone calls) because it was much easier for me to keep track of the various pricing and options available when it was written out in black and white. It also made a world of difference in terms of being able to have Jason in the loop, since he was able to see word for word what I was seeing. When I have to read my notes back to him, I get worried I’m remembering something wrong!

Per Mar Home Security SystemPer Mar Home Security SystemPer Mar Home Security System Per Mar Home Security SystemIt did take close to two weeks before we were able to schedule our installation time. Obviously, the time of your installation depends on what products you choose. Our installation tech was as friendly as our salesman, which is something I always worry about whenever we have had any type of technician in our home (in the past few years we have had professionals here for our heater, garage door, roof, and painters). We always rely on positive reviews from our family and friends because we don’t want to let just anyone into our home. Our installation tech was quick and really, you wouldn’t have known he was here! His tools were fairly quiet, he was quiet when he was going in and out of the doors running wiring and getting the things he was installing.

Once everything was installed, he went through the security panel with me. He let me practice on it to make sure I was comfortable. He also showed me how to set up a profile to be able to access their mobile app. Once I had a profile, I downloaded the app and he made sure I understood how to use it. The app has been updated a handful of times in the past year, and every time they come up with some way to make it better! When my mom has stayed overnight with the kids the past few months, she LOVES the security system. She was also worried about not being able to work it. But I was able to easily create her an account and PIN for our panel so she didn’t have to try to remember our logins or our PIN numbers. She was impressed with how easy it was to use.

In the past year, we have had our alarm go off a few times. Thankfully, it’s never been because we were really in danger. It’s always been one of us! Once Blaire set off a motion sensor looking for us (lol!) and Jason and I have also done that in our late-night haziness when getting up to make a bottle for Ben. We have always received immediate contact any time our alarm has gone off.

We also have the fob remote because I love the idea of having the panic button to immediately dispatch police. 

A home security system, for me, offers so much more than protection from break-ins. Having smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors connected to your system so they can dispatch help if either of them goes off is just as important to me as the thought of knowing it will go off if someone tries to break in to our home. And their pet stickers let first responders know how many of each type of pet is in our home in case of emergency. 

We have had a great experience with Per Mar for the past year. Per Mar Security Systems was founded in 1953, they are still family-owned and based in Davenport, Iowa. They are the largest family owned, full-service security provider in the Midwest with 22 branches across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They also prioritize giving back to their local communities, which you know is important to me! 

Per Mar Home Security System | home security systems for familiesPer Mar Home Security SystemPer Mar Home Security SystemFeeling safe in my home, especially as our family grows, is one of the most important things to me. I want my kids to feel safe in our home. I don’t want them to grow up with the same fears I have had of house fires and break ins. When Blaire is worried about something under her bed or because her curtains are “moving” from the fan, I love that when all of my other explanations fail, she is reassured when I remind her about our security system that keeps the “bad guys” out.

Even if you’re not located in the midwest, you can follow Per Mar online! They share lots of safety tips on the Per Mar Blog, Facebook and Instagram

We have paid for our Per Mar security system ourselves. After one year of excellent service, I reached out to give them my feedback from our initial search through our first 12 months with their service. This post contains that feedback. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Why We Love Our Home Security System #ad | home security systems for families

  • Reply
    Caro Davis
    October 28, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Glad you did your homework on this ! Having piece of mind especially with little ones is great !👍

leave a comment


  • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
#motherhood #momofthree #momof3 #clickinmoms #momtog #thelovelysquares #happilytrista #blaireandben #blairebenandsloane
  • ice cream outside with two of my favorite people. when it’s only 70° outside you can actually eat your ice cream without it melting all over us... and by us I mean them. 👆🏻👆🏻 #blaireandben
#2yearsold #5yearsold #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
  • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
  • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
  • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
#summer #momentsiwanttoremember #aldifinds #motherhood
  • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
  • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
  • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
#petitejoys  #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #ohheymama #tagtheqc #mybeautifulmess #thehappynow  #thepursuitofjoyproject #thatsdarling #livethelittlethings #momentsiwanttoremember #everydaymoments #nothingisordinary #motherhoodrising
  • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
#pregnancyannouncement #rainbowbabyannouncement #firsttrimester
  • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
  • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
#bestofmom #momlifestyle #momlifeisthebestlife #motherhoodunplugged #mymotherhood #honestmotherhood #slowmotherhood #mymamahood #midwestblogger #eternalmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #unitedinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #polarvortex